Legislative lugheads dip into our pockets…again

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The hacks at every level of government regard motorists the same way that McDonald’s regards cattle – whenever they get hungry, we’re dinner.

With all the rush of other news – FBI scandals, coddling of illegal aliens, Super Bowl, etc. – you have missed the most recent avalanche of assaults on America’s most oppressed majority, car owners.

Let’s take a look at what happened last week:

The US Chamber of Commerce is demanding that Congress raise the federal gas tax by 25 cents per gallon – to raise $375 billion for pointless road-construction projects that never end, and only make traffic more congested, not less.
The City of Boston is considering charging for neighborhood parking permits that would allow residents to park in spaces that even City Hall concedes do not exist.
On Beacon Hill, the legislature last week held a hearing on 97 different transportation bills, all of which would soak the Massachusetts motorist even more – including one that would charge residents for each mile they travel.

Let’s start with the proposed hike in the federal gas tax, because it’s a good example of how these plundering schemes work.

Right now, the economy is on fire, so the Chamber’s argument is, this is the right time to soak the people, because finally after eight years of Obama-era malaise, they finally have a few bucks in their pockets… so they won’t even notice when we pick their pockets!

Conversely, when the economy is a tailspin, as it was under Obama, the hacks argue that’s the perfect time to raise taxes on account of 1) revenues are down because everyone’s too broke to travel or ship goods, and 2) more gas-tax revenue means “stimulus” for the moribund economy by giving money to road contractors, i.e., Chamber of Commerce types and the hack trade unions, i.e., Democrat voters.

To sum up: it’s always the perfect moment to raise gas taxes.

Next, the crackpot proposal to charge for resident parking stickers in the city of Boston. Here’s all you need to know: in the North End, there are 4000 parking permits, and 1600 parking spaces. That undisputed statistic leads me to believe that the current charge for a permit – zero – accurately reflects the worth of said permit, which is nothing. End of argument.

Finally, we arrive at the State House, where for the second time in three months the hacks are considering legislation to impose yet more tolls on state roads. That bill is S. 1987, and as Chip Faulkner of Citizens for Limited Taxation said, “It’s like Groundhog Day,” the way the General Court keeps trying to mug motorists.

The solons last week also took up another bill that keeps reappearing like a bad penny – this year it’s called H. 1828, which would establish a Pabst-blue-ribbon commission to study “a user fee that is based on the number of miles traveled on roads in this state by motor vehicles.”

Gee, I wonder what this “task force” of extinguished payroll patriots will recommend. What a great idea, letting the very ethical scandal-free Commonwealth of Massachusetts track every driver’s movements. What could possibly go wrong? But not to worry – this 1984-style shakedown includes provisions to “ensure drivers’ privacy.”

Of course it does. Wink wink nudge nudge.

But dammit, the hacks need more money for our “crumbling infrastructure.” It’s not enough what they already grab – sales tax on car sales, municipal excise taxes, fees to the Registry for registration and drivers’ licenses, inspection fees, tolls, gas taxes (up three cents per gallon in 2013) etc. etc.

The Reason Foundation compiles an annual Highway Report on road costs in all 50 states. These numbers are truly astonishing, not to mention appalling.

For maintenance disbursements, the national average is $25,996 per mile. In Massachusetts, the hacks spend $78,313 per mile.

Then there’s the cost of “administration” – the hackerama, in other words. Nationally, the average hack cost is $10,051 per mile. In Massachusetts it’s $74,924.

Faulkner from the CLT read off these numbers (again) to the legislature’s Transportation Committee at the hearing last week.

“The most irritating aspect of these revelations,” he said, “(was that) the committee didn’t appear to be disturbed by these statistics whatsoever, or even interested.”

These particular highway robberies won’t go anywhere – not immediately anyway. You see, this year the hacks on the hill have their eyes on an even bigger heist – the referendum to almost double the state income tax, but only on “millionaires.” This attempt to rob the taxpayers (all of whom will in short order be defined as “millionaires”) has been rejected at the ballot box five different times in the last 50 years.

But now the hackerama has concluded that the electorate has been sufficiently dumbed down to vote to beggar themselves for the benefit of the non-working classes.

This is why the hacks feel no need to even defend themselves and their current depredations, let alone this long-dreamed-of Crime of the Century, the graduated income tax. They think we’re too stupid to figure out what’s going on, that the average voter is so dumb that all he cares about is that the Pats are going back to the Super Bowl.

The sad thing is, the hacks may be right.

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