In response to the Jan. 15 “Wall Street Journal” editorial, “Abolish the Gas Tax,” ARTBA President Pete Ruane submitted a letter, which was published January 22. Here is the letter:
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have acted five separate times since 2008 to prevent cutting highway and transit investment.
Abolishing the federal gas tax would either eliminate the source of funding for 52% of U.S. highway and bridge capital improvements or force states to fill the massive investment gap with their own resources. It’s not surprising that no governor—Republican or Democrat—has stepped forward to endorse that idea.
State and local governments have cut their own highway and bridge capital investments by more than 15% since 2008, hardly reassuring evidence they are ready to assume a larger role in confronting a clearly national challenge.
The editorial is correct in saying “the U.S. does need more roads to relieve congestion and encourage trade and economic activity.” In today’s competitive global marketplace, however, this can only be achieved with significant increases in transportation investment by all levels of government.
T. Peter Ruane
President & CEO
American Road & Transportation Builders Association