ACCESS 10, Spring 1997
Lewison Lee Lem
This year Congress will draft legislation to authorize more than $120 billion in federal spending for highways, transit, and other surface transportation programs for the next six years. A critical issue is how to divide among the fifty states the Federal Highway Trust Fund revenues, which come from federal gasoline taxes and other transportation-related taxes. For the past forty years, apportioning trust fund revenues has been analogous to dividing a transportation pie among the states. With the Interstate highway program completed, Congress must now determine how much each state should receive from the trust fund, compared to what it pays in.
Evelyn Blumenberg and
In 1995, 13.6 million people nationwide received welfare benefits totaling $22 billion. Critics have considered this sum unnecessary and the welfare program inefficient. With the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, welfare reformers established time limits for receiving benefits, hoping to speed the transition from public assistance to employment.
Ilan Salomon and
Telecommuting promises to benefit everyone. Employees can avoid time-consuming trips to work, permitting a more flexible, family- and community-oriented lifestyle. Employers can reduce their costs of expensive office space, while drawing on a larger and more diverse labor pool. Air quality may improve with reduced automobile trips.
Despite opposition from many nation safety groups, in November 1995 Congress gave the states permission to raise speed limits. Opponents had testified that raising speed limits would cause and additional 4,400 to 6,000 deaths per year. Fortunately, it didn’t work out that way.