Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Contrary to popular myth, roads in this country don't come anywhere near "paying for themselves" in the sense that they're financed by various user fees. I don't have a problem with that as there's no particular reason certain publicly provided goods should be paid for only by those who use them and others shouldn't (there are arguments to be made of course, but I'll leave that for the margin of this blog post), but I do have a problem with the myth as people think roads are somehow "free" while mass transit systems are draining the public coffers. And it also makes for an electorate which tends to freak out when someone suggests raising the gas tax, even though gas tax increase proposals are generally so small that they're dwarfed by weekly volatility of retail gas prices.

3 cent increase in the gas tax, at 10,000 miles driven annually in 20MPG car = $15/year.