Democrats still trying to push new mileage tax

posted at 9:30 am on March 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Dumb ideas never die in Washington, DC.  They just get stuck in committee.  Proving that once again is outgoing Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), attempting to revive an idea for a new tax that was so intrusive and unwieldy that even Barack Obama had to disavow it two years ago when his Transportation Secretary started pushing the notion.  Conrad points to a new CBO study saying that taxing Americans on their car mileage will provide a windfall for the federal government:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released a report that said taxing people based on how many miles they drive is a possible option for raising new revenues and that these taxes could be used to offset the costs of highway maintenance at a time when federal funds are short.

The report discussed the proposal in great detail, including the development of technology that would allow total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to be tracked, reported and taxed, as well as the pros and cons of mandating the installation of this technology in all vehicles.

“In the past, the efficiency costs of implementing a system of VMT charges — particularly the costs of users’ time for slowing and queuing at tollbooths — would clearly have outweighed the potential benefits from more efficient use of highway capacity,” CBO wrote. “Now, electronic metering and billing are making per-mile charges a practical option.”

The report was requested by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who held a hearing on transportation funding in early March. In that hearing, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the Obama administration is hoping to spend $556 billion over the next six years, much of which would go to federal transportation improvement projects.

A “practical option” for whom, exactly?  Perhaps for the IRS, but certainly not for taxpayers.  One shudders to think what happens when the IRS gets your annual mileage wrong and a taxpayer disputes the record.  Where were you on the night of April 19th, Canarsie?  We show you drove 6.3 miles to Bada-Bing Strip Club in New Jersey. Even if exact destinations aren’t recorded (earlier suggestions were to use GPS devices), the taxpayer would get hit with a massive bill during the annual tax-preparation ritual with little or no chance to dispute the claims of the government.

Plus, let’s talk about equipment costs, both private and public.  This new tax system would require tracking equipment in every vehicle, which would mean retrofit costs for current vehicles and higher prices for new cars immediately.  What are the unemployed supposed to do — stop driving?  That should help when it comes to looking for work.

The government will either have to use GPS devices (that will track and record destination data) or install tollbooth passes every few miles on every road in America. The IRS will also have to set up an enforcement bureau to ensure that drivers don’t disable their tracking systems.  In California, this meant that every driver had to get biennial emission-control equipment inspections, an expensive waste of time and money for most drivers.  Will the IRS, which is just now branching out into the health-insurance inspection business, add a national DMV bureau as well?

Finally, do we really want to live in a country where the federal government virtually follows you everywhere you go?  Growing up in the Cold War, that’s what we were told the Soviet Union was like.  It will be the high-tech version of internal travel documents, or at the very least puts that power in the hands of the federal government.

This is the reason we use the gasoline tax for transportation costs.  It doesn’t require the government to track the movements of citizens on a moment-to-moment basis, and it doesn’t require any record-keeping for either the drivers or the government bureau.  It’s a point-of-sale transaction that proceeds transparently and relieves the taxpayer of a lump-sum burden at the end of the year.

The problem with the federal budget isn’t a lack of resources.  It’s a lack of will to use those resources wisely.  The government doesn’t need to track the movements of more than 300 million people to squeeze more revenue out of them — it needs to spend less of their money in the first place.

Update: California emissions certifications are/were biennial, not semiannual; I knew that but chose the wrong word.  Thanks to those who pointed out the error.


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Rather than looking to take more of what people earn, how about having the GOVERNMENT reduce spending?

oldleprechaun on March 25, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Go for it.

Marcus on March 25, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Sorry Ed, I missed your last sentence.

My wife’s correct, I’m spending way too much time at my computer.

oldleprechaun on March 25, 2011 at 9:36 AM

and just how much of that gas tax money goes to highway maintenance & improvement and not some entitlement?

BobOfTexas on March 25, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Those GPS devices would get hack-arounds published on the internet almost instantly. I can think of two ways to block the signal just off the top of my head, and I’m not especially clever.

Mord on March 25, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Democrats. Still looking for more ways to P!SS ME OFF!

DuctTapeMyBrain on March 25, 2011 at 9:37 AM

This is less about revenue and more about being able to track your movement.

Alden Pyle on March 25, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Well I personally welcome the caring oversight of my new overlords.

MJBrutus on March 25, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Oh Lord yes, all we need is ANOTHER HUGE BEAURACRACY metering every vehicle on the road…

What is wrong with these people?

singlemalt 18 on March 25, 2011 at 9:38 AM

We already pay a form of a mileage tax, called the federal tax on fuel for cars and trucks.

Once again, we don’t have a REVENUE problem. This can not be stressed enough. The only people who haven’t figured this out is the 536 asshats who run the federal government in 2 branches, and also the 500,000+ lobbyists that feed off the taxpayer money.

karenhasfreedom on March 25, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Here’s the thing… I am opposed to this, but a per mile tax would be a great exucse for not having to drive 300 miles roundtrip to visit the in-laws every other month.

myrenovations on March 25, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Aw geez, my mileage tracker went out again. Huh, if only I had caught that five years ago went it happened.

Bishop on March 25, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Yeah that will go over as well.

OY

gophergirl on March 25, 2011 at 9:41 AM

This is less about revenue and more about being able to track your movement.

Alden Pyle on March 25, 2011 at 9:37 AM

That is the reason for all things that require a government filing. In less than 5 minutes one can find out where someone has lived their entire adult life.

darwin-t on March 25, 2011 at 9:41 AM

The Leviathan must eat!

King of the Britons on March 25, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Of course, this would tax red state people more than blue state people.

I’m sure that is just a coincidence.

WannabeAnglican on March 25, 2011 at 9:42 AM

This has to do with surveillance, not taxes. An increase in fuel tax would suffice, otherwise.

OldEnglish on March 25, 2011 at 9:42 AM

OldEnglish on March 25, 2011 at 9:42 AM

You’ve been beaten – repeatedly!

OldEnglish on March 25, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Couple this with a per square toilet paper tax and I think they may be running out of ideas…

Or, are they just getting started?

Fallon on March 25, 2011 at 9:45 AM

karenhasfreedom on March 25, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Acutally, I would argue that the 536 asshats in Washington have figured this out and know full well that we don’t have a revenue problem. But in their black, fickle hearts they understand that most of US have not figured that out yet. That is what they count on.

King of the Britons on March 25, 2011 at 9:45 AM

So I walk to work – will they tax me for how many steps I take a day?

gophergirl on March 25, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Lets cut to the chase… majority of liberal strength is in major urban areas, where mass transit account for the majority of people going to and fro each day.

Take the Tri-State region that feeds employees in NYC proper.

New Jersey, Conn and “upstate” (anything north of Tappan Zee) NY residents constitute most drivers commuting. And contrary to popular believe – a good amount of these people are conservative (see Cobb/Greenwhich Conn – Bergan County NJ – Saddle River, Ridgemont, Washington Township).

Now add in the $8-$16 round trip cost each day in tolls…

Most people in NYC dont even own a car, yet they vote and donate liberal (sans mayors when they need to clean the town up)

Odie1941 on March 25, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Let’s tax stupid Marxist ideas. The Dems could wipe out the deficits on their own in two years.

Akzed on March 25, 2011 at 9:46 AM

So I walk to work – will they tax me for how many steps I take a day?

gophergirl on March 25, 2011 at 9:45 AM

I believe the Beatles said that if you walk to work they will tax your feet. So, that’s probably just a flat tax.

myrenovations on March 25, 2011 at 9:47 AM

will provide a windfall for the federal government

It’s like they don’t understand where that windfall comes from. And wouldn’t the poor, minorities and women be hardest hit?

ConservativeinCO on March 25, 2011 at 9:48 AM

“So Mr. Evilned. Why did you stop at the Acme Asphalt company, then go to the Feathers “R” Us store? And why do you have this receipt for ten feet of rope?”

These idiots really are trying to start a second civil war aren’t they?

evilned on March 25, 2011 at 9:48 AM

I didn’t realize the letters ORWELLIAN could be used to spell DEMOCRATS ……wow…that’s pretty cool…

KMC1 on March 25, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Insanity.

When will the states start ignoring the federal government?

darwin on March 25, 2011 at 9:50 AM

I commute 90 miles per day. 5 days per week. 450 miles per week.

I’m already paying through the nose in gas (and gas taxes) and tolls.

F*ck these people and the horse they rode in on – they have no idea how their stupid plans would hurt the working man they so valiantly claim to represent, and they don’t care.

Here’s a proposal – let’s tax words spoken in Congress by each Rep. and Senator. Every 10 words is 1 cent. The deficit would be closed in three weeks.

Good Lt on March 25, 2011 at 9:50 AM

From last year: Obama – Taxman mashup

mudskipper on March 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM

This has to do with surveillance, not taxes. An increase in fuel tax would suffice, otherwise.

OldEnglish on March 25, 2011 at 9:42 AM

This.

ernesto on March 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Insanity.

When will the states start ignoring the federal government?

darwin on March 25, 2011 at 9:50 AM

It’s already starting. Texas has told the EPA to go pound sand.

evilned on March 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I believe the Beatles said that if you walk to work they will tax your feet. So, that’s probably just a flat tax.

myrenovations on March 25, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Damn I hope they don’t base it on size of feet – cause I have big feet!

gophergirl on March 25, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Finally, do we really want to live in a country where the federal government virtually follows you everywhere you go? Growing up in the Cold War, that’s what we were told the Soviet Union was like. It will be the high-tech version of internal travel documents, or at the very least puts that power in the hands of the federal government.

Have you reviewed your Federal Income Tax forms with a critical eye. There is very little the Federal government doesn’t know about you now. They know all the details of your finances. They are on their way to knowing every detail of your health and well being. Why not know where you go every day.

FoByFo on March 25, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Let’s tax stupid Marxist ideas.

Akzed on March 25, 2011 at 9:46 AM

LOL

This.

Fallon on March 25, 2011 at 9:53 AM

These liberal jackasses would take your last drop of blood if they could devise a way to enter your arteries without your knowledge. They must be watched very closely and voted out of office.

rplat on March 25, 2011 at 9:54 AM

“Do we do gas tax?” Conrad asked. “Do we move to some kind of an assessment that is based on how many miles vehicles go, so that we capture revenue from those who are going to be using the roads who aren’t going to be paying any gas tax, or very little, with hybrids and electric cars?”

LOL!

txhsmom on March 25, 2011 at 9:54 AM

We already pay a form of a mileage tax, called the federal tax on fuel for cars and trucks.

It’s kind of a mileage tax with a gas-guzzler surcharge. It makes big, heavy trucks pay more per mile, which makes sense because they put more wear on the highways.

It entirely exempts cars powered by electricity that wasn’t burned from motor fuel, which is probably what everyone is worried about. If enough people actually drive electrics, it will put a dent in the fuel tax.

The Monster on March 25, 2011 at 9:55 AM

You can tell Conrad’s already announced he’s not running for re-election just by the fact he’s been designated the point man by the Democrats to push this plan back into the spotlight. North Dakota is one of the most rural states in the nation, which means this isn’t just Kent trying to ram a new driveshaft up the entire nation’s collective tailpipe — the people his plan would hurt the most are the very residents of his state who have long distances to drive to or between their limited number of urban centers.

jon1979 on March 25, 2011 at 9:55 AM

On April 14th the 100 million gun owners in the US could all blow the GPS antennas off the roofs of their cars at the same time.

Now, what could we call that day?

Perhaps the Kinetic WTF IRS Day?

Yoop on March 25, 2011 at 9:57 AM

The most amazing thing is they somehow don’t realize that we are in a GOVERNMENT CAUSED depression!

I am starting to see some hope that 2012 is going to be the biggest political CORRECTION in my lifetime…

golfmann on March 25, 2011 at 9:58 AM

“The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released a report that said taxing people based on how many miles they drive is a possible option for raising new revenues and that these taxes could be used to offset the costs of highway maintenance at a time when federal funds are short.”

Of course federal funds are short for transportation funding and they’ll be even shorter in the future if government doesn’t get it’s fiscal house in order (which if it doesn’t this funding problem will be the least of the country’s worries and addressing it this way meaningless in the overall scheme of things.)

Taxing mileage is also a possible option, mainly because anything is possible.

But it’s ridiculous to think two ideas can be combined into one. It would take years to implement a smart system, when all is said and done, and the upfront costs would be tens of billions of dollars. And let’s not even get into the problems created wrt government policies to move off petroleum powered vehicles.

All tolled with the degree of intrusion into American lives and the Twister-like games necessary in the law so as to address the policy conflicts it adds, I’d certainly recommend they consider in tandem with it, a tiny tax on tar and feathers. That, for sure, would balance the federal budget.

Dusty on March 25, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Rope, tree, Orwellian idiot. Some assembly required.

teke184 on March 25, 2011 at 10:01 AM

This has to do with surveillance, not taxes. An increase in fuel tax would suffice, otherwise.

OldEnglish on March 25, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Exactly right!!! These people no longer hide it, and no longer have shame for it. They are communists, and those of us who remember, from school, the news, or history, know what communism is, and what it does. It’s never good. Just ask those 6 million starving North Koreans.

capejasmine on March 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM

This is the reason we use the gasoline tax for transportation costs. It doesn’t require the government to track the movements of citizens on a moment-to-moment basis, and it doesn’t require any record-keeping for either the drivers or the government bureau.

It’s already in place here in California with the electric company’s “smart-grid”.

Rovin on March 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet

Naturally Curly on March 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Let’s tax stupid Marxist ideas. The Dems could wipe out the deficits on their own in two years.

Akzed on March 25, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Yeah, but they’re Dems. They don’t pay taxes. Taxes are for little people.

Obviously if they were serious abou raising revenue, they’d just audit Dems.

CJ on March 25, 2011 at 10:03 AM

This could get confusing. Would this woman have to pay the tax on mileage that she got burning gas that Obama gave her out of his stash?

Oldnuke on March 25, 2011 at 10:05 AM

I am starting to see some hope that 2012 is going to be the biggest political CORRECTION in my lifetime…

golfmann on March 25, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Let’s say Washington gets its ass spanked in 2012. That would be the beginning where all things are possible.

BUT:

We must all realize, that at that point, the real work will have just begun.

Saltysam on March 25, 2011 at 10:05 AM

If you want to treat this as a “use” tax, then tax gasoline more… Big cars use more gas per mile and also wear more on roads (because they weigh more).

But it is not really a “use” tax, it is? It is a tax to try and get more money from the private sector so that they can “spread the wealth”. And if any one still thinks spreading the wealth means taking from the rich and giving to the poor, they are fools. “Spreading the wealth” is and always has been how government takes money from the politically vulnerable and gives it to the politically-connected.

Kasper Hauser on March 25, 2011 at 10:05 AM

The problem with the federal budget isn’t a lack of resources. It’s a lack of will to use those resources wisely. The government doesn’t need to track the movements of more than 300 million people to squeeze more revenue out of them — it needs to spend less of their money in the first place.

You just don’t get it, Ed. We the People are put on this planet to serve the government political class and supply them with tax dollars while they save the planet and save us morons from ourselves.

novaculus on March 25, 2011 at 10:06 AM

However, at least it’s about the actual mileage and NOT what type of car one drives.

Oh, they are also mooting the idea of taxing different classes of cars and trucks at different rates.

A Balrog of Morgoth on March 25, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Why stop at mileage, have a sensor that activates the moment you start your vehicle and have the tax based on run-time as well as mileage.

Bishop on March 25, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Don’t want to get on the shiny new trains we just bought with your great-grandchildren’s money? Fine, we’ll tax the crap out of you if you don’t.

Kafir on March 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM

“In California, this meant that every driver had to get semiannual emission-control equipment inspections, an expensive waste of time and money for most drivers.”

Ed semiannual means twice a year. In California the smog checks are biennially for people driving regular cars.

ErpichtAuf on March 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM

As a civil engineer, some of my work is in the transportation sector. With all of the funding for roads and bridges at the state and federal level tied to fuel taxes, there is a concern by those that look far enough into the future that there will need to be some sort of shift in funding mechanisms. IF we develop economic “green” alternatives that replace gasoline/diesel as motor fuels, then either the new sources will need to be taxed, a user surcharge added at the point of sale of the vehicle, or a user fee (tax) such as tolls or mileage taxes will be required. I have heard discussion of this among some transportation engineers at a few state DOTs. Or, we just have to stop the “separate pot of money” accounting for transportation funding and just lump it into general fund budgets. In reality, even though we say we fund transportation via fuel taxes, it really doesn’t matter when we borrow 40% of every dollar we spend.

dbageotech on March 25, 2011 at 10:13 AM

1984

Koa on March 25, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Once again, we don’t have a REVENUE problem. This can not be stressed enough. The only people who haven’t figured this out is the 536 asshats who run the federal government in 2 branches, and also the 500,000+ lobbyists that feed off the taxpayer money.

karenhasfreedom on March 25, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Can’t be stressed, and can’t be stated enough…

right2bright on March 25, 2011 at 10:13 AM

It’s already in place here in California with the electric company’s “smart-grid”.

Rovin on March 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Speaking of California, I just bought a lawnmower(a plain old Sears Craftsman) last week and their website said it was available in 49 states. Apparently California won’t allow them to be sold because they don’t meet emission standards. Are you freaking kidding me? What the hell kinda mower are you required to buy there in order to be “allowed” to cut your grass?

Doughboy on March 25, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Anyone realizing now, just why Govt-Motors is so high on equipping all their products with On-Star?
Given any real thought to their spiffy “stolen car” ad — where, after tracking and locating the vehicle, they secretly kill it by radio-control ??

Apparently, the ‘call-for-help-phone’ is a dandy evesdropping device…
See any problem with ‘other’ applications whereby the vehicle computer e-mails you a reminder about tire pressure or oil changes?

A milage-tax should be the least of your worries…
/.

CaveatEmpty on March 25, 2011 at 10:14 AM

The most amazing thing is they somehow don’t realize that we are in a GOVERNMENT CAUSED depression!

I am starting to see some hope that 2012 is going to be the biggest political CORRECTION in my lifetime…

golfmann on March 25, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Exactly 100% correct!

maineconservative on March 25, 2011 at 10:14 AM

The IRS will also have to set up an enforcement bureau to ensure that drivers don’t disable their tracking systems.

They would have no doubt as to the status of my tracking device. They’d find the broken pieces of it on their doorstep in the morning.

CurtZHP on March 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM

CaveatEmpty on March 25, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Which is why I drive a Ford.

CurtZHP on March 25, 2011 at 10:16 AM

This stuff is suggested so when they increase the gas tax about 50 cents a gallon we’ll all be relieved and happy to have avoided this incredible intrusion.

marybel on March 25, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Actually most vehocles already have a trcking device, either one you bought and put on your dash yourself or one you dont know about in place for accidents.

Koa on March 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM

“Winston, you have obamulated beyond your authorized travel area. Return to your home station immediately, and the consequences will be minimal.”

iurockhead on March 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Most of you have missed the “Three-for-One” aspect of this. In true Socialist fashion, money and control are the be-all-and-end-all. Such a tax will scoop up funds from every income class who dares to drive a car.

But at the same time, it will make the use of private cars more unaffordable, thus advancing the cause of building railroads to link cities & towns.

That in turn nurtures the Agenda 21/Sustainable Development goal of concentrating our populace in urban areas, thus freeing up land for squirrels and other wildlife to roam free, unhindered by human development.

Louis on March 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM

I have long believed that our right to travel anonymously around our country is a badge of American freedom. I am offended but not surprised that the democrats want to take that away.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 25, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Wonder if he can go out for pizza in his home town.

a capella on March 25, 2011 at 10:22 AM

There will then be a “State exit and entrance” tax. Each time you leave or enter a state, added tax.
Cars will be forced to place radio transponders so the government will be able to monitor and tax you accordingly.
Exceptions will be:
Congress (because they have to be out with the people)
Clergy
Union Officials
If you consume more gas (less mpg) then there will be an added consumption tax.
If you are using a auto that is “approved by the feds”, then a slight tax advantage…of course “approved” means being built in a union shop.
If you don’t drive the car, there will be a “minimum tax” applied.
Any household with greater then two cars will have additional taxes….
You can just imagine how many different ways this tax will be expanded…

right2bright on March 25, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Sorry, but they already do tax mileage. It’s called the GAS TAX. Every gallon you buy, you pay taxes. You burn the gas by driving, thus it’s already a mileage tax. Now we’re just getting into double taxation.

These f#$*rs will never stop beating us down……ever. They’re like terminators……STOP SPENDING!!!!!

Sponge on March 25, 2011 at 10:23 AM

dbageotech on March 25, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I forgot to add: I was not defending the idea of new mileage taxes. I am with everyone in that we already pay plenty – it is not a revenue problem but a spending problem. Just wanted to point out some of the logic behind the idea, though I think they are really just looking at a new source of revenue to spend on whatever they want, not at replacing the fuel taxes.

dbageotech on March 25, 2011 at 10:25 AM

How about putting a tracking devise on all members of the House and Senate?

GarandFan on March 25, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Tracking car mileage on roads for purposes of charging a person is not a bad idea, really, provide we are talking about something that is able to say which road you did the miles on, and as an alternative to a gas tax. It would help rationalize the highway system if the money that went to repairing a road was given by how much the people using it were charged. Most importantly, it would allow a way to privatize the road system, and remove it entirely from federal and state budgets.

Count to 10 on March 25, 2011 at 10:32 AM

This idea will never fly.

tommer74 on March 25, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Rural citizens HAVE TO drive. We don’t have trains or bus service at all!
Are we all supposed to live in large cities and take a bus? This crazy idea had better go nowhere.

qestout on March 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM

(if you drive a car, car;) – I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) – I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) – I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) – I’ll tax your feet.

Taxman!

‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

The Beatles

RadClown on March 25, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Rural citizens HAVE TO drive. We don’t have trains or bus service at all!
Are we all supposed to live in large cities and take a bus? This crazy idea had better go nowhere.

qestout on March 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Obama will build a train system for you.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 25, 2011 at 10:38 AM

And Obama says the GOP drove the car into the ditch…

PatriotRider on March 25, 2011 at 10:38 AM

It’s a stupid and intrusive concept.

However, at least it’s about the actual mileage and NOT what type of car one drives. Nothing ticks me off more than self righteous Prius owners that think they’re saving the planet because they’re too stupid to understand that the type of car they drive is only one part of the equation. blink on March 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM

As a Prius owner, I would agree with you that many people who drive them are quite smug.

Personally, I don’t see myself as saving the planet. I chose a Prius because I think encouraging fuel efficiency should be a part of an “all of the above” energy policy. Don’t misunderstand me, though. I MADE A PERSONAL CHOICE. That doesn’t mean I think you should be told what to drive. On top of that, it acutally made financial sense for me, given my driving habits.

And that a Prius is only marginally more fuel efficient than the average car.

I average 58 mpg. Maybe I’m delusional, but I consider that to be considerably more efficient than the average car.

CDeb on March 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM

We were sold on a higher gas tax on the basis that it would reduce dependency on fossil fuels and improve air quality. Now all see what a LIE that was. Along comes hybrids/electricals that use less gas and improve air quality.
Oops. less gas taxes paid. Hmmm. gotta do something. Ok. ok. ok. got it ! We’ll tax these stupid lemmings on the MILES they drive. Yeassssss.

So you see it never was about reducing gas use and improving air quality. IT ALWAYS WAS ABOUT GETTING YOUR MONEY.

I knew it. You knew it. Now everyone else will know it, too.

kurtzz3 on March 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM

We already pay a form of a mileage tax, called the federal tax on fuel for cars and trucks.

karenhasfreedom on March 25, 2011 at 9:39 AM

How does a Nissan Leaf owner pay that tax? Or a Chevy Volt owner who only drives 15-20 miles a day? I actually agree with Conrad somewhat on this issue. Electric car owners will be getting a free ride.

strictnein on March 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM

“that even Barack Obama had to disavow it two years ago”

Obama disavowed a lot of things two years ago. But today has found a way to embrace.

multiuseless on March 25, 2011 at 10:40 AM

I say tax walking….everybody needs to wear a GPS pedometer…

PatriotRider on March 25, 2011 at 10:40 AM

So I walk to work – will they tax me for how many steps I take a day?

gophergirl on March 25, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Don’t give the bloody b**tards ideas!

pilamaye on March 25, 2011 at 10:41 AM

I say tax sex….oh wait..they already do that in Nevada..

PatriotRider on March 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM

A “practical option” for whom, exactly? Perhaps for the IRS, but certainly not for taxpayers. One shudders to think what happens when the IRS gets your annual mileage wrong and a taxpayer disputes the record. Where were you on the night of April 19th, Canarsie? We show you drove 6.3 miles to Bada-Bing Strip Club in New Jersey. Even if exact destinations aren’t recorded (earlier suggestions were to use GPS devices), the taxpayer would get hit with a massive bill during the annual tax-preparation ritual with little or no chance to dispute the claims of the government.

With all due respect, that is a really dumb objection. The roads are public places — you should not expect your movement on them to be some kind of secret. Second, why would you expect it to be all in one lump sum at IRS tax time rather than something like a monthly bill? Third, done properly, it should replace the existing gas tax. Fourth, you should probably be able to review your mileage and charges online whenever you want (may be particularly handy for those with teenagers). Fifth, like I said before, this would be a step toward privatizing road construction and maintenance.

The only real concern that would make one want to have this information secured would be of someone using it to plan criminal activity against you (like an assassination, accident litigation fraud, or a home burglary). Can we all take off the tin foil hats now?

Count to 10 on March 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Beyond the well-described Big Brotherish aspects of this, it is an inherently unfair tax which penalizes those evil people who live in the suburbs and exurbs and have to drive to work. Many suburbanites/exurbanites have had to take jobs at locations which are very far away from their homes because those are the only jobs available. They can’t sell their houses and move closer to work because of the housing market. For this they deserve to be punished by the government. The icing on the cake? The failure of the housing market, and subsequently the job market, was caused by government social-engineering initiatives.

Buy Danish on March 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Doughboy on March 25, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Three words db, they. don’t. care.

Cal aready has the highest gas taxes in the nation, because “we pollute” more than any one else. The state spends hundreds of millions on “car pool lanes” for multiple passengers and electric cars, yet even in peak hours it has 2% of the traffic while there’s gridlock. The California EPA is God here—simple as that.

Rovin on March 25, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Obama will build a train system for you.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 25, 2011 at 10:38 AM

The train tracks were removed from the entire county many years ago. The railroad grades are now snowmobile/4 wheeler trails.
I have a barn, maybe it’s time to buy a horse.

qestout on March 25, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I kind of like that tax on TP. With all the sh@t that they produce in DC we could be out of debt in a week or two. I put maybe less then 30 miles on the family car in a week and if they try this crapola then it will be down to 5. People will always find a way to get around confiscatory taxes like this. A tax like that would really spur development of hydrogen fuel from water.

jistincase on March 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Rural citizens HAVE TO drive. We don’t have trains or bus service at all!
Are we all supposed to live in large cities and take a bus? This crazy idea had better go nowhere.

qestout on March 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM

I live rurally too, and the town I live near is far from being wealthy. I really don’t see any mass transportation making it out here. It took 12 years just to get a bypass, for all the traffic we get thru town.

I am reminded here, of the Killing Fields. There was a mass exodus to remove everyone from the cities. To keep control of the population, and weed out the educated. Only this time, it’s in reverse. There will be a forced mass exodus to the cities. Those not willing..will be forced.

capejasmine on March 25, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Count to 10 on March 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM

So, you think that the same government that is going to track every citizen’s movements is going to privitize road construction and maintenance? They really have you hoodwinked.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 25, 2011 at 11:04 AM

How does a Nissan Leaf owner pay that tax? Or a Chevy Volt owner who only drives 15-20 miles a day? I actually agree with Conrad somewhat on this issue. Electric car owners will be getting a free ride.

strictnein on March 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Next up: tax electricity.

Dee2008 on March 25, 2011 at 11:09 AM

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