Category Archives: department of transportation

REACT: Making your car a tax taxi.

It just goes to show that you cannot rely on Republicans to have any respect for American freedom. They can be as avaricious of tax money and as contemptuous of public privacy and freedom as any so-called progressive Democrat. Big Brother has more than a few siblings in the GOP camp. How bad can it be if President Barack Obama has to oppose a federal government tax increase and power grab proposed by one of his own Cabinet members — an infamous RINOs (Republican In Name Only), to be sure?

Once again the American public was about to be hoodwinked, or should I say LaHood-winked. Seems that newly minted Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, an Illinois insider Republican (need I say more?) has proposed that drivers be taxed on the miles driven by having a GPS unit mandated for all cars (increasing the sticker price, of course). Essentially, you car becomes a tax taxi.

LaHood proposed to nationalize a concept that is being explored in a few states, including Massachusetts (need I say more?). The mileage charge would vary according to the driving locations. City drivers, where there is more congestion, would pay a higher rate. Rural drivers, where cow flatulence is the most serious pollutant according to our environmental geniuses in Washington, would be taxed at lower rates. The GPS feature, will allow that rate to change automatically as you travel from zone to zone. Of course, government issued cars would not be taxed.

One of the outcomes of this creative taxing is a form of punishment for drivers using low-fuel consumption vehicles. The feds are afraid that lower usage will reduce tax revenues. Duh!

Now … they could just increase the gas tax to achieve the same result. So, why not? Because … this new form of taxation will provide government with two things it loves almost as much as our money. It will give them a reason to establish another cancerous bureaucracy (probably in LaHood’s DOT) and provide a windfall of personal tracking information on every citizen in America.

I suspect the next group in support of this will be law enforcement officials, who will claim that they can track suspects through this system. No one can argue that constant, around-the-clock surveillance of all citizens can reduce the crime rate. But … a police state is not what the founders had in mind.

Fortunately, President Obama has slapped down his Trans Secretary in rather firm tones. This will not be the policy of his administration. Whether he comes to this out of conviction or political savvy – realizing the public backlash that would ensure – is of no consequence. Give him credit where credit is due.

Footnote: Anyone who thought LaHood would bring conservative Republican values to his new post does not know him or the political environment from whence he comes. Putting him at DOT is akin of inviting the fox in the hen house – case in point.

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