Federal Redistributions of State Funds

In response to Robert Poole’s Wall Street Journal bit about making some aspects of our infrastructure more affordable, a couple of folks wrote Letters to the Editor.  And so I have my own response.

[A]sset recycling is not about finding more efficient ways to modernize and expand infrastructure. It’s about raising money for cash-starved treasuries….


The solution is to allow all states to retain the federal gas tax generated by each state.

These are only half-solutions, though, if that much. Asset recycling and other ways to find efficiency need to take the whole of spending into account, not just spending on infrastructure. Treasuries are starved for cash because the governments spend way too much. Spending needs to be cut to within revenues collected.

Along that line, there shouldn’t be any gas tax (and very few other taxes collected intrastate) sent to the Federal government for redistribution in accordance with Federal politicians’ and bureaucrats’ whims. Those monies should be retained by each State for spending on that State’s imperatives, without the friction of the (even well-meaning) middleman.

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