RALEIGH - For most of us, a deal is a long-term commitment. In politics, a promise upheld for more than 10 minutes is a success.
That's why the deal that legislators, former Gov. Jim Martin and his transportation secretary, Jim Harrington, struck in 1989 has been remarkable. Their agreement to expand highway construction revenues while holding the General Fund harmless has pretty much survived intact since that day.
Alas, as an editor once said when he fired me, "All good things must come to an end." And so must the 1989 deal that gave the Highway Trust Fund claim to new and expanded taxes related to the sale of automobiles and other transportation-related products. It probably won't survive the 2008 session of the General Assembly.