January 23, 2015
Who’s Going to Pay for New Highways?
Congress should allow all 50 states to toll-finance the reconstruction and modernization of all their Interstates, subject to abiding by the Value Added Tolling policies. This would represent a substantial move back toward the original users-pay/users-benefit principle that has largely been discarded under the current federal highway and transit program. It's also the only game in town for ensuring that these critically important highways can be modernized to continue their vital function in the 21st century, notwithstanding the liberal dream of shifting freight from truck to rail and people from cars to high-speed trains. What's more, shifting responsibility for Interstate modernization from the federal government to the states would represent a significant (and achievable) first step toward devolving the overgrown federal transportation program.