Decades of ballot-box budgeting and artificial constraints on lawmakers’ authority have created a kind of vice grip around Sacramento. With Prop. 6 the voters decided not to tighten the screws.
Co-published by The American Prospect
Beyond jeopardizing road repairs and mass transit, Prop. 6 would strike at the very nature of governance itself in the Golden State.
We all want safe roads and bridges—free of debris, potholes and cracks. How do we intend to pay for this? (Insert the sound of crickets here.)
Our roads and bridges don’t actually pay for themselves. Currently, the state and the federal government collect $.357 (set to increase to $.360 on July 1) and $.182, respectively, from every gallon of gas we purchase to pay for road maintenance, modernization and new facilities. However, the pot of money that goes towards building and maintaining our roads and bridges has gotten smaller and smaller over the last three decades for several reasons:
1. Cars have become more fuel efficient
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has continued to set higher standards for auto manufacturers to improve the fuel efficiency of cars. Over the last decade, in part due to CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards, auto manufacturers have unveiled more attractive hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles,