Now That Hybrids Have Become Popular…

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They’re going to tax them, too.Hybrid tax picture

You knew this was coming – right?

That they were not going to let you get away with evading paying your “fair share” of motor vehicle fuels taxes by driving a vehicle that uses less (or even no) gas.

Yup.

That Prius you’re maybe looking at because you’re thinking it’ll reduce the number of FRNs you have to shell out for fuel? It’s about to become the object of special taxes designed to make up for the ones you’re trying to avoid. Every time you fill up, you pay up – about 50 cents per gallon, on average. If you car has a 15 gallon tank, you pay about $8 bucks in taxes at every fill-up. But if you drive a hybrid car that only has a 12 gallon tank – and only needs to be filled up half as often – you’re paying a lot less. Nothing – if you own an electric car.

And that sets off alarms in certain quarters.

Several states have either proposed or are “looking at” additional “fees” – that is, taxes – to be levied upon the owners of hybrids and electric cars, because the growing number of these vehicles is reducing the revenue flowing into state and county coffers via motor fuels taxes. Something called The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy – one of those shill entities that isn’t technically the government but provides the intellectual ammo (PR, really) for government “estimates” that state and local gas tax revenue has declined by 7 percent since 2004 – even as the number of cars in service (and miles driven) has steadily increased.

And the reason why is simply that cars – and not just hybrid cars – are burning less gas. Which means their owners pay less in taxes.

To correct this atrocity, North Carolina (to cite on example) has proposed adding a $100 annual fee to the mandatory annual registration renewal for electric vehicle owners – $50 for hybrid (gas-electric) owners. News story here. One of the proposal’s backers, State Senator Neal Hunt, says “It just seems logical to me that they should pay a small fee for the use of the highways and the wear and tear they put on the highways.”

Italics added.

Hunt’s “small fee” adds up to real money over time. Keep your EV ten years and you’re out of pocket another $1,000 (a mere $500 for hybrid owners). So much for saving money. They’ll get into your wallet one way – or another. At least ten states – at the time this article was written – are considering or have actually passed new laws imposing targeted taxes on the owners of electric and hybrid vehicles. My own state, Virginia, has its hand out for another $64 annually – effectively doubling the cost of annual registration renewal for hybrid and electric vehicle owners. This new tax was supported by Republicans, incidentally. Here to help picture

All this is obnoxious, certainly. But the more worrying thing is that whines for more “revenue” could lead to drive-by-mile taxation – and in-car monitors not just for hybrid and EV owners, but for everyone.

Exactly such a proposal was floated in – where else? – New Jersey. It was defeated after a massive public outcry and replaced by a flat-fee on electric cars.

But – like the ever-tumescent war boner in DC – this is not going away for good.

Because – irony cue – the very policies so aggressively pursued by the DC Directorate have boomeranged in a way not to their liking.

At least, apparently.

The legislative nudges given to promote EVs and hybrids – everything from million-dollar manufacturer subsidies to individual buyer tax rebates – have done as intended and caused more hybrids and EVs to be made – and bought. On top of this, the ever-upticking fuel economy edicts imposed on the manufacturer of conventional (non-hybrid or EV) cars have likwise resulted in – wait for it, now – the manufacture of more cars that use less gas.

Sum? Less gas is being used in general. Which means, less motor vehicles fuel taxes are being paid.This creates a problem – from the standpoint of government. And government always has a solution. driving monitor picture

If laws are passed imposing special road-use taxes (based on miles-driven) upon electric and hybrid vehicles – on the basis of their not “paying their fair share” to use the roads via motor fuels taxes – precisely that argument will be used to tub-thump for similar road-use taxes on ever-more-fuel-efficient non-hybrid/non-electric cars, too.

It will be argued that – for instance – the owner of a new Ford Fiesta that gets 40 MPG isn’t “contributing” enough. Remember: the typical hybrid vehicle is only slightly more fuel efficient. If a 50-something-MPG Prius is in the crosshairs for special taxes on the basis that its owner isn’t paying “enough” in taxes, how long do you suppose it’ll be before the 40 MPG car is in the crosshairs?   Progressive driving monitor

Wait a while. It is coming. And not too long from now.

And when it does come, riding shotgun will be mandates for in-car monitoring of how far you drive (and perhaps how often, and even when – as, for example, during “peak” hours). How else, after all, will they keep track of your mileage and usage patterns?

It’s pretty slick. You have to give them that.

First, egg-on the production of hybrids and electrics via artificial inducements and special perks (such as being able to drive in those High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, even if it’s just you in the car). Wait for these unconventional cars to become pretty got-damned conventional. Then whine about the “lost revenue” which must be recovered. Meanwhile, pass laws that double (and soon, will triple) the fuel economy of the average non-hybrid car – knowing that will provide even more excuse to whine about all the “revenue” lost.

Then hit them up with the notion of a tax-per-mile. It will not even be necessary to discuss the means by which it’ll be implemented.tax per mile picture

That will follow almost automatically.

And – just like that – our freedom of movement will have been stomped as effectively as our privacy, our right to be left the hell alone – and every other one of our former rights you can think of.

Unless we decide we’ve had enough – and are willing, at last, to do something about it.

Throw it in the Woods?

PS: We have thrown Google – and Google ads – in the woods. They blacklisted us – so we dumped them. See here for the full story about that. So, we need your support to make a go of it and keep EPautos rolling. Please consider supporting this web site in whatever way you’re able. The link to our “donate” area is here.

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  104 comments for “Now That Hybrids Have Become Popular…

  1. Hot Rod
    September 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Well now that is funny on the EV and Hybrid users getting a gas tax all of their own. I remember some greeny toad putting down my old pickup truck, while he bought a Hybrid about 10 years ago. Then he was thinking about buying a house in Virgin Islands, and commuting back and forth by jet to California every month. I figured why argue with an idiot, an engineering idiot too.

    So far I’ve been thinking about making my own propulsion technique, and I’ve thought it might be easier to put the generator of motive force with the use of a trailer if you know what I mean? The thing is that if you buy something like everyone else then you will be regulated like everyone else. For a man that does the unexpected then there will still be freedom and profit I believe.

    “And when it does come, riding shotgun will be mandates for in-car monitoring of how far you drive (and perhaps how often, and even when – as, for example, during “peak” hours).”

    Now that right there is my major fear, but let us hope that grandfather clause will exist. I think most likely the government knows that without gradualism that the people will buck hard.

    HR

  2. Garysco
    September 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    You nailed it Eric. The Feds aren’t putting all those expensive networked RFID readers up and down the highways nationwide for no reason. Look up, they are the little innocuous boxes about every 1/4 – 1/2 mile. It will be something like the “freeway” pass on the dash, or be included in next years registration sticker. But first the cows must want it. How? Get them fighting with each other (with politician agitation) over the inequity of the Prius owner vs the Camero owner vs the —- owner, it just isn’t fair. Please Uncle Sam make it fair. I hear the barn door slamming shut already.

  3. justin
    September 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    The feds could easily charge a tax per mile, by looking at the odometer every year when you renew the license plate,

    but then that wouldnt allow them to track your every move, which is what the fedgov really wants.

    Id be fine with a per mile fee, cause then those of us with gas guzzlers wouldnt have to over pay for road taxes
    The states already collect a per mile tax from 18 wheelers for the miles they drive in that state, if they dont stop and purchase the fuel they burned driving theu that state.

    • Mithrandir
      September 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Justin,

      Good point on the yearly tax/mile.

      Throw it in the Woods?

      Yes. Followed with a shovel in hand for “evidence protection”.

      Eric,

      Minor edit to another good commentary:

      To correct this atrocity, North Carolina (to cite one example)

      This “problem” is, as you point out, and excuse to get monitoring of the general public.

      The simple solution to this “problem” is to increase the current gasoline tax.

      The government gets the same amount of cash via gasoline taxes, production of more fuel efficient vehicles are promoted for (but not forced on) the public, people retain what little remains of their privacy.

      Hypothetically:

      The fuel tax can be increased 25¢ per year for 8 years.

      This would provide time for those to get more fuel efficient vehicles (especially if they do not have a need for a heavier, larger, less fuel efficient vehicle) and for everyone to adjust to new fuel prices.

      It seems that these taxes are more aimed at the lighter vehicles that contribute less to wear and tear of the road system. (It seems that Brent beat me to the punch. Interesting comment on electric tax to make up difference for hybrid gas taxes.)

    • September 13, 2013 at 6:35 am

      Dunno ’bout you, amigo, but I’m about sick of paying taxes, period.

      The innumerable hands in my pocket – and yours. It’s become plundering.

      For instance, as a self-employed person, 15 percent of everything I earn vanishes immediately, right off the top.

      Then deduct federal and state taxes – and I’m now at about 60 percent remaining. With this, I must also pay:

      Real estate taxes
      Personal property taxes
      Forced insurance (effectively another tax)

      Plus the innumerable, uncountable petty taxes on every got-damned thing I purchase (we just paid 5.3 percent sales tax to the got-damned state of Virginia for the T-shirts we bought online.)

      It is completely out of hand.

      Another tax?

      Fuck that!

      • September 13, 2013 at 7:19 am

        Dear Eric,

        I love the way Larken Rose utterly discredits the plunder you speak of in this video of his.

        I’m Allowed to Rob You!

        True, all he did was sit down in front of a webcam and hit “record.” The whole thing is pretty “ghetto.” But he definitely makes his point.

        Strip away the trappings of “legality” and “authority” and what are you left with, if not “robbery” or “plunder?”

        I used to think “brainwashing” was only something Communists did to Korean War prisoners. “The Manchurian Candidate.” Or Al Qaeda to Gulf War prisoners. “Homeland.”

        Now I realize it’s been done to almost everyone on the planet.

      • Tina
        September 14, 2013 at 10:55 am

        I’m new to your site- you rock. Anne Barnhardt sent me over.

        What happened that Google blackballed you?

        I’m new, so I don’t know. I know those guys are slime.

    • Tomas
      September 22, 2013 at 11:07 am

      How about this? Government learn to do with less of our money? Novel idea? Fun y how a lot of comments focus on alternative for government to get their dollars from us. Does it really matter how they take it? What needs to happen is government live on less. Does the city/state/federal armed enforcers really need a brand new car every 2-3years? Why are there dozens of blacked out tahoes, brand new mind you, with tint so dark you cannot see through it, without tags, driving around sparsely populated southern states? Why do small cities need police cruisers that run north of $50k each? Why does the travel budget go up every year for city/county staff? Why does my city spend tens of thousands when 1/2 of that is sufficient for the task at hand? Why does head count go up every year? When is government going to go on a real financial diet, like us non bankers/federal contractors have to? Those are the questions that deserved answers, not bickering about whether they lighten your wallet with the left or right hand!

      Oh, and off topic, how does the statement “raising the debt limit does not raise debt” not receive unanimous ridicule in the press? If gw bush said it…..

      • Eightsouthman
        September 22, 2013 at 11:43 am

        Tomas, if Bush had said it, someone would have had to told him to say it. The very problem with govt. is it only grows. Countless bureaucrats and pols look at non-growth as down-sizing since there’s no way their pay can grow with the same budget. They could care less who and how much they rob.

  4. BrentP
    September 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Just have a special metered charger and dye the electricity :)

    Adding road taxes to electricity basically cancels out the savings of the electric car. At least it used to. With today’s rates things may be different. But I digress, the actual issue is about how much we are subsidizing trucking and every corporation that uses trucking.

    Road tax wise passenger car users don’t do a hell of a lot of wear and tear to the roads. Need to pay to build them in the first place but beyond that not really much. Trucking on the other hand….

    Furthermore as governments go broke its their road funds that usually are still in the black. It’s also one of the best places to extort new tax monies.

    They’ve been working on tax-by-mile for many years now. The newspaper.com uncovered the funny math the feds used to show falling tax revenue. What was the cause? Trucking companies weren’t buying new trucks. At least that is how it worked on the federal level. I assume the rest of the math is also of such a creative nature. But anyway they create the ‘problem’ and then offer the ‘solution’ which is what they wanted in the first place.

    • Eightsouthman
      September 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Brent, commercial vehicles have to pay a “road use tax” to the IRS on top of every other tax they pay including local, county, state, fuel, etc. Please let me know how truckers are subsidized. I used to be an owner-operator and that would help a great deal if I am ever in that position again.

      • BrentP
        September 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm

        I did not expect ‘truckers pay more’ argument here.
        The wear and tear that heavy trucks do the road is practically all of it.
        The roads are expensive to hold up an acceptably lengthy time to heavy trucks.

        As designed that way, passenger vehicle is well below the point where it causes any stress to the roads. A road could last centuries with minimal care to prevent decay due to the elements if only subjected to passenger cars.

        • Eightsouthman
          September 22, 2013 at 11:46 pm

          Brent, what can I say? The wear and tear trucks do is legitimate and paid for. Can you imagine having to shell out the money they do? Just like you, they don’t make the laws or set the rates and if you want to pay more for your goods so they can pay more for roads, I’m sure it can be arranged. I can only look at it from a business standpoint. Ever see a rich trucker? In my part of the country oil companies and support companies often pay to rebuild portions of roads it’s obvious they wore out. Do they have to? No. They do it to make the public feel better about their industry. Does the quality of a roadway make it last longer? Much longer? You bet. So why aren’t all of them really smooth? contact your representative and ask him.

          • BrentP
            September 23, 2013 at 1:25 am

            Yes it’s ‘more’ but it is not proportionally more. It’s quite literally factors of thousands greater wear and tear.

            You’re not introducing any argument I haven’t heard before. They are the same emotional based ‘my industry is important and deserves to be subsidized’ stuff that is way too popular in this country. Yes, the price to ship the goods should be reflected in their prices. Why the hell do you think I should have to pay taxes and pay more to drive so my consuming neighbors can buy the shit they end up throwing out for less money? I don’t buy a lot of stuff, so go for it. If it is done fairly I’ll save in the long run.

            As to wealthy truckers, ever see wealthy engineers? No. As the feds bring in mexican truckers these days they’ve been bringing in Indian, Pakistani, and Chinese engineers for decades to drive down salaries.

            Lastly I don’t have any representatives. Do I seem like a wealthy person to you? Around here if you want representation you have to pay for it and I don’t have that kind of money.

          • September 23, 2013 at 2:06 am

            Dear Brent, Eight,

            The fault as usual, lies with the inability and unwillingness of government as an institution to ensure “fairness.”

            A genuine market mechanism could ensure fairness, such that payment reflected usage and wear and tear.

            But as long as government is in the catbird seat, the market is prevented from addressing the problem.

          • Eightsouthman
            September 23, 2013 at 4:06 am

            Brent, so quit using TP, water, eating, a/c, heating and I’ll work for nothing. That’s not thousands of times less as you say but it’s the best I can do. Please send the kids some food now and then. Our dougout gets lonely too but we’ll deal with it. Thousands, sheesh. And I thought the difference in 4,000-5,000 lb.s and 80,000 was only 20 or 15 times as much. Thousands times the wear. I’ll just start hauling it in on my back, screw big rigs. Please let me continue to breathe the air, sorta important to me. I’ll wean the kids. Hell, we’ll just put up some snares and catch some feral hogs and you can haul your own freight…..good enough. So long everyone, no more electricity for us, engineers need ours.

          • BrentP
            September 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

            Spare me the tales of the noble trucker and how I owe him my very existence. I’ve heard it all before. But if you want to play that, without my kind truckers wouldn’t have trucks or roads capable of supporting them.

            All long haul truckers could disappear right now. This instant and goods will find another way to market. A period of adjustment would come but goods will still get to market if all that disappeared from the planet were truckers and government didn’t step in.

            It is not a linear relationship. This ancient report has a graph showing the axle weight relationship to road damage on page 40. http://archive.gao.gov/f0302/109884.pdf Here is a more recent report, but you have to read a table: http://facweb.knowlton.ohio-state.edu/pviton/courses2/crp776/776-roads-handout.pdf And some background on ESAL: http://www.pavementinteractive.org/article/equivalent-single-axle-load/

            The passenger car scores don’t even register. They are down in the fourth decimal place.

            Anyway, I get your point, trucking is important so we should pay more to subsidize it. Same with the military, food stamps, farm bills, welfare, social security, wall street banks, general motors, the oil companies, the sugar industry, on and on. The political process should tell us what is important to us and force us to support those things one way or another or else. Heaven forbid we live in a society where what is important is decided based on how people choose to spend their money.

          • Eightsouthman
            September 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

            Brent, trucking is an industry, noble, ignoble or otherwise. It’s fast delivery of goods. It wasn’t always this way and maybe it should never have been but evidently it’s what the conditions called for. 25 years ago I contracted to remove RR sidings in a couple places. I thought it was stupid to remove them since trains cannot pass in these locations any longer and there is no freight delivery since the docks and stations are high and dry, not a track close. I would point out though that RR’s have always received direct federal subsidy and sometimes even state subsidy. As an independent trucker, I never received any subsidy of any sort. I got screwed royally when the oil companies foisted off a non-existent oil shortage on us though. I’m reminded of an old aggie joke though. It seems two aggies went into the trucking business. After a few months things didn’t look very good. Freight rates had dropped precipitously even though that’s the only way people get their goods. They decided to buy grain, haul it and sell it. They buy wheat for $2/bushel, take it to market and sell it for $2.30. They rock along and are starving, just barely covering fuel. Once they put a pencil to it(they weren’t engineers, didn’t even have a slide rule)they saw the writing on the wall. One finally says, well, I think I know what we need to do. The other aggie says Yeah, what? The first aggie says It’s obvious, we need to buy another truck. Every trucker can identify with that. Be thankful you’re an engineer. I’m genuflecting, I’m genuflecting. I’ll slink back under my rock now and let the engineers figure out freight hauling without large trucks and highways. BTW, I kept up with studies of truck wear on roads for 40 years. I’ve changed plenty tires and am quite aware of their weight. Canals, that’s the ticket. Of course to deliver freight every single business will need to be on the canal since no trucks will exist. Believe it or not, dirt did exist when I was born and I didn’t actually set this system up and I had no choice I was born into a trucking family and actually liked the work…..my bad….once again.

          • BrentP
            September 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm

            Next you’ll be telling me how us “four wheelers” should just get off the truckers’ roads…. Or maybe like our dear Clover here, tell me how that truckers always have right of way upon them. That’s where else these sort of threads go.

            Every driving/auto forum I’ve been in, sooner or later it’s this same old tune about how important trucking is and how we must just pay and pay and pay some more so our neighbors can continue their consumptive live styles at our expense or we would have to do with nothing but what we could make ourselves from raw materials on our own land. Trucking is just too important not to socialize the costs. But that’s where it all starts…. something is just too important to leave alone.

            In the end you’re just claiming that trucking as a whole, like the banks as a whole are just too big to fail. Well the decision was made ages ago to go with long haul trucking and let rail decay and so the politics have decided and now there’s no turning back. Can’t have a free market. Never ever… too late now. The pain is too great. Keep paying up you rubes or you won’t have TP!

            How dare I or anyone suggest your favored industry isn’t important enough for socialistic support along with all the others. Just look at the taxes you pay and how you’re a victim of government’s more favored sons. After all, we are supposed to play off against each other, not reject the whole damn system. It’s supposed be about getting rid of the other guys’ subsidies while getting more for ourselves. That’s the game we are supposed to play. That’s the correct way to be “Libertarian”. Like the Koch brothers and so many others. More for me, less for you, but not rejecting the system, don’t be a kook I’m told.

            And yes, big trucking, big oil, big banks, big everything screw the little guy. That’s the America! “Get Big or Get Out”. If you don’t own senators you don’t count.

            If you know the studies, then why try to corner me on the point of wear and tear? The fact of the matter is without millions of passenger car drivers long haul trucking would cease to exist. If trucking companies had to be like rail with their own right of ways and infrastructure, even with Lincolnesque corporate welfare it would still be too expensive.

            And as far as figuring out transportation…. hell we all could just quit too. That solves the problem. Nothing to haul, nothing to haul it with, and nothing to haul it upon.

          • Eightsouthman
            September 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

            Brent, I’d be interested to see how trucking companies get subsidy. I never knew of any that did although I never knew owners of really large companies either. Buy a truck, put it on the road and then next year, tell me where those subsidies are. I might be talked into buying one again. When I got into trucking in the 60’s I was just trying to make a living and it’s a damned hard job and I made more money in every other way I’ve made a living….and with one hell of a lot less work and risk. There’s a badge every couple feet waiting to take a truckers money and bureaucrats by the hundreds of thousands that are paid just to dream up ways of robbing them. If you want to find a bunch of people, an industry that hates govt., just ask a trucker. Can you understand I got into the business as a teenage, worked my ass off and never ever heard of subsidy for trucking, still haven’t? I noticed a couple decades or so ago when trucking was really being shaken up that I’d see the same rigs with different names every several months. If finally made sense when I followed the money, or lack thereof. Big entities who needed a tax break bought the big freight companies, the bigger the better so as to have a write-off. Sound promising for owner/operators? If you have to lease your truck which most people do since they can’t afford their own state issued licenses to haul this or that good from here to wherever, you’ll find the big company skims the cream off the top and you’re once again left fighting for the crumbs. Your strawman argument for getting cars off the road isn’t going to happen. Truckers drive cars too. Naw man, I’m just messin’ with you. The wife and I drove team for years and just decided to sell the truck and let those subsidy checks roll in and that’s why all my pol friends just refer to me as The Big Cheese, cause I can’t quit smiling. Manna from heaven.

          • BrentP
            September 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm

            The subsidy is the infrastructure which the use of is not fully paid for. Trucking accounts for nearly all the road cost that isn’t a residential street. It’s not a linear scale from bicycle to triple trailer semi-tractor. It’s exponential. The taxes are maybe linearly proportional. If long haul trucking had to pay its way in a free market against other freight moving industries it probably wouldn’t be viable except to those willing to pay for express service.

            Bank tellers at Chase don’t make squat either. But are we going to say Chase isn’t subsidized? The guy with the local gas station selling Mobil gasoline doesn’t get subsidized, but big oil does. Are we going to say GM isn’t subsidized because some guy sweeping the floor under a contract company doesn’t make much? Just because government squeezes the little guy, doesn’t mean the industry as a whole isn’t subsidized. You can point to some family farm the government crushed but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a corn subsidy. What the hired help and contractors, independents, and other labor makes doesn’t mean squat with regards to subsidy. I shouldn’t have to explain this here.

          • DownshiftFast5to1
            September 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm

            This thread reminds me of this book:

            A Future of Private Roads and Highways

            http://mises.org/daily/3416

          • Eightsouthman
            September 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

            Brent, I’m not trying to have the last word here. When I started trucking Texas had a huge surplus in it’s fund and continued to do so without robbing everyone. It had so much better roads than every other state Tx. truckers hated to go out of state. Didn’t matter what state it was, you could shut your eyes or be asleep and know when you crossed the Tx. line. When the Interstate Highway Act was passed most states just sat back and waited on that federal money to do the job. SE states were decades behind SW states, esp TX. To this very day Tx. makes up the taxes for 13 other states. You don’t have to tell me about being robbed for TPTB. All those years of 55mph Texans screamed constantly, Give ‘em there damned taxes and raise our speeds back to 70. Of course the state pols were a bunch of shits w/o any guts who thought the citizens had no clue as to what their taxes would be. Now our speeds are higher than ever and we still pay all those other states ways who have unions and benefits Texans never dreamed of. I’m reminded of what John Steinbeck once said “Socialism never took root in American because the poor there see themselves not as exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. Socialism DID catch on in other places but not here.

          • Garysco
            September 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm

            @8 -You ain’t alone. Like Mother Hubbard found out, the cupboard is bare because some thief took the cash.

            In California “Caltrans” has forgotten how to repair a road, much less build a new one (Haven’t seen one of those in years).

            I-5 and I-10 from the L.A. harbor to Bakesfield and Phoenix/ Las Vegas (you know those roads 1/2 of your Wal-Mart stuff goes over) is a patchwork of chipping third world gopher holes. I refuse to drive anything like my motorcycle or pickup & trailer in the #3 and #4 lanes because of the beating I receive.

            Even when they do spend 6 months resurfacing a state two lane, the non-english speakers running the machines are laying down 18 month-to-shot-again asphalt in nice waves suitable for motocross.

            Then this:
            He said Caltrans’ budget has doubled to $12.8 billion over the last 10 years but “new highway construction has virtually flat-lined during the same period.” He said Caltrans’ culture has gone from “a nation-leading ‘can-do’ attitude to an embarrassing ‘probably-not’ mentality.”

            He said the average yearly pay of Caltrans’ 20,000 employees is $100,000, including salaries and benefits.”

            And we pay Fed & roughly 8% state sales tax on each $3.90 gallon of gas, and even more for diesel.

            Revolution maybe?

  5. Eric_G
    September 13, 2013 at 8:53 am

    There’s a lot of ways to track you. No need for a Progressive-style logger. Just add the license plate reader software to the highway cameras, and add more cameras. Could also be used for catching speeders: Get exact distance between cameras on a road and calculate time it should take if traveling the speed limit. If your vehicle arrives sooner than expected, send out a ticket. No way a radar/laser detector can beat it.

    Hope I didn’t just give anyone any ideas…

    • GW
      September 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      I used to regularly travel the NJ Turnpike back in the early to mid 90’s when they gave you a time stamped ticket at the on ramp and you paid the corresponding toll at the off ramp of choice – even back then I always wonder when they would notice that the elapsed travel time would have equated to 80 MPH and not the posted 55 MPH.

    • September 14, 2013 at 11:44 am

      In Great Britain, where there are cameras everywhere, entrepreneurial Big Brother haters have taken to approaching speed cameras in remote areas with pickup trucks, removing an old tire from the bed of the truck, hanging it on the camera, filling the tire partway with gasoline, and setting it alight. I recommend this course of action to every speed cam in every remote area of every road in the world.

  6. HHB3
    September 13, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Eric,

    Remember, the American revolution was basically started over a 2-percent tax increase. The founding father’s of this great republic would be ashamed of the inaction of the average american. The dwindling taxpayers of this country are being turned into serfs, through double and triple taxation. The ruling elite and their professional supporters (welfare beneficiaries) live well on the backs of the overworked taxpayer. Just say no to taxes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • September 14, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Actually, that revolt wasn’t sparked by the minor nominal increase in the taxes so much as by the change to a stamp-based system that was a lot harder to dodge – which meant a very large effective increase. It also meant that the resistance was not on the basis of conscience and principle, because the rebels had already hypocritically accepted the principle of the taxes back when they could get away with only paying them lip service. Benjamin Franklin even looked into getting a job in the customs, until he saw which way the wind was blowing (I got that detail from the background research to a historical novel, though I forget off hand whether it was by Robert Graves or Kenneth Roberts).

      • Tor Minotaur
        September 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        P.M. –
        You just described the current American creed: The HAP. Our shared anti-values of Hypocritically Accepted Principles.

        Broke Ass Ho Americans might immediately ascend from their Quix-sand if only they emulate the comparatively solvent and sovereign Canadian and Australian Zeitgeist.

        Wholesaledly, we could shrug off every facet of our Idiocracy. Embrace our inferiority. Mark ourselves to market, and forever abandon the HAP. Even though it means more work, less status, and less trinkets bought on credit for many in the short term.

    • Fred
      September 14, 2013 at 11:18 am

      That was a different country. Today’s Americans are too fat, lazy, and stupid to do anything about any of this. By the time they realize what’s been done to them, they’ll forget again ’cause kickoff is in 5 minutes.

    • September 14, 2013 at 11:49 am

      If you believe the American Revolution was started by a 2% tax, I have a bridge to sell you. It was started by the British ban on expanding colonization past the Appalachian mountains and into the Ohio Valley, and by the British insistence that all British commerce be carried in British ships, and restrictions on trade with countries outside the British Empire. Taxes did play a minor role, but those taxes were being collected to provide for British armies to defend the colonies from depredations by the French and the American Indians.

    • Phillip the Bruce
      September 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Actually, the tax increase was just ‘cover.’ The real cause of the fighting was George III sending the redcoats to confiscate the colonists weapons. Sound familiar?

      • September 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm

        No, you’ve got that back to front, and/or you’re not looking at the underlying causes.

        Troops were sent to confiscate weapons (and, more importantly, ammunition) because they were already being used in rebellious activity, e.g. in attacking customs enforcement or preparing for an insurgency. Seizing them was an attempt to prevent that escalating, although in fact it brought on overt rebellion – but violent covert resistance was already in progress.

  7. HHB3
    September 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Eric,

    Total tax percentage potentially paid by the above average US citizen, 2013 est. – 59.7%

    A partial list of the various ways in which citizens of the US are taxed:

    Accounts Receivable Tax
    Building Permit Tax
    Capital Gains Tax
    CDL license Tax
    Cigarette Tax
    Corporate Income Tax
    Court Fines (indirect taxes)
    Deficit spending
    Dog License Tax
    Federal Income Tax
    Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
    Fishing License Tax
    Food License Tax
    Fuel permit tax
    Gasoline Tax
    Hunting License Tax
    Inflation
    Inheritance Tax Interest expense (tax on the money)
    Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
    IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
    Liquor Tax
    Local Income Tax
    Luxury Taxes
    Marriage License Tax
    Medicare Tax
    Property Tax
    Real Estate Tax
    Septic Permit Tax
    Service Charge Taxes
    Social Security Tax
    Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
    Sales Taxes
    Recreational Vehicle Tax
    Road Toll Booth Taxes
    School Tax
    State Income Tax
    State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
    Telephone federal excise tax
    Telephone federal universal service fee tax
    Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
    Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
    Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
    Telephone state and local tax
    Telephone usage charge tax
    Toll Bridge Taxes
    Toll Tunnel Taxes
    Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
    Trailer Registration Tax
    Utility Taxes
    Vehicle License Registration Tax
    Vehicle Sales Tax
    Watercraft Registration Tax
    Well Permit Tax
    Workers Compensation Tax

    • dom
      September 13, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Just wanted to break vehicle out:

        Vehicle State Inspection
        Vehicle Emissions Inspection
        Vehicle County Registration
        Vehicle License Renewal
        Vehicle Tag Renewal
        Vehicle Fuel Tax
        Vehicle Insurance
        Vehicle Property Tax
        Vehicle Sales Tax
      • Jean
        September 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

        Excise tax too.

    • Milo Minderbender
      September 14, 2013 at 11:10 am

      You said it, bwana! Tax, tax, tax! Disgusting, indeed. All taxation is theft, pure and simple. Replace all the federal taxes with a 10% national consumption (sales) tax. Get rid of state income and other taxes at the same time; let ‘em keep their vile sales taxes. Cut government spending by a ton and make them all live with 20% max total taxes– based on consumption (not income). That’s all they should get– about the same as medieval serfs paid their masters.

      • September 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm

        Dear MM,

        IF all other taxes could be replaced by a single flat 10% tax, that would of course be the lesser of two evils.

        But politically speaking, it will never happen. If tax slaves go along with such proposals, they will wind up paying consumption tax in addition to income taxes, not instead of income taxes.

        Count on it.

        No. Far better to discredit the very notion that any sort of tax is morally tolerable, and be done with it once and for all.

        • Tor Minotaur
          September 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm

          Exactly Bevin. If MM stands for Marvin Martian and he’s got a Death Ray aimed at Washington DC to assure compliance, then sure, I’d love to debate terms of lighter and more flexible yokes for Tax Oxen.

          Haredevil Hare – 1948
          http://veehd.com/video/4645334_marvin-martian-01-1948-Haredevil-Hare-flv

          • September 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm

            Dear Tor,

            I am merely taking a leaf from the statists’ book. Fighting fire with fire.

            “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
            — Rahm Emanuel

          • September 15, 2013 at 3:29 am

            Bevin, on the idea of fighting fire with fire, I have sometimes thought that if some small area could be taken over to set up a refuge against the larger state, it could conveniently have poll taxes using a scale that levied high rates on public servants trying to implement state actions. But, quite apart from the risk of becoming what that set up is structured for, we have many examples of what the state does to people who try to follow that path, e.g. the Strangite mormons of Beaver Island (the vigilantes that actually carried out the deed had the backing of U.S. naval forces).

          • DownshiftFast5to1
            September 15, 2013 at 4:36 am

            Wow, more American history I didn’t know: “The hapless Strangites were rounded up, forced onto hastily-commandeered steamships and removed from the island. Most were simply dumped onto docks in Chicago and Green Bay, destitute and deprived of all their property.”

            …And as you say, “had the backing of U.S. naval forces”.

            No surprise there.
            Disappointment, maybe.
            Is that a guidebook, like 1984 is turning out to be?

          • September 15, 2013 at 5:06 am

            Dear PM,

            Strangite Mormons. Wow. Interesting story!

            Thanks for sharing that. Useful “intellectual ammunition” that can be used in future arguments with statists, who make empty boasts about how a Liberal Democracy is “government of, by, and for the people,” and how it obtains the “consent of the governed.”

            Logically that kind of behavior from a “Liberal Democracy” is no surprise to hardcore libertarians.

            But it’s always disturbing to learn about specific incidents, with flesh and blood human beings. It never ceases to affect one emotionally.

          • September 15, 2013 at 5:10 am

            Dear PM,

            Hey, it just hit me.

            The Strangite Mormons, like the Branch Davidians, were a breakaway Mormon sect!

            What the feds did to them was a precursor of Waco!

          • Garysco
            September 15, 2013 at 5:34 am

            Or Sir Bevin, Do not forget the Lakota Indians of the Dakotas in the 1860’s and 70’s. They had a religious leader by the name of Sitting Bull. They also had some issues with the U.S. Government and the 7’th Calvary led by a fellow named George Armstrong Custer at a place called The Little Bighorn

            From Wikipedia:
            Custer’s announcement of gold in the Black Hills triggered the Black Hills Gold Rush. Tensions increased between the Sioux and European Americans’ seeking to move into the Black Hills.[18]
            Although Sitting Bull did not attack Custer’s expedition in 1874, the US government was increasingly pressured to open the Black Hills to mining and settlement. It was alarmed at reports of Sioux depredations (encouraged by Sitting Bull). In November 1875, the government ordered all Sioux bands outside the Great Sioux Reservation to move onto the reservation, knowing full well that not all would comply. As of February 1, 1876, the Interior Department certified as “hostile” those bands who continued to live off the reservation.[19] This certification allowed the military to pursue Sitting Bull and other Lakota bands as “hostiles”.

          • September 15, 2013 at 5:38 am

            Bevin, as the old question has it, “are you really paranoid if they really are trying to get you?” And they are, although (so far) only when you have a real chance of getting out from under (Strang was on course to go state wide when they got him, and had defeated attacks on him through the legal machinery in a way that boosted him). Maybe the Scientologists aren’t as crazy as all that, at any rate in this area.

          • Garysco
            September 15, 2013 at 5:40 am

            @Bevin – My guess is that Clover would have problems with that whole Sitting Bull and the Little Big Horn shootout thing too.

          • September 15, 2013 at 5:50 am

            Of course he would. Those pesky Redskins weren’t obeying “the law.” And, of course, they “resisted.”

        • liberranter
          September 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm

          If tax slaves go along with such proposals, they will wind up paying consumption tax in addition to income taxes, not instead of income taxes.

          Yep. Ask any European about this (can you say “VAT”?). What was supposed to reduce/replace the income tax within the EU merely became another tax on top of the already onerous tax burdens already in place.

          Furthermore, who is really stupid enough to believe that with any “flat” tax with a “cap” (e.g., 10 percent) that this cap will remain constant over the long run? Think of Congress’s current self-imposed “debt ceiling,” which is routinely ignored.

          • Jean
            September 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm

            Or, more on point, like the Income Tax. When passed, it was only on “the wealthy.”
            Now, we are all “the wealthy,” and yet “poor ol’ Uncle Sam” is always there “begging”…

          • September 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

            No, the original V.A.T. was not supposed to replace income tax. It was designed and structured to replace earlier taxes on goods and services that could be and were regularly being evaded, particularly in France and Italy, and it did in fact replace them with something harder to dodge. Then it became part of the “harmonisation” for the Common Market (as it was then), and was brought in elsewhere in the Common Market.

            The equivalent G.S.T. (Goods and Services Tax) here in Australia was brought in under the claim that it would replace various economically inefficient state level taxes, none of which is an income tax (only levied federally, in practice), with the G.S.T. being levied by federal machinery but all its revenue being granted to the states; the G.S.T. came in some fifteen years ago, but there has been little if any change in the taxes it was supposed to replace.

      • September 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm

        Dear MM,

        To see someone demolish the morally insufferable, flagrantly absurd concept of “taxation,” see this video:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngpsJKQR_ZE

        This is how sovereign individuals must think about “taxation.”

        • Tor Minotaur
          September 14, 2013 at 9:29 pm

          That’s a good one, Bevin

          Have you seen: My Deprogramming – By Larken Rose?
          http://www.voluntaryist.com/howibecame/deprogramming.html

          “I don’t pretend to have the ability to make anyone more virtuous, but by pointing out to them the contradictions in their own belief systems–the very same contradictions I struggled with for years–I hope to help some of them reclaim ownership of themselves, so they can start thinking and acting as rational, sentient beings, instead of as the well-trained livestock of malicious masters.”

          Philosophy Health Test
          http://www.philosophyexperiments.com/

          Test #2 Should You Kill The Fat Man? Test #15 Would you eat your cat?

          Philosophy Objective Answer Questions
          http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/076742011x/student_view0/chapter1/multiple_choice.html#

          The right philosophy? Whatever one that works for you, personally. The one you can most steadfastily adhere to because you find it morally resonant and consistently applicable on a deep level.

          • September 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm

            Dear Tor,

            “… My Deprogramming – By Larken Rose?”

            Not yet. But you can be sure I will.

            Market Anarchism cannot have too many spokesmen. The more the merrier.

            There is an ecological niche for high falutin’ Market Anarchist academics such as Hans Hoppe.

            There is also a place for folksy, crackerbarrel polemicists such as Rose and Molyneux.

            My own essays at LRC are closer to the latter than the former. I think the latter approach is more accessible, and reaches more grassroots supporters.

          • September 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm

            Dear Tor,

            The most insane aspect of “taxation” is how it so obviously contradicts the other premise of “Liberal Democracy,” namely that “we are all equal.”

            Well fuck, if we’re all equal, where the fuck do you get off taxing me???

            How about I tax you???

            It’s mind-boggling how the sheeple don’t see it.

    • Boothe
      September 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      And let’s not forget that every party in the production / distribution / retail chain pays all those same taxes passing them on to the next player in this shell game. I’ve read in the past that cumulatively our taxes equal more on the order of 70% (or more) due to this “stack up.” That’s not including the backdoor tax of monetary inflation. We are SO screwed and the average Amerikan prole still thinks this is the best country in the world and they’re “livin’ the dream.” When you look at how far and how fast our “public servants” and their corporate owners have taken this country down, the “American Dream” turns out to be a nightmare.

      • September 16, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        That effect is engineered out with a theoretically pure V.A.T. (Value Added Tax, meaning that it is only levied on the difference between the cost of inputs and the price of outputs, so taxes paid earlier on do not generate a further taxable base down stream), though in practice various leaks and anomalies can put some of that back in.

        • Boothe
          September 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm

          P.M. – It sounds good in theory (and so does communism). But we don’t have a theoretically pure V.A.T. here in Amerika. We have a system of preferential treatment where favored outfits like G.E. can pay no taxes at all, the average Joe gets socked hard and members of the FSA get their cut of the spoils in various forms of welfare such as the “Earned Income Credit” (i.e. we earn the income, the gunvernment takes it from us and “credits” it to the account of someone who didn’t earn it). The original idea of restricting federal funding to imposts, excises, duties and tariffs was pretty good too. It’s a bloody shame they couldn’t or wouldn’t live within those legal means. Do away with every other tax and implement a V.A.T. and the usual suspects will make an end run around that law in less than a decade and tax everything they can every way they can. It’s what those who gravitate to gunvernment employment naturally do and apparently have always done down through the ages. The best we can hope for is to limit the damage as best we can if we are forced to live under any form of gunvernment.

      • September 17, 2013 at 6:17 am

        Hey Boothe,

        Remember what Carlin once said?

        “You know why they call it The American Dream, don’t you? Because you have to be asleep to believe it.

    • dom
      September 13, 2013 at 10:58 am

      The racket makes me sick. Then to deal with the cops and the clovers is icing on the cake.

  8. Skeptic
    September 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I remember my Dad saying forty years ago he wished that no one would buy beer, whiskey, cigarettes, or gasoline for a month and listen to the bastards scream about lost revenues. They say they want you to use less of these things for your health or for conservation, but they thrive off the taxes.

  9. Cloverism = Disease
    September 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Those cretins are ALWAYS up to something.

  10. JvG
    September 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Bone-headed decisions do have side-effects.

    The government wants us to drive smaller cars so that less imported oil is required.

    Less money is spent on gas each month if you drive a smaller car. This is the main benefit of driving a small car. Generally people prefer larger cars….

    When a smaller car is taxed more heavily to “recover” “lost” road taxes there is less incentive to drive a smaller car.

    So since larger cars are not taxed as heavily per mile of travel as smaller cars would be, the consumer could decide to drive a larger, more comfortable car.

    Of course the larger car will burn more gas, and more foreign oil, and we end up right where we started.

    Just like the rational decision to drive an SUV. Cars cannot accommodate larger families anymore. Trucks (and SUVs) exist under different standards.

    A wise consumer might decide that he can buy a late model large car for the same money as a new gas-sipper. If the taxes were raised on the smaller car all incentive to buy them goes away. Less small cars would be purchased. The demand for new cars might go down as well.

    • GW
      September 13, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      OH NO MR BILL!

      You said “Just like the rational decision to drive an SUV”

      The Greenie Weenies must be having a Knyption Fit !

      I guess instead of the V-6 in my SUV, I will fire up the V-8 in my pickemup truck to go on a beer run half a mile down the road…

      But remember children – Don’t Drink and Drive, because you might hit a bump and spill your beer!

      • Tor Minotaur
        September 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm

        There ought to be some home movies of Mr. Clover like there was of Mr. Bill.

        Each Mr. Clover episode would start innocently enough but quickly turn dangerous for Mr. Clover. Along with his dog, Safety, he would suffer various indignities inflicted on him by “Mr. Government,” at his request.

        Mr. Government is seen only as various sleeves of uniformed hands of public servants .

        Sometimes the abuse would ostensibly come from the mean Peace Lover, another clay character. (However, Mr. Clover does most of the violence himself, because Peace Lover would tell him to, i.e. “Mother Earth says to…”) The violence would inevitably escalate, generally ending with Mr. Clover being crushed or dismembered while squealing in a high pitched voice, “Ohhhh noooooooooooooo…”

        Mr. Bill – Safety
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k78TVkbrHHM

        • Garysco
          September 13, 2013 at 9:31 pm

          Tor, no need for film, they are ubiquitous ( : existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : widespread) among us. They are the snotty little brownosers ( from the implication that servility is equivalent to having one’s nose in the anus of the person from whom advancement is sought- Merriam-Webster) you hated in school that went into politics, or Executive VP’s at government contracting agencies. Or least they tried.

          • Tor Minotaur
            September 14, 2013 at 9:32 am

            True. You and I don’t need to see it, but it might help to define Clover for the masses in a graphic-art exaggerated-cartoon manner, to show how truly odorous and self-destructive he truly is.
            – – – – –
            Are you a brown noser or brilliant?

            Most people have heard that in order to be successful in their roles, they need to manage up.

            But, what exactly is managing up? In simple terms, managing up is a conscious, deliberative effort to build an effective, efficient, and productive relationship with a superior.

            This will create great opportunities of growth for you and your boss, as well as establish a direct and valuable communication line between you and them.

            While you should take advantage of the open communication line between you and your boss, you shouldn’t simply become their “lackey” or subordinate.

            bn

            Unlike a good follower, a subordinate blindly follows orders simply in an effort to please their master. A follower, on the other hand, has reason and purpose for following, and does not do so blindly. In other words, subordinates are brown-nosers, followers are brilliant.

            2types

            To avoid being a brown noser you need to learn to master the art of managing up, the big question is “How?” Breaking down the definition will give us some insight.

            Being Conscious
            If you are “being conscious” in your relationship with your boss, it means you are alert and aware of their needs and the needs of the project. You know: What the end result should be; What your boss expects of you and your team; How often your boss would like to be updated; The types of updates your boss would like; What the boss’s goals are and how those align with the organizations;
            How to align your team and projects with these goals

            Essentially, you’ve taken inventory. You have the basic awareness and understanding of what the project is, how your team fits in, and what your boss expects.

            A Deliberative Effort
            When you are being deliberative in your efforts, you are being purposeful with your decisions. Because you are already conscious of the boss’s needs, your actions are calculated to meet those needs. You’re able to: Tailor deliverables to your boss’s specific requirements; You know your boss can become overwhelmed when presented with too many numbers, so you deliberately create graphics when designing your reports;
            You turn your work in on time, at the very latest; You understand that deadlines are set for specific purposes; missing a deadline has a ripple effect and can make your boss look bad; Your communication with your boss always has a purpose and direction;

            Because you are conscious of the fact that your boss enjoys small talk before getting down to business, you make sure to ask about their weekend, kids, dog etc. before beginning your discussion

            You recognize that every interaction you have with your boss is an opportunity to further the project’s goals, the team’s goals, and, in essence, yours.

            An Effective and Efficient Relationship
            In order for your relationship with your boss to be beneficial to you both, you need to make sure your conscious and deliberative efforts have operational and competent results. These results are how you know whether or not you’re actually being conscious and deliberative.

            A Productive Relationship
            A productive relationship with your boss should not be one sided. Basically, you should be reaping the benefits of your efforts as much as your boss. When you manage up properly, the lines of communication are open between you and them. This means several things:
            You are able to advocate for your team
            From proposing new software to getting more opportunities for your team, the boss’s ears will be more open to someone who is properly managing up than someone who isn’t.

            You are able to “lead” up
            Leading up means you are adding value to your boss beyond keeping them informed of what’s going on in the office; leading up may mean you are giving them strategic advice, or even coaching them on better ways to communicate with their employees

            You are rewarded for your work
            When you make the boss look good, you look good. You will know the relationship is productive if you are recognized by your boss for the work you are doing. This will look different depending on your boss, but you’re a conscious follower so you should know what that looks like for you.

            So, the next time you look in the mirror and see a brown spot on your nose, wipe it off quickly and remember to be brilliant. Managing up effectively benefits everyone, especially you!
            – – – – –

            Is Jay Leno a Corporate Shill?
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTWCvEENccw

          • Garysco
            September 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm

            But Tor, it is so much easier to be a browner. You just have to swallow (literally?) your self esteem in exchange for the corner office & company car. Isn’t that success?

    • Mithrandir
      September 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      JvG,

      I think this would be a reason to favor a consumption tax.

      If you use more of a product then you pay more in taxes.

      In general, smaller/lighter vehicles consume less fuel than larger/heavier vehicles so the larger/heavier vehicles.

      In general, drivers of smaller/lighter vehicles will pay less fuel taxes than drivers of larger/heavier vehicles when both are driven an equal amount of miles.

      • September 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

        There’s usually a huge bait and switch going on whenever people talk about consumption taxes, because they usually mean V.A.T. or Value Added Tax (G.S.T., here in Australia) – and that is not a consumption tax but a production tax. The sophistry they use to make out that it is a consumption tax conceals the way it hits the difference between production and consumption, which is mostly investment (ignoring government spending and foreign trade for the moment, though those matter too). The hidden stuff means that there really isn’t the advantage over other taxes that a consumption tax is theoretically supposed to have, and it gets even worse the way taxes are levied in advance. There’s a really, really big hit on constructive economic activity, and one that’s completely unnecessary even if you wanted to have that much tax revenue – it’s all from how badly the taxes were put together.

        In case anyone is interested in more detail, I brought all that out in an article years ago.

        • Steve Victor
          September 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

          In USA, a consumption tax would be a sales tax, REPLACING income taxes. All purchases would be taxed, encouraging savings, essentially eliminating the IRS, and preventing the uber-wealthy from using tax loopholes. Buy a mansion or yacht, pay the tax. Simple. Everyone pays, no exceptions. Ten percent would be fair, IMHO, although asshole politicians who favor such a tax proffer a MUCH higher percentage (of course).

          • Giuseppe Crowe
            September 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm

            Steve Victor wrote:
            In USA, a consumption tax would be a sales tax, REPLACING income taxes. All purchases would be taxed, encouraging savings, essentially eliminating the IRS, and preventing the uber-wealthy from using tax loopholes. Buy a mansion or yacht, pay the tax. Simple. Everyone pays, no exceptions. Ten percent would be fair, IMHO, although asshole politicians who favor such a tax proffer a MUCH higher percentage (of course).

            Why pay any tax? The simple reason is that government has bigger guns and that all taxes….no exceptions….are tantamount to slavery. When you speak of fairness in taxation, that’s a non-sequitur. It’s absolutely no concern of the government, or anybody else, how an individual chooses to expend his or her fairly earned resources. No tax is fair. Every tax is armed robbery. With taxation, the taxed are funding their own oppression. I do think that this kind of oppression being considered in NC amounts to the height of irony. The “green” collectivists are being hoisted on their own petards with this one…..sort of like with “Obamacare”.

          • ekrampitzjr
            September 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm

            The idea that the IRS would simply go buh-bye if a national sales tax replaced the income tax is patently absurd.

            For starters, some agency is going to be required to enforce the new sales tax on a federal level. We could call this agency…hmm…the, uh, Internal…Revenue… Yup, them.

            Next. Some years ago, a man claiming to be an IRS employee called the Rush Limbaugh radio show and said that if a national sales tax replaced the income tax, the agency already had created contingency plans. If audited, you would have to produce receipts for everything you and your dependents bought to prove you had paid the proper and complete amount of sales tax. They don’t plan to go away, folks. Don’t get naive and think a sales tax will eliminate the IRS.

            Next. The government already monitors every penny you make. Again, don’t be naive. It ain’t gonna give that up. A national sales tax will pretty quickly give the enforcers the excuse and resources to monitor every penny you spend on everything as well. Yeah, just what you want.

            Next. Such a tax would inevitably hit services. The consumption/sales tax scheme will never bring in enough money without doing so. You go to the hospital for emergency heart surgery and run up a $500,000 bill? Taxed. Another $50,000, $100,000, etc., to the feds. Go to a lawyer to defend yourself from a frivolous lawsuit? Lawyer’s fees—taxed. Pay rent or mortgage? Taxed.

            Then would come reselling. You sell your old car or your home to buy another? You sell your stuff on eBay or at a yard sale? All taxed. And you’d better pay it—or else. Remember, monitoring your income will continue, and possible evasion of sales taxes from selling something will be another excuse for that.

            Next. In many of the proposals for a national sales tax, because rent and mortgage payments will be taxed, “something for fairness” will have to be done about all the people who own their homes free and clear. So there will be a special “imputed income tax” based on the rental value of the home you own. I’m not making this up; look it up. Boortz probably had no idea this was in his “Fair Tax” sales tax proposal, but it is, buried in the fine print.

            Next. Studies by conservative/libertarian groups that have actually crunched the numbers come up with far higher sales tax rates to bring in the same revenue, some approaching 100%, to recoup all the revenue lost from ending the income tax. And many of these studies were done years before the present debt and deficits figures that have made matters even worse.

            Next. Differential tax rates to punish some things and reward others will end up in such a sales tax system. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once proposed a 10,000% tax on certain handgun ammo as a backdoor means of gun control, so that a single bullet would cost hundreds of dollars. Imagine what the people in Congress and in federal agencies could do with that concept.

            I could continue. But you see a national sales tax would have serious issues. And as stated by other posters here, we would be told that we’d have to have a transition period with both sales and income taxes—but then the income taxes will never go away, or even be significantly reduced for the average Joe. We’d have both forever.

            Think—and tread—carefully concerning this idea.

      • September 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm

        “I think this would be a reason to favor a consumption tax.
        If you use more of a product then you pay more in taxes.”
        Let me rephrase this so that I can make sure I can get this right: “I think this would be a reason to favor allowing liars and thieves to rob you more if you buy more of something you want.” Is this what you are saying?

  11. randall
    September 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    So, the money that you allegedly saved by buying the hybrid goes to Big Brother. Hey, We need way more prisons, drones, spy cameras, armored vehicles and enforcement officers. Dont bother trying to help the environment, or the government will punish you.

    • JvG
      September 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Yep,

      Being piggish will be rewarded while being responsible will be punished.

      You really did not think the fat cats would want a Pius (Prius) now, did you?

  12. gmathol
    September 14, 2013 at 1:57 am

    Solution? We started to ride Republicans and Democrats to get to work. Just ride this scum to death.

    • Garysco
      September 14, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      @gmathol How about we borrow their nice tax payer company SUV’s as free school taxi’s when they don’t need them? “Promise comrade, we will bring it back on time so you won’t be inconvenienced. It is for the children”.

    • Tor Minotaur
      September 14, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Beats what’s been happening lately:
      1 Donkey rides the bull. 2 Elephant rides the bull.
      3 Bipartisan Duo rides the Bull all the way to China Shop to borrow hundreds of trillions.
      4 Everyone agrees to make brief rest stop at Keynesian OPM Den on return trip “just to water their animals.”
      5 Irrational Exuberance Erupts, UK Lions, Aus Kangaroos, Fra Frogs, Infidel Camels, Majority of World Zoo, all squander the hundreds of trillions owed to the China Shop and Destroy the Keynesian OPM Den.
      6 China Shop Creditors find out about destruction of their Keynesian OPM Den, lose confidence in the Bull Riders, and seek immediate repayment and reparations.
      7 China Hires Bears Riding Camels to Maul every Bull, Donkey, and Elephant they can find for a huge bounty and some free gadgets.
      – – – – –

      Let’s Do It! – Bluto’s Speech
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep-xgd_eETE

  13. chumchingee
    September 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I think anyone getting in a small electric vehicle is suicidal. Look down any highway and that is confirmed by idiots driving right up on your bumper at anywhere from 35 mph to 70 mph.
    So we need a little metal between them and us. Electric vehicles and hybrids do not normally give us enough protection. Personally I drive a truck.
    What about vehicles using propane instead of gas? That is a much more efficient fuel and it is virtually pollution free. Entire trucklines are converting over because of the fuel cost difference.
    If you look real close, I am sure the taxes are being proposed by people in the control of the gasoline industry. Sort of hard to tell which puppet master is really pulling the strings sometimes.
    If electric or propane take over then they are all in a whole lot of trouble. So do not expect it to happen anywhere soon. So anything that these people are doing to make it economically unfeasible to switch is understandable.

  14. Tor Minotaur
    September 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

    ANne BArnhardt – L1ndsey GRaham is a jackass traitor to the constitution and sharia-alla-snackbar snuggler… I’m going to burn a K0ran.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeyrp-V3Jvc

    ANne BArnhardt – Part 2 – & K0ran burning
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LCLDjPNpf4

    “You want my CHristian CHurch L1ndsey? – MOlon LAbe

  15. Desertrat
    September 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Seems to me that the transportation fuels tax is about the only really fair and useful tax we pay: Highways ain’t free; costs a lot to build and maintain them. So, a user-pay fuel tax is about the same as paying a toll to a privately-built and owned road.

    The deal is user-pay. Snot-bubble electromobiles use. Why shouldn’t they pay? If they don’t have to buy liquid fuel and thus pay in that manner, why not some tax based on average mileage across the board which is close to equal what other econo-boxes pay in fuel taxes?

    • Jeff
      September 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      It’s not “fair.” If these roads were privately owned, we would (probably) be paying to use them – I could see scenarios where certain roads are paid through advertisements or something – but they would be run much more efficiently (expenses reduced/congestion lessened/maintenance improved). We’re all losing in this deal, and the owners of hybrid cars are just losing less badly.

      • September 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm

        Dear Jeff,

        Exactly.

        Statists, especially liberal Democrat coercive egalitarians, always harp on “fairness.”

        They just can’t get it into their heads that liberal democracy, with its contradictory mix of majoritarian tyranny and cronyist Big Government-Big Business collusion, will always be the farthest thing from “fair.”

        Only private property and voluntary exchange ever stands a chance of being “fair.”

        But then they would have to relinquish POLITICAL CONTROL, and that’s something they just won’t do.

    • September 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Desert,

      A couple of points in reply:

      First, passenger cars impose very little wear on the roads; the majority of the wear is imposed by heavy commercial trucks.

      Second, the pretty apparent ultimate object here is to have all cars fitted with monitors; the “lack of sufficient revenue” and “pay their fair share” thing is a straw man. Keep in mind that with the latest cars, far more than merely monitoring how many miles you drive is possible. Everything from how fast you to drive to how often you drive could also be monitored. And, in addition to being monitored, your car could also be controlled – turned off – via the same technology.

  16. DR
    September 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Only thing left to do is to leave. Making plans now – they won’t stop – not for anything – not until they own YOU, lock, stock, and barrel.

    Worse, there’s no place left to “make a stand.” That just gets you the “blue death.” No hope for this place. Better almost anywhere, Russia even. But there are probably better choices.

  17. Blake
    September 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Great article.

    At work, one of my coworkers has a Prius with a bumper sticker that reads “Gas Guzzlers are Unpatriotic.”

    I’m looking for suggestions on what to write on the post-it note I stick on their windshield. I’m not sure who owns the car (it is a big company and they are not in the same building I reside in).

    I figure this crowd will come up with some great suggestions.

    As a side note. Public (Socialist) roads suck. There is zero profit incentive to keep traffic moving. One of the roads that normally sports a dedicated left turn lane, a straight through lane, and a straight through or right turn lane is under construction. There is now only one lane. Anybody see a problem? I sat through 8, 90 second light cycles when I was only 9 cars back since they brilliantly still allow left turners to hold up everyone else waiting to go straight through – for the entire light cycle.

    This would never happen on a private road. The more cars per mile they can pass through, the more profit they would make.

    I could go on for days. Minor intersection lights are still functional (even the left turn signals) at 2am. Left turn arrows are really only needed during morning and evening rush. I’ve yet to see one turn off at any hour of any day. I guess the technology must be too “advanced” for our brilliant masters.

    There is no “reforming” public roads – throw them all in the woods.

    Keep up the educating articles – great stuff.

    • Garysco
      September 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      @Blake – That’s rich. Driving a Japanese car fueled with foreign oil because or political and banker masters have destroyed production and taken the cash out of his “patriotic” country.

  18. K
    September 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    “Ever tumescent war boner””???? Now THAT’S just damn fine writing. I plan on borrowing it at the first apportunity!

    • September 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks, K – I’d be honored!

  19. Hook
    September 15, 2013 at 1:49 am

    I wouldn’t mind the miles per year at registration time, if they eliminated all gas taxes.

    The problem is that when people have to pay the taxes they normally would pay over a year in gas purchases all at once at registration time, they will freak. Then they will start disconnecting the speedo cable to get around the tax. Then the gov. will require black boxes that can’t be circumvented. And so on.

    If they were really low on funds for roads, they could always just stop stealing money from the gas tax fund to pay for light rail and other boondoggles.

    On another note, does Eric ever do radar detector/laser jammer reviews? Is the V1 still the best?

    • September 15, 2013 at 6:17 am

      Hi Hook,

      I’d rather replace the current system of state-owned roads with privately owned ones. Many people think this is unworkable but not only do I disagree, I can point to evidence that it is workable. There are already successful private roads, including toll road highways.

      On radar detectors: There are others that have features the V1 doesn’t, such as apps that continuously update information about area speed traps. But only the V1 has the ability to detect multiple radar sources and give you a directional vector, as well as detect multiple K bands at once.

      Its chief weaknesses, in my opinion are:

      Essentially useless laser detection. You get a warning when you’ve already been “painted.” But I am pretty sure this is a problem shared by all detectors. Laser is very difficult to detect ahead of time because there is no diffuse beam to intercept before it intercepts you.

      The power cord. You have to plug the thing in. That’s a problem for me (I live in VA, where detectors are still illegal) because the cord makes the detector easier to spot as well as harder to quickly hide. I would love it if Mike Valentine figured out a way to make the unit battery powered/rechargeable. But I suspect this is no easy thing given the power it uses.

      Still, my V1 has saved me thousands. No exaggeration. In the four years I’ve had mine, I’ve had exactly one minor ticket, which I was able to make “disappear” by attending that ridiculous DMV traffic school.

      Previously, I’d get at least one a year – and every couple of years, one for “reckless” driving – which in VA is anything higher than 20 MPH over any speed limit (thus, 76 in a 55 where even Clovers are doing 60-ish is statutory “reckless” driving).

      Highly recommend.

      • Eightsouthman
        September 18, 2013 at 7:33 am

        eric, the new toll road in Tx. that parallels I-35 is wildly popular although the speed limit is the same 85mph of many interstate hiways in this state. We’ve dealt with toll roads since I can remember with a couple finally becoming freeways maintained by the state in the last decade or two. My main bitch is letting the DPS even get on the things.

  20. lee
    September 15, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Many roads where I live are maintained by municipalities, not by the state. If pay-by-the-mile becomes the rule and if mile meters are installed in vehicles, and if the state collects the tax, cities and towns will want their “fair” share. Some allocation will have to be put in place to distribute the revenue raised by the tax. Since any given motorist drives in and among many towns and cities, on state and local roads. it will be next to impossible to arrive at an accurate formula for revenue sharing. And some roads, in many towns and cities, are maintained by the state, on this stretch of road, and by the city or town on that stretch of road.

    On the “bright” side, these extra fees and taxes may diminish the incentive for law enforcement to operate as revenue centers for the state, decreasing the number of traffic citations that function as a lottery tax and that troubles the consciences of decent cops who dislike having to be extortionists on behalf of the state.

  21. September 15, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Amerikkka? Land of the fee – and home of the slave.

  22. Pfc. Parts
    September 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I think the only way to address this problem fairly is to increase the registration fees for old cars. They’re all gas guzzlers and eyesores. Since the cashs for clunkers program the only people who drive old GTOs, Cameros and Trans Ams are rich anyway. Why should poor people driving ecologically correct Priuses have to pay road taxes anyway? They’re already doing their part to make the world a better place. They look better, smell better and eat vegetables.

    Tax the rich gas pigs!

    • September 18, 2013 at 7:03 am

      I don’t doubt that such a thing is coming.

      I’ve dreaded for years the certain coming of a law forbidding the use on public roads of vehicles that aren’t “safe” (as defined by modern regulations) or which “pollute” (even if they’re only used recreationally and occasionally).

      Bastards.

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