Thursday, February 05, 2015

Call Me Nostradamus

Over three years ago I wrote about how higher mpg vehicles will result in less need for gas, which will result in less gas tax revenue, which will necessitate a gas tax increase.  So what do I see at the web site of the major Sacramento newspaper today?
Drivers would fund repairs to California’s roads with a new user charge under a proposal unveiled Wednesday by California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego...

“While it’s great our air is cleaner as cars have become more efficient and less dependent on gasoline, it’s clear we must now move forward to the next generation of transportation funding,” Atkins said in her speech...

“It could take any number of forms,” Atkins told reporters after her speech. “You’ve heard vehicle mileage, you’ve heard vehicle license fee, there’s a way you could attach it to insurance – people pay insurance on a regular basis. Either way, it’s a fee that we have to figure out how best and the easiest way to collect it.”
Our friends on the left probably don't have a problem with this, believing as they do that California's government is a better steward of money than its citizens are.

By the by, do you notice that "infrastructure" is always "crumbling" in this country and always needs to be improved?  What ever happened to that $880 billion in porkulus money in 2009, money that was supposed to go to "shovel-ready" projects for improving infrastructure?  Did any infrastructure get improved, or was that, in all seriousness, the biggest financial boondoggle/swindle in the history of mankind?  (Or, if you're only slightly more cynical than I am, did it get funneled to exactly the "right" people?)

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maxutils said...

I'm not sure you're Nostradamus worthy, yet. I remember your post, and I remembered thinking, "Yes that's entirely correct." Not sure if I commented then … I generally don't, when I agree with you, unless I have something pertinent to add. But you don't need to be Nostradamus; you just need to have taken an econ class, read an econ text, or have common sense.

Fundamental rule of economics, one which cannot be changed: Things which are taxed will be avoided. Things which are subsidized will be overused. So, If your goal with a gas tax is to get people to burn less fuel through whatever means possible, then that is an excellent strategy. But if your goal is to generate enough revenue to maintain the roads? Especially in a high commuting state such CA? It will never work -- for exactly the reasons outlined above.

That's why we need to eliminate every single tax, at any level, and replace them with a single income tax… which is both unavoidable, except for the very poor, and efficient to collect.

PeggyU said...

Nostradamus or Cassandra?

Darren said...

I've been known to be a Cassandra.