Federal Highway Trust Fund Could Run Dry This MonthSTransportation Secretary Mary Peters is warning that the Federal Highway Trust Fund could run out of money by the end of this month, reports the AP. The fund is facing an $8.3 billion shortfall in projected revenues, primarily due to high gas prices reducing the amount of fuel purchased by American consumers. The immediate impact would be a delay or reduction in payments for local road and bridge projects the government had agreed to partially fund, likely resulting in a delay or reduction in work by construction crews. While the current recommendation is to borrow from the general fund through the end of the fiscal year, we suggest tapping Detroit automakers for low-interest loans, allowing the transportation department to invest in new highway technology and replace aging stretches of obsolete asphalt. Jalopnik Snap Judgment: It's football season! Election-year football season, that is, and Team Red and Team Blue are each trying to score voter points by blaming the highway fund shortfall on the others' policy decisions. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oil) claims the shortfall is somehow the fault of democrats not letting him drill in Alaska. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-Spending) says the deficit can be blamed on republicans blocking efforts to increase funding for highway projects. Here's a little friendly advice: It's too late for blame. Shut up and fix it before states have to lay off highway workers and leave half-finished bridge projects abandoned. And, particularly from those of us north of, say, Tennessee: Do it soon, because it's a bitch to get concrete to set when it's 15 degrees and snowing. [New Hampshire Register]