It’s Still Raining Obvious, Congressman.

Fuleing CarFLASHBACK — Here’s a paper from 2003. I stumbled on it and deja vu!

It’s simple title is A Dozen Reasons for Raising Gasoline Taxes. Reading it is weird: the 12 arguments are not old.  All the way through the winding down of SAFETEA-LU and the nine clumsy extensions  leading up to MAP-21, raising gas taxes by a dime was the obvious — but politically untenable — way to provide enough funding to keep our transportation infrastructure up to 20th century standards. Raise them a dime and a nickel and we could maybe get it up to 21st century standards.

This paper is the work of Martin Wachs, who a that time was Director of the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also Carlson Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Professor of City and Regional Planning. He notes, wonderful, that it is hard (even then) to find a politician who will support the obvious.

Note that while the 12 reasons are simple and clear arguments, there is also still no alternative that would work as well, as quickly, as efficiently yadda yadda yadda. But somewhere out there is a politician who will stand in the pouring rain and tell you he is not getting wet.