Many people are oblivious to the Highway Trust Fund, I know I paid no attention when I heard it mentioned. It’s important when we complain about roads or hear politicians talk about infrastructure.
But guess what, just like Social Security, politicians have ignored their responsibility to keep the fund solvent even growing. It seems every time they set up a funding method that requires direct taxes from individuals, succeeding Congresses are more interested in votes than doing their job and telling people the truth about paying for promises.
Social Security last raised the payroll tax rate in 1990, Medicare in 1985, over thirty years ago. Both funds are getting closer each day to insolvency.
The current tax rates are 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline and ethanol-blended fuels and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel (0.1 cent of each tax is dedicated to the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund). The tax rates on motor fuels have not changed since 1993 and thus have failed to keep pace with inflation. If tax rates had been indexed for inflation since 1993, the current tax on gasoline would be about 33 cents per gallon and the tax on diesel fuel would be about 44 cents per gallon.