Saturday, May 7, 2011

The “Old” Miles Driven Travel Tax a Shocking New Story for the Uninformed!! Clueless Conservative outrage!

Have you noticed Republicans are could to whine and blame Democrats first, and then never offer their own solution. No, letting the private sector do it is not a great, "pass the buck" detailed well thought out solution. Here's what their narrow ideology couldn't comprehend:

(UPI) — The Obama administration is considering a plan that would require the study and execution of a plan to tax U.S. drivers based on the amount of miles they drive.
This really is an old story. Many western states were talking about this issue years ago, when hybrid and electric vehicles were just starting to catch the imagination of lawmakers and consumers alike. If a green vehicle uses less fuel, but still used our highways, owners would not be paying their fair share of road maintenance. What to do? Mileage tracking.

But it's more than that. How do we eventually change the way the tax in collected? Do we whine, complain and blame Obama like conservative talk radio did on Friday?  Some chose not too. Instead, this Seattlepi piece lays out a few thoughtful ways it can be done. First, here’s more of what outraged the right wingnuts:
The plan is included in the administration’s Transportation Opportunities Act and follows a Congressional Budget Office report backing the idea of taxing drivers based on miles driven, The Hill reported Thursday. In its report, the CBO said a vehicle miles-traveled tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on vehicles to determine how many miles were driven and payments could be made electronically at gas stations.
Now the Seattlepi’s suggested solutions:
A tracking device to measure vehicle miles traveled is a non-starter, but reporting total miles annually when renewing the car license wouldn’t be too intrusive. If you cheated, it would just come due when the car was sold or totaled.  We essentially pay a mileage tax now, only it’s measured indirectly by how many gallons of gas we use instead of by how many miles we drive. A mileage tax would put hybrids, solar charged, electric, and gas vehicles all on equal footing when it comes to road use. 
As long as the gas tax went away, it is possible a plain and transparent mileage tax could work out as a better deal for us rural folks. If we paid mileage tax instead of gas tax, we’d get a break on that second utilitarian vehicle that uses more gas per mile but doesn’t travel as much. 
The first unintended consequence – people would know how much tax they are paying for transportation if they wrote a mileage tax check once a year (or twelve easy installment payments). That transparency might make it easier to hold the government accountable for spending it wisely. A lot more folks would sure sit up and notice than do now when the gas-based mileage tax is nudged upwards. 

2 comments:

Annie K. said...

Throw in a little Clueless Liberal Outrage too, as people tend to thing all the stuff they buy materializes out of thin air. A tax like this would probably make the trucking industry paralyzed. Also any courier services which are used more and more with online purchases etc. How about (any (remaining) public bus systems, those prices would go up. Taxi services. Garbage haulers. Possibly Sales people.
Unless they exempt diesel, which they wouldn't probably.
And even as far as your "average citizen driver" you have tons of lower income people who have to drive significant distances to work, especially these days when employment is hard to find and people have to stretch a bit and grab what's available.
The only way this tax would be fair is if you assume that everyone starts from an equal point, and that ALL driving of long distances, or many hours of driving around a particular area are both frivolous and voluntary.
The person who drives a long distance to work each day (and may not be able to pick up and move and also that's dumb considering private sector jobs can tank at any minute, there isn't any where near the security if public sector so you can move every fifteen minutes.
So you have the expense already of driving a distance to a low paying job and then you get penalized by a bunch of folks who assume you're just driving that crap car out of spite for the environment, working that low paying job cuz you're a social reject and driving "too much" cuz you hate the environment and aren't "careful"
There's a lot of social inequity built into the demographic assumptions in this viewpoint. It's a yuppie middle class solution that would actually hit some businesses and hurt low income people disproportionately. IN that way it is too much like a Sales tax.
But to have career penalties built in to some job "choices" or involuntary lifestyle situations (tons of people "choose" their job like they "choose not to starve) is a crap solution to our problems.

WE could tax fat. Anyone who weighs more than their Ideal Weight is obviously consuming too much world resources, using too much fuel to bring excess food to their fat faces. They should learn to control themselves, until they do we can plug budget holes with a Fat Bastard Tax and teach them a lesson about excessive consumption at the expense of the rest of the planet. Or...would that be harsh, unjust and hard to implement because you'd have to consider too many people's individual situations?
Even in that case I would argue that the larger society does not benefit fro the Fat person's Fat. Where in contrast the larger society IS benefiting to varying degrees by the person who drives to work, that trucking company, or that bus system. So really I demand the Blubber Tax.
Michelle Obama can be the spokesperson -
slogan: Trim Down Or Pay Up !!!

Democurmudgeon said...

All of the services you detailed here would probably see a reduction in taxes, since they use the roads more, have lower gas mileage (gas guzzlers), but are averaged in with higher mileage cars (electric, Prius').

Plus, the tax would only apply if the fuel efficient cars usage isn't paid for on the gas fill-up. The pump would ad the added tax on.

You have it backwards, since this deals with fuel saving cars that don't pay their way.

Again, for the poor driving old gas guzzling beaters driving long distances, the pump price will be as high as usual, and no tax will be added. Gas=mileage. That's not true of green cars.

Your fat analogy is bad, and a tasteless shot at those who's mobility might be hampered, or have medical issues with weight gain.

Stay on topic. You sound passionate, but may have missed why such a proposal is being considered.

Unless you can come up with another way to make electric car drivers pay for our roads, rethink this valid solution that's still in the planning stages.