Driving the Day: Taxing the Miles You Drive

Gas continues to rise, placing a huge burden on Americans; especially those who live in rural areas, live paycheck-to-paycheck, drive to work or drive for a living.  As Victor Davis Hanson reminded us yesterday, many in the environmental movement crave high energy prices.  Before becoming Energy Secretary, Steven Chu frequently asserted, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”  Mr. Chu is undoubtedly pleased at the recent run up in prices.

However, some in the Obama administration are less than pleased; though, for reasons you may not expect.  As gasoline prices continue to rise, Americans drive less.  As a result, the government collects less in tax revenue because fewer gallons of gasoline are purchased.  The 18.4 cent per gallon tax goes to the Highway Trust Fund, which never seems to have enough money to satisfy lawmakers’ desire to bring home transportation pork projects.

According to CQ, the “White House may be warming to an idea it once spurned for funding transportation infrastructure: switching from the current gasoline tax to a levy based on miles driven.”  They say an “unofficial draft” authorization bill would create a new government office to “study and field-test a ‘vehicle miles traveled’ system.”

The idea appears to have some traction with one influential Senator, Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), who requested a Congressional Budget Office report on the potential revenue generated.  Conrad also acknowledged the new tax would be in addition to the current gas tax.

It’s a common solution for those on the political left: increase taxes.  Not surprisingly, their scheme will hurt the same people who are already suffering from sky-high gasoline prices.

Read the CBO Report

Please Share Your Thoughts

9 thoughts on “Driving the Day: Taxing the Miles You Drive

  1. More of the Police State is proposed. Does anybody in their right mind think all they will do is track the miles you drive?

  2. More of the Police State is proposed. Does anybody in their right mind think all they will do is track the miles you drive?

  3. And once again, they completely miss the fact that, if they actually lowered the cost of gas, people would drive more and pay more in tax revenue. It’s like income tax. Every time in the last 50-75 years that the gov’t has lowered tax rates, their revenue has gone way up. And yet the people that want to always spend more and more do not do the one thing that would guarantee them more tax revenue to spend. They’re quite mad.

  4. And once again, they completely miss the fact that, if they actually lowered the cost of gas, people would drive more and pay more in tax revenue. It’s like income tax. Every time in the last 50-75 years that the gov’t has lowered tax rates, their revenue has gone way up. And yet the people that want to always spend more and more do not do the one thing that would guarantee them more tax revenue to spend. They’re quite mad.

    • They use taxes to conyrol us and our behavior. I like my car. I don’t want to be forced to use mass transit and give up my freedom and privacy and safety.

  5. I think that all of you above are correct in your thoughts. It also seems to me that we are being double taxed. Maybe this is an understatement. We are being double taxed on many things and it’s wrong. Not sure where it is, but our constitution specifically says; NO DOUBLE TAXATION!

  6. These Dems aren’t smart enough to understand the simple math. Lower gas prices=lower costs for goods and services. Lower costs=more available capital for consumers to spend. Even at the current tax rates the government would still have plenty to operate on. You’d think all these MBAs would be able to figure it out. I guess when you can’t even do your taxes correctly it’s hard to deal with higher math problems.

  7. I think the term “reducteo ad absurdum” fits nicely. What is it the Dumbocrats can’t understand about cheaper gas, more of it bought, more miles driven spending money shopping, more taxes collected on said fuel and merchandise bought.

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