Gov. Pat likes Ike. Maybe he should emulate him.

ikePat McCrory loves to label himself an “Eisenhower Republican.”  Dwight Eisenhower was a great military leader who — as president — regularly knocked heads with the conservative base of his party.

Right now, the guv is trying to put us on the hook for a whole lot of debt to pay for road construction and renovation of state facilities. A little bird put an idea in our heads about researching how Pat’s hero financed the interstate highway system in the mid-50s:

[…] The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1952 authorized the first funding specifically for System construction, but it was only a token amount of $25 million a year for fiscal years (FY) 1954 and 1955. Legislation in 1954 authorized an additional $175 million annually for FY 1956 and 1957.

Under the leadership of President Eisenhower, the question of how to fund the Interstate System was resolved with enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. It served as a catalyst for the System’s development and, ultimately, its completion. Title I of the 1956 Act increased the System’s proposed length to 41,000 miles. It also called for nationwide standards for design of the System, authorized an accelerated program, established a new method for apportioning funds among the States, changed the name to the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, and set the Federal Government’s share of project cost at 90 percent.

laughTitle II of the Act – entitled the Highway Revenue Act of 1956 – created the Highway Trust Fund as a dedicated source for the Interstate System.

Revenue from the Federal gas and other motor-vehicle user taxes was credited to the Highway Trust Fund to pay the Federal share of Interstate and all other Federal-aid highway projects. In this way, the Act guaranteed construction of all segments on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, thus satisfying one of President Eisenhower’s primary requirements, namely that the program be self-financing without contributing to the Federal budget deficit. […] 

Hmmm. Pay-as-you-go.  I know that must be quite a foreign concept to bureaucrats and politicians.  But for those of us who manage home and business budgets every day, it’s a quite familiar, quite sensible concept.

3 thoughts on “Gov. Pat likes Ike. Maybe he should emulate him.

  1. President Eisenhower lost NC to Adlai Stevenson by 50,000 votes in Eastern NC. Will history repeat itself in 2016?

    1. One grenade that might explode on Governor Pat in eastern North Carolina is named Tony Tata if he challenges Walter Jones. Not only will this outrage lots of party activists, many of whom will feel that Tata would not do such a thing unless he got the okay from Pat, but it is also going to highlight the fact that the Tata / McCrory highway funding plan shortchanged rural areas like eastern North Carolina in favor of urban areas. It would be political malpractice for Jones’ supporters not to use that against Tata and the governor will just be collateral damage when they do. When government shifts money, those losing it always seem to care much more about the issue than those getting it shifted to them. The fact that this issue would surely be highlighted in the Congressional race may be fatal to McCrory in the governor’s race.

      And the governor needs to remember that party activists down east care a heck of a lot more for reelecting Walter Jones than they do about reelecting Pat McCrory. Jones has been there for them when the going is tough but McCrory has too often been MIA on key issues.

  2. I would be much closer to supporting this if the NCGA did not insist on stealing ~$300 million per year from the highway fund to pay for general fund needs. Maybe stop doing that for a few years, and pay as we go for awhile, to see how it works out. Then we can consider a bond solution.

Comments are closed.