Jonathanturley May 1 2014
I have previously written about the proliferation of toll roads in the United States as governments shift the cost of highways to citizens while spending wildly on foreign wars and losing billions of waste. Congress allows billions to literally disappear in places like Iraq and Afghanistan or give billions in aid to affluent countries like Israel, but it insists that American citizens already struggling financially should be forced to pay to use their federal roads. The change is a fundamental shift in our approach to highways which were viewed as the basic service supplied to taxpayers. However, the Administration has quickly open the door in the new transportation bill to end the long tradition of free federal highways. Of course, do not take too much cash on the highways, because it can be seized by police in the growing number of pretext stops called “policing for profits.”
This move follows states like New Jersey closing bathrooms and ending other basic programs. It seems that there are fewer and fewer benefits that citizens can expect for their taxes. They must pay the government and then pay again to use basic government services. This is an effective tax disguised as a toll that will hit low income people the hardest and add a new barrier to their securing or maintaining jobs. I could not care less about the cost but there are many, many families where this seemingly small added toll will be a hardship. It is cumulative for such families. At every turn, they are being asked to pony up for government services. While the Administration and Congress talks a good game about fighting for the shrinking middle class, it routinely shifts more and more costs over to such families while using tax dollars to literally deliver bags of money to such corrupt officials as Hamid Karzai.