Congressional Budget Office / Testimony by Joseph Kile, Assistant Director for Microeconomic Studies, before the Committee on Finance, United States Senate
In 2014, governments at various levels spent $165 billion to build, operate, and maintain highways, and they spent $65 billion on mass transit systems. For both types of infrastructure, most of that spending was by state and local governments; about one-quarter of that total came from the federal government, mostly through the Highway Trust Fund. For several decades, the trust fund’s balances were stable or growing, but more recently, annual spending for highways and transit has exceeded the amounts credited to the trust fund from taxes collected on gasoline, diesel fuel, and other transportation-related products and activities. Since 2008, in fact, lawmakers have transferred $65 billion from the U.S. Treasury’s general fund to the Highway Trust Fund so that the trust fund’s obligations could be met in a timely manner.