August 1, 2005
Congress has agreed to a massive transportation bill that has less to do with highways and transportation than it does with pork barrel projects for individual members.
When the gasoline tax was imposed in 1956, it was three cents a gallon.
The so-called “temporary tax” on fuel was to be used to build the national highway system.
But like so many other taxes, once a project is completed, the tax not only doesn’t go away, it gets bigger and is used for other things.
Today’s fuel tax is 18.4 cents and members of Congress use the money for many things other than transportation.
The current bill exceeds the president’s proposed $256 billion transportation proposal by $30 billion.
It might have been worse.
Both House and Senate passed bills exceeding $300 billion until the bill was paired down in conference.
The transportation committees of the House and Senate have long been sources of pork for members, remember the transportation bill when members squeal that they can’t afford to cut our taxes any more.
In New York, I’m Cal Thomas.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.