I often wonder what the real motives of politicians are. The healthcare law that was supposed to be the end-all and be-all of all laws, touted as the best way to help all Americans does not provide health insurance for everyone and as of today has 729 approved waivers to the law. These waivers create a competitive advantage for those companies and unions, which the list is littered with, that the Obama Administration deemed as above the law. This is how free markets are destroyed. It is another kind of economy altogether when the government picks the winners and losers.

Today a new report has surfaced of Obama’s plan to tax every car by the mile driven, pathetically titled: “The Transportation Opportunities Act”. Combined with today’s historically high gas prices, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It is clearly an economically destructive policy. However, in reality, through regulations and exemptions, winners and losers will again be picked. The friends and donors of the politicians will be just fine and the rest of us will have to survive on even less.

Or the President simply wants to destroy our economy. It does not make sense.

Comments

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  • Troy La Mana

    Taxes are like Toll Roads, Once the booth is up you can’t removed it after the road is paid for because then you take away jobs. (Not to mention lots of money for the city coffers)

    • Shawn Naegle

      Actually, when I lived in Louisiana, I saw them tear down the toll booths on a bridge spanning the Mississippi River that had finally been paid for. I was shocked. If implemented with honesty and accountability, tolls actually make sense. The users pay for the specific use of the infrastructure in direct proportion to how much they use it. Unlike a gasoline tax, it is not subsidized by people that live and drive elsewhere. Simple, fair and direct.

  • Rob

    If we want to defeat Obama we have to nominate Ron Paul:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/05/cnn-poll-still-no-front-runner-in-the-battle-for-the-gop-nomination/

    “ho does best against Obama? Paul. The congressman from Texas, who also ran as a libertarian candidate for president in 1988 and who is well liked by many in the tea party movement, trails the president by only seven points (52 to 45 percent) in a hypothetical general election showdown. “

    • http://scottslant.blogspot.com/ Scott A. Robinson

      What does that have to do with anything here?

      • Rob

        Nothing. Just needed a place to toss it in. LOL.

  • Stephen

    Would you support it if it was tied to eliminating the gas tax, and the amount didn’t exceed the current gas tax rate? I might. Right now, were’ taxed by the gallon on both the federal and the state level. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. If you assume 25 miles per gallon, thats $0.00736 per mile. As long as the mile-tax replaces the gas-tax, is not progressive, and did not exceed 0.736 cents per mile, I’d be all for it. The only thing I’m not sure of is how they would enforce it. I certainly don’t like the idea of installing a new device in everyone’s car…

    • http://scottslant.blogspot.com/ Scott A. Robinson

      Tell me a tax you have seen that actually went away and didn’t increase over time.

      Let alone the privacy issues of the government tracking everywhere you drive.

  • Edgar

    The article you cited says that this proposal is in very early stages, and that it does not reflect the view of the President or his administration, but the way you report on it I would think it was something being seriously considered. In this regard I think you’re misrepresenting the article a bit. That being said I would agree that this sounds like a terrible idea, but I’ve never been a fan of regressive tax policies.

    • http://scottslant.blogspot.com/ Scott A. Robinson

      It is rare that an administration floats something that hasn’t seriously been considered. Though by “floating” it, they may be only attempting to see how much outcry it would create, not that this stops the TSA.

  • Brian H

    “The Transportation Opportunities Act”

    Sounds like something out of an Ayn Rand novel.

    I am shocked this would even be floated. Such a proposal is the death nail to any chance of reelection. Liberals LOVE spending other people’s money, but, believe me, they are quite frugal with their own. Even they will not go along with this absurdity.

    • gina

      What, you mean like “The Equalization of Opportunity Bill”?

  • Chris

    Real motives of politicians? I dont know much about the car initiative, but I had followed your healthcare debates with fascination.

    Lets accept at face value, for a moment, the assertion that healthcare should be free at the point of service for all (which is something we have here in the UK). Sounds great! The question is then why would any politician oppose this? There are some reasons I can think of:

    1. It costs too much – perhaps, its costs us a lot, but then we pay for our health care in taxes and not in insurance premiums or hospital bills, so we know that our health does not depend on our wealth

    2. It doesn’t provide good healthcare – this is an issue over here, it all depends on efficiency and public investment, but I don’t think our national health service does badly and you can go private if you wish to pay for it

    3. They are being lobbied by the insurance companies and private health care interests – we have different lobbying rules in the UK so this would not be allowed, but it would be very interesting to see how many US politicians would switch to being in favour of state health care if they were not being paid by lobby groups to oppose it

    4. It is an assault on our freedoms – Benjamin Franklin once said that there are only two certainties in life – death and taxes, would you then pay more of the later to delay the former? Or to help prolong other people’s lives? You may resent paying for someone else’s health care, but maybe one day someone will pay for yours. Its called community and it sounds like it is a true American value.

    The one thing I will never buy is that attempts to bring in universal health care are really attempts to ruin the economy.

    The real reason the current healthcare is a bit of a mess is because there is no way the President could pass a bill for universal healthcare, so you get a watered down version that doesn’t really work.

    Believe it or not, I believe in the free market, I am a child of Thatcher, but I think she made one massive mistake, she didn’t look after those who suffered as a result of the free market. The unemployed were somewhat abandoned. The true measure for me for a society is a balance between minimal state intervention while at the same time having a safety net for those who fall behind.

    Oh, and if you want a pathetically titled piece of legislation, look at the PATRIOT Act

    • Alaina

      To quote Ben Franklin…
      “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

      I absolutely agree with that statement. I’m more than willing to help someone who needs a hand up, but I have no desire to help someone who has their hand out.

      Too many people become comfortable living on government handouts and begin to believe that they are entitled to the support and therefore lose motivation to get themselves out of their situation. That’s not what we want and that’s not the type of support that our government should provide.

      • Chris

        yeah, I can agree with that. It doesn’t mean do nothing though (and I think the only people who can do it are the Goverment as personally I don’t think we can ever leave it to the community to take care of, cos they never will) BUT, a balance needs to be struck between providing a safety net and providing a means for people to scrounge off.

        I doubt any Government has got the balance right and it might be an impossible task. We have a welfare state and so inevitably we have benefits cheats, such people in my opinion deserve to lose their safety net if caught

        • Alaina

          I definitely agree with your last statement ad that it’s might just be impossible to strike the right balance.

          I think Americans are the most generous people in the world (no offense). Most people I know (who can) donate to charities. If we had less of a welfare state, less people would need help (see Ben Franklin quote above) and therefore more people would see the benefits of the billions that American donate every year.

          • Chris

            Would this generousity, which I don’t dispute (altough wonder how you could have any evidence on who is the most generous in the world beyond blind patrotism) be enough now and at all times?

            This is where I think we disagree, I don’t believe you can always rely on the communities to provide enough of a safety net, I believe personally that this is the state’s responsibility. It is easy for those of us affluent enough not to need it now to dismiss it, but things change, one day I might need it and I wouldn’t want to rely on charities (British or American) to help me out. In fact, in a way I have paid for myself, in the good times I know that I have contributed through my taxes to help in the bad times, so in one way I am taking my own responsibility on this

        • http://scottslant.blogspot.com/ Scott A. Robinson

          How much “balance” do you need? Before Obamacare was passed, Medicaid and Medicare (free government healthcare) represented roughly half of all heathcare payments in the country.

          Why do you think AARP supported Obamacare so explicitly, yet Humana set a letter to all of its customers warning that Obamacare would increase their cost? Both sell essentially the same thing: Medicare advantage plans. Yet they were diametrically opposed to the bill. Why was this? The administration picked a winner: AARP and others, such as Humana, are losers.

          This is government involvement in the private sector creates. It is how so many former Presidents, Senators, and Congressmen are wealthy beyond belief by the time they leave office.

          • Chris

            Ah, well here is a massive difference between US and UK politics, campaign contributions by lobby groups is not allowed to anything like the same extent, in fact when the head of the Forumla One motor sports was found to have donated £1m to the Labour Party before winning an excemption for his sport on tobacco advertising, they had to pay the money back.

            We are currently waiting on the results of a referendum to determine how our national politicians are elected, but I have always thought we should model ourselves on you, namely fixed terms and removing the executive out of the legislative (I love how your cabinet members must leave Congress before being appointed). The only thing I wouldn’t want to import is the lobbying system and how politicians can be bought and as you say, made rich.

            On healthcare, how many politicians on either side voted on conviction and not for financial reasons?

            The “Obamacare” was a watered down version of what was originally planned. Ours goes further, we have free health care for everyone at the point of service. Think about that for a second, EVERYONE, regardless of who they are or how much money they have. No need for insurance, form filling, no politician ruling on whether an individual’s treatment is justified or not. It has its problems, but surely its better than a system where even a single person can be denied treatment on grounds that they can’t afford it

    • http://scottslant.blogspot.com/ Scott A. Robinson

      I agree with you regarding the “Patriot” Act. It is too bad that President Bush continued to push the sunset back but even worse that President Obama made it permanent law.

  • Joyce A (East of Eden)

    I repeat my facebook comment here for the PD’ers. Last week we were in Easter Utah with family. There are HUNDREDS miles of capped oil and natural gas wells in the Uinta Basin as well as NW Colorado, HUNDREDS of miles. When Obama cancelled the oil leases in the area, the oil industry went bust, as did all of the seconadry industries (new home construction, restaraunts, stores etc). On my in-law’s street alone 4 familes either lost jobs, or their business closed because we are not drilling for our own oil and natural gas. Now in Vernal, Ut, there are ghost town new home subdivisions, vacant store fronts, and and over supply of workers for what jobs the BLM, US Fish & Wildlife provide. The point of this is, the Obama Admin’s energy policy has killed REAL jobs and effected REAL people in adverse ways. When it comes down to it, more jobs could be created and saved (whatever that means) by tapping into resources that we already have, instead of throwing money down the green rat hole.

    My other concern is, this legislation is just one more attempt by BIG BROTHER to invade our fast shrinking privacy. It’s bad enough we get raped at the airport, have the Patriot Act rifling thru our garabge, but traking our milage (and our destinations as well)….um no thanks.

    When is 2013 again?

    • Brian H

      There will be no 2013. The world ends in 2012. I know, I read the Mayan calander and saw the bad John Cusac movie.

      • Joyce A (East of Eden)

        If there is going to be no 2013, rhen I’m eating gucamole for lunch. Let the good times roll! :)

        • Brian H

          Good call. Bring in the PIZZAS!!

          • Joyce A (East of Eden)

            Funny you mention pizza. That’s what I’ve requested for Mother’s Day. A pizza party in my honor. And also because I don’t have to cook it. :)

    • Joyce A (East of Eden)

      Last week (or so) Sen Orrin Hatch of Utah wrote and op-ed that gave some really good numbers on energy policy. To be sure, I am no Hatch fan, but the numbers don’t lie.

      Here is the link: http://is.gd/ayNhQh

      He states:

      “Along with the driving miles from each gallon, you are purchasing some of the best jobs in America.”

      “There is probably no quicker way to raise Americans from poverty to the middle class than through increasing American energy jobs.”

      “Since taking office he has reduced federal oil leases by a whopping 67 percent for the nation and a devastating 86 percent in Utah. Major oil companies can no longer risk doing business with an increasingly hostile Administration, and they are quickly shifting operations overseas and to private lands, where royalties are not collected.”

      “Sadly, because of the President’s anti-oil agenda, that gallon you purchase is buying fewer American jobs and contributing much less to solving state and federal budget deficits. The President’s words on oil production sound benign, but his bureaucratic assaults on federal energy leases are the sticks and stones breaking the back of our nation’s economy and energy security.”

      This is one time Orrin Hatch has it right.