Some loony liberal bureaucrats in Oregon (is there any other kind there?) want to use GPS-tracking in automobiles to calculate a road-use tax. The plan is to track where every car goes and then tax people according to how much they use the roads. When John Ashcroft proposes some minor information-gathering technology to track terrorists, liberals foam at the mouth at the loss of civil liberties, but when the technology can be used to gather taxes, well, Katy, bar the door, because they love the idea.
As for the whole premise of a road-use tax based on mileage driven, it doesn’t make any sense. Roads don’t just benefit the people driving on them. Roads are a necessary infrastructure that provide services even to people who don’t own a car. When there’s a fire or a crime, emergency personnel respond using the road. Goods arrive at stores via roads. Businesses only exist where there are good roads for employees, customers, and vendors to travel on, and thus the roads provide jobs. And so on.
So what’s the real reason for the loony idea?
- The idea of raising the existing gasoline tax was also turned down because with automobiles becoming so fuel efficient, gas tax revenues are projected to dry up. “If everybody had high mileage cars, our road system would fall apart” from lack of revenue, Whitty said.
Aha, liberals are afraid of declining tax revenues. The funny thing is that they are to blame for it. Just as with cigarette taxes, liberals fret when their punitive taxes have the apparently desired effect.
They forced automakers to make more fuel efficient cars to “save the environment,” but now they fret at the lost tax revenue. They raised taxes on cigarettes because they were bad for people, but fret at the lost revenue when people quit smoking. Here’s an idea: Maybe if they eliminated the gas tax, it would put money in people’s pockets that they could then spend on goods and services (stimulating the economy and creating jobs) or invest (ditto), which then creates more income and thus more tax revenue. It’s called supply-side economics. If you want to know more about it, see the economic boom of the 80s and it’s echo in the 90s.