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The PJ Tatler

by
Stephen Kruiser

Bio

October 21, 2013 - 6:32 pm

Where have you been?

Oregon is moving ahead with a controversial plan to tax motorists based on the number of miles they drive as opposed to the amount of fuel they consume, raising myriad concerns about cost and privacy.

The program, springing out of a recently signed bill, is expected to launch in 2015 on a volunteer basis. But it’s charting relatively new territory, and other states aching for additional tax revenue are sure to be watching closely to see whether to imitate the model.

The problem for lawmakers is that the existing per-gallon gas tax has hit a point of diminishing returns, as Americans drive less and vehicles become more fuel efficient. The federal Highway Trust Fund, which gives money to states for highway construction and repairs, for example, has needed a congressional bailout four times since 2009, in part the result of no federal gas tax increase in the past 20 years.

However, economists and civil libertarians are concerned about the Oregon pilot project in large part because some mileage meters can track and record residents’ every vehicular move.

I have never been one to believe that government moves like this are really about the specific program aims but always about another big scale way of keeping an eye on the populace. Gun registration isn’t really about safety and ACA isn’t really about health care, they are both new justifications for having databases that track Americans for different things. The more issue-specific data bases, the easier it is to one day target groups for all the wrong reasons.

Up until recently, most people thought I was really paranoid.

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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Think this 'plan' stops here? Wait until you want to take your car
[any kind of car] into researched & regulated 'congestion zones' [A-La London] and you have to pay through the nose to do your normal, everyday business.
You'll be on Camera, and if you don't pay, there are nifty little license plate readers [on cop cars] in use right this minute that will eventually catch you and ticket you. [by mail, of course]
....and they'll use our money to do this thing.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's the wave of the future. States like it - it makes money. Insurance companies love it - heck, Progressive Insurance already does it. Hybrid drivers are a little conflicted, but they love Big Brother anyway, so they're already in the center of the bed. And since a big subtext of the UN's Agenda 21 is limiting people's movement and keeping them in the confines of their urban village (or ghetto, if you like), what's not to like? Oy.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Creepy indeed.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eventually government should simply take your paycheck and extract what they think they need to 'keep the government running' and hand you back the remainder. Why even bother with creating infrastructure to collect the miles driven information? Just hand over the paycheck and wait for the remainder. Its cheaper that way too.

52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is this going to do to the delivery industry? I can't see prices staying the same, one would assume they are going to rise big time. If I'm a small delivery company or a mom and pop operation I'm sweating bullets right now.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, I have to disagree. Gun registries, and this sort of thing, aren't about creating databases to keep track of people. We've just seen how good the government is at creating websites, and databases are in the same line. Trust me, if the government has a database of gun owners, it's full of dead people, foreigners who don't own guns, and people who sold theirs 15 years ago.

With politicians, it's always about getting re-elected. The urgent need for any politician in such a case is to do *something*, even if it' ineffective and has no tangible positive result. The gun registry will be touted when he runs for reelection: "I took BOLD ACTION against gun violence, by passing this gun registry. Now we're getting guns off the STREETS and out of the hands of criminals." The commercial will be accompanied by scenes of cop cars with their flashers going, and ominous music, until the brave candidate steps forward to tell you how he singlehandedly solved the problem, or something like that...

The road use thing is just another tax. When here in California they insisted that everyone in Los Angeles conserve water, and everyone did, the DWP then panicked. Less use of water means less money for DWP...they raised rates to make up for the money they lost. Same thing here...cars are more fuel efficient, the gas tax doesn't generate enough money...find another way to tax people for driving. Eventually they'll try to tax every breath you take, because after all, without the government, how would the air be clean, etc?
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Shorter version; it isn't 1984 but, rather, Brazil.

I do get the feeling that Oregon wants to model itself on this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjsmPrEcz6o
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
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