Monthly Archives: January 2008

Federal Gas Tax Increase Sought

It’s pretty well accepted that gasoline prices are hurting everybody, from the price at the pump to the increase in goods due to higher transportation costs.  The fact that the U.S. needs additional refining capabilities but there have been no refineries built in a few dozen years and that we refuse to drill for oil off our own shores or within our own territories isn’t being pursued.  The fact that there is a lot of ‘talk’ about alternative energy and removing our dependence on foreign oil for decades, yet the U.S. has done nothing of significance is apparent.  Instead, we continue to fund, well, everything with additional taxes.  Further crippling the consumer.

A U.S. panel created to recommend ways to fund road construction plans to propose that federal gasoline taxes rise as much as 40 cents per gallon over five years, a person with direct knowledge of the plan said. The group will suggest that the current tax of 18.4 cents per gallon increase by 5 cents to 8 cents annually and be indexed to inflation after the five years, said the person, who didn’t want to be named before the report is made public.

The panel, called the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, is scheduled to release its recommendations including the federal fuel-tax increase Jan. 15 in Washington. Congress created the panel in 2005 for the purpose of issuing the report.

The findings may bolster efforts by members of Congress who have tried unsuccessfully to raise fuel taxes over the objections of President George W. Bush. The tax increase wouldn’t go into effect until after Bush leaves office in 2009.

The commission will also recommend that state fuel taxes rise by an amount slightly larger than the federal increases, according to the person. The U.S. tax on gasoline was last boosted in 1993, by 4.3 cents a gallon.

Rather than tax increases, the Bush administration has promoted public-private partnerships in which financial firms such as Macquarie Bank Ltd. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. join other investors to provide roadway funding.

Read the whole story here.

When will the American people stop slitting their own throats?  The middle class is being taxed into a welfare state.  We need to stop looking at party affiliations and promises to special interest groups, ‘the folks back home’ when choosing local, state and federal officials.  We need to stop re-electing those who have grown used to the power of their position and who have long ago stopped representing the people.  We need to demand that politicians running for office tell the truth – all along the way.  Ever notice how a politicians positions depend entirely on who they audience is?  We should demand they live up to the slogans and sound bites that so easily roll off their tongues.  You’re for lower taxes?  Then why are you voting for a bill that raises taxes?  You’re for the middle class?  Then why are your policies crippling them?

We have become a bunch of lemmings who just let things happen to us.  We seem to think we can affect change by calling each other names.  We seem to think it’s more important how many Ds or Rs are in the “win” column.   It’s about destroying the other guy, but we don’t care who is getting hurt out their in the real world.

It’s time for a second American Revolution.  We have lost focus and we are out of touch with what matters.


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Big Brother and YOUR environment

Big Brother is attempting to control your electricity. Only during “emergencies” now, but what will that lead to?

Big Brother to control thermostats in homes?
Proposed mandate would grant utility companies unlimited remote access to regulate temperatures

Add thermostats to the list of private property the government would like to regulate as the state of California looks to require that residents install remotely monitored temperature controls in their homes next year. The government is seeking to limit rolling blackouts and free up electric and natural gas resources by mandating that every new heating and cooling system include a “non-removable” FM receiver. The thermostat is also capable of controlling other appliances in the house, such as electric water heaters, refrigerators, pool pumps, computers and lights in response to signals from utility companies. If contractors and residents refuse to comply with the mandate, their building permits will be denied. The proposal, set to be considered by the commission Jan. 30, requires each thermostat to be equipped with a radio communication device to send “price signals” and automatically adjust temperature up or down 4 degrees for cooling and heating, as California’s public and private utility organizations deem necessary. Claudia Chandler, assistant executive director for the California Energy Commission, told WND the new systems would be highly beneficial to residents. The Programmable Communication Thermostat, or PCT, will allow power authorities to control home temperatures while denying consumers ability to override settings during “emergency events.” Nowhere in the proposal does it clarify what type of situation would qualify as an “emergency,” but Chandler offered her own explanation: “An emergency is when the utilities need to implement rolling blackouts and drop load in order to be able to meet their supplies because the integrity of the grid is being jeopardized.”

She claims residents will be able to manually override controls in all cases, but the 2008 Building Efficiency Standards (Page 64), known as Title 24, specifically states: “The PCT shall not allow customer changes to thermostat settings during emergency events.”

Michael Shames, executive director of California’s Utility Consumers’ Action Network, told WND he believes the idea of a chip consumers are unable to override is not feasible. While he considers the technology to be a positive development, he said denying consumers control over their own appliances is a highly problematic concept.

“The implications of this language are far-reaching and Orwellian,” he said. “For the government and utility company to say, ‘We’re going to control the devices in your house, and you have no choice in that matter,’ that’s where the line is drawn. That sentence must be removed.”

Additionally, no provisional exceptions for people with health conditions worsened by excessive temperatures are mentioned in the current proposal; however, the Energy Commission spokeswoman said existing supply problems are more worrisome to Californians with health issues than the projected solution.

Concerned California residents expressed outrage with the proposal in several online postings:

“I hate this state. Why don’t we just fly a communist flag while we are at it? We are planning a move out of state. I’m done.”

“This is insane. Please, everyone reading this, take action. Write your representatives, call the RINO governor, call your local radio programs and, lastly, write letters to the editors of your local papers. Dear God, just when I thought California couldn’t get much worse!”

Other opponents of the state proposal expressed concern that its mandatory nature is a sign of increasing “Big Brother” government control.

Read the entire article here .

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