Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Pro Tax Republican Spotlight: Rep. Tom Petri, Wisconsin

Tom Petri wants Americans to pay for the privilege of driving their cars. Yep, you heard it right. This Wisconsin Republican known for being in favor of more people riding their bikes to work (gee, that would have been great when people only lived a couple blocks or miles away from work, but this is the 21st century, pal)wants Congress to consider leveeing the VMT, or vehicle mileage tax. I heard this story over the weekend on America's Trucking Network with Bubba Bo on 700 WLW. Here is a story from a trucking website that tells about Mr. Petri and how he wants to disable American transportation and cripple shipping, the lifeblood of our economy:
Rep. Thomas Petri, R-Wisc., chairman of the House Highway and Transit Subcommittee, said Wednesday the hearing will cover how the Department of Transportation is handling the reforms contained in last year’s highway law. The law, known as MAP 21, requires DOT to streamline the project approval process, consolidate programs, establish performance measures and expand its project loan program. Petri, speaking to members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials meeting in Washington, D.C., said he’ll inquire about DOT’s progress in these areas, as well as in creation of a national freight policy. Petri acknowledged that the big transportation issue is funding and said he expects that Congress will eventually figure out how to get the revenues. He believes it will take a variety of sources, from highway user fees to innovative financing, to bridge the gap in the near term. He noted that past federal fuel tax increases have been implemented in the context of broader economic policy than just transportation funding. The last increase, in 1993, initially went to deficit reduction and later was shifted to the Highway Trust Fund. In the future Petri foresees the vehicle mile tax playing a larger role. “Using the gas tax as a proxy for road use worked in 1950 but it won’t work in 2050,” he said. The technology for VMT is well established and concerns about privacy can be overcome, he said. He is urging trucking interests to take a close look.
So, in the guise of saying, hey, let's get rid of the gas tax, this guy wants to have everyone put tech into their cars that would allow the government to know where, when, and how long you drove your car each day. You would get a bill for the amount of miles you drove. Who do these clowns in Washington think they are? They are restricting more and more of our access to basic rights. They are seeking to tax the internet, take over our retirement accounts, and now they want to tax transportation. This guy Petri has been in love with the VMT for some time. Take this article from 2009:
The freight tax, which the group did not specify, would be for both truck and railroad shipments and would be part of a sweeping national freight policy tackling such issues as connectivity and congestion in order to promote economic growth. “Congestion in the national freight system is undermining the reliability and connectivity of goods movements, which are essential to the nation’s economic well-being,” the blueprint said. At the same time, the blueprint said, the federal government should initiate the research and planning necessary to transition to a VMT tax that takes into account the fuel consumption of particular vehicle models, as well as the needs of rural Americans. A former chairman of the House highways subcommittee who was on hand for the June 9 unveiling of the blueprint said the trucking industry is in the best position to help launch a VMT tax pilot program, because trucking is the most sophisticated highway user and already employs the onboard technology necessary for such a tax system. “If people see the big boys doing it and become familiar with it, [VMT is] less threatening and it has more legitimacy,” said Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.). “You could give them a discount if they were willing to switch to this technology and maybe drive their trucks in off-peak hours,” Petri said. Petri raised the VMT possibility at the press conference and panel discussion the BPC held for the blueprint’s unveiling.
So, if you travel for a living, you are screwed. If you live more than ten minutes from your job, you get to pay more in taxes, becasue well, you could live in the crime and pollution infested city. This is ridiculous, and it would be even worse for the shipping industry, where drivers travel 1000s of miles delivering goods and resources. We don't need more revenue, Mr. Petri! We don't need more government monitoring over our lives! We need less spending and less intrusion. The people of Wisconsin need to get rid of this guy, or he needs to change over to the Domineering Socialist Party whose head is Barack Insane Obama, mmm, mmm mmm. This guy is probably a food and health nazi, too.