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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Feds Push for National Vehicle Mileage-Based Tax

Fuel taxes not providing enough revenue for highways, backers say

RALEIGH (By Karen McMahan, Carolina Journal Online) —
As Congress crafts a six-year surface transportation bill replacing legislation that will expire later this year, transportation trade groups report that the Obama administration is floating the idea of new driving charges — a national vehicle mileage-based tax and tolls on some interstate highways and other federal roads.

The VMT idea first was brought up in February 2009 when Congress was working on a reauthorization of the transportation bill. At that time, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood mentioned a VMT as an alternative way to fund transportation projects. LaHood said there isn’t enough fuel-tax revenue coming into the federal Highway Trust Fund to meet the nation’s surface transportation and infrastructure needs. Nor do fuel taxes generate enough money to keep the fund solvent as vehicles become more fuel-efficient and use less gas.

Such a proposal might require motorists to install onboard devices tracking how much they drive so that a tax could be calculated accurately, raising privacy concerns. Drivers in rural areas and remote suburbs, who travel long distances to their jobs, would face much higher costs under a tax-by-the-mile program, as would drivers of electric or hybrid vehicles who would pay the same as drivers of less fuel-efficient vehicles.


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