The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Dan Carlson
Prairie Ponderings 

The Coming War on Rural America

 

March 31, 2021 | View PDF

Last week we had yet another indication the Biden administration is woefully ignorant about life in rural America.

Pete Buttigieg, the new U.S. Transportation Secretary, expressed support for a new tax to make vehicle owners pay for each mile they drive. In an interview on CNBC Buttigieg said, “If we believe in that so-called user pays principle, the idea that part of how we pay for roads is you pay based on how much you drive, the gas tax used to be the obvious way to do it, it’s not anymore, so a so-called vehicle miles traveled tax or mileage tax, whatever you want to call it, could be a way to do it.” Such a tax would have a big impact on people living in small rural towns or on America’s farms and ranches where access to goods and services often involves traveling considerable distances.

At issue is how to pay for the upcoming $3 trillion infrastructure bill, which the president claims will create thousands of jobs to fix the nation’s roads and bridges. Such infrastructure maintenance and repair is supposed to be paid for using the 18.4-cent federal gas tax on each gallon of gasoline we buy. But too many Americans purchased electric cars and fuel-efficient vehicles in an effort to save the planet, reducing gasoline purchased and the associated tax revenue. To make up the shortfall, some democrats propose taxing us on a per-mile-driven basis, a tax that would include electric and hybrid vehicles. How much such a tax would be has not formally been revealed but I’ve read and heard anywhere from one to five cents a mile.

This would hit rural America hard. Think of the miles school districts drive with school buses, not to mention taking sports teams to games in distant communities or miles driven by supportive parents and fans to see them. Consider how many older people in the Panhandle travel to Scottsbluff regularly for medical appointments. What about businesses such as plumbers, contractors and home healthcare based in places such as Sidney that rely on serving outlying communities because there isn’t enough business in one town alone to stay afloat. And then there are farmers and ranchers. Will the per-mile tax include farm equipment doing laps around a field?

Some mocked me for being conspiratorial when I referenced globalist agenda plans to depopulate rural areas in spite of published plans to do so. We had Colorado’s recent meat-free day, a small, early part of the growing effort to end the livestock industry as we know it. Watch for draconian environmental regulations limited by the last administration to return and be used to fine private land owners big bucks for even the smallest transgressions. Look for increasing federal agency ((FBI, IRS, USDA, OSHA, BATFE) activity in rural areas and related land seizures.There’s no plan I’m aware of to round up rural Americans and forcibly relocate us. But there is definite intent to make living away from big cities so costly through taxes, fees and regulations that only the rich will be able to afford rural life. You doubt? Guess who’s buying up farmland and owns more than any other American. Bill Gates. Hmmmm. I suggest you do an internet search on “rewilding”.

 

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