Mileage Tax Idea Going National...
from the driving-while-intaxicated dept
But why waste time at the state level when you can go national?
Yes indeed, as a few readers have sent in, our new Transportation Secretary says he's open to the idea and (check out the timing!) a "blue-ribbon national transportation commission" is going to release a report next week recommending just such a system. It will involve installing a device on every car which tracks where you drive and when you drive -- so that they can also tax based on time of day (rush hour costs more!) or if you're taking highways or side streets. When you have a politician suggest such a thing just days before a "blue-ribbon panel" comes out with a paper on the idea, you know it's not idle speculation, but the deal has basically been agreed to. The "I'm thinking about it" comment is just the trial balloon for the legislation that is clearly already written and ready for introduction.
What's amazing is that all of those pushing for this idea apparently haven't paid attention to any of the massive backlash that comes around every time this idea is suggested at the state level. It's not "faster, cheaper, simpler." It would take quite a while to get this working, it's expensive and it's cumbersome -- especially compared to a gas tax. It also has the added downsides of getting people worked up over privacy issues and (bonus!) does little to encourage more fuel efficient driving or getting ourselves off foreign oil. Update: Mark sends in the news that the Obama administration is already saying it won't approve this idea.