Reported by Taylor Penley | August 4, 2021
The cost of living is on the rise, calls for yet another wave of pandemic restrictions have begun and now, buried deep in the so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill, the left has laid out yet another idea to bring Americans to their knees. Make no mistake: The suffering is intentional, goal-oriented and not bound to stop anytime soon. Still, one proposal in the 2,702 page infrastructure bill seems especially cruel — cruel enough to make it too expensive for many Americans to even drive a car.
Nick Short of the Claremont Institute highlighted an item on Pages 508-519 of the bill that would introduce a national per-mile motor vehicle user fee on a trial basis.
“Buried on page 508 of the 2,702 page infrastructure bill is a pilot program for a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee (MBUF) which is basically a long-term plan to make it too expensive to drive a car,” Short said Tuesday on Twitter.
The pilot program is set up “to test the design, acceptance, implementation, and financial sustainability of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee, to address the need for additional revenue for surface transportation infrastructure and a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee” and “to provide recommendations relating to the adoption and implementation of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee,” the bill says.
An article from The Lid Blog attached to Short’s tweet detailed the proposal even further, breaking down each component, from the program’s objectives to its proposal that “volunteers” from each state should discover different ways to collect data on miles driven by “both commercial and private vehicle operators.”
On Page 513, the proposal says that the “Secretary of the Treasury shall establish, on an annual basis, per-mile user fees for passenger motor vehicles, light trucks, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks.” In theory, these per-mile user fees would vary by vehicle contingent upon several factors, including — you guessed it — environmental impact.
To ease any apprehension about participating in the pilot program, the measure indicates that participants’ identities will be protected, perhaps, as The Lid said, to prevent ostracization “if this happens and achieves the desired result.”
The left can chalk up this test run of what eventually might turn into a full-blown measure to make owning a vehicle next-to-impossible as an effort to be “environmentally conscious,” but is it instead another way to cripple our existing ways of life?
We might dismiss it now, but imagine telling yourself five years ago that the government would order small business closures, codify when and how Americans could worship and adopt an increasingly draconian “do as I say, not as I do” policy to address a global pandemic.
From the way we work to the way we breathe, so many aspects of our lives have already changed — albeit willingly, for some. What’s so different about changing how we get to one place from another?
With $10 million dedicated to this program for each year from 2022 to 2026, it’s easy to see how the government doles out what it acquires from hardworking Americans.
Any Republican lawmakers who vote in favor of this “bipartisan” bill have no right to label themselves “conservative.”
This proposal is the antithesis of conservatism.
Taylor Penley is a political commentator residing in Northwest Georgia. She holds a BA in English with minors in rhetoric/writing and global studies from Dalton State College. As a student, she worked in government relations and interned for Georgia’s 14th congressional district. She previously published an article with Future Female Leaders and published a rhetorical analysis of President Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate Address in a collegiate journal. She aspires to earn an MA and a PhD in journalism in the near future.