Governor Ed Rendell has decided to increase the tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This tax on travel in the Commonwealth is worrisome. In an economy that is already hurting, this move could possibly further damage businesses. The excess cost on truckers and other delivery services will be tacked on to the cost of the products, in the end being paid by the consumer. Many truckers and families will stop using the Turnpike, adding to the cost of road repairs of the counties and local municipalities.
Not to worry, though. The Governor of Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, has devised a plan to collect taxes to pay for roads; a mileage tax using satellite technology. It seems that fuel efficient vehicles are hurting the revenues collected by the Oregon gas tax. So your reward is to be tracked by satellite GPS technology to see how often, where and when you drive to collect a 1.2 cent tax for road usage.
I’ll be honest, I don’t like taxes and don’t trust the government enough to believe they will lower or abolish the gas tax in favor of the mileage tax. What concerns me the most is the violation of our personal freedoms. What right does the government have to track your movements? Surely this scheme is a blatant attack on our Constitutional rights?
Oregon officials say that no real time tracking or storage locations involved and that individual privacy is protected. However, given the governments expanded use of the Patriot Act and other violations of personal liberty it may be only a matter of time before “National Security” trumps personal freedom. After all, if you have nothing to hide; why should you care if the government knows where you are?
Ah, the slope gets slippier and who is there to protect us from the reach of government? The Republicans? The Democrats? I don’t think so; unfortunately they are one and the same.
Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. – James Bovard