There is a new tax in town nicknamed “Track & Tax.” It is a proposal by San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata as the way to pay for road improvements and mass transit additions that the voters were promised when they voted for TransNet sales taxes 15 years ago. See our story on the front page.
Today, if we want to avoid paying extra to use the roads, all we have to do is to avoid toll roads, or express roads. SANDAG’s proposed “dynamic pricing” or “congestion pricing” would be unavoidable if you need to be somewhere at a particular time. Think of it as similar to paying extra for water when you are most thirsty, paying extra to power your air conditioning when it’s extra hot or paying extra for food when it’s dinner time. In other words, Hasan Ikhrata’s wants to tax us for living and working.
But it gets worse. In order to track our whereabouts, our cars will need to be equipped with GPS monitors that will keep a record of where and when we go places. I’m not deriving that particular fact from Ikhrata’s proposal, it’s just an obvious requirement. It’s been discussed in car magazines for years as being inevitable.
If you worry about such things as the government tracking your every move via your cell phone, this should set off even more alarms. Unlike your cell phone, however, a GPS monitor would almost certainly to be tamper proof, and the law would make it prohibitive to disable the device.
Residents in Escondido and other parts of the state were up in arms just a few years ago when the city deployed red light cameras to catch motorists speeding through intersections once the light had turned red. Several judges ruled that the cameras amounted to motorists being asked to testify against themselves, thus violating the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
We can see how this logic might also apply to a GPS monitor.
So, in addition to SANDAG wanting to attach like a tick onto our veins to suck our blood for the privilege of living and working in San Diego County, it will also force on us a new method of keeping track of everywhere we go—with a helpful time stamp to make it even easier for government drones to create a spreadsheet with our names on it.
This proposal needs to be fought with every fiber of our being. It is evil. It puts us in the same boat as the residents of the Republic of China, whose social credit system allows the government to assign or subtract points from an individual’s “score” depending on whether he or she criticizes the government, throws litter, or behaves in an “anti-social” manner.
Think that can’t happen in the U.S., in San Diego County? Think again. As Ronald Reagan observed, “The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”
Thanks to SANDAG, we may be about to wave goodbye to some more liberty.