The Big Think

May 5, 2014

Unintended Consequences

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 6:59 am

Highway tolls take cash, time and privacy::

“It’s yet another lesson in the law of unintended consequences — and, as usual, the government wants us to pick up the tab for its poor planning. This time, it’s the Obama administration’s proposal to allow tolls on interstate highways, where such tolls have been banned since the Eisenhower days.

The problem is that government efforts to discourage driving and to encourage fuel conservation have been successful. With people burning less gas, revenues from the gasoline tax are down.

People burning less gas is what the government wanted. But with gas prices at historically high levels (often over four bucks a gallon), and with trust in government at historic lows, politicians aren’t too enthusiastic about taking the obvious step, increasing the gas tax. They don’t want to take the heat. Instead, they’re looking to increase revenue in other, less obvious ways.”

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