Forget the freedom of the “open road.” Soon every mile one drives may be relayed back to government tax collectors. I pray that your commute isn’t too long. It’s not like you pay copious gasoline taxes already or anything. No, the little digital spy in your car will determine how much you owe above and beyond your Income taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, highway tolls, phone taxes, and only God knows what other taxes. And don’t disconnect that black box. You wouldn’t want to go to jail for tax evasion would you?
The article says that at least some of the folks at Reason Magazine are for this kind of tax. If so we are shocked, and Reason ought to reconsider. We get that tying taxation closer to those who use a resource is probably a decent principal in spirit but to sanction a digital spy which will relay every bit of one’s movements to authorities seems incredibly shortsighted.
(From The LA Times)
Several states and cities are nonetheless moving ahead on their own. The most eager is Oregon, which is enlisting 5,000 drivers in the country’s biggest experiment. Those drivers will soon pay the mileage fees instead of gas taxes to the state. Nevada has already completed a pilot. New York City is looking into one. Illinois is trying it on a limited basis with trucks. And the I-95 Coalition, which includes 17 state transportation departments along the Eastern Seaboard (including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida), is studying how they could go about implementing the change.
The concept is not a universal hit.
Open Letter to Obama and Congress From Internet Giants Calls For Reining In Government Surveillance | Nick Sorrentino
(An important interview) Saving the Net from the surveillance state (And Crony Media): Glenn Greenwald speaks up (Q&A) | Nick Sorrentino