Monday, February 23, 2009

Mileage Tax Reprieve...For Now

Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary for the Obama Adminstration raised eyebrows last week with his suggestion of a mileage tax to replace gasoline taxes. In an AP article appearing on, LaHood said that gasoline taxes can no longer be counted on to fund infrastructure needs.

He said:

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

The article went into further detail on how such a tax would be implemented.

The system would require all cars and trucks be equipped with global satellite positioning technology, a transponder, a clock and other equipment to record how many miles a vehicle was driven, whether it was driven on highways or secondary roads, and even whether it was driven during peak traffic periods or off-peak hours.

The device would tally how much tax motorists owed depending upon their road use. Motorists would pay the amount owed when it was downloaded, probably at gas stations at first, but an alternative eventually would be needed.

What is truly interesting is the culprits named for the shortfall in gasoline tax revenue...more efficient cars and a decrease in driving. The "shortfall" is expected to increase as motorists switch to electric and alternate-fuel automobiles. Of course, the term "shortfall" must be interpreted. "Shortfall" refers to the disparity between the spending that the Obama Administration wants to do versus the funds available with which to do it.

The Administration was quick to deny that they had any plans to impose a mileage tax. Their denials ring pretty hollow when you consider the extent to which this Administration seeks to control their message. What this actually sounds like is a minor Administration official floating a trial balloon so that administration can immediately shoot down. What makes the Obama Administration's denials even more questionable is the fact that a blue ribbon national transportation commission is expected release their report next week recommending the adoption of a mileage tax. In such a case, the Obama Administration could immediately say that they oppose such a tax but must consider it because the "experts" say it is needed.

The upshot of all of this is the old canard that "no good deed goes unpunished." American motorists have responded to high gasoline prices by doing what the Left has wanted all along. They have reduced their driving and switched to more fuel-efficient vehicles. This has resulted in something that the Left loathes far more than carbon fuels...lower tax revenues.

Be warned, dear readers, this is only the beginning. Just as Larry Holmes said that Michael Spinks threw punches from places he had never seen, this adminstration will bring new tax proposals in ways never anticipated by the public.

I wonder if the American people will continue to go along with the Obama Administration's radical plans to impose European-styled socialism on the most efficient industrial society in history.

We will have to wait and see but, for my take, like Rush Limbaugh, I hope Obama fails...miserably!!!

--Submitted by B. Bryant

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