Saturday, March 14, 2009

did you hear what I heard?

I heard a story on the radio the other day about an idea to change how we get taxed on gas usage. Here's the idea: instead of a specific percentage tax on gasoline, which is what happens now, s. ome folks want to install little thingamabobbies into cars. These thingies would measure the number of miles you drive, somehow send the info to a newly-created state agency, which would then bill you for the number of miles you actually drive. (Feel free to listen to the story, as I may have confused some of the info. You know, not enough sleep and such....) Basically, though, that's how it would work.

This story infuriates me.

Right now, we have a system that taxes the amount of gas you use. Maybe you use a gallon or two to run the lawnmower or snowblower, maybe you fill up the tank of your car to drive around town or across the country. This system is pretty efficient, in that it is already in place, it is straightforward, and it gets collected at the point of purchase. You buy your gas, you're done paying that tax.

But there are people who want every car to have a thingy installed (this is going to be expensive for someone, although I guess if you own a thingy-producing factory or if you're the person who invented and patented the thingy, you'll win big), and in fact, get all the new cars (what new cars?) to install them in the factory. And then they'll have to create a brand-new state agency in every state(where are all the folks who think we should have smaller government now?) in order to oversee all this and collect the taxes from individuals instead of from gas stations.

And on top of it, as I understand it, you'll be taxed the same per mile, regardless of whether you're driving a super-efficient car or a Hummer. As far as I'm concerned, this is a no-brainer. Who are the people who sit around and come up with such super-contrived utter nonsense? Do they actually get paid? Do they have any jobs available in their departments? Although, to be honest, I'm not sure I have such dumb ideas to share.


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