Freemark 2012 Yohah, writer for Transport Politics, 02-16-2012, http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2012/02/16/clearing-it-up-on-federal-transportation-expenditures/
Meanwhile, states and local governments are contributing massively to transportation funding already, just as Ms. Schweitzer asks them to. I studied Oregon and Illinois a year and a half ago and found that only about a quarter of Oregon’s Department of Transportation budget comes from Washington; about a third of Illinois’ comes from the national capital. What about those profligate transit agencies that are egged on by the federal government’s wasteful spending? Their operations spending comes from local, state, and fare revenues — not Washington. And expansion projects — especially the big ones — are mostly financed by local revenues, like dedicated sales taxes that voters across the country have approved repeatedly over the past twenty years. Thesix largest transit expansion projects currently receiving or proposed to receive funding from the Obama Administration this year each rely on the federal government to contribute less than 43% of total costs. Perhaps Detroit would have paid for the People Mover even if it had had to use its own revenues to do so. Now, even if we were to recognize the high level of devolution of power and funds that currently does exist in the U.S., some might still argue that the federal government exercises too much power. Its distribution formula for fuel tax revenues results in certain states getting more money than their drivers contributed (“donor” states) and certain states getting less (“donee” states). Why not simply allow states to collect their own revenues and spend money as they wish? Why should Washington be engaged in this discussion at all?