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Thread: How to pay for infrastructure?

  1. #1
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    Default How to pay for infrastructure?

    I suspect we all agree our infrastructure is in need of rebuilding/repair.

    I also suspect we all know that Eisenhower built the interstates with a top tax bracket of 90%. I'm not sure how we expect to do massive repair/rebuilding with current tax rates.

    I also suspect that we all know no matter how the financing of this rebuild is arranged, we, the people, will foot the bill.

    So I ask what methods of payment would we deem least objectionable.

    A gas tax?
    A shipping tax?
    A flying tax?

    Other?
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    How about the states refusing to cooperate in raising the revenues required by Trump's fantasy?
    War is peace.
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    Trump is doing beautifully.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    I think the amounts discussed are over a ten year period. $200 billion over ten years is a bit less than what the gov’t already spends for the underfunded highway fuel tax fund. Congress just voted to increase the debt by a trillion and a half in good times so it’s quite likely when the next bad times come there will be no inclination to up taxes/revenue.

    The poorer states are going to be screwed under DTs plan which will flip local/federal highway funding from 20/80 to 80/20 but those states undertaxed their fuel users anyway.

    The amount discussed is a bit under what the country spends on ballistic missile boondoggles each year, which aren’t as reliable as infrastructure. We have priorities.

    My guess is little will be done to actually advance infrastructure for the challenges 30yrs down the line.

    $.25/gal gas tax increase would pretty much solve the funding issue.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Montgomery View Post
    How about the states refusing to cooperate in raising the revenues required by Trump's fantasy?
    Trump or not states have already raised revenues to reflect the need. Somehow like the Iraq/Afghanistan/GWOT increased spending will be met with tax cuts. This fiscal conservatism sure is a big shuck and jive.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    It’s a no brainer to raise revenues but people will look back and say “we had mutilple economic cycles to fix this from 1993 on and all we did was send more gas out the tailpipe and add to the debt”

    Another supply/demand squeeze in oil is inevitable with Chinas auto use taking off and when that happens we can look back at the fantastic retired weapon systems that were never used. MAGA!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...=.73f514087684

    In private meetings, Trump has floated the idea of raising the federal gas tax by as much as 50 cents per gallon but received a chilly reception to that idea, particularly from Republican lawmakers. Still, aides say, the idea of an increase hasn’t been taken off the table.

    As envisioned by the chamber, the 25-cent increase would be applied to the current taxes of 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. It is estimated that the increased levy would raise more than $375 billion over the coming decade, chamber staff members said.
    Last edited by LeeG; 02-13-2018 at 03:02 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    How about giving about a hundred overseas U.S. military bases to the countries that have been hosting them. Let them keep all the planes and tanks, too.

    Then pass legislation to have our MIC build our infrastructure. Wean them, and us, off the M part of it.
    I don't care to know what the tough do when the going gets tough.

    I am interested in what the enlightened do.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post

    $.25/gal gas tax increase would pretty much solve the funding issue.
    I think any additional tax should be applied to any fuel used for transportation, by air, train, truck, ship or whatever. Any industry using roads is subsidized enough by individual automobile taxes, and fees. How much taxpayer money already goes into airports and harbors?

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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I think any additional tax should be applied to any fuel used for transportation, by air, train, truck, ship or whatever. Any industry using roads is subsidized enough by individual automobile taxes, and fees. How much taxpayer money already goes into airports and harbors?
    Throw in farming. As far as I know, farm implements are not taxed so hit them too.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Montgomery View Post
    How about the states refusing to cooperate in raising the revenues required by Trump's fantasy?
    States likely cannot do as Trump proposes.

    The infrastructure NEEDS work, so how would you pay for it. We pay under any scenario, but which scenario appeals to you most?
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    I am betting a lot of states are going to wind up like NJ with Toll roads every where you want to go

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    One point I'd make is the longer we put off doing a rebuilding/repairing/modernizing all of this, the more expensive it will be to do.

    The bottom line is the people will pay through federal taxes, state taxes, gas taxes, travel taxes, or taxes not yet dreamed up.

    The worst case scenario is not doing it.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Here is another thought on paying for the infrastructure. Instead of looking at the funding (inflow) side of the question, what if we look at the expense (outflow) side? While there is no single answer, the way we have structured the rules surrounding public works projects results in most if not all of that work being as expensive as possible. Consider the prevailing wage rules (about double the actual average wages in an area), the cost to document those wages paid, the cost of collecting the wage payment documentation, the cost of maintaining that documentation, the cost of reviewing and auditing that documentation, the cost of settlement / retention pond every half mile, the cost of WBE and MBE apportionment. The cost of endless permitting requirements, wildlife studies, historical studies, anthropology studies, paying wranglers to gather up all the rattlesnakes, maintain them and then place them back when project is done. The cost of guaranteed lawsuits toward the end of the projects in which the contractors try to collect more for change orders, unforeseen conditions, etc. Many would not believe the endless and astonishingly costly red tape requirements at the state, federal and local levels that result in such astronomical costs to build a mile of roadway, or whatever. Yes, those rules bring in votes, but should that be the focus of our agreed upon need to build and rebuild infrastructure? Here is an example. I am familiar with two local windmill projects. The soft (bs) engineering costs (bats, birds, anthropology, cultural impacts, etc) for the first project was about 2,000,000. All those soft (bs) costs were required o be incurred prior to the required permits being issued. That was in addition to the actual engineering and design. The developer then was able to obtain their permits. Two years later they tried to get permitting and approval for another windfarm, nearby. They incurred soft (bs) costs of 2,500,000, in addition to the real engineering and design work costs, and their proposed project was denied. 2.5mm flushed down the toilet, for something we supposedly want. That experience would make anyone real reluctant to try to create another windfarm project.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Trump needs the money for that parade, with all those BIG tanks and Missiles.

    Will he stand in the turret of the first tank?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Do you think cash-strapped Kansas can foot the 80% for any of their road / bridge projects ? Is anyone going to buy a ' Kansas road construction bond' and expect payback?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Kansas can raise gas tax also. They are below the national average of state levy by .06/gal. A quick glance at state tax rankings shows that the red states are on the low side.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Art Haberland View Post
    I am betting a lot of states are going to wind up like NJ with Toll roads every where you want to go
    I link this to peb's 'national debt' thread. And I do not think you are far wrong Art.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW6 View Post
    Here is another thought on paying for the infrastructure. Instead of looking at the funding (inflow) side of the question, what if we look at the expense (outflow) side? While there is no single answer, the way we have structured the rules surrounding public works projects results in most if not all of that work being as expensive as possible. Consider the prevailing wage rules (about double the actual average wages in an area), the cost to document those wages paid, the cost of collecting the wage payment documentation, the cost of maintaining that documentation, the cost of reviewing and auditing that documentation, the cost of settlement / retention pond every half mile, the cost of WBE and MBE apportionment. The cost of endless permitting requirements, wildlife studies, historical studies, anthropology studies, paying wranglers to gather up all the rattlesnakes, maintain them and then place them back when project is done. The cost of guaranteed lawsuits toward the end of the projects in which the contractors try to collect more for change orders, unforeseen conditions, etc. Many would not believe the endless and astonishingly costly red tape requirements at the state, federal and local levels that result in such astronomical costs to build a mile of roadway, or whatever. Yes, those rules bring in votes, but should that be the focus of our agreed upon need to build and rebuild infrastructure? Here is an example. I am familiar with two local windmill projects. The soft (bs) engineering costs (bats, birds, anthropology, cultural impacts, etc) for the first project was about 2,000,000. All those soft (bs) costs were required o be incurred prior to the required permits being issued. That was in addition to the actual engineering and design. The developer then was able to obtain their permits. Two years later they tried to get permitting and approval for another windfarm, nearby. They incurred soft (bs) costs of 2,500,000, in addition to the real engineering and design work costs, and their proposed project was denied. 2.5mm flushed down the toilet, for something we supposedly want. That experience would make anyone real reluctant to try to create another windfarm project.
    sure, but you cannot argue that the rate of inflation for labor, materials, etc. in maintenance, repair and construction has been zero for the last 24 yrs which what the fed fuel tax adjustment for inflation has been. If an earthquake happens in California or a flood in Texas reconstruction happens with todays dollars and todays revenue does not even cover todays maintenance. It’s one thing for a city or state to authorize a road to be built 40 yrs ago when it’s going through empty land and a whole other task when that road is surrounded by 1000’s of houses and tens of thousands of vehicles. The maintenance on that road didnt get cheaper in those 40 yrs.

    I realize we’re discussing different things but the simple fact is that the revenue the country has relied on to maintain transportation infrastructure is inadequate to meet present needs.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by switters View Post
    Kansas can raise gas tax also. They are below the national average of state levy by .06/gal. A quick glance at state tax rankings shows that the red states are on the low side.
    and boy will they be shocked to realize Trumps solution will be more state and local taxation.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    Do you think cash-strapped Kansas can foot the 80% for any of their road / bridge projects ? Is anyone going to buy a ' Kansas road construction bond' and expect payback?
    or Oklahoma

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Eliminating the widespread crony corruption, with local and state officials steering public works contracts to their good buddies, in return for campaign contributions and/or bribes, would make public infrastructure a lot cheaper. But Trump seems to be enabling corruption, on all levels.
    Last edited by Chip-skiff; 02-13-2018 at 03:34 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW6 View Post
    Here is another thought on paying for the infrastructure. Instead of looking at the funding (inflow) side of the question, what if we look at the expense (outflow) side? While there is no single answer, the way we have structured the rules surrounding public works projects results in most if not all of that work being as expensive as possible. Consider the prevailing wage rules (about double the actual average wages in an area), the cost to document those wages paid, the cost of collecting the wage payment documentation, the cost of maintaining that documentation, the cost of reviewing and auditing that documentation, the cost of settlement / retention pond every half mile, the cost of WBE and MBE apportionment. The cost of endless permitting requirements, wildlife studies, historical studies, anthropology studies, paying wranglers to gather up all the rattlesnakes, maintain them and then place them back when project is done. The cost of guaranteed lawsuits toward the end of the projects in which the contractors try to collect more for change orders, unforeseen conditions, etc. Many would not believe the endless and astonishingly costly red tape requirements at the state, federal and local levels that result in such astronomical costs to build a mile of roadway, or whatever. Yes, those rules bring in votes, but should that be the focus of our agreed upon need to build and rebuild infrastructure? Here is an example. I am familiar with two local windmill projects. The soft (bs) engineering costs (bats, birds, anthropology, cultural impacts, etc) for the first project was about 2,000,000. All those soft (bs) costs were required o be incurred prior to the required permits being issued. That was in addition to the actual engineering and design. The developer then was able to obtain their permits. Two years later they tried to get permitting and approval for another windfarm, nearby. They incurred soft (bs) costs of 2,500,000, in addition to the real engineering and design work costs, and their proposed project was denied. 2.5mm flushed down the toilet, for something we supposedly want. That experience would make anyone real reluctant to try to create another windfarm project.
    Aside from we run the risk of cost overruns, what's your point? If other countries can have fast trains that work properly, why is it we have problems with slow trains. I see no excuse for train accidents at this point in time.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    Do you think cash-strapped Kansas can foot the 80% for any of their road / bridge projects ? Is anyone going to buy a ' Kansas road construction bond' and expect payback?
    No, but if we want our infrastructure improved, we are going to have to pay via some method.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: How to pay for infrastructure?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    and boy will they be shocked to realize Trumps solution will be more state and local taxation.
    Probably, but the simple fact is if we do substantial rebuilding/modernizing, WE, the people, will pay one way or another. Does it matter if a federal gas tax is added or a state gas tax is added? An argument can be made that the people who fly foot the cost of modernizing airports.

    If no one pays, nothing gets done. It will be more expensive to make these improvement later than it will cost to make them now.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

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