Environment: Busting the Trust

Since Congress established the Federal Highway Trust Fund in 1956, the Government has spent $40.1 billion to build the 34,000-mile network of interstate highways. Because the highway fund, now $5.5 billion, keeps accumulating new money from federal taxes on gas and tire sales, it can theoretically finance new highway building until the country is paved over. At least some of this money, urban experts argue, should be spent on financially hard-pressed railroads and mass-transit systems, but despite Administration approval of the idea, the highway builders vehemently oppose any diversion of funds. Last year the two forces fought each other to a...

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