USA TODAY publishes one-sided neoliberal editorial.

USA TODAY publishes one-sided neoliberal editorial.

Guess which words were missing from this “article”:

State gas tax could be replaced by mileage tax

Try “climate change.”  How about “global warming.”

The premise of the editorial (masquerading as “news”) is the brilliant idea to replace (or supplement) the gas tax with a mileage tax, which has the effective purpose (which of course is never stated) is subsidizing large, low mpg vehicles (think trucks, etc) for the damage they do to roads and the climate, and shift those costs onto lightweight, low mpg vehicles (think hybrids and electric cars) which do significantly less damage to both.  (Pro-tip: reducing weight is one of the easiest ways to increase MPG, so to people saying that high MPG cars are getting away with damage to roads, you can stop now.  The total amount of “free” damage electric cars would get away with is miniscule with the damage large, heavy vehicles CURRENTLY get away with: WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE, HYPOCRITES?)

It is too bad they were unable to find anyone that wasn’t firmly in the neoliberal camp on this one to maybe get a word in edgewise.  Instead readers are left with less than half the story.

Let’s review the damage:

States are looking for an alternative to the gas tax, because the per-gallon taxes often do not keep up with inflation, and they are bringing in less money as cars become more fuel-efficient.

This is only true because they were explicitly written not to keep up with inflation.  Do you know what would be a faster, more efficient way of funding our roads than writing a massive boondoggle of a legislation that involves tracking devices, new taxes, new bills distributed to millions of new people through the mail, etc, etc, etc?  A one page bill indexing the gas tax to inflation.  Who knew!  Only a fool could support this mess.

Oregon’s gas tax is currently 30 cents a gallon. The mileage tax under the legislation would be 1.5 cents a gallon. So anyone driving a car averaging fewer than 20 miles per gallon would pay less money under the mileage tax than the gas tax and maybe even get a refund.

Notice the error there?  The author is even so confused by this stupidity he confuses “gallons” with “miles.”  Again, this is subsidizing anyone with a heavy gas guzzler that gets under 20mpg, while charging anyone with a lighter, less damaging, high mpg vehicle the difference.

“We are forward-looking enough to realize a better solution really isn’t out there,” said Oregon state Rep. Vicki Berger, a Republican.

Now there’s a vote for the single dumbest person in Oregon.  You know what is a “better” solution?  Raise the gas tax to the appropriate level.  In EITHER CASE, the state collects THE SAME AMOUNT OF REVENUE.  The only difference is under the hair-brained scheme is the massive increase in inefficiency: again, thousands of meters for cars, mailing bills, processing checks, missed payments, errors, etc, etc, etc.  This really is the single dumbest program proposed in a LONG time.

Now, again, not a SINGLE PERSON was quoted in the editorial on the stupidity of this program: the massive economic inefficiency, the massive subsidized costs to inefficient drivers, the massive externalized costs to climate change and the environment.  Not one single sentence pointing out the obvious.

No wonder this country is filled with people who have no idea what is going on.

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