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So much for not picking winners and losers...

by: Eric B.

Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 10:57:44 AM EST

The higher up the rung on the ladder to opinion writing success you get, the less able to tell a simple truth you become.

But GOP legislators insist the gas taxes and vehicle registration fees Snyder proposes to raise are fine right where they are. The real problem, they suggest, is all those smug tree-huggers who dodge their fair share of road costs by driving cars that don't use enough gasoline.

A spokeswoman for state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, says Snyder's proposals to raise the fuel tax by 14 cents a gallon and hike vehicle registration fees by 60% are "nonstarters" with Republicans who hold a 26-11 majority in the state Senate.

But Richardville adds that he and his GOP colleagues might consider some kind of surcharge on motorists who avoid the tax on gasoline by driving vehicles that use less of it.

It's Sunday morning, so let's go with something worthy of the Book of Matthew:

1Jesus gathered around him drivers of trucks and SUVs and other vehicles that drank deeply of refined petroleum so that they might hear his words.

2A certain man built a dam in the river so that he might quench the thirst of his vineyard.

3And, while he was resting after his hard works were done, a cat walked across the dam. It walked across, and then back and across again. 

4The man, fearing for the soundness of his dam, sent the cat away with fearful shouts and stones. He looked at his dam, and seeing very little breaks in it, sighed a sigh of relief and gave thanks.

5While he was resting again his neighbor riding an elephant came forward and asked the man if he could cross the river, which was deep and fast, on his dam. The man, seeing that his neighbor intended to go across once, said that he should.

6After the crossing, the man saw that water gusheth through the dam in places, and he saw that these places were where the elephant had stepped, and the man was cross.

7When he was done with the story, Jesus felt the stony silence from the gathered crowd, and he knew that the drivers of trucks and SUVs and other heavy vehicles realized that they were the elephant and that people who drove efficient vehicles were as the cat, lightweight and less damaging to the dam.

Size doesn't always matter, except when it does. People who drive fuel efficient cars aren't skirting out of paying their fair share. It's that their fair share is a lot less because fuel efficient cars tend to be small and light.

Meanwhile, we expect the Mackinac Center to come down on this idea like a ton of bricks, because it means government setting up competitive roadblocks in the marketplace in favor of one kind of vehicle over the other by artificially raising the prices of operation.


Eric B. :: So much for not picking winners and losers...
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