Did you know that the recently passed U.S. Senate “infrastructure” bill contains a provision to develop a system that lets government track every mile of every trip you take?
Within the 2,700 pages of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill — passed with the assistance of Republican frauds and liars who want you to believe they are the party of fiscal responsibility — is obscure language requiring the Department of Transportation to test the feasibility of taxing drivers for the number of miles they travel.
The tax would be broad enough to target any “passenger motor vehicles,” including light and medium-to-heavy-duty trucks. The brain trust behind this new tax is Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg who suggested it earlier this year, saying the idea showed “a lot of promise.”
After receiving some backlash for his idea, Buttigieg reversed his stance on the idea a few days later as infrastructure debates got under way, and he assured America that a miles-driven tax would not be included in the legislation.
“That’s not part of the conversation about this infrastructure bill, so just want to make sure that’s really clear,” Buttigieg said in a CNN interview.
Despite Buttigieg’s assurance that his new tax wouldn’t be in the bill, a pilot program to create it is contained in the legislation recently passed in the U.S. Senate.
Liberty-loving Americans should be very concerned because not only will this pilot program pave the way for Washington to implement a permanent per-mile tax (double-taxing people who drive vehicles that burn gasoline or diesel), it will potentially lead to government tracking of every trip you take.
“The concerns that have the most merit are those about privacy,” said Ulrik Boesen, senior policy analyst at The Tax Foundation.
Unfortunately, the framework for a national surveillance system has been under construction for several years.
In January 2015, Obama and the Republican-controlled Congress passed legislation that allowed the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to create a national database of license plates and driving habits of Americans. Though originally created to combat drug trafficking, the program was later expanded to track other “criminals.” The information was even made available to state-level law enforcement agencies.
Expansion of the program was given a boost in January 2018 when Trump and the Republican Party gave Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database to assist the agency with immigration control.
In November 2019, a bill was introduced in the House that would have created a real-time national driver surveillance program that would make it possible for law enforcement to know anything and everything about a driver at the click of a button. Known as the “Safe Drivers Act” (SDA), the bill’s primary purpose is to make everything a motorist has done available to law enforcement NATIONWIDE, and it will accomplish this feat by tracking driver’s licenses in addition to license plates.
If it becomes law (it’s been in committee since it was introduced), SDA will “incentivize” states — code for bribing them with taxpayer-funded money — to modernize their computer systems in such a way as to make it possible for states to all work together and make real-time driver information available to one and all.
By the way, Honda, Ford, General Motors, BMW, and Renault have been testing a radical new system that “assigns digital IDs to individual autos, linked to information such as ownership and service histories. This data covering the lifetime of the vehicle would be used to recognize cars on the road, allowing for fees to be paid automatically by the owner with no need for the specialized tags required in current electronic toll collection systems.”
Talk about making Big Brother’s job easier.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, one of the Republican frauds responsible for the “infrastructure” bill, is defending the pilot program, and he thinks that anyone who believes it will lead to government tracking every trip you take is only “fearmongering.”
Talk of the infrastructure bill allowing the government to track your driving through a VMT is fearmongering and misinformation. It creates a VOLUNTARY study to determine how electric cars can support the Highway Trust Fund so the burden isn't solely on those who pay a gas tax. pic.twitter.com/vOKM8Vdrk3
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) August 9, 2021
“Talk of the infrastructure bill allowing the government to track your driving through a VMT is fearmongering and misinformation,” Romney said. “It creates a VOLUNTARY study to determine how electric cars can support the Highway Trust Fund so the burden isn’t solely on those who pay a gas tax.”
Seems to me we heard something similar to this when Americans raised concerns about the PATRIOT Act leading to limitless spying on Americans.
When it comes to the assault on our constitutional rights. Big Brother rarely launches a full-blown frontal attack because the intention is too obvious. Instead, the strategy most often used is one that mirrors the advice Screwtape gave his nephew Wormwood in the C.S. Lewis novel, The Screwtape Letters.
“Indeed, the safest road to hell is the gradual one, the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
It’s easy to point a finger at Democrats and the Far-Left for our loss of liberty, but the reality is that Republicans have worked hand-in-hand with them to lead us down the road to tyrannical hell. We need look no further than the Patriot Act, which brought us the NSA spying program Trump wants to make permanent, along with a bucket list of gun-control legislation from the GOP to see how this is true.
I think it’s safe to call the miles-driven tax such a road, don’t you?
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.