Benefield’s Excellent Plan For Not Tolling I-80

The Big-Spenders-With-Our-Ransacked-Money (BSWORMs) who now run Pennsylvania are still scheming for  toll booths on I-80.

Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation has come up with a list of alternatives  for finding the desperately needed dollars that the BSWORMs say must come from new government-caused traffic snarls.

Benefield’s suggestions are:

  • Repeal prevailing wage laws which mandate wages for government projects 40 percent higher, on average, than the private sector pays for the same work; and would free up hundred of millions, if not billions, for highway construction and repair.

  • Stop redirecting highway and bridge money to other purposes. 
  • Enable public-private partnerships, especially for new construction like express lanes, high occupancy lanes, new highways, new bridges etc.
  • Eliminate the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) –rolling the Turnpike Commission into PennDOT, would eliminate an unnecessary bureaucracy and offer substantial saving in transportation spending.

  • Privatize rest stops.

Excellent ideas all; and I would also point out that forbidding all government workers from striking — which would include SEPTA employees and public school teachers — would free up a lot of state money for highway projects since the state would not have to subsidize public schools and transportation to the degree it now does.

I would also point out that making the Pennsylvania Turnpike a freeway and replacing the revenue by hiking the gasoline tax (or by spending less) would be a net tax cut since we would no longer have to pay the people to snarl the traffic.

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