Lawmakers embrace budget gimmick to fund highways - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Lawmakers embrace budget gimmick to fund highways

If there's anything that can unite Democrats and Republicans in the partisan swamp of Capitol Hill, it's free money.

The latest example of free money in Washington is a retread proposal called "pension smoothing" that raises money but doesn't actually increase anyone's taxes.

To some people's way of thinking, that's a win-win situation. But others say lose-lose is more like it, arguing that it's budget fakery at its worst and that it could undermine pension security for millions of workers.

Lawmakers revived pension smoothing Tuesday to help find money for a government fund that finances highway construction projects.

Over time, the provision doesn't raise revenue. But over the time frame used to estimate the cost of legislation - the next 10 years - it does.

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