When the planners downshift into planning mode, they know all; they know best, and you best just do as you’re told and remain quiet. We’ll get there when we get there, just fasten your seat belt and don’t ask questions. Of course, most of the time things don’t go as “planned” and a thing known as “unintended consequences” side swipes or T-bones the planner and the plan into a ditch. An example of such an unintended consequence soiling the trousers of a planner was just reported a few days ago by the Washington Examiner.
Apparently, the gas tax isn’t bringing in quite as much as the spenders planned. (Is it ever enough? That’s rhetorical, we know the answer). It’s bringing in less. Why? One reason is that (or so it’s claimed–personally I don’t buy it, but I’ll play along), “President Obama’s push for fuel efficient cars has resulted in better mileage and fewer stops at the pump.” Which means there are less stops to fill up, less gas spilling into the tank, and less taxes to confiscate from the driver. Burn. One planner’s beast, is another planners feast. (I’m not quite sure what that means exactly, but I dig the rhyme.) But have no fear, when faced with an immovable object, the planner does what the planner does best: plan another way to
fleece…errr… invest for the public.
Now, firstly, I say bravo on the better MPG for the obvious reason: efficiency. Though, I think that all of the unintended consequences of Big O’s “push” have yet to be seen (pssst… lighter automobile materials provide a good chance of increasing auto fatalities, just saying). I do like paying less at the pump. And since under O’s watch the price per gallon of gas has more than doubled, it’d be nice to frequent the pump less. That’s good for everyone right? Well, alas, no. As I mentioned, when the gas tax was put into place that meant more cash into the spenders coffers which they spend on, well, everything they spend on. And if you’re political philosophy distills down to, “more government, good” then you’re not really happy about the new MPG efficiencies draining all of other peoples money that you claim as your own. And if your not happy, by golly, you spread your sulfurous displeasure around like a freshly cracked rotten egg in a stalled sealed elevator until you have a fix for your displeasure. And who cares if the fix sears the malodorous waft permanently into the nostrils of all others, planners must plan. And what’s the plan?
The pay-per-mile tax with the understanding that the, “…average driver pays about $96 a year in federal gas taxes…” and “… that could rise to $248.”! That’s the plan.
Instead of paying tax on fuel (I should say in addition too, I really don’t think they’ll stop the gas tax, do you?) the poor zhlob taxpayer must pay for each mile driven. Now, I bring this up not simply because it’s more cash the government is taking (and that’s one hell of a percentage), I bring this up entirely for another reason and it’s not a green eyeshade one. Think about the logistics of this for a minute. How will Big Gov know how many miles you drive in one year? We know that there will be some type of verification in place. They’ll need to counter fraud and collect the “right” amount. How can the miles you drive be measured? The most innocuous way would simply be to force you to report the odometer’s reading at the start of the year and then again at the end of the year (and pray they do the math right). This will naturally be enforced by thousands of IRS agents that can check the odometers and reach under your hood to be sure you cough up your “fair share” and there are no shenanigans going on.
Okay, say this tax passes. And everyone is fine with reporting odometer readings. Do you think it will stay that way for long? Our society, with our remote controlled, app for everything, device hungry culture? I don’t know about you, but I can envision a new Automatic Paperless Orwellian 1000 Tax Filing System as a non-option in my next sedan’s “conveniences package” that includes a rear view camera placed just off the license plate, a solar panel sunroof that charges the lighter for a few minutes of use, and dual fail safe GPS tracking devices just in case you get lost or the Orwellian 1000 loses you.
Of course, they could follow the BO mold and “push” automakers to install some kind of mechanism that reports miles driven in a certain period (i.e., monthly, quarterly, yearly etc.) And while they’re at it, the device can also report locations. That’s a nice feature eh? It’s not really that hard for them to argue either. You already carry a cell phone that transmits its (and most likely your) position, so what’s the big deal? It’ll simply report your whereabouts and activity for your convenience and theirs. After all think about what the planners can plan with that data and the unintended consequences that come with it. What can go wrong?