Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (R-IL) floated a trial balloon of changing the gas tax to  be predicated on mileage driven via the use of a GPS in every vehicle. This trial balloon has been floated before in Oregon and California, and is being floated again in Oregon now.

Apparently the Obama administration has popped that particular trial balloon before It had a chance to get too high

President Barack Obama on Friday rejected his transportation secretary’s suggestion that the administration consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive instead of how much gasoline they buy.

“It is not and will not be the policy of the Obama administration,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters, when asked for the president’s thoughts about Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s suggestion, raised in an interview with The Associated Press a daily earlier.

via Michelle Malkin

Mileage can be ascertained by looking at a clever little device that is standard in every vehicle. It’s called an odometer. This device actually tracks the number of miles driven by the vehicle.

Of course, the current motor fuel tax is also related to miles driven. The more miles one drives, the more fuel one needs for said vehicle to continue running.  All other things being equal, the owner of a vehicle that drives 20 miles a day pays a bit more in motor fuel tax than the owner of a vehicle that drives 20 miles a week.

And therein, it seems, lies the rub, but with a slight twist: All other things being equal, the owner of the Prius Hybrid pays less in motor fuel tax than the owner of the Hummer. The very efficiency sought by the government necessarily results in lower revenues from motor fuel taxes.

So, by taxing on miles driven rather than by gallons consumed, the government could force the owner of the Prius Hybrid to pay the same in motor fuel taxes as the owner of the Hummer.

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