We all enjoy the benefits of things that cost money, but we often have an irresistible desire to pass the expense on to someone else. It rarely ends well when we indulge that particular slice of human nature, which seems to be the path Texas is taking when it comes to highway funding.
For years, Texas was a leader in innovations such as using public-private partnerships to build, operate and maintain new toll roads and developing express lanes that cost more to use but guarantee shorter travel times. These approaches attracted private capital and provided a sustainable way for the fast-growing state to pay for its burgeoning highway needs. They also created a system under which roadways are funded primarily by those who benefit from them instead of from broad-based tax revenues.