Thursday, April 19, 2012

Creeping Freedom Restrictions

I'd like to bring your attention to a couple of items that I find troubling. On March 14, the Senate passed S.1813, known as MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century). It authorizes federal highway construction projects. But like most legislation, they buried stuff in it that has no relation to highways and restricts your personal freedoms.

In Section 31406 they require all new cars manufactured after 2015 to have Vehicle Event Data Recorders installed on them. These "black boxes" will record what the vehicle has been doing and probably where it has been. There is a provision that the data is owned by the vehicle owner and only accessible with a court order. But you and both know that is no guarantee of privacy. Why does the government feel this data collection is necessary? What do they plan to use the data for? What about rental cars - will my activities in a rental car be subject to scrutiny by Hertz? Think about the long term implications of having "Big Brother" as a back seat driver. Think about the Gov shifting to a mileage tax instead of a gasoline tax.

Another provision is in Section 40304. This allows the IRS to request the Secretary of Transportation to request the Secretary of State to revoke your passport if there is a question about your tax payments. Note that this does not require that you be found in arrears but that the IRS have "suspicion" that your are delinquent. Unlike a court of law, you have no appeal process to this bureaucratic procedure.

You can go here to see which Senators voted for this bill and to read the bill itself.

This bill now has to go the House for approval. I suggest you write to your Congress Critter.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Gonna do that... I think it's for a milage tax, in addition to all the other taxes...