Willisms
Navigation

Buy WILLisms

XML Feed
WILLisms.com on Twitter




Featured Entries

The Babe Theory Of Political Movements.
Mar. 21, 2005 11:50 AM

Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
June 20, 2005 5:36 AM

Yes, Kanye, Bush Does Care.
Oct. 31, 2005 12:41 AM

Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
Nov. 23, 2005 3:28 PM

Americans Voting With Their Feet.
Nov. 30, 2005 1:33 PM

Idea Majorities Matter.
May 12, 2006 6:15 PM

Twilight Zone Economics.
Oct. 17, 2006 12:30 AM

The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
Dec. 13, 2006 1:01 PM

From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
Dec. 18, 2006 6:37 PM

Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
Dec. 21, 2006 12:31 PM

Let Economic Freedom Reign.
Dec. 22, 2006 10:22 PM

Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
July 25, 2007 4:32 PM

Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
May 28, 2008 11:12 PM

Right To Work States Rock.
June 9, 2008 12:25 PM



Donate





Links









Search



Archives

June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004




Social Security Reform Thursday.
January 29, 2008

Caption Contest Archive
Jan. 21, 2009

The Carnival Of Classiness.
Mar. 14, 2006

Quotational Therapy: Obama.
Apr. 4, 2008

Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
May 19, 2007

Pundit Roundtable: Leaks.
July 9, 2006

A WILLisms.com(ic), by Ken McCracken
July 14, 2006




Credits

Powered by Movable Type 3.17
Site Design by Sekimori




WILLisms.com January 2009 Book of the Month (certified classy):











The WILLisms.com Gift Shop: Support This Site

giftshopbanner.gif











This Week's Carnival of Revolutions: carnivalbutton.gif



Carnival Home Base: homebase.gif

























Willisms

« Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 807 -- Deficit. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 809 -- America's Debt To Surpass GDP By 2012. »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 808 -- Infrastructure Privatization Is Conservative.

Texas Is A Donor State-

Texas and many other states are "donor" states when it comes to transportation dollars:

wm2863_table1.gif
In 2008, there were 25 donor states and 25 donees, although many states were close to being even in their return ratios. In 2008, for example, Texas received only an 81 percent payback, costing it $728 million in underpayments that year, while Florida received just 79 percent back, Indiana received 91 percent, and South Carolina received 90 percent. As column 3 reveals, many of the losing states in 2008 have been consistent losers since 1956. Tabulating return ratios over the past 52 years reveals that, among some of the 24 long-term losers, Texas received just 80.1 percent, Oklahoma received 85.5 percent, and Georgia received 84 percent.

....

Texas in 2008 experienced an 81.0 percent return ratio, reflecting the fact that its tax revenues accounted for 9.321 percent of the money flowing into the fund compared to the 7.554 percent of trust fund spending that it received (7.554 is 81.0 percent of 9.321).

While few states will have a perfect 100% return on their dollars, states should not be faced with having 1 out of every 5 dollars they send to Washington for transportation evaporate in federal bureaucracy or be siphoned off toward other states.

Indeed, Texas is suffering from this long-term donor state imbalance:

According to TxDOT, Texas typically receives about 70 cents for highways from each dollar remitted to Washington in federal motor fuel taxes. The federal tax is 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents on diesel. In each of the past five years, however, Congress has cancelled some of the previously authorized funds owed to Texas.
1990-2005increases.gif

This donor state thing is not likely to change anytime soon. Too many states derive too much of their transportation funding from this system. The alternatives?

Higher taxes? Not a great solution. Plus, tax revenue from the gas tax is declining as vehicles become more efficient and thus use less fuel.

More debt? That's only viable up to Texas' debt cap, and we don't need to follow the federal government down that path anyway.

Just not building roads, other new infrastructure? Well, the costs associated with increased gridlock are enormous:

urbanmobility.gif

Privatization of roads sometimes gets a bad rap, and I've even heard the peculiar assertion that being in favor of tolls to fund new infrastructure construction instead of higher taxes or more debt is "not conservative."

That's absurd on its face.

As Reason Foundation's Leonard Gilroy predicted back in January:

...playing politics with infrastructure privatization—generally in the form of a challenger's populist opposition to an incumbent's privatization initiatives, while offering no realistic alternative—is unlikely to be a fruitful path to success. The gubernatorial campaign of Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison may learn this lesson the hard way.

Indeed, while there are a sizable number of vocal anti-privatization activists out there, even many within the Republican Party, and they often intimidate politicians into taking psuedo-populist positions against toll roads, being pro-gridlock and anti-infrastructure is ultimately not a winning issue.

I just hope legislators have the foresight to see that, before it's too late and we're all stuck in traffic all the time, with dilapidated roadways, higher gas taxes, and maximum debt.


-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Deficit.

Posted by Will Franklin · 4 June 2010 11:42 AM

Comments

I'd like to know why no one comments on this blog. I read it every few days but rarely comment. Maybe because Will says everything that needs to be said?

Thanks Will!

Posted by: Tom Bri at June 6, 2010 11:18 PM