We often hear the question, “Why so much emphasis on Washington, DC, in the industry news?” The answer to that question is simple but hard to process when you read about the corruption and scandal that unfortunately seems to go hand-in-hand with power.
Generally speaking, the laws created in Washington, DC, affect every aspect of your life: from the food you eat (FDA regulations) to the time of day (daylight-saving time) to the freedoms that we enjoy and take for granted. For most of us, because so much seems to run like a well-oiled machine in our own little worlds, we are able to take those things for granted so that we can stress about the rest.
For professional drivers, their livelihood is the perfect storm for stress. It isn’t a coincidence that trucking is also the most regulated industry in the United States. In the case of trucking, political happenings in Washington, DC, have a substantial effect on the livelihoods of our members.
For that reason, it is imperative for small-business professional drivers to take note of current proceedings, especially those that are specific to our industry.
OOIDA made huge in-roads with this past Congress – for example, getting tremendous support for ending the cross-border program. With a new administration and a new Congress, the Association is hopeful for even greater progress.
This new administration and Congress will be responsible for several reauthorizations of funds for transportation; specifically, we should see the Highway Trust Fund authorized in the next two years. More than a third of this Trust Fund is funded by taxes from truckers. Our members have an invested stake in this authorization to ensure that their hard-earned money – which was paid out in fuel taxes, excise taxes and heavy vehicle use taxes – is used to maintain and expand the National Interstate Highway System.
Each American is affected on a daily basis by what is happening in DC, but truckers often get the short end of the stick when it comes to legislation and regulations.
As a famous statesman once said, “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”
The trucking industry deserves better government than it is currently getting, so it is in the best interest of our members to be informed and engaged. LL