Friday

Mileage tax? I can hardly wait.

I guess I should not be surprised. Let me set the stage before I hop on my soapbox (which is getting really worn out just lately). According to a MSNBC story posted on 02-20-09 Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the following:

"We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled," the former Illinois Republican lawmaker said.

Also according to the same story:

A tentative plan in Massachusetts to use GPS chips in vehicles to charge motorists by the mile has drawn complaints from drivers who say it's an Orwellian intrusion by government into the lives of citizens. Other motorists say it eliminates an incentive to drive more fuel-efficient cars since gas guzzlers will be taxed at the same rate as fuel sippers.

Its not so much the tax aspect of this that scares me but does anyone out there find this as creepy as I do. The government will be able to know when we drive, how much we drive and where we drive. I know, I know, that information would never be used for malicious purposes. The fact remains that it could be. The article also reported the following:
Report expected next week. A blue-ribbon national transportation commission is expected to release a report next week recommending a VMT.

The system would require all cars and trucks be equipped with global satellite positioning technology, a transponder, a clock and other equipment to record how many miles a vehicle was driven, whether it was driven on highways or secondary roads, and even whether it was driven during peak traffic periods or off-peak hours.

The device would tally how much tax motorists owed depending upon their road use. Motorists would pay the amount owed when it was downloaded, probably at gas stations at first, but an alternative eventually would be needed.

I have visions of the Obama and congress riding shotgun with me everywhere I go. LaHood went on to say that the money is needed for road infrastructure blah, blah, blah, rhetoric, blah, blah and that he did not endorse the idea of a gas tax in this recession. Please, for the love of Pete, tell me what the difference is. Both are in fact taxes, both will drive up the price of driving and therefore the price of consumables. Everything on the grocery store shelf arrived there in a truck. So what does it matter if we tax the gas or tax the miles, the end result is the same. I worry that once this tax drives people to using bikes or walking they will just shove a GPS up our rears and tax any movement of any kind. Just think it cost you 25 cents to walk to the bathroom and back. Maybe living room toilets would solve that issue, but then we would just have a crap tax, or is that what we have already.

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