Thursday, October 31, 2013

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

You know the story going around that gubmints want to put black boxes on cars, so they can tax by the mile?  Turns out the guy behind that used to work for the Moscow Metro Corporation, and was a transportation planner in the former USSR.  Imagine that.

Hasan Ikhrata, is now the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).  A communist in California government?  Now, that's really easy to imagine.
(source - apparently a greenie web site)  Why black boxes?  Drivers are using more fuel efficient cars, and driving them fewer miles, so the gas tax isn't raising the revenues it once did.  Why not raise the gas taxes?  I'd think raising taxes on gas would tend to cut consumption.  Then, again, taxing driving would tend to limit that behavior.  It sounds like they want to limit driving, but still keep drivers in conventional cars. 


  1. It's not about making up for any imaginary lost fuel tax, our consumption in this country is always growing. It's just another chance to increase taxes and follow where you drive. Do you think they would have the tax per mile equal to or higher than the gas tax?

  2. In the context of a growing population of hybrid and all-electric cars, it makes a certain amount of sense. After all, if you buy little or no fuel, you pay little or no fuel taxes. Since that's a source of funds for highway construction and maintenance, that means that all-electric vehicles aren't paying their share.

    As for raising fuel taxes, that would put the owners of conventional vehicles in the position of providing and on-going subsidy for hybrids and electrics. We already do that through a variety of state, federal and local subsidies at purchase, we don't need to continue doing so for the life of the vehicle too.

    All that aside, it seems to me that all that's necessary is an annual odometer reading. I have seen other articles in which government propose mandatory GPS tracking and such, but that seems like a gross overreach given the stated intention.

    1. I know it sounds too simple for the gum'mit cuz then the friends who provide kickbacks to the pols pushing this crap would lose out on biz opportunities. But when cars go in for their smog checks, there sure is a lot of "data" that is collected and sent to the powers that be. Maybe the odometer reading is one of them, or could be? Again, too simple and cheap.

  3. Anon beat me to the odometer comment. Seems like we already have that box in our car that measures how many miles we drive.

  4. I see two Big Government objectives here, with revenue gain as the third, lesser goal: Tracking miles driven includes tracking starting point and ending point, so they'll more easily be able to see whom is driving where. As Enemies of the State, tracking who goes to, say, the annual NRA convention will be easy. As a subset of tracking start/end, the imbedded chilling effect will reduce individual mobility, making it easier to exercise control over the populace.

    Any revenue gain is merely icing on the cake, and one can expect that mileage fees will always go up, producing another chilling effect. Gasoline 30 cents a gallon cheaper will be irrelevant when each mile costs 5 cents more than it did last month.