Will wonders never cease or should I say will taxes never cease? Not content to simply be one of the highest taxed states in America, our ever diligent and revenue-hungry public officials contemplate new sources of revenue and more creative solutions on how to soak the rich–rich car owners that is. In fact, everyone who owns and drives a car is the new rich and is due to pay their fair share.
Last Thursday, July 19, 2012, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) had a discussion about putting an electronic device on all cars in the Bay Area. Then once this device is installed, you will be taxed for every mile you drive in the nine Bay Area counties. Initial estimates are that you will be charged ten cents per mile driven. However, we all know that once these devices are installed, the MTC and ABAG will quickly find that it is not enough money and they will increase this tax.
Obviously MTC does not have enough money to build their Taj Mahal in San Francisco so new and creative revenues must be pursued. The thing about this tax is that it is going to tax the working class right out of their cars because they will no longer be able to afford to drive their car in the Bay Area. The rich who can afford to pay the tax will continue to drive when and where they want while the poor and middle classes suffer and find themselves dependent upon public transportation.
Some might argue that this is not an attempt by Big Brother to watch your every move, but is just a way to find more tax revenues for our roads and bridges. However, we must remember that our fuel is already being taxed for those same roads and bridges. If this was only about obtaining more money to repair our failing infrastructure, it would be logical for MTC and ABAG to propose an increase in the fuel tax. However, merely raising the fuel tax does not satisfy MTC and ABAG. It is clear that they want to monitor your driving in the Bay Area by installing an electronic device in your car.
Since our government thinks that bad economic times calls for new ways to tax us out of our freedoms and liberties, a sarcastic illustration can show just how ridiculous this car tax is. (Note: this illustration is NOT to be taken literally.)
With the MTC and ABAG watching our every move through our rearview mirrors, maybe we should just copy this brilliant maneuver in the area of fighting obesity. Surely everyone can see that obesity is a nationwide problem and that we should tax every bite of food that everyone eats. To be thin, is to be healthy or so the mantra goes. Therefore, each person above the age of sixteen should have an electronic chip implanted to record each bite of food, each gulp of soda, each sip of wine, and every swallow of beer. Water will not be taxed because it has no calories and is good for you.
At the end of each month, your bank account will automatically be deducted and you will be sent a receipt from the state of California. This innovation will serve two purposes: the bottomless pit of tax revenues will be temporarily filled (until new needs to spend it are discovered) and people will be both healthier and thinner. As a side benefit, this new tax will stimulate the economy. First, the government will have to pay the doctors to implant this chip in you, so the government will be creating jobs. Second, the clothing industry will experience a huge spike in demand for clothing since all our old clothing will now be too large thanks to the new tax.
I would ask the readers to join the fun and think of other new and creative taxes, but I am afraid “powers that be” would take them seriously.
I believe it is time to hold our government agencies accountable. We do not need new commissions to monitor government agencies, instead, our legislature needs to be the watch dogs for the citizens of California to make sure our tax dollars are spent wisely.
This article was first published in the Patch on July 23, 2012.