Biden and Buttigieg lead Democrats’ nationwide anti-car crusade in infrastructure bill (opinion)


STATEN ISLAND, NY – Democrats say they’re not anti-car. They don’t want to get motorists off the road.

Maybe not. But they certainly want to make driving as difficult and expensive as possible.

Need proof? Just look at President Joe Biden’s massive $ 1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill, which contains a pilot program that would charge motorists for every mile driven, known as the miles driven per vehicle charge. or VMT.

In fact, the “T” there really means “tax”.

According to Yahoo News, the bill directs Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen “to establish, on an annual basis, user charges per mile for motor vehicles, light trucks and vehicles. Medium and heavy trucks, which amount to may vary between vehicle types and weight classes to reflect estimated impacts on infrastructure, safety, congestion, the environment, or other related social impacts.

This is all done to “maintain the solvency” of the Highway Trust Fund without increasing gasoline taxes. Because no one wants to be accused of raising taxes.

But a driving charge per mile is nothing more than a tax. It turns your car into a taxi. As soon as you get behind the wheel, the speedometer spins.

So add that to your car payments and insurance payments. Any parking fees that you are already paying. At the cost of gasoline and gasoline taxes you already pay.

Because when your car is on the road, it gradually damages the road. And the road will eventually have to be repaired. So you, being the person who damaged the road in the first place, must be involved in the repairs.

And you should participate in any new roads that need to be built whether you use them or not.

That’s all fair, isn’t it?

Biden had previously rejected increasing gasoline taxes or instituting mileage charges because the impact would fall on the backs of those who earn less than $ 400,000 a year.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said these were “non-starters” for the president, a “red line” that Biden would not cross.

Buttigieg said in March that the kilometer tax looked “very promising.” There, no surprise. Buttigieg is also a big fan of congestion pricing.

But the secretary quickly backed down on the VMT after a public outcry, saying there would be no mileage charges or gasoline tax in Biden’s infrastructure plan.

So both Biden and Buttigieg are backtracking.

The pilot program would be funded until 2026 and would use volunteer drivers from across the country.

We all know how these “pilot programs” work. Once the government starts to do something, especially if it is making money, it very rarely stops. Pilot programs are quickly becoming a permanent policy.

And talk about intrusive. Mileage data can be collected by a wide variety of invoice methods, including third-party on-board diagnostic devices; applications for smart phones; telemetry data collected by automobile manufacturers; data collected by insurance companies or gas stations, and “any other method the secretary deems appropriate”.

We will know where you are going. And now you have to pay for every mile.

Wait, it’s better.

The bill also provides $ 5 billion “for a unique” Safe Streets for All “program to fund state and local” vision zero “plans and other improvements to reduce accidents and fatalities, in particular for the most vulnerable road users, ”according to a White House fact sheet.

Exactly what we need: more speed cameras that don’t address the root causes of crashes. No more cameras at red lights. No more cycle paths that will be largely underused.

Hey, Vision Zero has worked really well for New York, hasn’t it? The roads are just as deadly, if not more, today than they have been since the start of the program.

But Democrats don’t want to eliminate cars.

Of course they don’t.

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