big brother arnie

  1. 5,881 Posts.
    I thought the republicans were all for personal liberty small government and reduced taxes. Is he out to get the "Toyota Prius driving Girliemen". Things are starting to get desperate in the US. Should do alot to foster fuel efficiency amongst auto makers.
    "I crush them with my Humvee"

    Arnie's 'eye in the sky' fuel tax
    Robert Lusetich, Los Angeles correspondent
    November 26, 2004

    NO one is quite sure whether to laugh or cry over the proposal from Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration to do away with traditional petrol tax in favour of taxing cars on the number of kilometres they are driven.

    The problem is California's answer to how the distance would be tracked: by installing detection devices in every car in the state that would be constantly monitored by satellite.

    Drivers would have their taxes automatically added to the cost of petrol when they filled their tanks.

    Critics say it is a cynical measure designed to halt the falling income from fuel taxes as Californians, in a state where petrol prices are the highest in the US, increasingly opt for more fuel-efficient vehicles or environmentally friendly hybrid cars.

    Schwarzenegger, a popular Republican who never misses an opportunity to tout his credentials as an environmentalist, has refused to rule out the plan. Some believe he supports the idea as a way to raise revenue for a dire budget to pay for much-needed work on the roads.

    Speaker of the state assembly Fabian Nunez yesterday called on Schwarzenegger to drop the idea, which was floated by Department of Motor Vehicles head Joan Borucki.

    Nunez said the proposal would in effect offer tax breaks to people with gas-guzzling cars and punish those who tried to be environmentally responsible. A Democrat, he also rejected the idea of every car in the state being monitored from space.

    "The Government doesn't need Big-Brother-like information about where people are taking their cars at all times," he said.

    "We need to meet the challenges of ensuring we have funds for our roads. But a new tax that punishes working families, invades our privacy and discourages efforts to clean the air is unacceptable."

    Privacy groups have joined the queue of those criticising the proposal.

    "Once you have the technology implanted into cars, the cat's out of the bag. There's no going back," said Anna Lee Newitz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    "Who has access to that information? There's no discussion right now on controls being placed on that."

    But policy experts say such a system will probably come into place as governments desperately need to boost their tax take in an age of fuel-efficient cars.

    "It's not an idea to be taken lightly," said Martin Wachs, director of the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

    "It's revolutionary."
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