We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The author implies that motor fuel taxes have "stagnated" and aren't sufficient to fund repair and improvements on our highways. That is simply not true. What happened is Congress raided the highway funds to pay for local transportation boondoggles like light rail and even busses. When the author starts the story with the big lie why read any further, no matter what he says after that you already know he can't be trusted to speak the truth.
About 30%-50% of all government construction projects, including highways, is wasted on Union backed laws that require every worker on the project receives union wages. You cannot even look at a bid from a non-union company. Most of the work necessary for all of our infrastructure could be built by non-union companies for about half the cost. Think how much more actual infrastructure we could build if the unions hadn't all bought your congressman.
Maybe boring, but another way to look at it is "an adult conversation".
Which, sadly, fails with the first recommendation for the feds to allow capital funds to be transferred to the M+O budget. Nope, nope, nope, nope. I've seen too many examples of supposed adults blowing the capital budget with little to no regard for the M+O budget. (As far as I know and at least around here, bond issues can only go toward capital expenditures and not toward M+O.)
It's perhaps understandable, if exasperating, to see a young couple buy their first home based on budgeting for that monthly mortgage payment only to see them later in tears when they realize that the monthly mortgage payment is only the start of what a house costs, there's no excuse for the adults in government essentially doing the same thing when they indulge in these big capital projects with no regard for how they're going to pay for the expensive upkeep.
Roads are fun to build, filling the potholes is boring. But filling the potholes is more essential and when you're an adult you should know these things. Taking "free" money from the feds to build roads you can't afford to maintain isn't a failure of federal roads policy, it's a failure of adults to be adults and turn down that third helping of pie.
I'll tell you something funny. About thirty years ago, the coal companies in Kentucky were trying to find a way to dispose of all the ashes from coal-fired power plants. So they tried mixing those ashes with asphalt; before the asphalt was applied to the road. The result? The roads lasted three times longer than they did before.
But those new roads didn't need much maintenance; or repair. So the road crews were instructed to stop using coal ashes.