PRIVATE COMPANIES HAVE THEIR EYES ON THE NATION'S ROAD SYSTEM01/17/07
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday)
The federal government hasn't raised the gas tax (currently 18.4 cents/gallon) since the mid-1990s, leaving states holding the bag for maintaining the nation's deteriorating highways. But state legislatures have no more will to raise taxes and/or tolls than the feds, reports Mother Jones magazine. The result: With a big push from investment banking firms like Goldman Sachs, states are beginning to sell public highways to private companies and/or enter into partnerships with private companies to build new toll roads and bridges. Privatization promises a quick fix--and a way to outsource difficult decisions, like raising tolls--to entities that don?t have to worry about getting reelected.
States currently considering privatization include FL, OR, CO, IL, IN, MO, NV, NJ, NY, OH, TX, VA, UT, PA, GA, and AK.
Our guest during this segment was Daniel Schulman, the co-author of the piece for Mother Jones Magazine.