Oregon Wants to Tax Your Trails!
January 2, 2009
Nice to know that, when push comes to shove, liberal politicians would rather keep tax coffers filled via misery than promote their hippie nonsense via incentives.
Their plan, as near as I can figure it, is to install GPS monitors into new cars. These monitors would track how far you have traveled (with time and in-state vs. out-of-state info) and add a tax onto your gas bill based on that data whenever you fill up instead of the flat, per-gallon tax rate the man currently charges us.
Now, gasoline taxes, no matter the form, are the modern day equivalent to the Victorian era tax on doorways: singling out a necessity and stealing from the populace. Other taxes that would count as ‘sin taxes’, like alcohol and cigarettes, are at least luxury items; gasoline is an absolute necessity for the vast majority of the American people. Even if one does not themselves drive, they will frequent businesses that do, which will have to pass along the costs of that tax to them to recoup the cost of transporting supplies.
Human beings will naturally avoid immediate pains, like taxes, as much as possible. Under the current per gallon scheme, the most common avoidance method is to use a more fuel-efficient method of transportation (small sedan vs. giant monster truck, for example). This new idea destroys that avoidance mechanism (which, in states that are filled with hippies that buy into the whole global warming cult, must be hitting the gas tax coffers significantly). The fact that they would have to pay the tax less often (the current advantage) would be counteracted by having to pay more.
I’m all for being environmentally friendly when there is economic incentive to do so (which is why I drive a much more fuel efficient car than most red-blooded Americans do), as, I think, most Americans are. Take away that incentive, and I’d rather drive a big enough car so that I do not get blinded by average car headlights.
And, I think transportation departments function more efficiently on a shoestring budget anyways. As evidence, I present to you: A Tale of Two City’s Roads. One road, called Loop 288, has a multi-million dollar budget taken from Wal-Mart, Target (twice), Best Buy, and other companies. The other road, called Highway 380, has a much smaller budget. Both roads were being widened due to increased traffic Loop 288 was being worked on when I came to Denton 6.5 years ago; not 1 section of it has been completed yet. A section of Highway 380 as long as the total Loop 288 project has been widened and beautified as of this date; this project was started a couple of years after I came here. They have even started on another section of it.
The moral of the story: give the government (or their contractors) money, and they will find ways to spend every cent, even if that means deceasing productivity and making life miserable in the process.