the stupidest idea ever: the pay by the mile tax

ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. the award for the stupidest idea ever goes to: transportation secretary ray lahood. in a recent newsday article, lahood said he was looking into the idea of taxing americans based upon the ‘miles that they traveled.’ the former illinois lawmaker said,

We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled.

really, that’s your brilliant idea? eliminate the gasoline tax???? how about raise the gas tax like we do the cigarette tax and alcohol tax until people stop using it. don’t get me wrong – i hate taxes, especially those that are simply attempts to take advantage of people and that are counterproductive to every rational line of thought. but we should tax the fire out of things we don’t want people to use because they are bad for our health. gas is no exception. we have the technology to make hybrid and electric cars, and we need to move towards getting people into them.

this idea is a slap in the face to the entire environmental and energy independence movement. all of us who have done our part to buy hybrid and electric cars would now have to pay the same as people driving gas guzzlers. why? the answer is simple: it’s actually starting to work! oil has fallen to its lowest level in years. foreign oil producing countries realize that this time, the u.s. is serious about switching to renewable energy. they are trying to sabotage the transition by offering oil on the cheap for a while during economic hard times in an effort to get us to continue using oil.

but congress also realizes that we are finally shifting towards cleaner, renewable energy – like we’re supposed to. but as we wean ourselves from oil (and oil companies), tax revenues will begin to fall (along with oil company profits), and congress want their money (as do oil companies), in part, so they can pay for the ginormous spending program they just passed (the proceeds of which will be paid to big businesses).

everything about this tax-by-the-mile transportation tax is wrong.

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3 Responses

  1. In Oregon there is an extra fee associated with registering a Hybrid vehicle. They know those who drive them will not be using as much gas as the rest of the population, so they won’t get the $ they would normally get if the Hybrid owners would be driving other vehicles instead. One way or another, they’ll find a way to get the $. But the “per mile” solution? Sick, wrong, and a little too “Big Brother” for me. How would they know your “miles traveled?” You think they’ll offer up the Honor System? No chance.

  2. There may need to be some sort of federal tax, which of course rewards those with more fuel efficient vehicles. We are going to need to move away from gas tax obviously, but I don’t believe in a simple swapping- one for another.
    Maybe a graduated move so the new tax rises as the gas tax overall drops and gives an incentive for those to move away from petrol or inefficient vehicles. Finally as the new and more fuel efficient cars make up the majority of vehicles, those still deemed inefficient will either pay higher fees or even an antique car cost for keeping high fuel cost cars. Or heck raise the gas tax, because who knows what our vehicles will run on, or maybe that is to big a dream, but I like to dream big.

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