The Corner

The Highway Bill

The Weekly Standard runs an unconvincing defense of the most bloated version. The substantive case is that we need infrastructure improvements. But solutions based on eliminating prevailing-wage statutes, privatizing work, or devolving the prioritization of projects to the states are completely ignored. As a political matter, we’re supposed to believe that fiscal conservatives won’t mind a massive spending hike because it’s paid for by an increase in the gas tax. A majority of the public supports the idea in polls! Well, so what? Polls will always find more support for higher taxes than there actually is. And you know who that 31 percent of the public who don’t like higher taxes are? Fiscal conservatives.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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