Clever devils, those socialists. They’ve devised a devious plan to create progressive driving rates, whereby the rich will be required to pay more per mile of driving than the poor.
How, you may ask, is that possible? How can that be accomplished when gas pumps don’t know your income? Simple. By migrating gas-powered drivers to electric cars.
Consider, for example, the fact that Barack Obama and Joe the Plumber can now fill their gas tanks down at the corner Arco station and they’ll each pay the same price per gallon and the same taxes per gallon. In effect, a flat tax.
This obviously does not sit well with liberals. In their ideal world, everything would be taxed progressively.
And that’s where the electric car comes in.
When you drive an electric car, you will no longer fill ‘er up down at the corner gas station and pay that same taxes, rich or poor. No. You’ll charge your electric car at home and be billed for the additional power by your electric utility.
Therein lies the socialist rub. Electric rates are not the same for every home and every homeowner. They are determined by the amount of electricity a home uses, usually defined in progressive (uh-oh, there’s that word again) tiers based on the number of kilowatt hours used. The more electricity you use, the higher tier you fall in, the more you pay, just like the progressive income tax.
The owner of a small home that uses very little electricity may get all his electricity at the lowest rate. He may even get it for free, because exemptions and subsidies allow some low-income people to avoid some or even all of their electric bill. However, the additional electricity required to power a medium-sized home is priced at a higher rate. And the additional electricity required to power a McMansion is priced at a still higher rate.
In most states, the highest usage tiers are priced significantly higher than the lower ones. For example, here’s what those progressive tiers look like on Pacific Gas & Electric bills in California:
Price per Killowatt Hour
Tier 1: $0.11877 for the first 98 KwH
Tier 2: $0.13502 for the next 29.4 KwH
Tier 3: $0.29062 for the next 68.6 KwH
Tier 4: $0.40029 for the next 52.3 KwH
(As you can see, socialism has come to our electric rates just as surely as it’s come to our tax code.)
Larger incomes mean larger homes. Larger homes mean more electricity. More electricity means higher tiers. Higher tiers means higher prices.
Finally, since electric and hybrid cars generally cost considerably more than their gasoline equivalents, it stands to reason that they are being purchased primarily by higher income earners who already live in larger homes and already pay higher electrical rates. If they weren’t already in the highest tier, the additional electricity required to power their new electric vehicles will surely put them there now.
Viola! Just like that, a person converting from a gasoline-powered car to an electric car goes from a flat tax (the same price for every gallon of gas) to a progressive tax (tiered pricing depending on usage).
Very clever, you socialist redistributors of income. Very clever, indeed.