Today's highlight of the insanity of liberalism, or in this case socialism, comes from the state of Rhode Island.
It is here that the infrastructure, roads, bridges and the like, are falling apart. Where neglect reigns supreme.
It is in Rhode Island that a blue-ribbon commission put in place by the Republican governor, Donald Carceiri recommended, among other things, a VMT fee. A VMT fee is a Vehicle Millage Fee, which could be as little as a half-cent to a full cent per mile. Or put it this way. Driving 10,000 miles a year in Rhode Island could cost another $50 to $100 dollars.
As those television infomercials say, but wait, there's more!
The state gasoline tax, currently 30c a gallon could go up another 15c a gallon.
State car registration fees would rise from $60 a year to $140 by 2013.
A potential $3 toll for cars and $6 for trucks-only at Rhode Island's border with Connecticut. Also there would be a possible $3 toll on a new bridge at the Sakonnet river.
All told, this could raise about $150,000,000 a year supposedly for infrastructure repairs.
Here is the richness of this scam.
According to the Providence Journal article that I linked, the state of Rhode Island depends on most of its transportation and department of transportation funding from the federal government.
Once again, a state that is dominated by liberal Democrats can not get in tax structure and funding straight.
In case one thinks that I am exaggerating the dominance of the Democrats in Rhode Island, after the just concluded election, the Democrats control of the legislature is as follows:
HOUSE: 69 D 6R
SENATE: 33D 4R 1I
So, out of 123 potential legislative seats, the Republicans control a grand total of 10. It is practically a one party dictatorship.
If Rhode Island followed the example of states that are growing, mostly in the South and the West, they would find other ways to fund highway repair and improvement. They would not have penalizing taxes, such as what is being proposed on actual driving, but funding from the general tax fund. Only in these states dominated by legislatures that have not met a tax that they do not like would people think this way.
BTW, our "illustrious" governor in California, Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger, has thought of the idea of taxing by the mile. So, it is not an original idea.
People in high-tax states never stop paying high taxes until they find a way to just say no more.
That is what happened in 1978 here in California when Proposition 13 passed overwhelmingly. Up until then, the California legislature kept finding ways to raise property taxes to levels that people were actually losing their homes. Not to foreclosure, but being unable to pay the ever-increasing tax burden.
Until the people of Rhode Island and other states ran like Rhode Island just say no more, they can not get mad about those they elect to lead the state. Keep electing Democrats, and this is what one gets.
And, a state should not have their hat in hand for a federal government "bail out" any more than a bank and or an auto maker. Apparently, Rhode Island falls into the federal government trough quite often. And it has done nothing to improve the crumbling infrastructure.
Pro-growth policies and the like could be a solution. But, not when the first thing is "let's raise taxes in the most insane matter."
Rhode Island needs to decide priorities. What is important to fund. And they have not done so. And, it appears that they will not.
FTR, Gov. Carceiri has not endorsed or opposed any aspect of the commission's findings.