Shabby Road

  • Aired:  07/16/14
  •  | Views: 31,872

Funding for America's aging infrastructure hits a few roadblocks when the federal Highway Trust Fund runs out of money. (8:19)

>> Jon: WELCOME TO "THE DAILYSHOW."

MY NAME IS JON STEWART.

WE GOT A GOOD ONE FOR YOUTONIGHT.

OUR GUEST TONIGHT, ONE OF MYFAVORITES.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE COMEDIANS INTHE ENTIRE

UNIVERSE, YOUNG JERRY SEINFELDWILL BE JOINING US TONIGHT.

WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THAT.

HE'S VERY TALENTED.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]A TOP DOG.

BUT FIRST, IF YOU'RE LIKE MANYOF OUR VIEWERS, YOU ASK ME IF I

LIKE GETTING BLOWN.

NO, I'M JUST KIDDING.

[LAUGHTER]WEIRD.

SOMETIMES THE Q&A IN THEBEGINNING GETS A LITTLE OUT OF

HAND IS WHAT I'M SAYING, BUT IFYOU'RE LIKE MANY OF OUR VIEWERS,

YOU'RE PROBABLY WATCHING THISSHOW RIGHT NOW WHILE DRIVING.

AND IF THAT'S THE CASE, STOP!

VERY DANGEROUS, NOT BECAUSE ITPULLS YOUR FOCUS FROM THE ROAD

BUT BECAUSE OF THE ROAD ITSELF.

>> THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY TRUSTFUND IS ABOUT TO BECOME

INSOLVENT.

>> Jon: OH, MY GOD!

[LAUGHTER]FIRST OF ALL, I CAN'T BELIEVE

OUR FEDERAL HIGHWAYS HAVE ATRUST FUND.

GET A JOB.

YOUR PARENTS DIDN'T PULLTHEMSELVES UP FROM GRAVEL JUST

TO HAVE YOU LAY THERE.

WELL, ACTUALLY... NOW, I KNOWOUR FEDERAL HIGHWAYS ARE THE

VITAL CIRCULATORY SYSTEM OF OURNATION'S COMMERCE, BUT WHAT

EXACTLY HAPPENS IF IT LOSES ITSTRUST FUND?

>> THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND RUNSDRY NEXT MONTH.

UPKEEP AND REPAIRS NEEDED FOR ANAGING HIGHWAY SYSTEM.

65% OF ROADS ARE INLESS-THAN-GOOD CONDITION.

25% OF BRIDGES NEED SIGNIFICANTREPAIR.

THIS BRIDGE COLLAPSE INWASHINGTON STATE IS A CAUTIONARY

TALE.

>> Jon: HMM.

[LAUGHTER]WELL, WHAT IF INSTEAD OF FUNDING

OUR HIGHWAY SYSTEM, WE JUSTDON'T TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON

STATE?

[LAUGHTER]>> IF WE DON'T PASS THIS

TRANSPORTATION BILL NOW, A LOTOF VERY BAD THINGS HAPPEN VERY

SOON.

>> Jon: DID YOU JUST [BLEEPED]THREATEN ME?

IS THAT WHAT YOU DID?

"YOU KNOW WHAT OUR HIGHWAYSYSTEM GIVES ME?

ENTHUSIASMS."

[LAUGHTER]WE'VE BEEN DOWN THIS... UH, UH,

UH... THAT'S NICE... I'LL GIVEYOU THAT. THAT'S A NICE ONE.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]ALL RIGHT.

I'LL GIVE YOU THAT.

TAKE YOUR TIME.

LOOK, THIS WHOLE CRUMBLINGINFRASTRUCTURE THING, WE HAVE

BEEN DOWN THIS, UM, WHAT DO THEYCALL THOSE, IT'S LIKE A FLAT

THING?

YOU DRIVE ON THEM?

THERE'S ONE THAT HAS YELLOWBRICKS.

WHERE WE'RE GOING WE DON'T NEEDTHEM.

ONE OF THEM GOES TO WELLVILLE.

ANYWAY, CONGRESS IS PRESENTEDWITH A PRESSING PROBLEM THAT

REQUIRES SOME MONEY.

WE KNOWS HOW THIS GOES, A YEARAND A HALF AND TWO GOVERNMENT

SHUTDOWNS LATER THE PROBLEM ISSTILL THERE AND A COUPLE OF

80-YEAR-OLDS ARE CAUGHT TRYINGTO BREAK INTO THE WORLD WAR II

MEMORIAL.

>> LAWMAKERS IN THE HOUSE VOTEDOVERWHELMINGLY TO EXTEND HIGHWAY

FUNDING WITH NEARLY $11BILLION.

>> THAT KEEPS TRANSPORTATIONFUNDING GOING THROUGH MAY OF

NEXT YEAR.

>> PUTTING OFF THE LARGER ISSUESO IT CAN BE FOUGHT OVER YET

AGAIN.

[BLEEPED][LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: SO THEY THREW A LITTLEMONEY IT, JUST A LITTLE BIT,

AND THEN JUST KICKED THE CANDOWN THE -- OH, WHAT IS THAT

THING CALLED THAT YOU KICKTHE...

IT'S PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS?

I WENT TO PERDITION ON IT.

NO. THAT'S JUST... BOY...[LAUGHTER]

I HAVE...NO, NO, NO, I HAVELIKE, HONESTLY, WE WROTE

LIKE 100 OF THESE. I CAN'TEVEN...

I FEEL LIKE AT THIS POINT ICAN'T EVEN PUT YOU THROUGH IT

ANYMORE.

I MEAN TO REMEMBER THIS WORDYOU'D HAVE TO BE SOME KIND OF,

OH, WHAT KIND OF SCHOLAR ISTHAT?

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]I FEEL DIRTY.

[LAUGHTER]SO WHY DID THE HIGHWAY TRUST

FUND RUN OUT OF MONEY ANYWAY?

HOW DO WE NORMALLY FUND THISTHING?

>> THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND GETSREVENUE FROM AN 18.4 CENT PER

GALLON GAS TAX SET BACK IN 1993.

BUT 21 YEARS LATER, THE TAX HASSTAYED FLAT.

>> WHAT? 1993.

FOR GOD'S SAKE, BACK THEN GASWAS $1.70 A GALLON, A CAR WAS

$11,000 AND GETTING BLOWNIN THE BACK OF ONE WAS

CONSIDERED THE HEIGHTOF SOPHISTICATION.

[LAUGHTER]SO WAIT.

THIS IS, THIS IS EASY THEN. TOFUND THE HIGHWAYS, ALL YOU GOT

TO DO IS RAISE THE GAS TAX, ANDTHAT WOULD --

[ALARM SOUNDS] SHUT THAT OFF!

I'M JUST SAYING, IF WE TRACKEDIT WITH INFLATION IT WOULD BE UP

TO 30 CENTS A GALLON NOW, SOJUST BY RAISING THE GAS TAX --

[ALARM SOUNDS]OH, SON OF A BITCH.

IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, IT IS?

>> I'VE NEVER SUPPORTEDRAISING THE GAS TAX.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO GETTO A LONG-TERM HIGHWAY BILL HERE

OVER THE NEXT COUPLE MONTHS.

>> THIS IS SO STUPID.

WE'VE PAID FOR OUR HIGHWAYS WITHTHE GAS TAX SINCE THE START OF

THE INTERSTATE SYSTEM.

PRESIDENT OBAMA, TELL THEREPUBLICANS TO SUCK IT UP AND

GET THAT GAS TAX BACK UP TOWHERE IT'S MEANT TO BE.

>> PRESIDENT OBAMA'S PLAN ALSOMAKES NO MENTION OF THE GAS TAX.

>> Jon: SON OF A... AND YOUCALL YOURSELF A TAX-AND-SPEND

LIBERAL.

HOW YOU GOING TO PAY FOR THIS?

>> WE PAY FOR THISTRANSPORTATION PROJECT IN PART

BY CLOSING TAX LOOPHOLES FORCOMPANIES THAT SHIP JOBS

OVERSEAS AND AVOID PAYING THEIRFAIR SHARE OF TAXES.

>> Jon: INTERESTING.

CERTAINLY TO ONE WOMAN IN THEAUDIENCE.

[LAUGHTER]WHO SEEMINGLY FORGOT THAT SHE

WAS NO LONGER IN HER LIVING ROOMAND THOUGHT, WHY NOT JUST SHOUT

AT THE TV WHILE I'M AT IT.

[LAUGHTER]AMAZINGLY, IF WE WANT TO GET TO

POINT A IN SOLVING TRUST FUNDWITH CRUMBLING BRIDGES TO POINT

B, SOLVENT TRUST FUND WITH FIXEDBRIDGES, WE CAN TAKE A DIRECT

ROUTE, RAISE THE GAS TAX WITHTHE RATE OF INFLATION, OR MAKE A

SLIGHT DETOUR THROUGH OFF-SHORELOOPHOLE BOULEVARD.

THESE ARE TWO REASONABLE ANDEFFICACIOUS WAYS OF FIXING OUR

CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE.

SO HOW DID WE ACTUALLY RAISE THE$11 BILLION STOPGAP MEASURE, A

MORE ECONOMICAL FIX THAT DOESN'TCOME WITH ALL THE

FEATURES LIKE POWER WINDOWSOR FIXED BRIDGES?

>> TO RAISE THAT MONEY THE PLANWOULD USE AN APPROACH CALLED

PENSION SMOOTHING, WHICH ALLOWSEMPLOYERS TO DELAY CONTRIBUTIONS

TO PENSIONS PLANS.

THAT GENERATES MORE TAX DOLLARSSINCE PENSION PAYMENTS ARE TAX

DEDUCTIBLE.

>> Jon: OH, PENSION SMOOTHING.

I'VE NEVER HEARD [BLEEPED]CALLED "SMOOTHING" BEFORE.

SO INSTEAD OF GOING DIRECTLYFROM POINT A TO POINT B, WHICH

IS HOW WE SHOULD HAVE DONE IT,INSTEAD OF GOING DIRECTLY FROM

POINT A TO POINT B OR EVENJUST TAKING A ONE MINOR ROUTE,

HERE'S WHAT WE'RE ACTUALLYDOING, PENSION SMOOTHING.

BASICALLY COMPANIES ARE ALLOWEDTO REDUCE THEIR PENSION

OBLIGATIONS TO THEIR EMPLOYEES,THUS GIVING THEM A HIGHER PROFIT

MARGIN ON WHICH THEY PAY MORETAX.

FOR THIS YEAR, TO THE TUNE OF$11 BILLION.

OF COURSE, IF THEY'REEVENTUALLY TO MAKE GOOD ON THOSE

PENSION OBLIGATIONS, THEYWILL GET TO CLAIM MUCH

HIGHER TAX BREAKS IN THE FUTURE,AND THE GOVERNMENT WILL

LOSE THAT MONEY.

ONCE AGAIN LIVING UP TO THEMOTTO, OVER THE CAPITOL

BUILDING'S DOOR A LATIN PHRASEMEANING:

[BLEEPED] IT, WE'LL PROBABLY ALLBE DEAD IN TEN YEARS ANYWAY.

ALRIGHT, YOU KNOW, IT'S CRAZYHOW THE WEALTHIEST MOST POWERFUL

COUNTRY IN THE WORLD ALWAYSSEEMS TO BE EXPENDING ALL ITS

ENERGY TO GETABSOLUTELY NOWHERE.

IF ONLY THIS HIGHWAY FUNDINGSITUATION PROVIDED MAYBE A

VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF HOW WEOPERATE.

>> IT'S SO EXCITING.

I HAVEN'T BEEN ON THE ROAD IN ALONG TIME.

>> MR. OBAMA SEEMED TO ENJOY HISMOMENT OF VIRTUAL FREEDOM.

THE PRESIDENT DROVE EVEN IF ITWAS ONLY IN A SIMULATOR.

HE BUCKLED UP AND CRUISED DOWN AVIRTUAL HIGHWAY.

>> Jon: YEP.

IT FEELS LIKE WE'RE GETTINGSOMEWHERE, BUT WE AIN'T.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE][CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

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