Re: Gas Tax Increases Are Coming Down the Road
I think what I find most distressing about the reports of potential transportation-related tax increases that Marc mentioned this afternoon is that nobody is even hinting at the possibility of increasing money for such a basic government function as transportation infrastructure by taking it from less fundamental government functions. (Pick your favorites.. or rather, your least favorites.)
Of course, I don’t intend the above to detract from the plethora of other distressing factors. Take, for instance, the fact that a strategy of increasing taxes to compensate for revenue lost because of conservation shifts the burden directly to those who cannot conserve — namely, folks who must use gasoline directly or indirectly in support of their jobs. If a lowly carpenter like me must bear more of the burden of fixing our roads because I have no choice but to drive my van full of tools for at least an hour-and-a-half per day, then prices will go up across the economy, and competition will go down.
Then, of course, there’s this:
According to a draft of the financing commission’s recommendations, the nation needs to move to a new system that taxes motorists according to how much they use roads. While details have not been worked out, such a system would mean equipping every car and truck with a device that uses global positioning satellites and transponders to record how many miles the vehicle has been driven, and perhaps the type of roads and time of day.
That such a notion would make it beyond a mere thought spoken out loud during a meeting indicates the dangers that our freedoms face in the future. Just as there will always be an excuse not to shift government expenditures from extras back to essentials, there will always be a reason that our liberty — notably our liberty of movement — can be circumscribed just a little bit more tightly.