Where the rubber hit the road

Republican legislation is flying fast and furiously now.

I feel compelled to tell a story I learned from the Colorado Transportation Commission in 2008 on an information junket to Grand Junction.

In 2004, the Republican trifecta in Washington had been hoping to privatize Social Security but were stopped by Democrats. Casting about for another big pot of money to sack, they came upon the 1950 Federal Transportation Trust Fund that had built the interstate system and was paying out $500 million to each state yearly for maintenance. They quickly changed the rules for how it could be invested and spent. They privatized it. By 2008, the fund was insolvent.

CDOT was struggling to fund their plowing of the heavy snows. We pressed through Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery safety funds, with the $35 per license plate fee, to make up half of the revenue and Obama’s $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus helped balance the loss.

John Hoffmann