Hey! Let's allow Big Brother to keep track of our highway mileage!

Rick Moran
As it stands now, road maintenance is funded largely through the gas tax. It is a pretty fair way to allocate the tax burden since the more you drive and use those roads, the more taxes you pay.

But our new Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood doesn't think we're getting enough cash as a result of the gax tax - or at least not enough for the Obama administration. So, instead of the gas tax, there are proposals to fund road building and maintenance by charging drivers for every mile they drive.

How would the government know how much to bill you for your driving? They want to stick a GPS device in your car and monitor where you go and how much you drive. Of course, they would also be able to determine who you visit, what stores you shop at, and all sorts of other juicy information that Big Brother would love to get his paws on:

"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.

Most transportation experts see a vehicle miles traveled tax as a long-term solution, but Congress is being urged to move in that direction now by funding pilot projects.

The idea also is gaining ground in several states. Governors in Idaho and Rhode Island are talking about such programs, and a North Carolina panel suggested in December the state start charging motorists a quarter-cent for every mile as a substitute for the gas tax.

A tentative plan in Massachusetts to use GPS chips in vehicles to charge motorists by the mile has drawn complaints from drivers who say it's an Orwellian intrusion by government into the lives of citizens. Other motorists say it eliminates an incentive to drive more fuel-efficient cars since gas guzzlers will be taxed at the same rate as fuel sippers.

Besides a VMT tax, more tolls for highways and bridges and more government partnerships with business to finance transportation projects are other funding options, LaHood, one of two Republicans in President Barack Obama's Cabinet, said in the interview Thursday.

"What I see this administration doing is this — thinking outside the box on how we fund our infrastructure in America," he said.

I've got a great idea, Ray. Instead of "thinking outside the box" on this, let's just put this back in the box, close the lid, seal it, and never bring it out again.

This is a bad idea on so many levels one wonders at the brazenness of the Obama Administration and whether the press would make a stink about such a massive intrusion into the privacy of American citizens.

Chances are, they would meekly accept it as the price to pay for "energy independence" or "to stop global warming" or any other excuse the Administration could use to keep track of us.

We can always stop driving, I guess.


Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

As it stands now, road maintenance is funded largely through the gas tax. It is a pretty fair way to allocate the tax burden since the more you drive and use those roads, the more taxes you pay.

But our new Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood doesn't think we're getting enough cash as a result of the gax tax - or at least not enough for the Obama administration. So, instead of the gas tax, there are proposals to fund road building and maintenance by charging drivers for every mile they drive.

How would the government know how much to bill you for your driving? They want to stick a GPS device in your car and monitor where you go and how much you drive. Of course, they would also be able to determine who you visit, what stores you shop at, and all sorts of other juicy information that Big Brother would love to get his paws on:

"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.

Most transportation experts see a vehicle miles traveled tax as a long-term solution, but Congress is being urged to move in that direction now by funding pilot projects.

The idea also is gaining ground in several states. Governors in Idaho and Rhode Island are talking about such programs, and a North Carolina panel suggested in December the state start charging motorists a quarter-cent for every mile as a substitute for the gas tax.

A tentative plan in Massachusetts to use GPS chips in vehicles to charge motorists by the mile has drawn complaints from drivers who say it's an Orwellian intrusion by government into the lives of citizens. Other motorists say it eliminates an incentive to drive more fuel-efficient cars since gas guzzlers will be taxed at the same rate as fuel sippers.

Besides a VMT tax, more tolls for highways and bridges and more government partnerships with business to finance transportation projects are other funding options, LaHood, one of two Republicans in President Barack Obama's Cabinet, said in the interview Thursday.

"What I see this administration doing is this — thinking outside the box on how we fund our infrastructure in America," he said.

I've got a great idea, Ray. Instead of "thinking outside the box" on this, let's just put this back in the box, close the lid, seal it, and never bring it out again.

This is a bad idea on so many levels one wonders at the brazenness of the Obama Administration and whether the press would make a stink about such a massive intrusion into the privacy of American citizens.

Chances are, they would meekly accept it as the price to pay for "energy independence" or "to stop global warming" or any other excuse the Administration could use to keep track of us.

We can always stop driving, I guess.


Hat Tip: Ed Lasky