The current highway system is largely funded by fuel tax, a tax collected on the sale of gasoline on a per-gallon basis. The fuel tax had its place, but it’s quickly becoming obsolete.
Gasoline powered vehicles are becoming more efficient, and hybrid powered vehicles are becoming more widespread. The auto industry is also seeing an emerging market of vehicles powered entirely without gasoline, such as all-electric powered vehicles and compressed natural gas powered vehicles. The combination of all of the above is creating a growing hole in the tax revenue collected for roads, as fewer gallons of gasoline are being purchased.
This is currently a minor problem, and luckily it can be fixed before it gets out of hand, but it requires a proactive approach. Americans have always had a clear vision of the future and the fortitude to make that vision a reality, from John F. Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon, to Steve Jobs’ and Bill Gates’ race to put a personal computer in the American home. This nation has made history by looking to the future, and it will continue to do so in the 21st Century with further advancement of an array of technology such as weaning off of fossil fuels; building electronic data infrastructure that provides infinite storage & transfer speed; and oh yeah, Holograms!
The fuel tax is a real problem with a real solution. Fixing it will require leaders to look to the future, like Americans always have and always will. In the process, maybe those visionaries will find something more inside of each of them that will change the World.