Capitol Perspectives: We Won’t Pay for It

CBS St. Louis

As the ballot-issue petition process gets underway to submit a transportation sales tax to Missouri voters, I’ve wondered what my European friends would think.

While southern Europe is criticized for refusing to pay for the government services Europeans enjoy, that would not seem to be the case about highway systems.

Europe’s highways are superb. There’s a quality of convenience, pavement, construction and maintenance that far exceeds anything we have in Missouri for our major highways.

Driving in Europe is a pleasure. It makes me feel a bit like how I suspect someone from a poverty-stricken developing country feels when first encountering the wealth of the United States.

Yet, here’s the surprise: Europeans do pay for it, big time.

Taxes help make fuel costs at least four times higher than we pay. One friend told me that even the taxes on his car doubled the purchase cost. Toll roads are everywhere.

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