Slightly OT, and I totally agree with fuel efficiency and
less dependence on oil, but ...
A slight problem also needs to be addressed - less gas tax
revenue. In Minnesota and probably many other states, gas tax
revenue is used to build and maintain roads, so the state will
have to find another equitable method of raising needed funds.
Toll roads? We drive through Illinois a couple of times a year
and easily pay $5 in tolls each time for the privilege of
driving on crappy roads. Not sure where their toll money goes?
Back to Mustangs: I just took a quick drive to our local Quick
Trip convenience store in my 84 Capri RS 5.0 - love that car!
It's really easy. If fleet average fuel economy does actually rise (it
hasn't) just raise the tax per unit volume of fuel.
The pay-per-mile track-and-toll systems are just government using fuel
economy as an excuse to increase their power and monitoring over our
Yup, here in Oregon where people have flowery rainbow dreams of Jetson's
mobiles flying to the tofu store, there was talk about tracking cars and
charging by the mile.
Eventually monies will have to be collected, somehow, but it ain't here yet.
Drive on, Mercury Man!
Those are one of those "I never heard of those!" kind of cars (At least
to the younger crowd). Kind of neat to see such cars at the local meets.
At a show we had here back in July, a guy had an AMX Hornet, they made them!
I had to look it up. http://tinyurl.com/r2qf3q
I suppose there are younger people who wonder what 5.0 means when they
see a Mustang or Capri. For us older folks, we remember the Z28 Camaros
from the late 60s that had the 302 engine (302 cu in = 4.94889 L).
Close enough to 5.0 for us with 5.0s!
When I was shopping for a family/slalom/time-trial car in 1971, I
looked seriously at the Hornet Sportabout (wagon). It was pretty quick
in acceleration, had plenty of room, but two too many doors, didn't
turn very well, looked a little ugly in an era of uglies, and you
couldn't get it without a load of extras that weighed more than they
I settled on a Chevy Vega Kammback, still one of the best shapes
produced; got it with rear seat shoulder belts as pretty much the only
option. Eventually did very well in the slaloms, held the Solo One lap
record for B Sedan at Willow Springs, and had no engine problems until
it started smoking a bit at 60,000 miles. All that on an Opel
transmission and a single one-barrel carburetor.
The next Vega was a GT Coupe, and got the same kind of treatment. High
point of my racing career was catching the Levis Team HiBall Gremlins
in Turn Nine at Riverside (California) in practice at the April, 1975
IMSA little sedan race. They were 30 miles an hour faster on the long
straight, but the Vega outhandled them everywhere, and would have
passed them at S/F if it had more horspower.
That didn't stop the Gremlins and Concordes from winning plenty of
IMSA races, though. Part of the kind of preparation that went into the
factory-supported cars was typified by the rain gutters: they were
ground off and smoothed over. Worth a mph or two, I guess.
I just talked to the former DOT secretary about gas tax revenue and
She's all for these tracking schemes, still thinks we should have a
system where people pay based on what they drive, where they drive,
when they drive. Talk about big brother... How can people not see how
un American such a scheme is? The politicians act like it's
impossible to just raise the gas tax to make up for the better mileage
of today's cars. It is so simply, you don't need a 1000 page law, or
a whole new bureaucracy, or anything. All you need is a one page law
with one sentence that says the gas tax is $XX.XX. I suspect quite a
bit of the push for these "track and pay" schemes is by people who
will make money off selling the tracking systems and infrastructure. I
wish we could get all the lobbyists on one room and nuke them.
User fees as "unAmerican"??? somebody has to "pay the bill" for
infrastructure and/or services... those using it most should pay the most...
However, if anyone feels that it would be more American to help support
anything I might use to excess, please feel free to help me out, here.
I pay thousands of dollars each year in school taxes. My children are 27 and
For my thousands of dollars, I get to have all of the local children off the
streets between 8:00 and 3:00. I think it's worth it.
The 'unamerican' part is having travel being tracked and/or logged by
Nothing about mpg going up changes the basic rule, fuel economy is
roughly proportional to vehicle weight. It also does not change that the
amount of fuel used is proportional to the distance driven and that
vehicle weight is proportional to the wear and tear on the roads (with
regard to passenger vehicles, where the dramatic climb begins is outside
the weight of passenger cars and trucks(SUVs).
The simple solution, if there really were a problem (there isn't as
fleet fuel economy hasn't changed much), is to just raise the amount of
tax per unit volume of fuel. Somewhere on thenewspaper.com there is an
article that goes under the hood of 'falling revenue'. Turns out the
falling revenue has been to the reduced large truck use in the economic
down-turn, not passenger vehicles with higher fuel economy.
Straight up government lie to grab more power over our daily lives withe
their tracking schemes.
I'll actually dig up the cites for you:
"From 1991 to 2006 the average efficiency improved by only 1.8 per cent
to 17.2 mpg (7.31 km/l)."
"The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
crunched the numbers and found this assertion to be entirely untrue. In
fiscal 2007, the US Treasury reported that a total of $29.4 billion was
collected from the taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. In 2008, the total
figure grew by $185 million to $29.6 billion. Lower traffic volumes did
cause gasoline tax revenue to drop $70 million, but this figure was more
than offset by a $256 million increase in revenue from the tax on
diesel, which is primarily paid by the commercial trucking industry.
View revenue chart.
These truckers, hit by tough economic times, cut expenses significantly.
Sales of new rigs plunged in 2008. That caused a $2.4 billion drop in
revenue from the 12 percent tax on the retail sales of trucks and
trailers. An accounting change in the way kerosene and similar taxes
were transferred ended up showed a paper loss of $722 million from the
fund. Together these factors, which are unrelated to the number of
vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2008, accounted for the $3 billion drop
in trust fund revenue."
And a bonus... I found one of the stories on fuel tax diversions:
The point was that we already have a perfectly good "user fee" system,
it's called the gas tax. There is no need to create yet another fee
system, and a far more complicated one at that, that requires tracking
of the movements of every driver. THAT is UN-American. I don't
expect a Canadian to understand why, that's why you're a Canadian, you
don't particularly value freedom.
On Wed, 26 Aug 2009 15:56:27 -0500, "Nelson J. Starbranch"
And to further flesh this out and come off sounding like a conspiracy
The makers of the tracking systems who stand to make a bundle if they
can get the gvt to mandate some form of tracking, can be expected to
spend millions and millions lobbying for these systems.
There will also be people in gvt, the spook people, CIA, NSA, who will
see this as a way to further get their hooks into monitoring EVERYONE
in real time and they will promote "research" in this area thru off
budget untraceable funding outlets that will show as a conclusion that
this will be such a wonderful system that we just can't live without
it. And or they will fund front groups to lobby for the systems.
In case anyone forgot or doesn't know, the ONLY reason you have GPS
tracking in your phone is because the gvt mandated it - to protect you
of course. And as we all now know, the cell companies can and do turn
your phone into a locating beacon at the request of the gvt. We also
know that someone, most likely the gvt, has disseminated programs that
you can be tricked into downloading into your phone that will turn it
into a voice monitoring system even when you are not on the phone.
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