One word I could go the rest of my life without hearing again, in relation to transportation spending, is “match.”
“Federal match” — as in the money we won’t get if we don’t increase state and local spending. “Local match” — as in the additional local funds required in regions that didn’t approve the T-SPLOST.
I’d like to strike a match and make this entire concept go up in smoke. It’s nothing but a symptom of our broken division of labor among levels of government.
After all, it’s all our money. Most of it is raised by the same levy on the same purchase. But it’s been divided among different agencies, leading us to believe some of it’s “free money” we can have — if we agree to someone else’s priorities.
Take the federal gas tax. That tax is commonly thought to have begun during Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency to pay for the interstate highway system. That’s not true, according to a history of the tax on the federal Department of Transportation’s website:
In fact, on