In the race for more tax money-- and government solutions-- the Feds and the states are invading your privacy with increasing regularity.
Several states, including Colorado, Oregon and California are studying proposals today to equip cars with GPS tracking devices so that they can tax drivers by the mile they drive.
In part this is happening as gas tax revenues are going down because the government insists on: 1) raising the gas tax to discourage driving and 2) establishing fuel efficiency standards that have people using less gasoline.
So states, which use gas tax money to build roads, now claim they don’t have the money to build roads.
But in general it’s happening because states now have the ability to track us and we might let them.
The government uses every technology at their disposal to impose government solutions on us, but it can only do so if we let them.
So, let’s get this out of the way right now.
California, my new home states, doesn’t have a problem with taxes; it has a problem with its spending priorities.
Have you seen California freeways?
Not exactly devoid of cars.
Colorado, my former home state, has fine roads, many of which were beneficiaries of increased funding through increased auto registration “fees,” a kind of backdoor tax that caused a furor amongst Coloradans.
In no small way it was one of the things that made former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter become former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter-- because of course he devised the universally unpopular scheme.
Again, Colorado doesn’t have a funding problem, but rather a spending problem.
The money is available to build roads and bridges.
The state just chooses to spend it on other things.
So, conveniently the states have a solution to the problem of overspending wherein your cars gets fitted with an electronic tracking device that is usually reserved for criminals.
See the connection?
My insurance company, thanks to Obamacare, now wants to fit participants with monitoring devices that track how much we walk, what we eat, our body mass index and how many guns we own.
While I’m exaggerating slightly, there is no doubt that the search for revenues and the search for progressive solutions seems to lead to massive monitoring. Common Core, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, all use personally identifiable information to implement their so-called reforms.
We live in a world where the 9-11 hijackers were identified within 24 hours—if not before—the attacks took place. We live in a world where we demand instant answers, constant monitoring…just because we can.
Many will argue that of course the government will only use the monitoring of personal information for authorized reasons. But we know that there are very few powers we grant government that they don’t make full use of.
Years ago proponents of the Equal Rights Amendment scoffed at conservatives who pointed out that the “equality” scheme would result in men using women’s bathrooms, and vice a versa. Conservatives were told that they were hysterical because, of course, common sense would prevail.
Well, if we have learned anything over the last two decades it is this: Common sense prevails in few cases where the government is involved.
If the government does the right thing it is often only because it is forced to do the right thing.
Force it to do this right thing now.
Tell them to stop monitoring us. Better yet, don’t start.