They should call it “open wallet” tolling

They should call it “open wallet” tolling

The Nanny State giveth and the Nanny State taketh away.

Instead of fumbling for change or navigating through special lanes in transponder-equipped cars, drivers may soon have to do little more than cruise on and off highways passing under a metal beam spanning the entire width of the road.

At the end of the month they’d receive a bill, much like any other utility bill. Except this bill would log each time they entered or exited a highway system, how far they traveled and how much they owed.

The idea is called “open road tolling” and it’s a key recommendation of a new report on ways Massachusetts can close a multi-billion gap in transportation funding over the next two decades.

Let me get this straight: Instead of paying ridiculous tolls on a few highways, bridges, and tunnels, now we’ll pay for the privilege of driving on all highways. And this is being billed as a convenience?

And all the criticism of the plan, at least as enumerated by the Boston Globe comes from privacy advocates? Where are the folks like me who realize that this is a scam designed to sap every last penny out of the working families of Massachusetts?

Here’s a question the Globe reporter could have asked: Why are gas-tax revenues declining? Could it be that ever-larger tax burdens on taxpayers are pushing them to change their habits? But then liberal, big-government economists never take into account that changing economic circumstances actually affect human behavior.

It reminds me of the recent mantra from local officials in response to all the shootings in Boston over the past couple of years: “We need to get the guns off the streets.” Guns? How about getting the criminals off the streets?

And if you don’t see the connection, think about it for a while. It will come to you.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli