Tomorrow is the “rush it through day” for Obama to announce his plans for restricting gun usage as it is clear that he will not let this crisis go to waste. Sure, you can be sure that he knows all of the stats of how violence stats have been going down – it doesn’t matter. And if things go the way I think, he will act as if Congress doesn’t matter either with an overly broad use of Executive Orders (some of which, I believe, will end up in court); one of them will be to establish a gun registry. No, it won’t be a brand new one, but a patchwork quilt of existing information that, all of a sudden, will no longer be deleted. It will just sit there, waiting. For some next crisis.
But once again, we see Government getting what it deserves – see a problem? Government has to enact a ‘fix”. Start meddling in other areas, to “fix” newly perceived problems? All of a sudden, that first “Government fix” is broken – by Government. So, Government being used to “Govt-think”, has a solution! But has it been thought through? Not in this case!
An on-again, off-again move by the Obama administration to scrap the federal gas tax in favor of a pay-per-mile fee would boost the tab to Americans as high as 250 percent, raising their current tax of 18.4 cents a gallon to as high as 46 cents, according to a new government study.
But without a tax increase, said the Government Accountability Office study, the government’s highway fund is going to go dry. One reason the fund is going broke: President Obama’s push for fuel efficient cars has resulted in better mileage, and fewer stops at the pump.
So, cars created a need for infrastructure improvement a hundred years + ago (and notice – cars came BEFORE paved roads; the opposite of what some central planners claim in genuflecting to that movie theme of “build it and they will come”). So Govt put a tax on gas to pay for it. Problem solved? Not really – certainly here in NH, the Highway fund has been bilked for all kinds of reasons other than paying for road repair – and the same goes for other States and the Feds.
But now, with the artificial push for high gas mileage (a construct created solely by Government fiat and having nothing to do with actual marketplace desires, as seen by high demand for big SUVs and pickups), what was supposed to be a “fix for global warming” (itself only a fix for “one way to get rid of capitalism and sovereignty) has turned out to be a huge bust for the road fund.
Didn’t see that coming, did you, central planners? Gosh, isn’t this stuff all related – gas, cars, roads? Once again, we see Hayek’s “knowledge hubris” on the part of those that believe they know everything and can “scientifically” manage society as a whole (otherwise known as Progressivism).
The GAO study is just the latest review of federal spending that paints a grim picture of the nation’s infrastructure. Just keeping spending at current levels, the GAO said, would require a near doubling of the gas tax to 32 cents a gallon, and that would jump to as high as 46 cents should the federal government add spending to fix crumbling infrastructure and build new roads.
The average driver pays about $96 a year in federal gas taxes, said GAO. Should the administration seek to raise the highway trust fund from $34 billion to the $78 billion needed to fix and maintain roads, that could rise to $248. Translated into a pay-per-mile plan, drivers would face a tax of 2.2 cents per mile compared to the 0.9 cents they pay now. Trucks would pay far more.
Ask yourself – and HOW are they going to figure the miles you drive? Oh right – a GPS device! Which will require tracking your buns as you sit in that car (you really didn’t think that they would let you keep a mere paper log, did you?). OK, maybe I’m treading onto tin-foil hat territory here, but having been a political blogger for a while now, I’m more than a little cynical. I’ve seen the slippery slope – whodda thunk that the EPA would kill off a whole industry (the coal industry) for one of its own preference? Look at smoking – demonized, stigmatized, taxed to death, and reduced to shivering outside in the snow and sleet. And with the penchant of politicians to have “bright ideas” and have an obsessive need to be seen in “Doing Something”, this “GPS revenue fix” is just a vine ready to be plucked later if enacted.
Government is a large system – and as a developer / system analyst, I have fears when I start tinkering with or changing an established software system. Why? I KNOW that I do not know what that change will do to the OTHER parts of a system. Tweak something here and it should work better….but not necessarily in one or more places. Trust me, I know this – software is REAL easy to change and quick to change too! And then, horrors of horrors, you KNOW you only made one change so you back it out – and the system is STILL broke. Break out the Mt Dew, ’cause it’s gonna be a long nite to single step through the code to fix it.
The administration floated that plan in the first term, but scrapped it when it was met with public outrage. However, several states and some in Congress are now eyeing the plan, keeping it alive as a federal option.
It certainly was met with outrage – because of the ease in which people can be tracked. Databases can be easy to link: gun purchase to ammo purchase to background checks to dealer records (one of the things that may be implemented) for BATF perusal to keeping of the NICS database. SS # or drivers license? Simply linkages. Add in credit card info easily available to the Feds (and remember, cash may no longer be “identity-less“).
And also remember, one of the largest reasons why Obama was re-elected was Big Data – the largest data management for politics ever seen that pulled in all kinds of data from all aspects of our lives. If a private organization can do it, even with the money Obama’s relection campaign had, imagine what the Feds could do given the resources it has?