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Monday, December 14, 2009

FromDC2Iowa: Deficits, taxes, Culver and the highway lobby

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Support the Troopers: A Rational Approach to Taxation ... Governor
Chet Culver, looking down the well into a near-billion-dollar 2010
deficit, wants to take $46 million from Iowa's $1.144 billion Road Use
Tax Fund to keep the State's Highway Patrol on the roads. Few if any
industries have more power over states' legislatures than their
highway lobbies. Iowa's no exception. They are an important sub-set of
the industries that, together, have created America's auto-dependent
transportation system -- leaving us without the passenger rail
networks other nations have. Think about it: the oil companies and
their station owner-operators; the automobile manufacturers, unions,
and dealers; the cement, steel, heavy equipment, and highway
contractor companies; all the independent auto repair businesses; the
auto scrap steel firms -- it goes on and on. We've paved some 61,000
square miles of America for roads and parking lots. That's an area
that, if it were a state, would make it the 24th largest state in the
country. It approaches the equivalent of the amount of land planted in
wheat.

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