LaHood goes under the bus on mileage tax

posted at 10:50 am on February 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Transportation Secretary Roy LaHood got tossed under the bus by his boss after suggesting that the Obama administration would roll out a mileage tax on American drivers.   The White House hurriedly denied any intention of pursuing a mileage tax, which would require massive intrusion into privacy and set up a Big Brother-like mechanism to track the movement of citizens (via Michelle):

President Barack Obama on Friday rejected his transportation secretary’s suggestion that the administration consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive instead of how much gasoline they buy.

“It is not and will not be the policy of the Obama administration,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters, when asked for the president’s thoughts about Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s suggestion, raised in an interview with The Associated Press a daily earlier.

Gasoline taxes that for nearly half a century have paid for the federal share of highway and bridge construction can no longer be counted on to raise enough money to keep the nation’s transportation system moving, LaHood told the AP.

“We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled,” the former Illinois Republican lawmaker said in the AP interview.

LaHood apparently didn’t check with Obama before shooting off his mouth.  It’s another amateurish stumble after Steven Chu’s sudden discovery that energy policy falls under his aegis as … Secretary of Energy.

The mileage tax as a replacement for the gas tax is a bad idea on several levels.  First, collection of the gas tax is relatively easy and uncomplicated; it’s levied at the pump and requires no particular compliance for tens of millions of drivers nationwide. It costs the federal government very little to collect and its enforcement is limited to the much lower number of fuel stations, rather than all of the drivers and autos in the US.

LaHood’s suggestion would be an enforcement and logistical nightmare.  A mileage tax would require the installation of GPS equipment on every motor vehicle and an enforcement bureaucracy to ensure that drivers didn’t disable it.  The cost of the devices would run to the billions just on the initial rollout.  The Obama administration would have to spend more millions, if not billions, tracking the mileage on all of these cars.

The privacy implications are the worst aspect of the idea.  The government would have a database tracking all of our movements, at least those made in personal vehicles, for their use.  At the end of the year, when we had to account for this tax, we would have no practical way of challenging the government data on which we’d be taxed.  Can you imagine having to produce a record of every single car trip you took in 2008 for an audit?  The tax burden would only come at the end of the year, in a balloon payment.

The wonder of this isn’t that the White House rebuked its own Transportation Secretary.  The wonder of this is that LaHood didn’t get canned.

Update: I wrote “Treasury” when I meant “Transportation”.  My apologies, and thanks to those who pointed it out.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

We’re all Joe Biden’s now!

Beep…beep!

artist on February 21, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Don’t need it anyway. Once the new CO2 limits are put in place we won’t be driving anywhere. Start buying breeding mules.

trs on February 21, 2009 at 10:53 AM

team of rivals, as in who can be dumber.

rob verdi on February 21, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Maybe Barack Obama should go back to organizing communities, he clearly can’t organize his own administration. How are these people communicating with each other – smoke signals?

sherry on February 21, 2009 at 10:58 AM

How about a tax on corrupt and incompetence?

We can balance the budget on the backs of Congressional Democrats alone.

Add in the clown administration of Barack Obama and we’ll be in a huge surplus.

Problem solved. Next issue, please.

NoDonkey on February 21, 2009 at 10:58 AM

team of rivals, as in who can be dumber.

Ha

Spirit of 1776 on February 21, 2009 at 10:59 AM

The country elected Dems and Dems want more taxes.

Surprising? Nope.

If any libs complain about any taxes going up the next 4 years, I’ll just have to point and laugh.

I’ll be asking some of my friends if they think they’re getting what they thought they would be getting from voting for Hope N Change(tm).

Byzantine on February 21, 2009 at 11:00 AM

I thought we were promised that his administration would “hit the ground running from Day 1″?

Instead it’s been his appointees who have hit the ground and he’s been running from them.

Mr. Bingley on February 21, 2009 at 11:01 AM

This all makes me especially leery of the surreptitious invasions of privacy, hidden taxes, and what other “big brother” provisions are lurking in the porkulus bill and other hostile actions of this hideously corrupt administration’s usurpation of our republic.

When exactly, will it be time to march on Washington with the torches and pitchforks?

Fishoutofwater on February 21, 2009 at 11:02 AM

The white house phone lines must have lit up like Christmas trees, or Ramadan bushes or whatever.

jeff_from_mpls on February 21, 2009 at 11:02 AM

LaHood used to be my rep, a Republican no less. Aaron Shock, a real conservative, of Caterpillar/Obama fame replaced him.

Laddy on February 21, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Hey, Ray say Hello to Rev Wright, Bill Ayers, Blagojevich, Burris and all the gang. (Signed R. Daly)

Herb on February 21, 2009 at 11:04 AM

So LaHood just floated the idea on his own, with no direction from the Obama administration?

ctmom on February 21, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Treasury Transportation Secretary Roy LaHood …

FIFY, Ed.

Dusty on February 21, 2009 at 11:05 AM

This isn’t just a ridiculous intrusion on privacy. It’s another way for the libs to tax who they want and exempt who they want. Right now, everyone who pays for gas pays the gas tax. If you drive more miles, you pay more gas tax. It already works.

The moment a program like this goes into effect (unrealistic as it is), the exemptions start. Why should so-and-so victim person pay the same to travel as Johnny BMW or even Johnny $45,000-A-Year, the question goes. And the so-called “rich” are forced to subsidize the poor pitiful underclass (again).

LibTired on February 21, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Ed,

LaHood is Transportation, not Treasury.

Timothy S. Carlson on February 21, 2009 at 11:06 AM

So LaHood just floated the idea on his own, with no direction from the Obama administration?

ctmom on February 21, 2009 at 11:05 AM

No chance.

LibTired on February 21, 2009 at 11:07 AM


Mr. Bingley on February 21, 2009 at 11:01 AM “hit the ground running from Day 1″.

They didn’t say where they would run. Right now it looks like it should be a run for cover.

Herb on February 21, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Sorry about that — fixed “Treasury” to “Transportation”.

Ed Morrissey on February 21, 2009 at 11:09 AM

I think these 2 will be tendering their resignation for personal reasons before 2012…Why dont they have Obama’s cellphone number? Inadequacy should be this administrations’ catchphrase.

canditaylor68 on February 21, 2009 at 11:11 AM

What do you expect, he’s from Illinois.

FontanaConservative on February 21, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Horrible idea.

The tax cuts in the stimulus have started.

getalife on February 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Don’t need it anyway. Once the new CO2 limits are put in place we won’t be driving anywhere. Start buying breeding mules. trs on February 21, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Breeding mules???? You obviously are NOT an old country boy.

Old Country Boy on February 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM

To say the BO administration is a bunch of clowns is an insult to actual clowns. We are witnessing an empty suit failing at on-the-job training. True leaders are either born or trained for that role……….BO is neither. This should be entertaining, 3 years and 11 more months of this crap.

David in ATL on February 21, 2009 at 11:17 AM

I’d like to point out that if a mile tax was ever enacted, I don’t think our politicians would pay it. They get driven around in tax payer funded limos. Would those limos even be equipped with the GPS? If so, who foots the bill, the pols or us? I doubt all of a sudden they would chip in for their transportation.

More taxes for us, none for Turbo Tax Tim, Nancy Pelosi, et al.

Byzantine on February 21, 2009 at 11:17 AM

The Obama administration is smart, in fact Obama is the smartest of the smartest smarty smart pants people in the whole entire Galactic Universe. He is even smarter than Joe Biden. That is why his cabinet appears so inept and inexperienced while serving at the whim of such a great intellect. You right wingers should understand his greatness and that those who serve under him can only come off looking like idiots. Don’t hate on Black Jesus and his cabinet, even if it seems rather empty!

Africanus on February 21, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Why does Obama have a team of lawyers whose sole duty is to prevent access to his immigration, U.S. naturalization, passport and college records? Why has he sealed those records from all public access? Why has he spent over $800,000 in legal fees already to hide his personal records? What information is he so desperate to hide from the American public?

searcher484 on February 21, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Breeding mules???? You obviously are NOT an old country boy.

Old Country Boy on February 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM

I thought it sounded good with the current administration. Republicans buy breeding donkeys!

trs on February 21, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Team of Rivals? More like the Keystone Kops. Seriously.

The wonder of this is that LaHood didn’t get canned.

Obama needs to save any canning for Geithner. Right now, Geithner is the guy keeping Gibbs’s head above water. If Geithner doesn’t get it together quickly, Obama is going to have to bench him for Summers, which would be huge. And to get rid of Gibbs (who really needs to go) and then Geithner would make the administration look like more of a junior high student council than it already does.

BuckeyeSam on February 21, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Don’t feel bad about mixing up “Treasury” and “Transportation” – as we say with the Energy Secretary, these guys don’t necessarily know themselves what they’re supposed to be doing.

ironman on February 21, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Horrible idea.
The tax cuts in the stimulus have started.
getalife on February 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Yes I cannot wait to realize mine. I can get that pack of gum I’ve wanted for so long. Dumb Ass.

Patrick S on February 21, 2009 at 11:23 AM

A little background from Kass. Ray has interesting friends.
http://marathonpundit.blogspot.com/2009/01/john-kass-on-transportation-secretary.html

a capella on February 21, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Puff the Magic Negro lived by the Hawaii sea
And frolicked in the filthy smog in a land called Chi-town, Illinois-lee
Little Rahm-e paper loved that rascal puff
And pulled the boy king’s strings and lots of other dirty stuff oh

searcher484 on February 21, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Ed:
I don’t think this was a ‘mistake’. LaHood was front man to float the idea (run it up the flag pole). Depending on the reaction, Obama would know which way to go. Had it been immediately embraced, the Obamassiah would have come out trumpeting ‘the new course and new ideas’ of his administration.

As The Savior encounters more and more resistance to some of his ideas, you can expect to see more ‘run it up the flag pole’ moments. Rather the staff gets embarrassed then The Chosen One Who Can Commit No Error.

GarandFan on February 21, 2009 at 11:24 AM

trs –
Buying breeding donkeys is OK, but , if you will pardon the pun, that is only half of the equation if you want a mule. Ah, alas and alack. The shortcomings of a citified government education!

Old Country Boy on February 21, 2009 at 11:24 AM

BTW: My guess is that Obama initially thought this was a good idea until Gore, Daschle, and a raft of other limo liberals called him to say that they didn’t want to be incurring any more limo expenses than they had to–after all, they want gas to go back to $4 a gallon.

BuckeyeSam on February 21, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Don’t need it anyway. Once the new CO2 limits are put in place we won’t be driving anywhere. Start buying breeding mules.

NO MULES FOR YOU. Didn’t you hear methane gas is now going to be regulated.

ouldbollix on February 21, 2009 at 11:25 AM

They’ve been floating this idea about transponders on car and a mileage tax off and on for years. They are just testing the public and will continue to do so until they have enough dumb democrats to ram it through.

Obama’s America is a fascist America.

Blake on February 21, 2009 at 11:25 AM

I thought it sounded good with the current administration. Republicans buy breeding donkeys!

trs on February 21, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Yer gettin’ closer. If one wants a mule, one needs a donkey jack and an equine mare.

a capella on February 21, 2009 at 11:26 AM

GarandFan on February 21, 2009 at 11:24 AM

That’s an interesting observation. If that’s true, many members of the cabinet will be incurring numerous sword wounds from falling on them.

The Obama administration = the administration of death by a thousand cuts.

BuckeyeSam on February 21, 2009 at 11:27 AM

For you non atheists.

Pray harder.

It is going to get real ugly.

getalife on February 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Holy crap. In our wildest dreams did any of us really believe that Obama’s administration would be this awesomely incompetent this quickly? I mean, we hit the inexperienced theme non- stop during the campaigns, but I figured that there would be somebody in the Obama administration that would help him and his assclown posse avoid at least a few of the potholes. I know that this lastest kerfuffle over mileage taxes is relatively small potatoes, but it seems as if the hits just keep coming every single day. Do they have no concept of message discipline?

Of course, sooner or later we’re going to suffer some sort of gawdawful terrorist attack or natural disaster and their imbecility will cause some unnecessary suffering and/ or death that could have been avoided. Until then, pass the popcorn.

Dukeboy01 on February 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM

I think this was a trial balloon by the haloed one. He’d pay the billions, pocket change, to get a handle on who we are and where we go under the guise of taxation. The response that killed this did not invove the loss of our liberties. The notion that it would cost billions at a time when the Govt is spending trillions would create a PR nightmare. If the economy begins to revive and it seems that the stimulus is working, i expect the Obama admin to put this out again.

xkaydet65 on February 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM

It’s alright, Ed. Everyone’s a potential treasury secretary in the Obama administration. If you can be in charge of it, you can tax it.

LibTired on February 21, 2009 at 11:32 AM

“The White House hurriedly denied any intention of pursuing a mileage tax,……..”

Mileage Tax The 2009 Combustion Engine Revitalization Act

What’s in a name if the intentions are the same—-that’s the game….doo wop doo wop doo…….

Rovin on February 21, 2009 at 11:34 AM

This tax was sooo offensive on so many levels. First, they told us that taxing gas would get people to drive less (CO2, carbon emissions, other crap). Well, we smart people went out and bought more efficient cars that used less gas.
“Ahhh crap” said the politicians. So they decide to tax milage thus PROVING that the intent was never environmental, it was purely to GET OUR MONEY FROM US. Case closed.

Secondly, what is all this nonsense about a GPS? Hasn’t any of these politicians ever heard of a thing called an odometer?

Tell them to lean foward and look over the right shoulder of their limo driver, they’d see it on the speedometer thingy. It is a row of little numbers that increase with each mile driven. DOH!

kurtzz3 on February 21, 2009 at 11:34 AM

“A mileage tax would require the installation of GPS equipment on every motor vehicle and an enforcement bureaucracy to ensure that drivers didn’t disable it.”

A mileage tax wouldn’t require GPS, Ed. It might be the more favorable way from a governmental viewpoint so as to get timely, or painlessly passive, collection, but it wouldn’t be required.

Odometers already track mileage and inspections already catalog many things linked to state emission requirements. In addition, there are already many laws on the books against tampering and design incorporated to prevent it.

As for reporting, here in NY the emissions test, et al, is made with a computer linked to the State for confirmation of inspection. I wouldn’t be surprised if most do already. Odometer reading could be a reasonable verification of the tax owed yearly.

As we move to alternative fuels — natural gas, electric, propane, whatever — how will the fed, states and localities government sustain the collection of revenue for maintaining the road networks as the monopoly on providing of motor vehicle fuel that the current tax system is a leech to, disintegrates? What do you suggest?

Dusty on February 21, 2009 at 11:34 AM

What do you expect, he’s from Illinois.

FontanaConservative on February 21, 2009 at 11:14 AM

We gave the country LaHood and replaced him with Aaron Schock. So we got that going for us…which is nice.

WashJeff on February 21, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Yer gettin’ closer. If one wants a mule, one needs a donkey jack and an equine mare.

a capella on February 21, 2009 at 11:26 AM

I am thinking a donkey will be a compact ride while the mule would be considered full size and excessive. The party that controls the donkeys will hold supreme authority over the mule riders.

trs on February 21, 2009 at 11:37 AM

How many things has the Soetoro Administration denied only to resurrect them later?

How much more are YOU going to take before you get off your keyboard?

Just curious.

ex-Democrat on February 21, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Start buying breeding mules.

trs on February 21, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Even as Socialists outlaw livestock the right to exist, Soros has the monopoly on those mules, playing Dr. Moreau with the DNC.

maverick muse on February 21, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Zowie…

Another example of “Hopeless Change”

Uniblogger on February 21, 2009 at 11:45 AM

What, are they in some kind of frenzy to destroy America? At least this Administration is working as a team…too bad it’s the Detroit Lions!

stonemeister on February 21, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but people who drive more, buy more fuel. So they already pay more for transportation infrastructure via the fuel taxes, especially if they do it in their SUV’s. If folks are driving less, why is more needed for hiway repairs?

swede7 on February 21, 2009 at 11:47 AM

If he really cared, Obama would call for LaHood’s resignation.

petefrt on February 21, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Maybe Barack Obama should go back to organizing communities, he clearly can’t organize his own administration. How are these people communicating with each other – smoke signals?
sherry on February 21, 2009 at 10:58 AM

:)

TN Mom on February 21, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Too bad for all these Cabinet Secretaries that they don’t have access to The Boss’ Blackberry routing. Otherwise they could bounce stupid ideas like this off The Boss (motto: I won) before making fools of themselves

gridlock2 on February 21, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Maybe Barack Obama should go back to organizing communities, he clearly can’t organize his own administration. How are these people communicating with each other – smoke signals?

sherry on February 21, 2009 at 10:58 AM

If Obama would have a cabinet meeting occasionally, instead of jetting all over the country like a rock star on the taxpayer’s dime, his minions might have some sort of clue as to what they are supposed to say. The MSM should be having a field day with these clowns, but the Obama apologists keep trying to convince us of how smart he is. Sheesh!

College Prof on February 21, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Guess it’s time to get out my bicycles (mine, my wife’s and the kids’)

Vntnrse on February 21, 2009 at 11:56 AM

So LaHood just floated the idea on his own, with no direction from the Obama administration?

ctmom on February 21, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Exactly how Mr. Malleable maintains his untouchable non-stick coating.

It is foolish for Obama to presume that his bus can keep on truckin’ with all the screws, nails and shrapnel embedded in his rubber. After all, there ain’t no such thing as no tar baby no more. By his own decree, there won’t be no more drillin’ for oil, neither. Enforcement will be PUNISHMENT, Punishment, punishment; extermination in order to avoid extinction. There’s Socialist convolution for you to chew on since the food can’t be grown or transported without those evil fossil fuels that must, at all costs, remain deep underground.

Barry won. Sec. of State Hillary has made it clear already; global warming trumps human rights. Thumpety-thump. Remind me; exactly how did Barry put it to Hillary’s face in debate regarding his disdain directing the public response to her?

maverick muse on February 21, 2009 at 11:59 AM

If they need more federal money for roads, let them take it from the agenda-driven social programs of Departments of Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, etc.

petefrt on February 21, 2009 at 11:59 AM

This reminds me of the way Julius Caeser got his minions to offer him a crown three times so that he could wave them off- just to guage the public reaction if he had actually accepted.

How many times is it now that the filthy liar’s corrupt cabinet have come up with ideas that the filthy liar was quick to reject? Either the cabinet is running amok without any guidance from the filthy liar or this is a political ploy to guage just how far and quickly the filthy liar’s socialist agenda can proceed.

highhopes on February 21, 2009 at 12:00 PM

LaHood’s suggestion would be an enforcement and logistical nightmare. A mileage tax would require the installation of GPS equipment on every motor vehicle and an enforcement bureaucracy to ensure that drivers didn’t disable it

Sounds like the perfect liberal idea. Get on it, Pelosi. You know you want to.

Hawkins1701 on February 21, 2009 at 12:03 PM

“…instead of jetting all over the country like a rock star on the taxpayer’s dime…”

Yeah, I wonder if people really know how many jets take to the air each time the president flies someplace. AF1, AF2 as decoy, C135′s to haul The Beast and other limos. Nothing like spewing ALL THAT CARBON all over the place.

Prime example, the “stimulus” signing in Denver. Fly 2/3′s of the way across county to sign “EMERGENCY, PASS IT NOW!” legislation FOUR DAYS after it’s passed.

We’ve got a new administration that’s all style and no substance.

GarandFan on February 21, 2009 at 12:04 PM

If folks are driving less, why is more needed for hiway repairs?

[swede7 on February 21, 2009 at 11:47 AM]

To help with that, look at it this way. The cost of maintaining the network can be broken down into two categories – wear and tear from use and deterioration over time from natural causes. Both have different time lines. Driving less only affects the cost of the former and they are likely not parallel lines, so a drop in miles driven may have a break point where revenues do not met costs. There would be another point at which the drop in miles driven may hit a break point where revenues don’t even keep up with natural deterioration.

The “more” in your question is probably not more money, per se, but a higher rate to maintain the same amount of revenue. If tomorrow, the auto companies had gas/diesel vehicles that got 200 miles per gallon, fuel tax would eventually jump roughly tenfold in, again roughly, 5 years just to maintain needed revenue, assuming all other things remained the same.

Dusty on February 21, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Holy crap. In our wildest dreams did any of us really believe that Obama’s administration would be this awesomely incompetent this quickly?

Yes.

I mean, we hit the inexperienced theme non- stop during the campaigns, but I figured that there would be somebody in the Obama administration that would help him and his assclown posse avoid at least a few of the potholes. I know that this lastest kerfuffle over mileage taxes is relatively small potatoes, but it seems as if the hits just keep coming every single day. Do they have no concept of message discipline?

While the issue of a mileage tax is indeed small potato(e)s given the current circumstances, it shows just how un-coordinated the Cabinet is.

On a more serious note, suppose a member of the Cabinet makes a statement concerning a much more volatile issue, like:

“Of course, after Israel’s heavy-handed military incursion into Gaza, the US will be reviewing it’s policies concerning military and financial support for Israel.”

No matter how groveling Obama appears to be in his retraction of the statement, the damage is done.

This really illuminates the fact that Obama’s cabinet has not been given the policy of the Administration, and are just winging it as they go. One is forced to assume that the Oval office has not developed certain policy stances, or the Secretarys are just not aware of them.

In either case, it shows extreme dis-organization in the Administration in direct opposition to the “smoothest transition ever” meme we’ve been force-fed.

BobMbx on February 21, 2009 at 12:07 PM

If our tax system were transparent, and gas and highway taxes went ONLY to pay for highways and roads, then it’d be fine to clock people’s cars. You drive more, you pay more. It’s fair.

However, my understanding is that gas taxes are used to fund all sorts of stuff. That means that if I choose to walk, I’ll not be relieved of those taxes completely.

radiofreevillage on February 21, 2009 at 12:09 PM

So LaHood just floated the idea on his own, with no direction from the Obama administration?

ctmom on February 21, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Exactly how Mr. Malleable maintains his untouchable non-stick coating.
maverick muse on February 21, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Right. And there’s more: dialectical radicalism. He uses others to float ideas not just to gauge public reaction, but also to create a radical dialectic that makes his fallback position seem moderate and centrist by comparison.

Take the “Fairness Doctrine”, for example. His minions have been fanning the flames on the FD so that when he rejects it in favor of “Localism”, he will seem like the voice of moderation and “Localism” (which has been his position all along) will be seen as a more acceptable measure.

petefrt on February 21, 2009 at 12:14 PM

[BobMbx on February 21, 2009 at 12:07 PM]

Excellent points. I suspect the greatest blame for the problems can be laid at Obama’s feet.

Dusty on February 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Breeding mules???? You obviously are NOT an old country boy.

Old Country Boy on February 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM

I thought the same thing, and almost spit coffee all over my monitor when I saw that. Heck I was gonna tell him I wanted first bid when he found one :-)

Oldnuke on February 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM

The tax cuts in the stimulus have started.

getalife on February 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Where are you going to spend your $65/month?

mossberg500 on February 21, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Old Country Boy on February 21, 2009 at 11:24 AM

What do you want to bet that we could actually get a grant from the stimulus package to study the breeding habits of mules as related to co2 emissions and their effect on global climate change.

Oldnuke on February 21, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Where are you going to spend your $65/month?

mossberg500 on February 21, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Wal-Mart. You?

BobMbx on February 21, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Just another white man in a suit.

SouthernGent on February 21, 2009 at 12:30 PM

If our tax system were transparent, and gas and highway taxes went ONLY to pay for highways and roads, then it’d be fine to clock people’s cars. You drive more, you pay more. It’s fair.

However, my understanding is that gas taxes are used to fund all sorts of stuff. That means that if I choose to walk, I’ll not be relieved of those taxes completely.

radiofreevillage on February 21, 2009 at 12:09 PM

So if you are walking what are you paying the gas tax on? I mean, if you are walking to the gas station and just filling up random cars so you can pay your share of tax, let me know when and where! I got a gas guzzling SUV you can fill up for me!

fumpbump on February 21, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Obama’s Cabinet = Road Kill. If the Messiah is so brilliant, why does he keep appointing morons without a clue?

volsense on February 21, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Oldnuke – If you want a good grant request written up for this, (one sure to get accepted by the current city folks running Agriculture), just find a liberal academic whore to write it. Some of those college perfessers can justify anysort of inane study to the ignorant bureaucrats.

Oldnuke – were you in the run side? I was in the central station build side.

Old Country Boy on February 21, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Prime example, the “stimulus” signing in Denver. Fly 2/3’s of the way across county to sign “EMERGENCY, PASS IT NOW!” legislation FOUR DAYS after it’s passed.

GarandFan on February 21, 2009 at 12:04 PM

C’mon now, the man had a Valentine’s date with his baby mama. Surely that — and his 3-day weekend (after his horribly stressful 3 weeks on the job) — was much more important than signing the “emergency” bill that was so vitally important to keep the current CRISIS in the economy from turning into a CATASTROPHE FROM WHICH WE CAN NEVER RECOVER!!!

Bambi has his priorities, man.

AZCoyote on February 21, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Well, Obama-lite, the originator of “Yes We Can!” and the victim of plagiarism from The One, Coupe Deval (Patrick) will test run that program for his buddy.

http://www.masslive.com/ap/stories/index.ssf?/base/business-17/1234883047232980.xml&storylist=topstories

Hey it worked in Oregon, what could go wrong?

reaganaut on February 21, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Do you really believe O didn’t have anything to do with putting this plan out there? I think it was really an O trial ballon floated through LaHood to see the reaction. The reaction was negative so O steps in and plays the hero. We are just being played.

Done That on February 21, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Oldnuke – were you in the run side? I was in the central station build side.

Old Country Boy on February 21, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Not sure what you’re referring to here, but if you mean operation or construction I was both but always for the utility and mostly operations.

Oldnuke on February 21, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Marxism is as Marxism does. I have no doubt that this was a trial balloon sent up by ChimpyOThadeus to test the willingness of his lazy Godless followers (and the lazy ignorant boobs who didn’t bother to vote) to venture further down the road to communism.

csdeven on February 21, 2009 at 12:42 PM

He will be there as Secretary until he is exorcised by the Lord Obama….

DL13 on February 21, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Ray LaHood is so very well known here in Illinois….and not in what we would call a very favorable light. He likes to make money,lots and lots of it, and some of it under what we would consider to be under questionable means. Check with The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass on Mr. LaHood and his antics and various nefarious associations.

This is why it is so refreshing to see his cockeyed idea of taxing motorists based on mileage get shot down by B.O.

If B.O. was REALLY smart, he’d dump LaHood altogether.

For now, maybe being under the B.O. bus is the best place for Mr. LaHood to be………..where he can do the least amount of damage.

pilamaye on February 21, 2009 at 12:59 PM

In fairness, Obama did reject the idea. For now.

But for arguments sake, what if he didn’t? For starters, this was being talked about in lieu of the gas tax at the pump. It would need either a GPS in every road worthy vehicle or a tax form on the odometer of your car. Long term plan would be the odometer tax form to be gradually phased out by the millage tax GPS (MTGPS).

Gas tax or a MTGPS, it is about as close to a wash as you can get. Except for semi trucks. If you bought something, anything from a store or market, it was brought there by a diesel truck. Diesel engines are stronger than the normal engine and get better millage. So the only thing going up in price would be the cost of . . . everything. The truck owners would be the ones stuck with the short end of the stick regarding the millage. With the increased cost of transportation passed on to everyone who buys stuff

DaveC on February 21, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Isn’t this mileage tax a regressive tax that will hurt the working poor hardest?

Just askin…

obladioblada on February 21, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Isn’t the gas tax already reflective of the miles you drive?

Nannystaters die.

Valiant on February 21, 2009 at 1:18 PM

These Obama people who “hit the ground running” are more fun to watch than the Tuzla dash films.

Too many of these Obama team ideas float out as trial balloons to be accidental. Similarly, the Friday release of Executive Orders and other policy decisions smacks of deceit.

onlineanalyst on February 21, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Kulongoski is trying to do this very same thing in Oregon. They felt the gas tax wasn’t “comprehensive” enough, because, well people drove less and bought fuel efficient cars when the price of gas went through the roof. So here in Oregon, we’re looking at GPS trackers in all our vehicles sometime in the next 2 years.

Wyznowski on February 21, 2009 at 1:48 PM

WashJeff on February 21, 2009 at 11:36 AM
Oh yeah, I wonder if Obambi is still feeling the backlash of asking those construction workers to change Aaron’s vote.

FontanaConservative on February 21, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Is it too early to conduct a poll so that we can vote “dumb and dumber” on the new cabinet members?

DrStock on February 21, 2009 at 2:50 PM

MORON ALERT!

jacobnyc on February 21, 2009 at 2:52 PM

I don’t necessarily see any privacy implication. Every year you get registered, the State looks at your odometer from the prior year, and you get taxed on the difference. Then you give the payment along with your registration. If it was a weekly thing then it would probably be unmanageable and they’d need a GPS system to keep track of each vehicle and that would be an intrusive system.

eaglewingz08 on February 21, 2009 at 3:33 PM

The EPA and Transportation Dept have to be in a cat fight right now because if the EPA continues to push the auto industry to build more fuel efficient cars and Transportation can’t put in the mileage tax gizmo then the EPA is effectively robbing Transportation of revenue. Delicious. Right now O is on the side of the EPA-that robber.
The mileage tax/GPS tracker would also have a slide scale based on the weight/size of your vehicle. So if it does happen the SUV part of the industry is down the tubes.

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 21, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Lahood belongs under the bus, I hope Obama throws the bus into reverse and backs over him too.

Kjeil on February 21, 2009 at 3:49 PM

They are just testing the public and will continue to do so until they have enough dumb democrats to ram it through.

Blake on February 21, 2009 at 11:25 AM

You are correct. I work in the toll road industry and can tell you with a high level of confidence that this method of taxation is coming. It’s just a matter of time.

The thinking is this: The Pols don’t dare index the gas tax to inflation or vote for large periodic increases and vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient. Add it up and the revenue needed to maintain roads becomes increasingly insufficient every passing year.

Secondly, what is all this nonsense about a GPS? Hasn’t any of these politicians ever heard of a thing called an odometer?
kurtzz3 on February 21, 2009 at 11:34 AM

It could be done by odometer, but the system would not be able to implement zone pricing or congestion pricing without a GPS. Don’t think for a second they would go through all the trouble of converting to per mile tolling and miss out on the ability for each state, city or county to have a say in what the toll needs to be on what type of road at what time of day.

The issue of privacy is generally brushed off as something we gave up a long time ago when we started relying so heavily on credit cards.

Oh, and don’t think that this is just an Obama or Lahood or Democrat thing. This idea is supported by leaders in the industry and past administrations. Obama seems to have hung Lahood out to dry because of the response.

Durham68 on February 21, 2009 at 3:55 PM

And the auto industry is stuck in the middle of a 2 way fight between the EPA and Transportation, and another fight between a confused government and the consumer not willing to buy a vehicle that A) has the government tracking them B) doesn’t help them lower their taxes if the gizmo goes in c)doesn’t believe the new cars really “save” the environment

We have a love triangle (hydra?) that is nearing implosion.
Who do you serve Auto Industry?

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 21, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Comment pages: 1 2