Blog: Putting the Facts Front and Center – Again

The myth machine run by anti-highway trust fund politicos is really relentless.

I’ve written about it before (see “Let’s Fill Up on the Gas Tax Facts”), mutter about it under my breath every time I see another article generated by it. Just this past week, the machine published an opinion piece in Forbes that used all the same old myth machine facts to claim there’s really no need to spend more on infrastructure and an article from an unbelievable ‘report’ that claimed 25 states have enacted transportation funding this year, and another 16 are in the process of doing so. The claim said this state action is “generating billions of additional dollars” for local public transit and highway projects.

While this kind of propaganda (that’s the nicest thing I can call it in print) is mind boggling, at least there have also been numerous factual articles and videos released over the past week to counter the myths.

Eno Center for Transportation published both an opinion piece in the Washington PostFollow Reagan’s example, and fill up America’s highway fund – to remind people of the legacy of the Highway Trust Fund, and released an Eno Brief – “The State of Transportation Funding: A Realistic Examination of Pseudo-Federalism” – that completely crushes the aforementioned report on state action.

The Eno Brief analysis “confirmed five cases of states that have managed to pass legislation to create new or additional sources of dedicated revenue for transportation.” Not 25.

The analysis continues, “Of the 25 states listed at the end of [the] article,…11 are really states with bills that either failed to pass or have yet to be put to a vote, or with proposals from the executive branch that have not been approved by the legislature…Most of the states listed in [the article’s] summary are merely appropriating funds as part of their biennial or annual budgetary processes; and, in some cases, they are actually decreasing the amount of money going towards transportation.” The Eno Brief then breaks down the facts of what action has actually occurred in each state.

Let’s hear it for Eno and their pursuit of the truth!

Let’s also hear it for AASHTO, which released a special video report on the uncertainty among state transportation departments across the country. The report – entitled “Highway Trust Fund Crisis – Countdown to July 31” – does a terrific job of examining the crisis from the state perspective and communicating the urgent need to find a long-term solution.

Our final kudos for recent truth-telling go to Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA!). The blog “Think passing a highway bill is hard? Try building a highway,” LiUNA’s Terry O’Sullivan, recently published in The Hill, described the back-breaking work it takes to actually build the critical transportation infrastructure of America and reminded Congress that, until they act on a long-term bill, members “share responsibility for every bridge that falls, every death or injury from un-repaired roads, and every man or woman who remains trapped in jobless despair when there is great work to be done.”

It’s sometimes disheartening to see the myth machine at work and getting traction on its inaccuracies and fabrications – especially when Congress’ important work needs to be based entirely on the facts – but it’s comforting to at least know the facts are also getting some air time. I hope you will help me spread the facts far and wide.


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