Deciding what topic that is most pressing in the transportation business at this time is almost anyone’s bet. You could choose truck parking, HOS, ELD’s, driver training, insurance, pay, FMCSA, ….. The list goes on and on. The hot topic this week seems to be the transportation bill. While it’s not settled yet what exactly will be in the final bill, it seems there is one thing for certain, the can will be kicked ( rather hard ) down the road again.
It seems the biggest stumbling block for this congress is appropriations. How do we fund the things we need to keep the trust fund alive? It seems that it depends mostly on which party you are from. This is rather strange because both parities get their needs from businesses supplied by trucks. Trucking and infrastructure is neither republican or democrat. It is a vital part of our economy and supports almost every business in America. How could there be so much reluctance and indecision to support our highways, infrastructure, and the thousands of small business truckers?
I have a solution. I call it “Appropriation H[elp]“. That’s right, Appropriation H. If you wonder what should be done, just ask yourself:
- How many can be helped by funding our infrastructure?
- What is the most efficient way to collect money to not only fix our immediate problems but make us the envy of the world once again?
- How many jobs could we create?
- How much more efficiently and less costly would goods be delivered to their destinations?
That list of questions seems to be endless as well. I say the best way to determine the answers to those questions are to ask small business truckers. That is where every dollar counts. Apply Appropriation H (ask small business truckers) to solve the problems. Small business truckers are the backbone of our transportation system. Although most of the lobbying dollars come from large corporations and associations, it is small business truckers that do all the things the “big guys” can’t do. While there are a few different opinions about how to fix the problems, most people (small business truckers and some large companies) agree that the best way to fix the problems in the short term is increase fuel tax across the board and apply it ALL to the roads and bridges.
Appropriation H is the most effective solution to a problem. It is not red or blue. It is no less effective on big problems. It helps the largest number of people immediately. It can also be applied to solve future problems. There is a plan out there that has been offered up that puts a small sales tax, by percentage, on all goods sold to support the infrastructure. Considering all goods sold used the infrastructure, this plan could be the solution to the long range problems as well. As we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, our “leaders” struggle to figure out how to raise the money for infrastructure without raising taxes. Once the coffers are refilled, this plan could settle that question for many years to come by removing and replacing the current fuel tax with a set sales tax. This plan was offered up by a small business trucker. Does this plan get much consideration? It gets some lip service but not much in the way of press as a solution. I contend that this is because individually we don’t contribute enough to be taken seriously.
While I make light of this serious problem with some so called humor, these questions about what to do are still out there looming and lurking awaiting some real leadership and vision to put them to rest. I personally don’t have all the answers. What I do have is a voice. Combined with other voices of like mind, the volume gets louder. Using the example of the Seattle Seahawks fans, (being the loudest in the league) we can put our voices together and affect the outcome. We need to set our individual opinions aside for a moment and listen to all the options. The best ideas will rise to the top if you have an open mind. With over 3 million truckers out there, just 10% of us could change the entire discussion if we spoke in one voice. The choice is ours. We can direct our destiny or let it be decided by the louder home team.