Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Risky Obama Scheme To Wreck the Economy: Taxing Drivers By the Mile

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Yesterday's trial balloon was the economy-crushing idea to regulate carbon dioxide. Today the geniuses are floating the idea of taxing drivers by the mile, an idea so reckless even the people in Massachusetts are in near revolt at the idea.

One of Obama's token Republicans is the fall guy for this absurdity.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he wants to consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive rather than how much gasoline they burn — an idea that has angered drivers in some states where it has been proposed.

Gasoline taxes that for nearly half a century have paid for the federal share of highway and bridge construction can no longer be counted on to raise enough money to keep the nation's transportation system moving, LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"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.

Most transportation experts see a vehicle miles traveled tax as a long-term solution, but Congress is being urged to move in that direction now by funding pilot projects.

The idea also is gaining ground in several states. Governors in Idaho and Rhode Island are talking about such programs, and a North Carolina panel suggested in December the state start charging motorists a quarter-cent for every mile as a substitute for the gas tax.

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.
This is so profoundly wrong on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin. First of all, wasn't all this wonderful "stimulus" money forced upon us last week supposed to be the magic elixir to bring us into the land of Hopenchange and save the economy? The ink is barely dry after Tuesday's signing of this bill and twice already now this week we have two more means of onerous taxation being foisted on us.

Second, with the economy hemorrhaging jobs, fewer people will be driving to work as it is, so any set sum of money they'll expect to gain will never be met, and just as when gas prices skyrocketed last year, people will cut back on non-essential driving. Further, this simply punishes the workers Democrats claim to support so much as it's people commuting to work that consume the largest amount of miles driven. Not only that it'll damage the trucking industry and drive up prices across the board because they'll just pass along costs to consumers.

Also, what incentive would there be for out of work Americans to consider driving long distance in order to secure or keep a job when they're just going to be further gouged to commute?

If you think they'll stop there, just consider what they're trying to foist upon the folks in Massachusetts.
Governor Deval Patrick wants to raise the Massachusetts gasoline tax by 19 cents, charge higher registration fees for gas-guzzlers, and even suggested taxing drivers for every mile they drive, the Boston Globe reported this week.

Under Patrick's plan, the state gas tax would nearly double from 23.5 to 42.5 cents, making it one of the highest in the country. Plans to increase tolls along the Massachusetts Turnpike and the Ted Williams and Sumner tunnels could be shelved if a gas tax hike is approved before the end of March. If it fails, the tolls would be raised anyway in July.

The so-called "Hummer fee" would target SUVs and trucks - vehicles not covered by the federal gas-guzzler tax. Cars that already carry the tax would effectively be penalized twice. But these fees - which would fund the state's debt-ridden public transportation system and $15 billion Big Dig - may be unneeded if their claim is to promote fuel-efficient vehicles.
The $15 billion Big Dig, one of the biggest boondoggles in human history that came in eight times over budget. Of course, that's pocket change compared to the "stimulus" package which, last I checked, has sent the markets into freefall.

OK, with all that bad news, I though I'd end on a humorous note. I see the most profligate spender in recorded history is actually warning people to not spend wastefully. This guy is a born comedian.
Invoking his own name-and-shame policy, President Barack Obama warned the nation's mayors on Friday that he will "call them out" if they waste the money from his massive economic stimulus plan.

"The American people are watching," Obama told a gathering of mayors at the White House. "They need this plan to work. They expect to see the money that they've earned — they've worked so hard to earn — spent in its intended purposes without waste, without inefficiency, without fraud."

In the days since the White House and Congress came to terms on the $787 billion economic package, the political focus has shifted to how it will work. Obama has staked his reputation not just on the promise of 3.5 million jobs saved or created, but also on a pledge to let the public see where the money goes.
Uhh, they how come we never had a chance to read the bill?

Oh, we're watching all right and we're not liking what we see.

Update: Epic blowback. Even Obama is bright enough to realize this dog won't hunt.
President Barack Obama will not adopt a policy to tax motorists based on how many miles they drive instead of how much gasoline they buy, his chief spokesman said Friday. Press secretary Robert Gibbs commented after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told The Associated Press that he wants to consider the idea, which has been proposed in some states but has angered many drivers.

"It is not and will not be the policy of the Obama administration," Gibbs told reporters, when asked for the president's thoughts about the policy and LaHood's remarks.

Gasoline taxes that for nearly half a century have paid for the federal share of highway and bridge construction can no longer be counted on to raise enough money to keep the nation's transportation system moving, LaHood told the AP in an interview Thursday.
They'll just find another stealthy way to gouge you, don't worry.

Let's just hope more Americans are driven to such anger and resist these tax scams.

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