Thursday, June 5, 2008

MoDOT Director Testifies to Congress on Looming Funding Crisis

The United States is at risk of falling behind other countries in transportation funding, meaning lost jobs and lost lives, Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn warned federal lawmakers today. Testifying before a House Congressional committee, Rahn laid out the funding crisis, encouraging Congress to take action to dramatically improve the nation’s transportation system.

“We have grossly under funded both our state and federal transportation systems over the last three decades,” Rahn said. “If we continue this downward spiral, we risk losing our status as a global leader, as well as precious lives.

“To put it simply, we must pony up now to remain globally competitive or we will end up with a second-rate transportation system and a much less mobile society than we have today. China has seen the light and can be looked to as a model for investing in transportation. That country, adjusted for purchase power parity, invested $363 billion on highways alone in the last year. Compare that to the U.S., which at all levels spends annually $87 billion on highways and transit capital a year. India, according to a recent USA Today article, has tripled its infrastructure spending to $500 billion a year.”

Go to for the full text of news release and transcription of Pete Rahn's testimonial.


Anonymous said...

I agree. To remain competitive in our ever-growing global economy, we must increase, not simply maintain, out transportation system. The only way to do this is to fund Departments of Transportation.

Peter Samuel said...

Mr Pete Rahn says in his congressional testimony that China with over $300 billion in highway spending "can be looked to as a model" for the US which is spending a quarter of that. Then he urges more federal grants. This is either ignorant or dishonest. China's massive highway program that Rahn cites as a model is based not of central government taxes and grants but on user-fee tolls and private investment. China has mounted a major highway program based on free enterprise whereas we in the US remain mired in government tax-and-grant. That, not parsimony in Washington DC, is why we are failing to match the Chinese.