News that the House Appropriations Committee intends to cut the federal transportation budget by 17 percent is discouraging and raises questions about what is - and isn't - actual deficit spending. The Highway Transportation Fund is not deficit spending, it's the people's money.
America's commuters have paid their fair share into the Highway Trust Fund for the 2010-11 fiscal year through a dedicated 18.4 cent federal fuel and 24.4 diesel tax, and they deserve to see a full return on their investment.
The nation's highways, roads and bridges do not require 17 percent less repair today than yesterday. The average commute time is not 17 percent shorter nor are America's manufacturers and farmers able to transport goods 17 percent more efficiently.
Americans were promised that their hard-earned contributions to the Highway Trust Fund would be dedicated to the maintenance and improvement of our nation's transportation infrastructure, and not to deficit reduction or any other purpose, and they should not be short-changed. That promise should be kept.