More mixed unemployment news, sluggish economic growth and gas still above $4/gallon here in SoCal... who's up for another tax?
The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.
The plan is a part of the administration's Transportation Opportunities Act, an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.
The White House, however, said the bill is only an early draft that was not formally circulated within the administration.
“This is not an administration proposal," White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. "This is not a bill supported by the administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not taken into account the advice of the president’s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.”
News of the draft follows a March Congressional Budget Office report that supported the idea of taxing drivers based on miles driven.
Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.
Funny... we always thought that the federal gas tax was the equivalent of a milegage tax as the more you drive, the more gas you are pumping into the car and thusly the more patriotically you are pumping money into the government coffers. Apparently, we were mistaken.
Re: "This is not a bill supported by the administration."
As young bachelors, we would boil our pasta, take a strand and throw it against the wall to see if it would stick. We always forgot, however, whether or not if the sticking meant it was good to go or needed more boiling. Our advise to Team O: throw the freaking pasta out and phone-in some pizza.
Of course, Team O knows this is going to be a hard sell, so the solution:
The department (within the Department of Transportation) seemed to be aware of the need to prepare the public for what would likely be a controversial change to the way highway funds are collected. For example, the office is called on to serve a public-relations function, as the draft says it should "increase public awareness regarding the need for an alternative funding source for surface transportation programs and provide information on possible approaches."
Poly-syllabic gobbledy-gook is never a good leading indicator.
So, this weekend: get in your car, drive, increase your carbon footprint, increase the tax base, pick up that pizza and go see Mom. Do it. Do it for America.