Wednesday, June 1, 2011


A few months ago, I wrote a post called, "The CBO is Driven". The subject of that post involved a CBO recommendation that the Federal Government begin monitoring the miles you drive in an effort to increase revenue available for highway construction, improvements, and those bright orange vests for men 'not working' to wear as they stare at you as you attempt to drive by.

Here's where it gets interesting:

Check out the following headline from 2009...

Fast forward to May, 2011 and...

"This is not an administration proposal," White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. "This is not a bill supported by the administration."

Okay, so why do they keep talking about it?

Maybe this is government's 'New Car' conversation I sometimes have with my wife:

"You know, if I had a 'newer' car, we could save a lot of money on repairs, I'd get better gas mileage, and I'd have a much more reliable vehicle so I can make calls to my customers. Maybe in another car the air conditioning would work?" I have this part of the conversation committed to memory and it never varies much...

"Ah yes, but unless you find a 'FREE newer car' we can't afford it. And why would you need air conditioning in a car in New York State? We're in the place furthestmost from the sun. Weren't you the one who told me that we have nine really excellent months for snowmobiling and three 'not quite as good'?" She asks.

"So, you're saying I can get a snowmobile?" I ask, slightly more optimistically. "It'd be cold, but at least I can get up this dang hill we live on in the winter."

"'Sure you can get a snowmobile! Right after you get that new car you keep yammering about."

"But you just said, umm, I couldn't get the car," I protest.

"That's right. You cannot now get a new, or even a 'newer' car."

"But why?" I ask, almost pleading.

"Because the economy stinks, neither of us knows for sure if we're going to have jobs in six months, and we've got kids to put through college." She says.

"Will I ever be able to get a new car?"

"No. This does not mean, however, that you are not loved. Instead, it means that the Universe wants you in that Chrysler Cirrus for 'a long time'. Who are we to argue with the Universe?" She says.

"Well, I guess if it's up the Universe and all, I guess I could go another year in the Chrysler, huh?"

"No. The Universe is thinking more like another 24 months."

"The Universe is stupid", I say as I walk back out to the driveway to polish the rust on the hood of the Cirrus.

"Oh no, the Universe is not stupid - we're just not smart enough to understand what it wants from us." My wife utters this last comment down to me through the open Living Room window. Then the 'Cooking Channel' turns on as I begin the process of 'buffing rust' for the umpteenth time...

"Stupid Universe."

From far above a voice whispers in response, "Stupid man". It may be my wife taunting me from upstairs, but if it's the Universe, I figure I'd better keep my trap shut. You can't mess with the Universe. You can't mess with your spouse. And you sure 'as heck' had better not mess with lany logic coming out of your government.

Okay, so the preceding has nothing to do with the CBO, Congress, any actual conversation I had with my wife, but it did provide a useful distraction so I could better position the following logic with you...


  1. The Federal Government created the Cash for Clunkers! program to get you out of your lower MPG vehicles in an effort lower our collective national fossil fuel useage. They PAID a lot of people, on average, $4,209, to have their existing vehicle DESTROYED by the car dealership at the behest of the US Congress.
  2. The Federal Government has set CAFE standards requiring that an Automobile Manufacturer's average vehicle MPG increase from its current 27.5 MPG to 34.1 MPG in 2016.
  3. The Federal Government's Tax Code provides incentives for consumers to buy Hybrid, Clean Diesel, Electric vehicles, and other alternatively-powered vehicles which get better fuel economy. They PAY consumers to buy certain types of vehicles which use less fuel.
  4. A side benefit to the Clunkers program (in addition to those promised 'incredible fuel use reductions') was to drive Americans en masse to GM, Chrysler and Ford to prop up the 'Big Three' automakers while 66% of them were taking BILLIONS of dollars in government-backed loans to keep the lights on.
The end result, by the numbers?

How do you like the logic so far?

Because the US Government has 'meddled' in the automotive marketplace by:

  • Providing incentives for you to purchase more fuel-efficient cars, vans, trucks, and SUVs
  • Dictating higher CAFE Standards required for an automobile manufacturer to be 'allowed' to sell in the United States
  • Using the IRS Tax Code to influence your behavior

Tax revenues are down because...

a.) YOU bought a more fuel-efficient vehicle (Seriously, what were YOU thinking?)

Or perhaps, since fuel prices are $1.00 per gallon on average over what they were one year ago...

b.) YOU are driving less (If paying taxes is Patriotic (according to Joe Biden) YOU are not patriotic enough -- drive baby, drive!)

In either scenario, you are not paying enough in Fuel Taxes to meet the needs of your government's cash flow 'issues' relating to highway maintenance.

In the end, YOU are the problem. The people who asked you to NOT drive so much - No, they are not the problem. It's all YOU.

The solution from the government which set this chain of events into motion?

Find, Create, or Save 'other' taxes.

Now US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is looking for additional sources of revenue because...

The government has aggressively taken action to reduce the amount of revenue that they collect.


Yes, you did what you were told.

You drove less, you traded in your Mack Daddy big honkin' SUV for a Toyota Prius, and you drive less because, well, it costs a lot MORE to drive somewhere today than it did one year ago.

Now the government thinks that it would be just great for you to install a GPS system in your vehicle to track your mileage in an effort to pay your 'Fair Share' of highway use. Because in the end, there's a solution for every revenue shortfall.

There's (always) YOU. The American 'CarDrivin' TaxPayer!

Oh, and there's one more thing. (Seems like there's always 'one more thing' lately, doesn't it?)

Could it be that the incursion into your private automobile is just one more step on the trail to changing how you live?

If I were a consipiracy guy, I might think that it has something to do with an overall Declaration of War against the automobile. With your private automobile you are (at least today) able to go where you want, when you want. It's your call.

But what if someone wanted to take those pesky decisions away from you?

What if... Obama seeks billions more for LaHood's war against cars

High speed rail baby! Dig it...

Or else.

Coming soon to a transportation center by you! Ready or Not, here it comes...

President Obama, Joe Biden, and US Transportation Head Ray LaHood
"Yeah, you could say we know what's best for you..."
Oh boy...


  1. One aspect of the pay by mile tax scheme not addressed is toll roads. Drivers pay tolls to build and maintain roads - there are lots of them around the country. So if you drive on a toll road and pay tolls do you still pay the mileage tax, the purpose of which is to pay for roads? Wouldn't that be double taxation? Perhaps it is just another step to triple taxation, quadruple taxation, etc.


  2. The high speed rail projects will cost about $10 million per mile - what a deal.


  3. Examiner, that would be Triple Tax. You pay road taxes in the $ .74 per gallon gas tax (I think there is even more in diesel which I drive). Going to the West side of Orlando and back costs upwards of $20. I am going to get one of those old license brackets from the 70's that is spring loaded and hinged on the bottom and hook up an electro servo motor to tilt it down each time I hit a toll booth. Just to be safe, I will keep my O.J. Simpson mask to wear when I speed thru the toll booth and scream O.J. did it.

    Diesel fuel is now $4.50 to $5.00, yet home heating oil (basically the same thing) is delivered to your house for about $2.00 a gallon. What's up with that?

    BTW, my diesel gets 29 mpg city and 40 mph highway and runs cleaner than most gas engines, although you've got to poor something called UREA in a tank once every 10,000 miles. However, I think urine will work. Now if they can just get a car to run on straight Urea all we would have to do is drink more beer before and after work to move on down the road.

    Tupac Goldstein.

  4. Remember Obama or whoever wants this for the Federal Government... Most of rhe tolls and a lot of that 74 cents goes to the states..

    Tupac.... wonder if anyone ever thought of that..

  5. Contrary to the commercial, Chrysler is now a full fledged import. (Yeah Detroit is rather foreign) Fiat has filed to purchase the last remaining tax payer owned shares of Chrysler. The Ram will probably now be known as the lamb.

  6. If they only charged this tax I would come out ahead. I put 40 miles on my 4-runner in 12 days. But of course this would be in ADDITION to the taxes and tolls we already pay. AND they would be tracking your every move. What would they do with that information?

  7. Fishy, why does the DoEd need to know your religion, voter registration, hair color and blood type??

  8. POP QUIZ - Fishy asks the question of the day (actually every day of the week)

    Multiple choice question.

    "What would they do with that information?"

    a) No one knows.
    b) It's expensive.
    c) Change is hard.
    d) You like the status quo.
    e) We'll fix it later.
    f) I hear you.
    g) To find the truth.
    h) Data is good.
    i) To hold every man, woman, and child in the land accountable.
    j) All of the above.

  9. I forgot one answer..."We have to do something."

    What would they do with that information? Well, the hackers sure are finding something to do with the massive amounts of data collected all over the place. Massachusetts just sent notices out for those who applied for unemployment....ooops the system got hacked.


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