Government represented by Uncle Sam shaking a businessman free of his money in order to collect taxes.

The Taxman Cometh…..

So Oregon has found the right way…the Green way to tax its citizens…put GPS tracking equipment in their cars…track their every move…make them pay their “Fair Share”. Because we all want to be “Fair”…don’t we?

 I know you’ve heard about it. Fuels taxes have remained flat in Oregon because of the increase in electric and hybrid cars on the roads. (Oregon is arguably the Greenest state in the Union). Electrics and Hybrids use little or no petroleum based fuel. They only use a combination of fuel and electricity, or electricity only, and as we all know…Electricity is magically produced.

Forget for a moment that the production of electric cars creates its own environmental hazards and concerns which are routinely swept under the carpet by the “Green Team”. Heavy metals in car storage batteries, pollution produced from producing the cars and batteries, the increased  demand for electricity.

Yep, the electricity has to come from somewhere. The fact that electricity from nuclear sources is opposed by the Greenies as much as from fossil fuel sources means that the only electricity they would approve is from Green sources. (Read solar and wind powered)

Of course Green sources of power have their own problems. Solar panel production creates more hazardous waste in the form of heavy metals and are still inefficient compared to other sources. Wind powered electrical generation (you know those cute monstrosities called windmills that litter the landscape in some places and kill birds with their whirling, deadly blades, creating noise and visual pollution). Solar heat generation is the latest fad where hundreds of thousand of mirrors are lined up around heat collecting towers where liquid is brought to boiling in order to turn the turbines that generate the electricity. (ask the plant workers who talk about the thousands of “streamers”, birds who inadvertently fly into the path of the sunlight reflected by the mirrors and die horrible deaths as they are scorched alive, plummeting to earth in a meteoric display)

Despite the problems with so-called green sources of energy, Oregonians continue to be among the greenest of people on the planet. Fine for them, if that’s what they want.

And because they are so eminently green, the government needs more money to maintain roads and bridges, money that generally comes from fuel taxes. So now the legislature is adopting a measure to tax drivers by the mile. How would they do this, you ask? By placing a GPS monitor in every vehicle, tracking vehicle uses and then taxing the vehicle’s owner accordingly.  The program is only voluntary for now, and there are electric-driving Greenies who think it is only right that they should pay their fair share. Of course, their are many others who feel that anything that inhibits the decision to buy a “green vehicle” is bad for the environment. In other words, let the evil gas guzzling SUV and pickup drivers pay for the roads.

Oregon Drive TaxOregon launches program to tax drivers per mile

As a fossil fuel driver, I welcome the inclusion of the Greenies in the taxing system. I would not, however, expect my own taxes to decrease. Taxes don’t go down…ever…they only go up. Legislators have an amazing capacity to find ways to spend our money.

My problems with the tax are these:

  • No voluntary Tax program will stay voluntary for long. Mark my words. The new taxing system will be in place for all Oregonians before long.
  • The absolute invasion of privacy of having a GPS tracking system placed in vehicles is Big Brother at its worst. One more precedent of allowing the government to look over shoulders and track our activities is never good for freedom

The Oregon fuel tax-as-you-drive system is acceptable to some, only because we have accepted in general, the right of the government to take our money. Don’t get me wrong. I like roads and bridges and I am willing to find ways to pay for them. In some respects, fuel taxes are among the fairest (if any tax can be fair) because they are an attempt to make taxing user, or service based. Oregon’s attempt to increase revenues and make the tax fairer by focusing on use seems legitimate on the surface.

But the expansion of the government into tracking our private movements and lives is unacceptable at best and fearful at worst.

For me, I would rather drive on dirt roads than have a “benevolent” Uncle Sam looking over my shoulder every time I start the engine.

I leave you with the prophetic word of George Harrison and the Beatles, although they would not probably approve of their use here.

Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

Don’t ask me what I want it for
If you don’t want to pay some more
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me.

Written by George Harrison, Artist – The Beatles