President Obama is asking Congress to lift the ban on tolls on Interstate highways to help fund road repairs. Most Americans think that’s a bad idea, perhaps in large part because they doubt the toll revenue will be spent the right way.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% of American Adults favor putting tolls on Interstate highways for infrastructure maintenance. Three times as many (65%) are opposed to turning the nation’s Interstates into toll roads, something that has been banned since 1956 when the highway system was created. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
But then only 27% are even somewhat confident that the money from Interstate tolls will be properly used to repair roads and bridges. Sixty-eight percent (68%) are not confident the money will be correctly spent. This includes only four percent (4%) who are Very Confident the toll money will go to fixing roads and bridges and 34% who are Not At All Confident.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Americans say they are at least somewhat likely to try to find alternative ways to go if tolls are placed on Interstate highways in their area, with 40% who say they are Very Likely to do so. Just 23% are not very or Not At All Likely to look for other ways to travel.
The respondents are right. These tolls are just another form of tax. Any monies received will be dumped directly into the vast slush fund of “federal income,” and will be spent on any and everything but highway infrastructure. This government is opposed to private automobiles anyway. Why would it spend money on making the auto more useful?
And, as the poll results remind us, anything you tax you get less of – including people driving on formerly non-tolled roads.
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