Letter: GOP ruined road fund
January 12, 2017
Republican legislation is flying fast and furiously now. I feel compelled to tell a story I learned from the Colorado Transportation Commission in 2008 on an information junket to Grand Junction.
In 2004, the Republican trifecta in Washington had been hoping to privatize Social Security but was stopped by Democrats. Casting about for another big pot of money to sack, they came upon the 1950 Federal Transportation Trust Fund that had built the Interstate system and was paying out $500 million to each state yearly for maintenance.
They quickly changed the rules for how it could be invested and spent. They privatized it. By 2008 the fund was insolvent. CDOT was struggling to fund its snowplowing. We pressed through FASTER, the $35 per license plate fee, to make up half of the revenue, and Obama’s $800 billion stimulus helped balance the loss.