2 days ago
Over at the Bellows, Ryan Avent wonders why everyone is still so tight-ass about VMT...
I think the place to start is with congestion pricing, although I’d also like to see a share of revenues from carbon pricing devoted to transportation. But I don’t think it’s absurd to put a VMT tax on the table. Policy merits will be balanced in Washington against political acceptability, and clearly there are legislators who feel that the idea of a VMT tax — of paying for the miles you drive on public roads — might make sense to drivers. I don’t think that’s nuts.
I know that many people feel that the civil liberties issue is a dealbreaker, but I have a hard time believing that. These days, people don’t blink at the prospect of unwarranted domestic surveillance, they walk around with multiple mobile devices, and they live half their lives online. A gizmo that keeps track of how far they’ve driven isn’t likely to phase most Americans.