What once was science fiction is being field-tested by the University of Iowa to iron out the wrinkles should a by-the-mile road tax ever be enacted.
Besides the technological advances making such a tax possible, the idea is getting a hard push from a growing number of transportation experts and officials. That is because the traditional by-the-gallon fuel tax, struggling to keep up with road building and maintenance demands, could fall even farther behind as vehicles' gas mileage rises and more alternative-fuel vehicles come on line. [ed. Can you say unintended greenie consequence? Sure you can! ]
The idea of shifting to a by-the-mile tax has been discussed for years, but it now appears to be getting more serious attention. A federal commission, after a two-year study, concluded earlier this year that the road tax was the "best path forward" to keep revenues flowing to highway and transportation projects, and could be an important new tool to help manage traffic and relieve congestion.
What's that? You have nothing to hide, you say? What about that side trip to the donut shop every morning? Donuts are bad for you' y'know. Big Brother's going to be paying your medical coverage, he's going to ding you for everything you do that's bad.
The answer? HACK IT! Obviously! Probably the thing won't even be in full deployment before the first bulletproof hacks show up on the web. By the end of the first year there won't be one of these black boxes that doesn't have a hair pin sticking out of it to jimmy the tax man. Your tax dollars being flushed down the dumper of life, my friends.
Welcome to the 21st Century Big Brother! People can fight back now, you jerk.
The Hacky Phantom