Monday, May 23, 2005

I May Be a Bozo....

....But I Think I scooped the Big Boys This Time.

A while back, I Blogged on an experimental Mileage Tax here in Oregon.

Yesterday, Garfield Ridge, Partisan Pundit, and The Jawa Report (Who refers to my home state as "The Bozo State". This from the Blog I consider my inspiration for starting to Blog. Nice) all get around to Blogging on it. They're considerably more negative towards it than I was.

As I stated in my comments earlier here and today over at Rusty's, I acknowledge the privacy issues raised by the use of a GPS and computer chip. But I take issue with people who will in one breath argue against this idea because it's Big Brother being too intrusive, and then turn around and argue against it because it "doesn't provide enough incentive to buy fuel efficient cars". That's arguing against it because it's too intrusive but not intrusive enough. Pick one reason or the other, but if anyone tries to pick both, they're being intellectually inconsistent.

Let's set aside for a moment any discussion of the use of the GPS chips and privacy issues, and think for just a moment about roads and how to fund their construction and maintenance. While I prefer small government, there are some essential services that must be provided -- at local and state levels as well as federally. How should we do that? Don't tell me that gasoline taxes are the best answer. As the articles discussing this point out, as it stands, you pay more fore the same amount of road use if your car is less fuel efficient. And while fuel efficiency is a great idea, taxes should be designed to pay for services, not regulate behavior.

The other problem here in Oregon is that we have one of the highest average MPG's per capita of any state in the Union, and it's rising. That means that the state is forecasting DECREASES in the amount of gas tax revenues expected in the next decade.

So if the Gas tax doesn't work, and this mileage tax doesn't (for whatever reason), I'm willing to entertain suggestions as to alternatives.

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