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Larry Greenfield

May 15, 2011
[Publisher's Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, I am pleased to present this column from longtime FlashReport friend Larry Greenfield.  Greenfield is a Fellow in American Studies at the Claremont Institute and Senior Fellow of the American Freedom Alliance.- Flash]

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Americans pay taxes.  Lots and lots and lots of taxes.

We are taxed when we work & play, eat & drink, travel & shop, fish & hunt, talk on the phone & go to a ballgame or concert.

There's a hospital tax bill at birth and a funeral service tax at death.

There are taxes on our accounts receivable, alcohol, art, books, buildings, cars, clothes, computers, dining, education, food, fuel, health care, hotel stays, active & passive income, luxuries, marriages, medicare, real property, social security, transportation, watercraft, wells, and workmen's compensation. 

Play along and name some more.

Local, city, county, state and federal taxes.  Even the UN wants to impose a Global Poverty Tax on us all.

Add in assessments, enhancements, fees, fines, licenses, and permits.

Now add in the personal accounting & bookkeeping costs to comply with the tax code, as well as the priceless time taken away from our families and our good works. 

The cost to our economy for this compliance is hundreds of billions of dollars more in lost work productivity.

Our revolutionary founders believed in no taxation without representation.  The sad joke is that the progressive, administrative state believes in no taxation without respiration.
Death and taxes are the only sure things, it is said.

And yet, when we are all done, the Government re-re-re-taxes our life savings before our kids inherit a dime.

Today's nanny state claims increasing rights to increasing amounts of our earnings, savings, and prospects for prosperity.

Everybody has their own Enough is Enough moment.

Here's mine:  The Feds now want to tax us per mile driven in our cars.

California drivers pay auto purchase and leasing taxes as well as deeply unpopular and expensive vehicle license fees to Sacramento.

There are also biting federal and state fuel usage (gasoline and diesel) taxes every time we fill up at the pump.

Drivers pay bridge and tunnel and toll booth charges, and trailers and truckers and recreational vehicles often pay additional fees.

And of course we are taxed for every repair, service or maintenance of our cars.

Is that not all enough taxing on California’s car culture ?

Now, the Obama Administration is floating a Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax as part of the Transportation Opportunities Act.

The plan being considered would create yet another new federal bureaucracy, inside the Federal Highway Administration, called the Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office. 

Big-Budgeted Big Brother will now monitor how many miles we drive through electronic equipment on our cars.

We know why: They don't like driving, and they don't like our freedom.

The self-appointed elite wish to "transform" our society, limit our use of energy, and fulfill their ambitious agenda to get us out of our cars and into big cities, crowded apartment buildings, and smaller lives and dreams.

Most of us don’t walk downstairs to the grocery store like they do in Manhattan.  In fact, the local store is often a few miles away from our cul-de-sac, or many miles away in more rural areas. 

We drive to shop, see grandma, and drop the kids off at school.
Californians will be particularly hard hit, as we already suffer from extremely high sales, income, property, and other taxes, compared to other states.

Not coincidentally, the Golden State’s unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation.  Now, job creators will shy away even more from starting businesses here.  Why pick a state which would add punishing “miles driven” taxes to the costs of their employees?

East coast elites have ganged up again.  Our electoral college and the U.S. Senate were meant to protect the rural, Western, and less populist states. 

The tax wars have now added another front.

Our tax battles are not new.  Fair Tax, Flat Tax -- ideas for reform abound.

There is a growing movement in the nation, the modern day Tea Party, which stands for Taxed Enough Already.

I think they just picked up some support in California.

Larry Greenfield is a Fellow in American Studies at the Claremont Institute and Senior Fellow of the American Freedom Alliance..

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