The notion that U.S. infrastructure is crumbling and underfunded has been common lately, and more such news came in February, when the Department of Transportation announced that the Federal Highway Trust Fund could soon run out. This raised debates about what to do with the trust's main funding source, the federal gas tax. Some legislators have long wanted to raise this tax, and President Obama recently proposed his own $302 billion funding plan. But one Congressman, Georgia Republican Tom Graves, has a better idea: nearly abolish the gas tax altogether.
Last November, writes urban issues expert Scott Beyer, Graves introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act, which was cosponsored through Senate legislation by Republican Mike Lee. By drastically reducing the tax, it would enable states to manage their own transportation policies, improving a process that has become massively inefficient under federal oversight.