Today’s Headlines

  • No. 2-ranked Senate Democrat admits there’s no plan yet for extending federal transport law (JOC)
  • Atlanta’s MARTA transit network is freeing itself from tax-shelter traps triggered by the financial crisis — but it’s not free and clear yet (AP, AJC)
  • An editorial board that’s far from liberal says it again: the federal gas tax needs increasing (WaPo)
  • A cheeky profile of LaHood, the Obama Cabinet’s lone GOPer (Politico)
  • As the U.K.’s high-speed rail debate rages on, bus companies see potential (Guardian)
  • D.C. is poised to get a new state-of-the-art bicycling center, with a boost from the U.S. DOT (Reuters)

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One More Sign That the Stimulus Traded Infrastructure for Tax Cuts

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The independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an economic analysis of the Obama administration’s stimulus law this week, and one chart in particular (see below right, or a larger version here) is getting a lot of attention from bloggers, including Ezra Klein and Ryan Avent.  (Image: CBO) The chart’s message, simply put: the elements of […]

Could Gas-Tax Bonds Pay For the Next Federal Transportation Bill?

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House infrastructure committee chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN), facing steep political odds in his push to pass a new six-year federal transportation bill this year, has begun to pitch an outside-the-box solution to the financing shortfall that is still stalling congressional action: Treasury bonds. (Photo: Pop and Politics) Oberstar’s proposal would plug the hole in anticipated […]

It’s Time to Stop Pretending That Roads Pay for Themselves

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If nothing else, the current round of federal transportation legislating should end the myth that highways are a uniquely self-sufficient form of infrastructure paid for by “user fees,” a.k.a. gas taxes and tolls. With all the general tax revenue that goes toward roads in America, car infrastructure has benefited from hefty subsidies for many years. […]

Baucus Adds Transit Tax Benefit to Senate Transpo Bill

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The Senate Finance Committee is currently marking up what lawmakers have christened the “Highway Investment, Job Creation and Economic Growth Act of 2012,” the final component of the Senate’s two-year transportation bill. This portion of the bill, put together by committee chair Max Baucus (D-MT), is responsible for the “pay-for” — identifying approximately $13 billion […]