Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How Meg and Carly's [could have won]. Californians mobility and new GHG taxes and fees

[Edited after the Nov. 2, 2010 election...Freemotorist]

It [was] a real pity for California if Whitman (or Fiorina) don't win. Meg has some good issues, and a balanced business-environment, fiscally responsible view; but Meg and Carly are not capitalizing on THE winning issue now.

Meg (and Carly) need[ed] to come out loudly to state that they will oppose the planned, new vehicle mile traveled (VMT) charges, new toll roads, and congestion-priced (peak hour-peak fee) 'Smartmeter' roads to protect Californians' mobility and jobs because, if Calif's Prop23 and Prop 26 fail, the Dem's including Brown and Boxer who support them will try to ram them through to implementation.

But neither Meg, nor Carly, [got the message]. (Grrr!)

Meg and Carly are throwing millions of dollars into their campaigns. Meg, in particular, must express her outrage and defense of California motorists and every Californians right to drive at reasonable cost without government telling them what and when to drive by force of new fees and tolls.
This issue could and should serve as their "Hail Mary" (Hail Meg?) pass. A deluge of new taxes and fees on motorists' mobility are in the ready for implementation after the Nov. 2 elections. This is true not only for California, but also at the Federal level from Boxer's legislation. The new taxes and fees are derived from the Obama Administration's use of the Europe ("the Jones next door") model to fund High Speed Rail--under the guise of "protecting the enviroment." HSR requires High Gas Taxes(HGT!) whose European cost of gasoline equates to the unheard price of $20/gal of fuel, and road tolling to make the cost of driving equivalent to parallel, expensive, HSR ticket prices, and, other charges on motorists. This is a backwards way to help Americans be mobile. Example:. The Paris to Leon HSR costs about 70Euros...driving on the parallel toll road costs, you guessed it, about 70 Euros.
This model is being planned and executed now on SR152 Pacheco Pass' so-called "Mobility Partnership". State Route 152 parallels the planned Calif. HSR route, surprise! This was underscored by Calif. HSR insider and high-density builder, Andy Ball, who wrote an Opinion in the San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 14, 2010, the following: " "If we truly want high-speed rail to succeed, we must prioritize it over new roads or airports for trips that can be made via rail, as has been done in Europe. Our pricing has to reinforce decisions of riders, which means accounting for the true cost of driving and flying, including infrastructure, safety, and environmental impacts."
What's worse, HSR diverts precious taxpayer funds not only from mobility and job creation, but from health, human services, public safety, life (child, disabled, elder) care, other safety net, and education needs.
(See SacBee articles about the recent Roseville Galleria fire by a homeless man who desperately sought help--but could get none...no money to help him, so he set it afire to the mall). http://www.sacbee.com/2010/10/24/3127658/as-mall-cleanup-starts-roseville.html#
All this is for a "glamorous" train to "compete" (Obama's word) with the other countries' "the neighbor's" HSR. No one in the US needs HSR. Elitists want HSR for their egos and bragging rights, not unlike royalty of the past.. The middle and lower income motorists will pay for this expensive, heavily subsidized, taxpayer-funded "Lamborghini-like" Rail Chauffer elite public service for them.
Californians, in fact, all Americans, want reasonably priced mobility and automobility cost protection. The coming set of road tax and fees transcend race, gender, occupation, and even political affiliation. Californians love their mobiity, their cars, and most have jobs that depend on their mobility. That is why Meg and Carly can win with this issue, but they must pick it up right away.
So, where's Meg and Carly about protecting California motorists rights and wallets? Nowhere to be found, just spending money and, ironically, traveling the state???!!!
The Obama Administration's Tuesday announcement of more money for HSR is a perfect catalyst to get this "automobility message out--and win.
Background:The coming fees and tolling are documented at the state level in AB32/SB375 (Prop 23, Prop 26), and, at the federal level in the (released House draft of) the Federal 6-year transportation reauthorization legislation that Boxer's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee writes. Various gas taxes and fees to drive cost about .03/mile. With the Democrats' plan for metered road and lane tolling (to fund HSR), under the big-government goal reducing GHG emissions, (using the existing rates in California's new HOTT lanes), the tax-cost ranges from .10 to .43 per mile. All this, for a train no one needs and that steals money from taxpayers that ought to go to human needs. Californians love their cars and mobility. California is hurting, thanks to 45 years of Democrat legislative control, unprincipled spending, and labor union special interest legislation. Californians are about to be attacked by new fees and taxes in the name of the environment and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions as a result of AB32/SB375 in California, and the new 6-year STAA federal transportation reauthorization bill that Boxer's committee is sitting on until after the election because of the surprises it contains -- against motorists.
The Dem's will push these cap-and-trade GHG emission restrictions on mobility and new tax and fee elements any which way they can at great cost to, and disregard for, motorists--mostly to fund HSR all over--after the November 2, 2010 elections next week. No doubt about it! The ducks are lined up:
Expect the push to come after Nov. 2, under the cover of the GM Volt and Nissan Leaf roll out, and in conjunction with the 6-year STAA legislation, AB32/SB375. The new VMT and Toll roads "will be needed" because the new fuel-efficient vehicles don't use gas, etc.
High Speed Rail, and its huge deficits and debt, like the "neighbor" countries' HSR debt issues in Portugal, Spain, France, Japan, China, nationally and in California, require new taxation/fees that will mirror the European and Asian models of 1)Vehicle Miles Traveled fees to limit interregional travel, 2) time of use Congestion -Priced ("Smartmetered") road use charges, and 3) Open-Road Tolling by transponder, 4) Employer provided parking fees -- all as under the GHG emissions reduction rubric.
Candidates opposed to the HSR boondoggles, and GHG emission mobility taxes and restrictions need to speak up now to expose the fraud of HSR -- especially Meg and Carly in California. Californians, indeed, Americans, love their vehicles and the automobility and jobs that they enable

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