Free Markets, Free People


Scheming away your money … and privacy

That’s primarily what politicians seem to want to do despite protestations to the contrary by some.  They’re always looking for a new “revenue stream”.  And since tax payers are the only folks who actually pay taxes, they’re constantly dreaming up new ways to “access” your wallet.

Such as:

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would require the government to study the most practical ways of taxing drivers based on how far they drive, in order to help fund federal highway programs.

Blumenauer’s bill, H.R. 3638, would set up a Road Usage Fee Pilot Program, which he said would study mileage-based fee systems. He cast his bill as a long-term solution for funding highway programs, and proposed it along with a shorter-term plan to nearly double the gas tax, from 18.4 cents to 33.4 cents per gallon.

“As we extend the gas tax, we must also think about how to replace it with something more sustainable,” Blumenauer said Tuesday. “The best candidate would be the vehicle mile traveled fee being explored by pilot projects in Oregon and implemented there on a voluntary basis next year.”

Because, you know, taxpayers paid for the highways, taxpayers have funded the maintenance of the highways and now they should pay for the privilege of driving on them as well. So, many single moms, who can barely afford gas for the car,  will likely be paying by the mile to go to work (as with most of these stupid schemes, the one’s who can afford it the least will get hit the hardest by it).

Brilliant!  Aw, what the heck, they can take public transportation, huh?

And what about privacy? What business is it of government how far you drive. One assumes they’ll be able to verify your mileage somehow, no? Do you really think it will be up to you to voluntarily keep records and report to the government? Of course not. So somehow the system has to be able to track you and tally mileage.

Yup:

In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a study that explored how a VMT system might work. That report suggested devices could be fitted onto cars that log how far they have traveled, and these devices could be electronically read at gas stations to general tax bills for drivers.

That’s what I want … a government tracking device on my car.

Where’s Orwell when you need him?

~McQ

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21 Responses to Scheming away your money … and privacy

  • I suspect the first priority is getting the foot in the door of monitoring where you go at all times.  We’ll hear all sorts of promises that such systems will never be used for anything but tracking mileage.
    Then law enforcement will use them and declare, upon each incremental increase of scope, how such tactics are necessary to combat terrorists, child molesters, drug traffickers–you know, the types of people no one will want to be seen as defending.
    As for hitting people who can afford it least, imagine those who have to commute long distances because they cannot afford the housing near where they work.  Exorbitant fees will ruin many.
    It’s another government poverty program.  They generate more poor people with each of these programs.

    • I suspect that this idea and Rep. Earl Blumenauer should be adorned with a paying-off pennant and decommissioned immediately.

  • Add a little box on your annual registration for current mileage. Or have it part of the bi-annual smog check. “Problem” solved.

    • They have been doing in Taxachusetts for at least ten years that I know of. When I go for my annual state inspection, my mileage is forwarded to my insurance company. The insurance companies use the data to validate my low mileage discount application. For the last three years, I haven’t even had to fill out any paper forms, they have been giving me my discount automatically. There is absolutely no reason this can’t be done nationwide.

  • Remember, folks…
    “Regionalism” and “urbanism” are goals of the radicals in the Collective.
    They intend to drive you out of your car, because cars are our means of living the kind of lives we have chosen.
    “Voting with your feet” is a threat to them.

  • The most practical way to tax drivers based on how far they drive is also the least intrusive way:  the gas tax.  The farther you drive, the more gas you consume, and the more taxes you pay.

    It’s amazing that Washington can’t figure this out.

    • Oddly enough, I’ve seen many proposals to calculate how many miles a hybrid or electric vehicle travels, to tax them for the gas they don’t use. And, the greenies are stupid enough to go along with it (at least, publicly).

  • I was going to open with this, but thought I’d save it…
    During my years in the trucking business…and for decades before…drivers always had to carefully log their hours of operation.  You are only allowed to drive…or “be on duty”…so many hours at a stretch.
    By implication, this limits how FAR you can drive, too.
    IF the Federal government has that ability, it is only currently limited by the law, not by the Constitutionality of the concept.  Why can’t they make us all keep logs of how many miles we drive?

    • How about we make them logs of our daily bowel movements instead?

      It’s enough of this garbage already.

      And I’d like to see this Blumenthaler’s portfolio…..he’s linked to some company that will manufacture or install those black boxes on cars, or a good friend of his is.  I’d set my watch and warrant on it.

      And think of all the ancillary revenue generation possibilities:  Tickets for those w/o black boxes on the cars, the black boxes will automatically record when you exceed the speed limit and you’ll get an automatic ticket in the mail, “black box inspection and reading fee”. More excessive regulations and fees on car services, cabs and car pools.  And of COURSE the state will want to jump all over this.

      Exit question:  if this is to fund federal highway programs, if you only drive on the streets, you won’t be charged right?

      • Hell no, you’ll be charged if you only drive the vehicle on dirt roads on YOUR property in, say, North Moosesqueeze Maine.

        Prole, your government has privileged you by allowing you to keep enough capital to purchase a motor vehicle.  You will pay the yearly fees and rents to your lords.

  • But how did they miss out on the “penis rings” to track how often you use your “Johnson” ?
    Of course, it would have to measure not just how often but for how long and extrapolate some measure of the partner’s pleasure then use a formula, cooked up by some bureaucrat to tax you for your time.   With something like this, there would be no need for abortions, and all those pesky child support issues would be washed away in no time.
    After years of efforts to stamp out procreation, you’d think this would be a bigger priority.

  • I don’t know where Orwell is, but I do know there’s a ruinious communist at Mandela’s funeral shaking hands with Raul Castro…

  • They’re trying to do the same thing here in MA.

    First they increased the gas tax and then indexed it to inflation so that the tax will automatically go up without the MA legislature having to vote on it again.

    We were able to get a petition together with enough signatures to get a ballot question that will repeal the automatic increase. So, of course the legislature is now proposing the mileage tax. They will do anything and everything to squeeze more tax dollars out of us.

    Hopefully, my wife and I will be out of this state within the next 3-5 years.

  • The government will end up passing the mileage use tax, AND they’ll KEEP the gasoline tax.

    • That’s what I tell the ardent advocates of the “Fair Tax”, like Neal Boortz.  They insist that the 16th amendment (income tax) would be repealed, but I don’t believe them.  Politicians would see new revenue, make a deal, and then tell everyone to “embrace the suck”.

      • And, even if they didn’t keep the income tax, each and ever American would be dependent on getting a monthly check from the government (to cover the baseline, which is supposed to represent bottom-line living expenses allotment). The advocates of the “Fair Tax” are exceedingly oblivious to not see the obvious implications of that.

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