The Highway Trust Fund provides funding for road, bridge, and mass transit projects across the country - and it's running out of money. Its revenue source, the federal gas tax, at 18.4 cents a gallon, has not been raised in over two decades. Congress has been kicking this can down the road for years. There are many arguments for a leaner fund, among them, the idea that scaling back the program would force government to prioritize projects and eliminate waste. But proponents of the tax say that it still plays a vital role in supporting infrastructure, and that perpetual shortfalls have led to construction delays and uncertainty. Should Congress raise the federal gas tax?
Shailen Bhatt was recently appointed as the executive director for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), where he is charged with leading the Department in planning for and addressing Colorado’s transportation needs. Bhatt oversees 3,000 employees statewide and an annual budget of approximately $1.2 billion to guide CDOT in providing the best multi-modal transportation system for Colorado. Prior to this appointment, he served as the cabinet secretary for the Delaware Department of Transportation and as an associate administrator at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Bhatt also plays a leadership role in national transportation for the U.S. He currently serves on the board of directors for the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and chairs the AASHTO Subcommittee on Transportation Systems Management and Operation (STSMO). Bhatt served as the chair of the executive committee of the I-95 Corridor Coalition and was a commissioner for the Northeast Corridor Commission.
John Donvan is the moderator for "Intelligence Squared U.S." He is an author and correspondent for ABC News. He has hosted "Nightline," "World News," "Good Morning America," and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” in addition to producing “My Generation” for PBS. He has also served as ABC’s Chief White House correspondent and held postings in London, Jerusalem, Moscow and Amman. Recognized by the National Magazine Awards for his 2011 Atlantic profile piece “Autism’s First Child,” he is currently writing a book on the history of autism to be published by Crown in 2013.
Adrian Moore is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, where he leads policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, transportation, and utilities. He regularly advises federal, state, and local officials on ways to streamline government and reduce costs. Moore served on Congress's National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission and, since 2009, has served on California's Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission. The coauthor of several books and dozens of policy studies, Moore has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Economic Affairs, and numerous other publications. In 2002, he was honored by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Michael F. Corbett & Associates Ltd. for his work showing governments how to use public-private partnerships and the private sector to save taxpayer money and improve the efficiency of their agencies. Prior to joining Reason, Moore served 10 years in the Army on active duty and reserves.
Stephen Moore, who formerly wrote on the economy and public policy for The Wall Street Journal, is a Fox News contributor and the distinguished visiting fellow for the Project for Economic Growth at the Heritage Foundation. Moore, who also was a member of the Journal’s editorial board, returned to Heritage in January 2014, about 25 years after his tenure as the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Budgetary Affairs. His current work focuses on advancing public policies that increase the rate of economic growth to help the U.S. retain its position as the global economic superpower. He also works on budget, fiscal, and monetary policy and showcases states that get fiscal houses in order. Moore calls his creation of the Club for Growth, which helps elect conservative members of Congress, the defining moment of his career. He next founded the Free Enterprise Fund, before joining The Wall Street Journal.
Alison Premo Black
Alison Premo Black joined the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) in August 2000. In addition to serving as senior vice president and chief economist for ARTBA, she is deputy managing director of the Contractors Division and manages the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center program. Black manages ARTBA’s economics staff and is responsible for over 70 studies examining national and state transportation funding and investment patterns, including the association’s landmark economic profile of the transportation construction industry, state bridge condition profiles, and annual modal forecast. Black also oversees ARTBA’s contractor chapter relations and membership development activities. Prior to joining ARTBA, she was an analyst and researcher in the economic section of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. She has also worked as a researcher in the Trade Unit of the Organization of American States.