With fuel efficiency going up, people buying electric cars, and more people working from home, the government isn’t receiving as much fuel tax revenue as it used to.
Unfortunately, the cost of driving is about to get even more expensive in the U.S., and it has nothing to do with the cost of gas or cars.
Turns out, President Biden is now getting serious about taxing Americans based on the number of miles they drive. According to MSN:
American drivers could soon trade paying taxes on gas at the pump for owing the government annual ‘per-mile user fees,’ under a new pilot program recently passed by the Senate in Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal.
Buried in Biden’s massive infrastructure deal is $125 million that’s been earmarked to test the implementation of a “Vehicle Miles Traveled” (VMT) tax in various regions. Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg will head up the pilot program that, for now, is being described as “voluntary.”
Despite relatively scant details, many Americans are already deeply concerned about this program, so fact checkers are working overtime to reassure the public “not to worry” because the VMT program is just a pilot program and it’s 100% voluntary.
But just as we’ve already seen with Covid vaccines, the government’s use of the term “voluntary” could quickly become “mandatory.” Remember, it was just December 2020 when President Biden said Covid vaccines wouldn’t be mandatory. It took only 9 months for him to reverse course.
If this VMT pilot program were to become permanent and mandatory, it would mean paying a tax of about 8 cents on every mile you drive. And that per-mile rate could be more or less depending on the type of vehicle you drive.
Drive a Prius? You’ll pay a smaller tax. Drive an F-150? You’ll pay more.
The tax itself is not even the worst part. The mechanics of calculating and collecting the VMT would require all cars to be outfitted with GPS trackers linked to some centralized agency.
Which would mean that your ability to freely move about the country would no longer exist. You’d literally be tracked everywhere you drive, day or night, 24/7/365. This would be an invasion of privacy on par with the NSA’s mass surveillance of Americans’ phone calls.
Think about how this could be used against political enemies. If you attended a peaceful protest, the government could track you to the location of the protest… and then arrest you under false pretenses… even if you did nothing wrong.
And think about how the federal government might collect this VMT tax. Rather than rolling it into your once-a-year income tax return, there’s a good chance this tax would be auto-billed monthly straight to your debit card. So the feds would have a direct link to your bank account.
In other words, the same people who want to track all bank accounts with more than $600 in them — and routinely use civil asset forfeiture to steal millions from innocent Americans — could soon be able to pull money directly out of your bank account anytime they want.
Freedom in the U.S. is in short supply these days. And more of it disappears every year. Which is why…
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