We know the simplicity of it. The Highway Trust Fund is steadily running out of money. Congress, so set on look-at-me brinkmanship, has very little time to do anything, but that doesn’t seem to create any sense of urgency. So just how much time is there?
Based on its mid-year review of the federal budget, the Congressional Budget Office has published its latest projection of the Highway Trust Fund between 2012 and 2022.
CBO estimates that the Highway Account will end fiscal year 2012 with a balance of $8.7 billion and that the Mass Transit Account will end FY 2012 with a balance of $4.7 billion. CBO also estimates that both accounts will be unable to meet obligations at some point in 2015, although the Mass Transit Account may have some difficulties in FY 2014, depending on cash flows into and out of that account. It is important to note that these figures reflect a $18.8 billion transfer to the Highway Trust Fund through the General Fund to help finance these accounts up until 2015.