Fat Tax, Mileage Tax, What Next?

The state of Oregon is looking at using GPS systems to track the number of miles people drive and then tax them accordingly. Those who are taxed by the mile will have their gasoline taxes rebated at the pump, or so says the Governor of the state.

Privacy advocates worry that the system will be used to track people though the government says it cannot and will not do that. However, if it involves a GPS then they can track people so the capability is there. Will they? One can most assuredly believe they will the first time a child is abducted or some other emergency exists. They will justify their acts based on public safety or “its for the children.”

The move is designed to improve revenue for the roads (though they never use the taxes for that exclusively). Revenue is down since people are driving fewer miles and using fuel efficient vehicles, what they wanted us to do in the first place. Now they want to tax per mile which means it will be easier for them to generate revenue by simply increasing the amount per mile drivers are taxed. There is no word on how the state will handle vehicles that drive primarily on roads that are not maintained by the state such as roads on private property.

I think this is a bad idea and it will lead to invasion of privacy. It will also lead to people paying more in taxes. I would not be surprised if people who are mobile move out of the state to avoid it.

Put Down That Sugary Drink

In New York, Governor Paterson has proposed 88 new taxes in an effort to shrink the state’s growing deficit. Seems to me that cutting waste would be the first step but Paterson is a Democrat and they never met a tax they didn’t hike.

One of the most controversial taxes is the tax that will be levied on sugary drinks like non diet colas. The state is using its power to levy taxes in order to force behavior on people. This will only lead to people going to other states to buy sugary drinks. Look at how they already avoid paying taxes on tobacco. Pretty soon, the Indian reservations will be selling mail order cola.

The interesting thing is that they want to curb obesity by taxing sugary drinks when artificial sweeteners have been linked to obesity. The artificial sweeteners might actually cause the body to crave more sugar leading to people eating more.

Regardless, this is a bad idea. First of all it is not the state’s job to decide what people should or should not drink or eat. This is an individual choice and if people become obese then that is their concern. The fact of the matter is everyone is going to die and depriving people of what they enjoy (or taxing it so they cannot afford it) only delays the inevitable. Life is a sexually transmitted terminal condition.

The state claims that people’s health is its only concern but the fact is the state wants to make money and taxing sugary drinks is how they are going about it. I can guarantee that if everyone decided to stop drinking sugary beverages and stuck to diet drinks, water or milk then the state would either tax them or find something else to tax. The state will find a way to increase revenue when the flow of money slows or stops because of behavior they wanted. See above about Oregon.

When will this insanity end? What next? Will they tax red meat or fatty foods because they increase the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease? Will they tax people with emphysema (or other COPDs) more because they use oxygen less efficiently?

This is a slippery slope because once this camel gets its nose under the tent there will be no stopping it. Government can decide what it thinks is healthy and what it thinks is not and increase taxes according to its own arbitrary standards all in the name of looking out for the people and their health.

It is not government’s job to decide for us how we manage our health. This is a matter of personal responsibility (something government knows nothing about) and it is up to each person to decide what is best.

Taxes are nothing more than a form of involuntary servitude where the fruits of our labor are confiscated. We work and our money is taken but we have little say in how it is spent, spending that usually involves a huge amount of waste.

I propose a fathead tax. Then people like Paterson would be required to pay more in taxes.

Come to think of it, so would all politicians.

Big Dog

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2 Responses to “Fat Tax, Mileage Tax, What Next?”

  1. Goon says:

    That has to be the stupidest things I have ever heard of tax people by the number of miles they drive.