At any given time, bureaucrats are plotting ways to take your money and your privacy. This LA Times story relays yet another example:
WASHINGTON — As America’s road planners struggle to find the cash to mend a crumbling highway system, many are beginning to see a solution in a little black box that fits neatly by the dashboard of your car.
The devices, which track every mile a motorist drives and transmit that information to bureaucrats, are at the center of a controversial attempt in Washington and state planning offices to overhaul the outdated system for funding America’s major roads.
“This really is a must for our nation. It is not a matter of something we might choose to do,” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Assn. of Governments, which is planning for the state to start tracking miles driven by every California motorist by 2025. “There is going to be a change in how we pay these taxes. The technology is there to do it.”
The push comes as the country’s Highway Trust Fund, financed with taxes Americans pay at the gas pump, is broke. Americans don’t buy as much gas as they used to. Cars get many more miles to the gallon.
What’s really surprising is that the article explains that some libertarians are on board with the idea. I guess the idea is that a mileage-based tax is more efficient than a gallons-of-gasoline-based tax, when it comes to paying for road usage.
Two objections to such an argument are: (1) Even if the textbook mileage tax made more sense, we can’t trust politicians to set the “optimal” tax rate; giving them another new type of tax, will simply mean more revenue going to the government. And (2) do you really want government officials–who are already monitoring our communications–able to track your every movement in your vehicle?