These seemed not quite fleshed-out enough for their own post, but too important to be buried along with other links.
1. San Francisco is considering a congestion charge plan that would either cover the whole city during rush hour, or just the northeastern quadrant (or possibly a mix of the two), for what looks like a maximum of $6/day. Considering that local roads are rarely paid out of user fees, at this point any move towards making local roads more expensive would be a move towards a market equilibrium. The fact that much of “this money” would be spent on transit and non-road improvements is an irrelevant accounting trick, since money is fungible and so much road spending is already coming out of general revenues. And yet, I wouldn’t hold your breath for libertarian or small-government conservative support of this plan.
2. Sens. Tom Carper and George Voinovich have called for a 25¢ increase of the federal gas tax, which is 10¢ higher than the maximum increase recommended in any of the Bowles-Simpson plans. Voinovich, the token Republican signing the letter, is retiring from the Senate in 2011. The Hill notes that the proposal “seems likely to face staunch opposition from Republicans, many of whom ran on a firm anti-tax increase pledge.” Nevermind that the gas “tax” is technically a user fee and not a tax, and that keeping it artificially low without reducing road spending amounts to a subsidy for automobile drivers – Tea Partiers obviously don’t think with that level of nuance.