Here’s a dismaying prospect: Paying 6, 8, or 10 cents in new taxes for every mile you drive. It may sound small, but at an 8 cent rate, that would be $1,144 in new annual taxes for the average American, who drives about 14,300 miles a year. Yikes!
Some on social media are claiming that this punitive tax scheme has been slipped into President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending legislation—which, after all, is nearly 3,000 pages and is chock full of unrelated waste and partisan pet projects. But are they right to be concerned about a mileage tax soon becoming reality?
No. At least, not yet.
The infrastructure legislation does not include a mileage tax or another form of driving tax. What it does include is a pilot program to study and test the idea. The legislation authorizes $125 million in taxpayer funding for this test initiative. (A lot of taxpayer money for an experiment, no?)
“People would volunteer to be part of the test,” fact-checkers at local New York news outlet WGRZ-TV report.
Half a billion dollars was written into the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed Wednesday by the U.S. Senate to pay cities to experiment with technologies for ‘Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation,’ which could include remote biometric systems, sensors and drones.
Reaction to the inclusion was rapid. The Intercept spoke with a senior staff attorney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation who said the ‘SMART’ money will buy more surveillance using facial recognition. The industry has yet to convince critics alleging face biometrics introduce racial and gender bias and misuse by law enforcement of the technology’s safety.
Also of concern is how this technology, if not the funding, will become tangled with relevant military programs as has happened with other software and hardware being deployed to monitor and quell dissent.
The infrastructure bill the Senate passed Tuesday discriminates against white people at every turn.
Americans are enthusiastic about spending money on physical infrastructure — bridges, roads, broadband. But this racist bill hands out jobs and contracts and locates projects based on race, not merit. Minority businesses and neighborhoods hold the inside track. If you’re white, you’re low-priority.
The bill includes grants to install solar or wind technologies and generate jobs in areas decimated by closing coal mines or coal-fired electric plants. Here’s the catch: When contractors bid, the bill says minority-owned businesses will get selected first. Bad news for small-time white contractors in depressed areas.
The same is true for the bill’s proposals to improve traffic patterns in cities. Contractors and subcontractors get priority only if they’re owned by minorities or women. White male business owners can take a hike.
Americans should be outraged — but not surprised. After all, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, passed in March, also put into place an ugly system of discrimination against whites. It offered debt relief to black farmers, but not white farmers. Another provision offered billions in aid to minority-owned and women-owned restaurants, but told struggling restaurants owners who happened to be white men that they had to go to the back of the line.
When President Biden first unveiled his $2+ trillion proposal for an infrastructure spending package, he was widely ridiculed for stretching the meaning of the word “infrastructure” far past its breaking point. The legislation snuck in climate change policy, billions for woke diversity initiatives, massive funding for public schools, and much more under creatively deceptive guises such as “human infrastructure.” Thankfully, this package didn’t get far.
However, more feasible efforts continue from a bipartisan group of senators seeking to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure compromise package. This legislative effort does, in fairness, stay much closer to the traditionally understood definition of infrastructure with its funding for roads, bridges, and more. Yet even this supposedly moderate, reasonable bill is 2,702 pages in length, leaving ample room for lobbyists and individual politicians to slip in wasteful items and crony pet projects.
Here are nine examples of seemingly unrelated, wasteful, or otherwise dubious spending programs snuck into the thousands of pages of legislative text.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday that a climate jobs proposal called the Civilian Climate Corps will be part of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill that Senate Democrats plan to pass.
The move reflects the high priority many Democratic activists place on climate change measures, even as businesses raise concerns about the financial cost of conversion to non-fossil fuels. The furthest-left lawmakers, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, have long pushed for the “Green New Deal,” which calls on the federal government to wean the United States from fossil fuels and curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions across the economy.
“Right now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to confront the climate crisis and create millions of permanent good-paying union jobs,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, told reporters Tuesday. “It’s a great opportunity to combine those things. I have made addressing the climate crisis in a bold and strong way, the primary focus of our debate on infrastructure.”
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) admitted during a recent town hall that President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan focuses more on climate change than the built environment, despite his calling for bipartisan support for the partisan legislation.
Malinowski, who represents New Jersey’s seventh district, said much of Biden’s infrastructure plan focuses on climate change and other items unrelated to building roads, tunnels, and bridges.
The seventh district serves as a prime target for Republicans to flip during the 2022 midterm elections; Malinowski beat Republican state Sen. Thomas Kean Jr. in 2020 by only 1.2 percent. Hillary Clinton won the district by one percent in 2016 and Republicans have traditionally held the district for decades.
The two-term Democrat said during a June 4th “Congress in Your Kitchen” virtual town hall that the Biden infrastructure plan contains many items that many Americans would not consider infrastructure during the town hall. He noted many Republicans had criticized Biden’s proposal for not focusing more on traditional infrastructures, such as roads, tunnels, and bridges.
78-year-old Joe Biden traveled to Dearborn, Michigan on Tuesday to visit the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.
Biden promoted his highly unpopular $2 trillion infrastructure bill that has nothing to do with the infrastructure that includes $174 billion to develop electric vehicles.
At one point Joe Biden repeated the lie that his “great grandpop” was a coal miner.
Biden also tripped over his tongue and jumbled his words.
Following his speech, the declining septuagenarian was put in an electric vehicle where he pretended to be driving.
This was all a show by his handlers to make Joe Biden look like he’s in charge.
Here is the interior of an electric Ford F-150 Pickup Truck.
President Joe Biden’s administration has made the fight against climate change a central part of its $2 trillion infrastructure plan. This legislation, if it ever sees the light of day, would shovel more than $100 billion of subsidies toward boosting the market for electric vehicles, as well as updating the country’s electric grid to make it allegedly more resilient to climate disasters.
All of these “investments” sound well and good on paper, but if you genuinely care about the environment, don’t hold your breath for any real progress. For one thing, Biden’s plan is mostly a giant handout to corporations that are already heavily investing in infrastructure. It’s also a gift to unions, most of which will do nothing to encourage the type of activities the president claims to support, and they’ll make the cost of producing infrastructure more expensive, so we’ll probably see less of it.