Carol Bumpass wants to hear the rest of the story. So do Marjorie Minor, Jon Barsanti and Bob Eby.
I reported last week ("Frugal drivers put road funds in peril") that DOT is hurtin' because of a decline in revenues from the gas tax and the highway use tax on car sales. And that's because the high price of gas has forced us to cut our driving — and our taxed spending on gas and cars.
Meanwhile, the state is growing like crazy and roadbuilding costs have doubled in six years. We need more transportation money, not less.
"Why not so a similar article on how robbery of the state's highway [trust] fund by our government officials and legislators has put our road funds in peril?" Bumpass said by e-mail.
The yearly transfer from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund was established by law at $170 million in 1989. It became a genuine raid in 2001 when Gov. Easley and the legislative Dems decided they needed more than that to balance the General Fund budget.
If you've been thinking that they repaid the extra $525 million they removed from the Highway Trust Fund over five years -- you're only 24 percent correct.
As Minor says:
"This is money that they charged us for gas taxes. It’s supposed to be for roads. They keep taking it away.
"Then the DOT turns around and says, ‘Well, gee, we don’t have any money.’ And I wonder, ‘why not?’