Here’s something guaranteed to send the conspiracy theorists fleeing into the woods.
The state is looking for ways to shore up transportation funding, which is largely reliant on a per-gallon gas tax. Problem is, cars are getting much more efficient and more people are carpooling or taking public transit, so gas tax revenues are slipping.
Which means the government is looking at alternatives to the gas tax. One of them is a “vehicle miles traveled” (VMT) tax.
So how, you may ask, could the government possibly know how many miles you’ve driven? Take it away, Dave Gram of the Associated Press:
Vermont Transportation Secretary Brian Searles said calculating how much of a VMT tax is owed would be done through the global positioning system devices that are expected to be standard equipment in cars later this decade.
”It’s a GPS device that is capable of tracking location, time,” he said, adding that he was aware that might raise privacy concerns.
Oh, surely not. The government can tell where your car is at any moment in time? Nah, that won’t set off any alarm bells among the tinfoil-hat brigade. Especially when this idea comes out the same week as President Obama’s TEAR UP THE CONSTITUTION AND GRAB ALL THE GUNS!!!! plan.
I can see it now. The state police enforces traffic laws statewide from a single central command post. Your car’s computer will be notified by the VSP computer of any traffic offenses you might commit, and will then communicate wirelessly with your bank to electronically transfer the amount of the fine to the state.
As part of health care reform, the health department will be able to tie in to the GPS, and will send a warning message if you park at a fast-food joint. And when you stop for gas, don’t buy any fatty snacks; the gas station’s computerized cash registers will be part of the system too. Buy a microwave burrito, and ding! your insurance premium goes up.
And don’t even think of stopping at one of those freeway “parking areas” to take a piss. They’ll KNOW.
I wouldn’t advise stopping at that 24-hour “massage parlor” either. Big Shummy is watching!