Michael Howe
Political Analyst, Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist
Michael Howe

Howe Talks Mexican Trucking on Denver Radio

Mike was a guest on the Peter Boyles' Show, Monday, October 24th

This wasn't my first appearance on the Peter Boyles Show, but it was my first in several years.  On this visit Peter and I discussed the Mexican Trucking Cross Border program that had just started up again a couple of days earlier.

It wasn't necessarily my best appearance as I was a little unprepared to disucss NAFTA Super Highways (Peter's first question of me), but once we got into the Mexican Trucking Program topic it went a tad smoother.

Download | Duration: 00:11:22

I always enjoy listening to Peter, and certainly enjoy appearing on his show.  Thank you for sharing this information with your listeners Peter!

For more about that, including my artices in Challenge Magazine on the subject, visit:

Mike's Challenge Magazine Facebook Page

Exclusive: Cheney Reacts To News of Gadhafi's Death

I was fortunate to interview former Vice President Dick Cheney within a couple of hours of the confirmation of Libyan leader Gadhafi's death on Thursday, October 20th.

Download | Duration: 00:01:14

 (Listen to the entire interview on "In The Booth with Michael Howe," www.michaelhoweshow.com)

In reflecting on the event, VP Cheney thought it was good news that Gadhafi is gone and no longer in power.

He then recounted that when he was Vice President, Saddam Hussein had just been removed from power. Gadhafi contacted the US government a few days later and said he was prepared to give up his nuclear aspirations because he feared he was next on the list.

The Vice President expressed hope that the Libyan people can now establish a new representative government that is kinder and more thoughtful.

Howe to appear on Denver's Peter Boyles Show

Mike will be a guest on the Peter Boyles' Show on Monday, October 24th at 6:00am (MST).  

I have made several appearances in the past on Peter's show, talking about everything from the Mexican Trucking Cross Border Program to NAFTA Super Highways and more.  Though it has been a couple of years since my last appearance on the show, I always enjoy it!

Tomorrow's appearance will be about the newly RESTARTED Mexican Trucking Cross Border Program. 

For more about that, including my artices on the subject, visit: http://michaelhowe.net/2011/10/21/hoffamextrks.aspx

Learn more about the Peter Boyles Show on 630 AM KHOW and listen live.

James Hoffa Discusses Mexican Trucking with Mike

By Michael Howe

If there’s one issue that continues to garner attention from those interested in the trucking industry it’s the Mexican Trucking Cross Border program.  This has really become a divisive issue within the industry itself, with the American Trucking Association (ATA) advocating for the program and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) opposing it.

Another vocal group opposing the program is the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters).  The Teamsters have issued many statements, lobbied against, and filed legal suit against the program.

I had the opportunity to interview James Hoffa for an October 1, 2011, appearance on “In The Booth,” a locally produced radio program I host in Port Angeles, Washington, on KONP Radio. One of the topics we discussed was the Mexican Trucking Cross Border program.

Audio is here: 

Download | Duration: 00:06:11

(You can also listen to the entire interview on the Past Shows page at www.michaelhoweshow.com).  

For more information about the Teamster’s and their comments on this program, visit http://www.teamster.org/content/mexican-trucks-0

This is also an issue that I have followed and commented on frequently, since 2007, for Challenge Magazine.  Some articles are devoted to the issue, while others mention it as part of a larger topic. 

Just check out the magazine’s online archives (issues 2008 and later):


Follow Mike on Twitter at:  www.twitter.com/TruckingDC

Like Mike on Facebook at:  www.facebook.com/TruckingPoliticsMore

Starting Over

Wow, it's been a long time since I have posted anything to this site.  Well, it's time to update the site and get it back on track.

So, with a new radio show (www.michaelhoweshow.com) and my continued writing, I do believe I will start posting information here again.  I'll also leave some of the old posts just for fun.

First though, it appears there is quite a bit of clean up and updating that needs done.


Congress cuts funding for Mexican trucks - Will it Stick Though?

Congress has passed a bill that cuts funding for the controversial Mexican truck program, but lawmakers expect the Bush administration to keep the foreign vehicles rolling on American roads amid safety and security concerns.
Joe Kasper, spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., told WND that "without federal funding, it will be difficult to continue the program. However, we must expect that the administration will continue looking for ways to do so."

The newly passed 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act prohibits the Department of Transportation from using the funds in it "to establish a cross-border motor carrier demonstration program to allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones along the international border between the United States and Mexico."

"In a Democratic-sponsored spending bill filled with rewards for special interests, this is actually one of the few beneficial provisions included in the bill," Kasper said.

He points out Bush is expected to sign the bill. 

Read The Entire Article at World Net Daily - Including reactions from the American Trucking Association, and comments about a plan by Mexican Truck Drivers to block the border in January.

Mexican trucks roll on despite opposition

The following is an excerpt from a story I wrote for World Net Daily on 12/13/07:

FMCSA's website lists 10 Mexican carriers with a total of 55 trucks that are approved to transport goods throughout the U.S.

The FMCSA was asked to comment but did not reply to phone calls or e-mails.

About 40 more Mexican carriers will soon join the 10 already approved. The agency, according to its website, said it "has notified an additional 37 Mexico-domiciled motor carriers that they have successfully passed a Pre-Authorization Safety Audit."

The FMCSA says there are four U.S. carriers participating in the cross-border program.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., continues to show frustration with the Bush administration.

His spokesman, Joe Kasper, told WND, "Rather than working with Congress to ensure the program is implemented in a manner that is safe and efficient, the department has instead decided to continue its plan of opening our roadways to an increasing number of Mexican trucking companies."

Kasper called it "a dangerous program that threatens our security and the safety of vehicle motorists."

"It now appears the only way Congress can make the department listen is by ensuring it does not have the funds to move the program forward as currently planned," he said.

Read the Entire Story at WND!

Corridors of the Future

Infrastructure development is rapidly becoming one of the hottest issues on the political scene within the trucking industry.

Equally controversial is the issue of how to fund the necessary infrastructure developments. Recent studies have shown that traffic congestion is becoming more and more problematic for commercial transportation and daily commuters alike. One solution is to invest in the infrastructure of the transportation system and plan for the future. Most would agree that infrastructure improvements on the transportation grid are needed, but the debate comes with the questions of where and how much.

The Pennsylvania Legislature passed a bill in July 2007 that would add tolls to Interstate 80. The purpose of the tolls is to fund the continued maintenance and infrastructure development of the interstate. This is a significant test case, because if this is allowed to occur, other states could follow suit and convert other interstates to toll roads. Congress, however, has taken action to prevent it. U.S. Rep. John Peterson and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson introduced legislation in September to prevent the tolling of interstates.

“The American public should never be charged to use interstate highways that were built with their own tax revenues. As it stands, toll roads create an unnecessary fiscal burden on citizens and the idea is one that I fundamentally oppose. This legislation will provide an important safeguard against this practice by ensuring that drivers are never tolled for using roads that were built with federal funds,” said U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez, a co-sponsor of the House bill.

“This bill will protect drivers from paying tolls on roads that were already paid for by taxpayers,” said Hutchison.

Peterson said, “The recent news that the state is re-engaging potential bidders for the turnpike is a crystal clear indicator that we are making inroads in overturning Pennsylvania’s reckless, short-term fix to toll Interstate 80, which passed without consideration of the negative, long-term economic consequences. The court of public opinion – which was virtually shut out before Act 44 was passed – is increasingly on the side of keeping freeways free.”

Closely related to the question of how to fund infrastructure improvements is the question of where to begin. The Federal Highway Administration announced on Sept. 10 that it has identified six interstate routes as “Corridors of the Future,” including parts of I-95, I-70, I-15, I-5, I-10 and I-69.

According to the FHWA press release, “Today’s announcement follows a yearlong competition to select a handful of interstate corridors from among the 38 applications received from public and private-sector entities to join the department’s ’Corridors of the Future‘ program, aimed at developing innovative national and regional approaches to reduce congestion and improve the efficiency of freight delivery. The selected corridors carry 22.7 percent of the nation’s daily interstate travel.”

The routes will receive the following funding amounts to implement their development plans: $21.8 million for I-95 from Florida to the Canadian border; $5 million for I-70 in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio; $15 million for I-15 in Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California; $15 million for I-5 in California, Oregon and Washington; $8.6 million for I-10 from California to Florida; and $800,000 for I-69 from Texas to Michigan.

What does this mean for truck drivers? It means more construction delays, but sometimes that is acceptable if the infrastructure is truly being improved. The real question is whether this program will address congestion in a meaningful manner that will not ultimately cost the trucking industry more money through user fees, increased fuel taxes or tolls. With the movement in Congress to stop the tolling of interstates, and a lack of commitment to increasing the fuel tax, there are legitimate questions about how future infrastructure improvements – including the “Corridors of the Future” – will be funded in the next budgeting cycle.

Read the story as originally published in the November Issue of Challenge Magazine.

Tolls On The Interstate

The prospect of placing tolls on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania is a controversial topic, and one that is unpopular with many in the trucking industry. The state of Pennsylvania, however, is continuing to move forward with its desire to turn this federal highway into a toll road. In October, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission entered into a 50-year lease agreement that would allow for the tolling of I-80. This effort stems from a Pennsylvania law passed by the state legislature in July that was supported and signed by Governor Edward Rendell.

The Pennsylvania DOT and the Pennsylvanian Turnpike Commission filed a formal application with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Oct. 13, requesting permission to implement tolls on I-80. According to the lease agreement and the application, the use of tolls would result in funding restricted to roads and bridges. However, the funding from I-80 tolls would not be limited to I-80 itself – and this is part of the controversy...........

Read the Entire Article, and my thoughts on this proposal in Challenge Magazine.

Howe to Make Guest Appearance on the Martha Zoller Show

Michael Howe will make a guest appearance on the Martha Zoller Radio program Thursday at 10:00am EST.

The topic of conversation.....none other than the Mexican Trucking Program and the latest announcement that US Taxpayers will be funding satellite tracking equipment for Mexican trucks.  You can read the World Net Daily article written by Howe here.

This will be Mike's 4th appearance on the Martha Zoller Show!  Listen online!