Rep. Blumenauer Advocates for a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Tax

Earlier today, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) took to the House floor to give a speech about a new way to pay for transportation spending. Instead of the gas tax, he suggests we switch to the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax, which – as the name suggests – taxes the amount of miles you drive rather than the amount of fuel you use. Why? Because of those environmentalist-favored fuel efficient cars (watch the video here):

“Our problem was created because for years Congress and the last two administrations have been unwilling to deal meaningfully with the large gap in funding for transportation created because we rely on an outmoded funding system based on the number of gallons of fuel consumed. With more efficient gas and diesel vehicles augmented by more hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars, the transportation trust fund is locked into an inevitable downward spiral. Like the looming Social Security deficit, the longer we wait the worse it will get.

“Not this year, but over the next few years, we should temporarily increase and then replace the gas tax with a system that is based on the amount of road used. The new legislation should be laying the foundation for this transition, unfortunately it doesn’t.”

Curse fuel efficiency! Saving drivers money on gas…

Without the gas tax, how else are liberals going to easily pull tax revenue from the middle class? Liberals want that money, and taxing people for living their day-to-day lives is a surefire way to get revenue.

But is it right? The VMT doesn’t tax people based on their purchases, it literally taxes their actions as they go about their life. Doing so would likely decrease the amount that people drive, which would further decrease revenues. It would also increase the amount of information collected by tax collectors in the government.

But Rep. Blumenauer didn’t just offer a big-government tax scheme, he also inadvertently became yet another Democrat to make the case for turning back transportation funds to the states:

“I’ll never forget a conversation with a very conservative Republican Mayor of Phoenix who told me that it was only when they got the citizens working together on a balanced transportation program of transit and roads that they’re able to get the resources and the momentum to go forward.”

Exactly. The government closer to the people is best prepared to deal with transportation issues. People and their local elected leaders need to be involved, not central planners in Washington.

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