Ed Wallace:

Being history’s most passionate car buying and owning generation, we have consequently complained the most about traffic congestion. But we’ve pled poverty every time someone brought up the reality that we needed more roads and highways to accommodate the extreme growth happening not just in the Metroplex, but throughout Texas — which, contrary to elected officials’ statements, our growth is not a phenomenon of just the past decade but of the past 43 years. And the excuses we had for doing nothing: People buying more fuel-efficient cars, using less gas as a nation and so on.
 But the reality is far different: Today’s 26 million Texans obviously use more gasoline and diesel than the 11.2 million Texans did in 1971. For the record, according to the Federal Highway Administration, in 2011 Texans used around 15.7 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel. Add a dime a gallon in taxes for roads and you have another $1.57 billion a year for highways. In August of 2011 the Houston Chronicle reported, “For the first time in history, the Texas legislature this year appropriated more cash to pay for debt service than to pay for actually building new roads. $859 million per versus $575 million.”
 That’s right, we could almost quadruple the monies we could spend to build new roads with just a dime per gallon gas tax increase. But we don’t. Because in a world where Maserati sales this year are up by 400 percent, parting with that extra dime per gallon is just more than the rest of us could bear.