By Danny Westneat
Seattle Times staff columnist
Should doctors who are behind on their taxes be tapped to repair the nation’s highway system?
If you answered “what?” or “that sounds like a nonsensical question,” well, you are clearly not ready for a career in Congress.
You may have heard the nation’s Highway Trust Fund for repairing roads and bridges is about to go broke. That’s because the tax used to pay for it — the federal gas tax — has been fixed at a flat rate of 18 cents per gallon for 20 years, going back to when gas cost only a buck a gallon.
So Congress has been racing pell-mell this month to fix this crisis that’s been simmering for two decades. And what they’ve come up with is a Rube Goldberg contraption even by their usual convoluted standards.