Control, control, control…

Congressman wants government GPS in cars

An Oregon congressman says he wants to test having a government GPS unit in every car so a tax could be imposed on the miles driven.

The proposal, H.R. 3311, which calls for a test costing $150 million-plus, was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.

“Oregon has successfully tested a Vehicle Miles Traveled fee, and it is time to expand and test the VMT program across the country,” he said in a statement on his website. “A VMT system can better assess fees based on use of our roads and bridges, as well as during times of peak congestion, than a fee based on consumption.

“It is time to get creative and find smart ways to rebuild and renew America’s deteriorating infrastructure,” he said.

His plan calls for the Department of the Treasury to study the idea with test GPS-equipped car projects in every state.

Blumenauer said the Oregon test “charged drivers for the number of miles they traveled rather the fuel they consumed. The test was convenient for drivers, protected personal privacy, and proved to be easily administrable.”

Make sure to go over and read the whole article as Henry Lamb in a WND column has some interesting views of how this bill could be used.

Now put aside the big brother aspect of this POS bill for just one second.  Think about this bill from a different angle; once again, “the producers” (people who work) in our country are going to get taxed greater than the “consumers” (people that do not work) because they actually commute to a job or their small businesses almost every day.  Our non-reps CANNOT be this stupid.  If it looks like a duck…it probably is a duck…

I have emphasised the interesting parts:

H.R. 3311: To direct the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a pilot program to study alternatives to the…

To direct the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a pilot program to study alternatives to the current system of taxing motor vehicle fuels, including systems based on the number of miles traveled by each vehicle.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. ROAD USER FEE PILOT PROJECT; TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) Road User Fee Pilot Project-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Treasury shall establish a pilot program under this subsection to study alternatives to the current system of taxing motor vehicle fuels. Such program shall be known as the ‘Road User Fee Pilot Project’.

(2) MILEAGE BASED PROGRAM- The Road User Fee Pilot Project shall study technology and methods for recording and reporting the number of miles traveled by particular vehicles, including–

(A) the manner in which a Federal system would receive payments with respect to the number of miles traveled by such vehicles, and

(B) integration of such technology and methods with State and local revenue systems and demand management systems.

(3) EVALUATION OF METHODS AND TECHNOLOGIES- Technologies and methods tested under the Road User Fee Pilot Project shall be evaluated on the basis of–

(A) protection of personal privacy,

(B) ease of compliance,

(C) public acceptance,

(D) geographic and income equity,

(E) integration with State and local transportation revenue mechanisms (including demand management systems),

(F) administrative, cost, and enforcement issues, and

(G) potential for fraud and evasion.

(4) GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY- The programs carried out under the Road User Fee Pilot Project shall be conducted in each State and shall be conducted in areas that are diverse geographically and in vehicle density.

(b) Establishment of Working Groups- The Secretary shall coordinate with the following agencies to coordinate the creation of three working groups and integrate their findings into the final report required under subsection (d):

(1) TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP- In coordination with the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Secretary shall convene a working group to study appropriate technology platforms and standards to facilitate the most effective revenue systems.

(2) TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM WORKING GROUP- In coordination with the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary shall convene a working group to evaluate the costs of collection and administration.

(3) ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP- In coordination with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary shall convene a working group to study the potential to manage demand and to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

(c) Technology Research Program-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish a grant program to aid the development of on-board technologies necessary for a miles based program described in subsection (a)(2).

(2) ENTITIES ELIGIBLE FOR GRANTS- The following entities shall be eligible for grants for grants under paragraph (1):

(A) Institutions of higher education, as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).

(B) Commercial manufacturers with an established record of passenger vehicle innovation.

(C) Technology manufacturers with an established record of wireless networking and communications.

(d) Report- Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit a written report to the Congress, providing initial findings from activities authorized by this section. Not later than 36 months after such date, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit a written report detailing final findings and conclusions from the activities authorized by this section.

(e) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the Treasury–

(1) to carry out this section (other than subsection (c)), $150,000,000, to remain available until expended, and

(2) to carry out subsection (c), $4,500,000, to remain available until expended.

Could we use the $150 Billion they want to spend on this “study” on something better? Like tax cuts for the American people so that we can start rebuilding the economy they crashed with the Community Reinvestment Act?

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