As lawmakers face the facts of soaring deficits and a mountain of Federal debt, they may opt to rethink the way that Americans pay for the roads and highways they use every day.
According to POLITICO, the Highway Trust Fund, money set aside for resurfacing and highway infrastructure, will be nearly $100 billion in the red by 2021, and the mass transit account will be about $30 billion short. The article says that because gas and diesel taxes have not been increased in two decades, the fund has lost about one-third of its purchasing power since 1992.
Reportedly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Trucking Association and AAA have all lobbied lawmakers for an increase in fuel taxes to re-energize revenues, but Congress stands nearly unanimously against the measure. Most lawmakers say that raising fuel taxes in today’s economic climate would greatly harm businesses that rely on ground shipping services to transport goods throughout the country.
Instead of raising the price of fuel, many lawmakers support what some Americans may consider an egregious invasion of privacy to raise funding for roadway repairs. The measure would require American drivers to equip their vehicles with a GPS tracking device to measure vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The device would not only measure the number of miles traveled but also where a driver went during each trip, which route he took and the hours during which he was driving.
Some proponents of the measure say the generation raised on Facebook and Twitter — proudly posting their every move for an Internet audience — probably will not mind being tracked in their vehicles by the government.