Author Topic: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?  (Read 45494 times)

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #100 on: August 24, 2015, 04:41:39 PM »
Bigger heavier vehicle = more wear and tear on roads at no extra cost.  Therefore paying less of fair share of infrastructure maintenance.
More gas burned = higher contribution to global warming at no extra cost.  Therefore paying less of fair share towards environmental issues.
More gas burned = higher contribution to public health deterioration at no extra cost.  Therefore paying less of fair share of healthcare costs (particularly true in Canada with public healthcare).

Of course they pay extra. You chose to ignore gas taxes: More fuel used = more gas tax paid, which goes towards infrastructure, general revenue, and govt. sponsored green projects.

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #101 on: August 24, 2015, 06:21:40 PM »
Of course they pay extra. You chose to ignore gas taxes: More fuel used = more gas tax paid, which goes towards infrastructure, general revenue, and govt. sponsored green projects.

Ok, a technicality... they pay slightly more into some of the pots of government money that go towards infrastructure and green initiatives.  But huge portions of the money into those pots come from other sources - incomes tax and real-estate taxes being two very large ones.  The exact proportions of these things will vary quite a bit all across North America.  And remember that the production of that gas has already been heavily subsidized in the first place.

No matter how you slice it, when you choose to transport yourself in a less efficient vehicle, you are not single-handedly covering all the extra costs that come from that decision.  Society helps to carry you along to their (our) own detriment.

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #102 on: August 24, 2015, 07:14:20 PM »
Of course they pay extra. You chose to ignore gas taxes: More fuel used = more gas tax paid, which goes towards infrastructure, general revenue, and govt. sponsored green projects.

Ok, a technicality... they pay slightly more into some of the pots of government money that go towards infrastructure and green initiatives.  But huge portions of the money into those pots come from other sources - incomes tax and real-estate taxes being two very large ones.  The exact proportions of these things will vary quite a bit all across North America.  And remember that the production of that gas has already been heavily subsidized in the first place.

No matter how you slice it, when you choose to transport yourself in a less efficient vehicle, you are not single-handedly covering all the extra costs that come from that decision.  Society helps to carry you along to their (our) own detriment.

You can apply that reasoning to almost anything...save your money, retire at 30 and then WD $18k a year and you will live paying minimal tax for the rest of your life not carrying all the costs, and society helps to carry you along.

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #103 on: August 25, 2015, 12:18:11 PM »
Of course they pay extra. You chose to ignore gas taxes: More fuel used = more gas tax paid, which goes towards infrastructure, general revenue, and govt. sponsored green projects.

Ok, a technicality... they pay slightly more into some of the pots of government money that go towards infrastructure and green initiatives.  But huge portions of the money into those pots come from other sources - incomes tax and real-estate taxes being two very large ones.  The exact proportions of these things will vary quite a bit all across North America.  And remember that the production of that gas has already been heavily subsidized in the first place.

No matter how you slice it, when you choose to transport yourself in a less efficient vehicle, you are not single-handedly covering all the extra costs that come from that decision.  Society helps to carry you along to their (our) own detriment.

You can apply that reasoning to almost anything...save your money, retire at 30 and then WD $18k a year and you will live paying minimal tax for the rest of your life not carrying all the costs, and society helps to carry you along.

Ok, I see your point, live on the minimalist side, pay less tax (there will still be your property tax which is a big part of infrastructure upkeep and school funding, etc.) and therefore you are getting a subsidized ride in life.  But we are getting off topic here.  I'm not saying that living a subsidized life is bad in and of itself.  I'm saying that being subsidized to actively make the world a worse place (by commuting long distances as a solo person in a low mpg vehicle - or just driving a low mpg vehicle for the fun of it/to express your masculinity) is a bad thing.

There's a place for subsidies.  Assisting people to pump out more GHG's and other pollutants is not, IMO, one of them.
And the people who, in regards to truck/SUV ownership, say "I can do what I want because I'm the one paying for it", are incorrect.  We all pay for it.

Syonyk

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #104 on: August 25, 2015, 01:00:15 PM »
How about the person who, while they could make plenty of money, retires early, lives cheap, and uses healthcare subsidies because of their low income?  Or makes use of other welfare type programs they can get access to with a low income?

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #105 on: August 25, 2015, 01:44:17 PM »
How about the person who, while they could make plenty of money, retires early, lives cheap, and uses healthcare subsidies because of their low income?  Or makes use of other welfare type programs they can get access to with a low income?

I thought I had pretty well addressed this in the comment above.

The person you are describing is being subsidized to live their life in a relatively simple way.  I don't have any strong moral standing on this issue.  Right or wrong, I'm not sure.  It's not what I'm talking about.

I strongly disagree with the hefty subsidies that assist many people to accelerate the pollution of the earth.  Even more strongly, I disagree with the people who claim that they are footing the bill for their lifestyle choice by themselves, by remaining ignorant to the subsidy system they are benefiting from.

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #106 on: August 25, 2015, 04:38:04 PM »
How about the person who, while they could make plenty of money, retires early, lives cheap, and uses healthcare subsidies because of their low income?  Or makes use of other welfare type programs they can get access to with a low income?

I thought I had pretty well addressed this in the comment above.

The person you are describing is being subsidized to live their life in a relatively simple way.  I don't have any strong moral standing on this issue.  Right or wrong, I'm not sure.  It's not what I'm talking about.

I strongly disagree with the hefty subsidies that assist many people to accelerate the pollution of the earth.  Even more strongly, I disagree with the people who claim that they are footing the bill for their lifestyle choice by themselves, by remaining ignorant to the subsidy system they are benefiting from.

It's not Joe 4x4 who will be hurt the most by removing subsidies...although in the short term it will make some greenies who don't see the big picture happy. Remove all the subsidies and the price of absolutely EVERYTHING will go up, and every single low income person in the country will be worse off. Every single product that people need for day to day living requires fuel to produce and get to market. Those additional costs will be passed on to the consumer.

What you effectively do by removing subsidies is transfer the tax burden from those who pay the most taxes to those who pay no tax, or very little tax.

GuitarStv

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #107 on: August 26, 2015, 06:00:43 AM »
That's why you don't just remove the subsidy.  Your action should be revenue neutral, and return the monies collected from gasoline and 4x4 subsidies to the people who need them most . . . encouraging activities that are better for everyone.  This way the average consumer sees little if any change in their overall bills, but the behaviour that's bad for everyone is no longer incentivized.

Le Poisson

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #108 on: August 26, 2015, 06:33:34 AM »
OK I've mostly skimmed over the penis debate and why to own a truck debate and the bits about how great cycling is. I may have missed some important bits, so forgive me if I'm chiming in out of line or context.

I work in traffic engineering with safety and urban development portfolios. I am not worried about driverless cars taking over the fleet for a pile of reasons. Certainly they will gain more acceptance and use, but I don't think 20 years is realistic for an entirely driverless fleet for a bunch of reasons.

I haven't researched the tech that google is using closely, but from what I have heard, the driverless cars are very dependant on linemarking in order to follow a route. Too many roads have undefined or poorly defined edge and centrelines for the driverless option to be able to drive the entire network. This means even autonomous vehicles will need to have a 'human' mode.

Car nuts aren't going to swap their passion for new technology. Certainly cash for cars and programs like it have reduced the age of the fleet overall, but you will always have people driving their classics and they will not give them up for a very long time. Today's new models are the classics we will see on the road in 20 years.

The driverless cars are running mostly independant of network inputs (in other words the vehicle to infrastructure AKA V2I communications) however there is a strong desire to have the vehicles to control signals in order to control flows/optimize timings and reduce delays. This is a great theory, but today the only vehicles with that capability are firetrucks and some buses and ambulances. Without considerable investment from both the public and private sector, V2I is a long ways out. V2V (vehicle to vehicle) is coming along since it is private sector, but even there, the tech is only emerging. Some municipalities are better equipped than others to evolve into an environment where V2V/V2I is useful, but some are still running electro-mechanical equipment without any central system at all. The taxpayer likely doesn't want to pay the price for a fully automated, driverless system.

As far as the safety side, yes, driverless cars have proven very safe so far - but as far as I know Google is only running them at low speeds, offering average speed results that are optimized by the cars ability to minimize delays. It is difficult to see how a driverless car will react to a mechanical failure (lose a control arm for instance) especially at freeway speeds.

I am not an expert in the subject, but based on what I have heard, a completely driverless fleet is a long ways off... then again, 20 years ago I wouldn't have said that humanity could fit the entire knowledge of the world into a phone and then use it to share pictures of cats.

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #109 on: August 26, 2015, 12:08:57 PM »
That's why you don't just remove the subsidy.  Your action should be revenue neutral, and return the monies collected from gasoline and 4x4 subsidies to the people who need them most . . . encouraging activities that are better for everyone.  This way the average consumer sees little if any change in their overall bills, but the behaviour that's bad for everyone is no longer incentivized.

Revenues from gas taxes and subsidies already go to the people that need them the most...low income people benefit from reduced fuel prices, which lowers the price of every single thing that they buy. In effect, the money is "returned" with every purchase that they make. It monitors itself and everyone gets a benefit based on what they purchase. Those with low incomes get a greater return because food and consumer goods make up a higher percent of their spending, and they pay little or no subsidies because they pay very little or no tax. Those with high incomes pay higher taxes which contribute to those subsidies.

Your suggestion involves raising all prices across the board, and then trying to fairly return the money to those who "need" it through another level of government bureaucracy, which is less accurate, less efficient, and more expensive.

GuitarStv

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #110 on: August 26, 2015, 12:50:51 PM »
Why does a level of government bureaucracy need to be created?

The revenues generated via the additional gas tax can just be redistributed via refund directly to the people according to their income.  No new bureaucracy, just an additional line item for the IRS.  This eliminates the incentive to use gas (or buy silly gas wasting products), while maintaining purchasing power for everyone.  Everyone gets the same subsidy that they had before, but they pay the real price of the item rather it being hidden from the consumer as you apparently prefer.

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #111 on: August 26, 2015, 01:46:37 PM »
Why does a level of government bureaucracy need to be created?

The revenues generated via the additional gas tax can just be redistributed via refund directly to the people according to their income.  No new bureaucracy, just an additional line item for the IRS.  This eliminates the incentive to use gas (or buy silly gas wasting products), while maintaining purchasing power for everyone.  Everyone gets the same subsidy that they had before, but they pay the real price of the item rather it being hidden from the consumer as you apparently prefer.

Using that logic, you can eliminate sales tax and simply add another "tax payable" line on the income tax form. Everyone pays based on income instead of on what they actually buy.

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #112 on: August 26, 2015, 02:45:17 PM »
Revenues from gas taxes and subsidies already go to the people that need them the most...low income people benefit from reduced fuel prices, which lowers the price of every single thing that they buy.

If a subsidy lowers the price of everything, then those who buy more, are subsidized more.  Generally speaking low income people are not the ones who buy the most, and are therefore not the ones being subsidized the most.

The point I'm trying to make is not to what level high vs low income people should be subsidized... that's a whole other debate to be had.  The point is that actions and lifestyles that are detrimental to the planet and the population around you should not be subsidized.  As a rich person or a poor person you should to some extent be free to make your vehicle choice as you see fit, but the rest of the population around you shouldn't be subsidizing that choice.

Sure, there has to be a balance made so that the cost of living doesn't suddenly jump for everyone.  But I'm sure there are many many ways to overcome that.  GuitarStv mentioned one, here's another: maybe the money that used to subsidize all of our fuel purchases gets funneled back to companies that transport goods across the country - they pay more for fuel at the pumps but their overall profit margins stay the same so they have no extra cost to pass on to retailers & consumers... or maybe even get to overall reduce the costs they need to pass along...  maybe this has some holes in it to be cleaned up as well... whatever, I'm sure there are other ways to make it work.  I'm not the one who will come up with the policy specifics - people more knowledgeable in the field can do that.

People need to know the full cost of their vehicle choices, and they need to pay them directly.  Then, people will finally have the incentive to make efficient choices.  And then, those people who choose to burn through double the gas as the people around them can honestly say "I paid for it so I'll do what I want".

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #113 on: August 26, 2015, 03:01:49 PM »
Revenues from gas taxes and subsidies already go to the people that need them the most...low income people benefit from reduced fuel prices, which lowers the price of every single thing that they buy.

If a subsidy lowers the price of everything, then those who buy more, are subsidized more.  Generally speaking low income people are not the ones who buy the most, and are therefore not the ones being subsidized the most.

Of course not. But, they are being subsidized a greater percentage of their income. This story about beer puts it into perspective:

"Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving). The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!” “That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore."

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #114 on: August 26, 2015, 04:24:36 PM »
I find it frustrating that you keep bringing this back to a rich vs. poor debate...
I've tried to make it very clear that that's not what I'm interested in.

Pretend one of the beer drinkers in your story wanted to taint everyone's beer with poison and send them all to hospital that night (excuse the loose and exaggerated analogy where this action is akin to using an inefficient low-mpg vehicle for "regular" driving that could be done more efficiently - similarities are just that it is not necessary, he wants to do it anyway, it forces costs onto the people around him).  Ignore the legal side of poisoning people... It's the best I could come up with quickly.  I don't care if it's the richest, poorest, or any of those men who gets their kicks by puking with his buddies and having a big sing-along in the hospital as they sit around their IV carts... Whoever pushed that situation onto everyone else should be the one paying for all the medical costs.

Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

If you want to debate whether or not the government should help out when people want to drive long distances, alone, with no super-heavy equipment, in large and low-mpg vehicles - I'm all ears.

If you agree that maybe it's not the best course of action to keep up subsidies as per above, but are concerned about how best to implement change - let's talk about that and brainstorm some ways to make it happen without other negative side effects.

But if you want to keep going back to taxing the rich vs the poor, I'm not the right person to talk to.  I will politely decline to engage with any further comments.

Syonyk

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #115 on: August 26, 2015, 04:27:42 PM »
So... what's the proper cost of driving a truck instead of a car?

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #116 on: August 26, 2015, 05:31:49 PM »
Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #117 on: August 26, 2015, 05:48:38 PM »
Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.

Do you have a source for that stat?  I'm not saying it's wrong... I honestly don't know what the value of either figure is.  I have just read in general that fuel is highly subsidized.  And going back to some of my earlier posts, there are other costs involved: healthcare for those affected by pollutants and/or collisions, GHG emissions and their affect on the climate, infrastructure maintenance, each individual driver's effect on overall congestion.  Does the current tax vs subsidy balance on fuel work to cover these costs yet?  I'm guessing many of these have not been specifically quantified... and so the answer would be no, the taxes involved don't yet cover these costs.

So... what's the proper cost of driving a truck instead of a car?

I don't know.  If our governments would hurry up and determine a cost per unit of GHG emissions (based on good science) it would be a good start, studies to determine values for some of the other costs I mention above would also be helpful.


Can I infer that you are both in agreement with the principle that insentivizing and subsidizing inefficient personal transportation is bad?  And now we have moved on to discussing a)whether or not our current system in fact does just that and b)if it does, how it's best to fix it?

MoonShadow

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #118 on: August 26, 2015, 06:16:56 PM »
Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.

Do you have a source for that stat?  I'm not saying it's wrong... I honestly don't know what the value of either figure is.  I have just read in general that fuel is highly subsidized.

It depends upon the state, but where I live, the tax on gas is 33 cents per gallon, which is roughly four times the average profit margin on that same gallon of gas.  The subsidy is harder to judge, because it mainly includes tax breaks for oil exploration & extraction as well as economic externalities, as you have already mentioned, costs to the public due to air quality, costs due to use of the military to secure foreign sources & transport, etc.  There really isn't any direct fuel subsidy except for winter home heating for the poor.

Syonyk

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #119 on: August 26, 2015, 06:18:50 PM »
I really don't think it's a huge problem, TBH, and far too many people use "efficient" vehicles as excuses to have insanely long commutes.  I'm quite confident that most of the Priuses at work emit radically more emissions than my truck, because they're driven every day, and I drive my truck rarely (ebike as a commuter vehicle, truck for hauling stuff).

Yes, there do exist people who make insanely long highway commutes in trucks, but I don't think this is particularly common - most people with very long commutes pick something more efficient, and a long commute with an efficient vehicle can easily have more total impact and emissions than a short commute in a truck.  That's not even considering the environmental impact from the battery packs & such, as opposed to a simple metal construction.

And in general, I think picking on trucks is pretty well absurd.  It's just a popular thing to bash on around this particular forum.  I don't think that it's worth spending the effort to change what isn't that big of a problem in the first place.

Live close to work, and it doesn't matter what you drive.  Because you'll probably bike anyway.

Papa bear

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #120 on: August 26, 2015, 08:00:50 PM »

Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.

Do you have a source for that stat?  I'm not saying it's wrong... I honestly don't know what the value of either figure is.  I have just read in general that fuel is highly subsidized.

It depends upon the state, but where I live, the tax on gas is 33 cents per gallon, which is roughly four times the average profit margin on that same gallon of gas.  The subsidy is harder to judge, because it mainly includes tax breaks for oil exploration & extraction as well as economic externalities, as you have already mentioned, costs to the public due to air quality, costs due to use of the military to secure foreign sources & transport, etc.  There really isn't any direct fuel subsidy except for winter home heating for the poor.

I was reading through this thread recently and was hoping someone would bring this up.  I'm not aware of any specific subsidy on fuel either.  Most of those "tax breaks" are deductions that are given to every US manufacturer. (Domestic production activities deduction)

Putting a value on the negative externality of additional pollution would be difficult to do, but I understand what the thoughts were here.

As for wear and tear on most roads, from a civil engineer friend of mine (bridges and highways) most of the damage is from trucks.  As in semi trucks, not necessarily pickups. 
 
With the move to EV's and high MPG vehicles, I thought I had heard grumblings that the gas tax wasn't producing enough revenue.  They were considering other options, including a tax based on usage and total mileage.   Low mileage pickups are currently paying more for our roads than the Leaf drivers.

Back to the topic, boys will buy things to show off.  Maybe people will start spending on servants / housekeepers again? My gardener can lift more than yours can!


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dragoncar

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #121 on: August 27, 2015, 12:17:18 AM »
I'll preface this by saying this is one reason I think home prices in desirable cities will continue to skyrocket.  It's very possibly that other household expenses will deflate, leaving excess cash left over to bid up housing.

edit: I see BCBiker beat me to it.... coming to this thread late :-(  It's really good!

I don't buy the narrative that 30% is the most income you can comfortably spend on housing.  How do I know this?  Because it implies you need at least 70% of your income for all the other stuff.  And we mustachians know you really don't.  I could spend 70% of my income on housing and still save enough for retirement because my other expenses are low.

That said...

It'll just throw people into a frothing outrage about "freedom" and how the government is shoving self-driving cars down our throats and taking away our god-given right to go mudding, and actually make owning your own truck even more popular. All the better if it's become some exclusive club due to not being able to just go out and buy one at the dealership. Prices will spiral upward in a buying frenzy, and all the young men will be spending 70% their income on gas and scavenged parts to keep their 20-year-old F-350s on the road.

Once the junkyards have been thoroughly picked over and all the old trucks have disintegrated beyond repair, I agreed with G-dog that people will move on to other flashy things, probably expensive wearable technology and/or other costly and largely useless vehicles like boats. Although, how are you going to get your boat to the lake without your massive truck?

This.  It will still be legal to own a truck -- you will still need a manually operated one for actual heavy deliveries, construction, etc. for a very long time.  It may just cost a lot to insure for highway use, etc. 

But hey, people drive V8 mustangs, etc. now and those cost a lot to insure too. 

I can see one option being express for more money or share a ride for a discount. 

Can't wait for Uber helicopter, where you climb into a padded capsule and a drone picks you up and delivers you to your destination.

Or uber bike messenger where you get on the electric bike and it zips you down wrong-way streets, between stopped traffic, up on the sidewalk, over old ladies, to get you to your destination pronto.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 12:32:16 AM by dragoncar »

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #122 on: August 27, 2015, 10:18:04 AM »
I really don't think it's a huge problem, TBH, and far too many people use "efficient" vehicles as excuses to have insanely long commutes. 

I agree completely that an efficient vehicle can still be used in a stupid way - this is behaviour that I think should also be strongly discouraged.

Yes, there do exist people who make insanely long highway commutes in trucks, but I don't think this is particularly common - most people with very long commutes pick something more efficient

It's not just about the long commutes.  Sure they are a significant part of the problem, but every day I see parking lots full of trucks and SUV's at grocery stores, malls, and office buildings (from short commutes)  - and I live in a VERY bike-friendly city.  The millions of short trips made by low-mpg vehicles add up.

And in general, I think picking on trucks is pretty well absurd.  It's just a popular thing to bash on around this particular forum.

I think the real thing that gets bashed is inefficient lifestyle choices.  Trucks (that are not used to their fullest on a regular basis, but instead serve as some sort of status/masculinity/'it makes me feel good' item) are just one easy target in this category.  Long commutes (in any vehicle) and excessive heating/AC are also targeted pretty frequently.

Live close to work, and it doesn't matter what you drive.  Because you'll probably bike anyway.

This is a great philosophy that I enlist to as well.  But in reality we are an extreme minority... First of all many people don't choose to live close to work, second of all those who do usually still drive anyway.  In the last city I lived in I worked at an office of about 60 people.  At least half of these people lived within a 20 minute biking radius which included bike-friendly streets and a bike trail alongside the hwy through town.  At a guess, 45 weeks of the year I was the only one to arrive by bike, there were 2 other people who would occasionally ride, and during 'bike to work week' the number would surge to 10 or 15.  Instead, nearly half of those people arrived in very large trucks and SUV's.

In places where this is the norm - things will not change until there are significant incentives (or disincentives) to push the issue.

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #123 on: August 27, 2015, 10:47:50 AM »

Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.

Do you have a source for that stat?  I'm not saying it's wrong... I honestly don't know what the value of either figure is.  I have just read in general that fuel is highly subsidized.

It depends upon the state, but where I live, the tax on gas is 33 cents per gallon, which is roughly four times the average profit margin on that same gallon of gas.  The subsidy is harder to judge, because it mainly includes tax breaks for oil exploration & extraction as well as economic externalities, as you have already mentioned, costs to the public due to air quality, costs due to use of the military to secure foreign sources & transport, etc.  There really isn't any direct fuel subsidy except for winter home heating for the poor.

I was reading through this thread recently and was hoping someone would bring this up.  I'm not aware of any specific subsidy on fuel either.  Most of those "tax breaks" are deductions that are given to every US manufacturer. (Domestic production activities deduction)

Putting a value on the negative externality of additional pollution would be difficult to do, but I understand what the thoughts were here.

As for wear and tear on most roads, from a civil engineer friend of mine (bridges and highways) most of the damage is from trucks.  As in semi trucks, not necessarily pickups. 


In Canada anyway, our oil and gas extraction industry has been receiving Billions of Dollars worth of tax credits and exploration subsidies over the past decade.  Here and even more so in the USA, we fill up our vehicles with some of the cheapest gas on the planet.  I still don't know what the specific subsidies are but I know that we do not pay the full cost for our transportation choices.

Putting price tags onto all the external or 'soft' costs is no doubt a very difficult task.  And the specifics of how it's done (my spare time is worth $x not $y!, and you must be crazy it will cost much more than that to negate my driving-induced carbon footprint!).  But people have finally started to try in North America (this type of calculation has been the norm in Europe for quite a while).

Here's a study from Vancouver that I posted earlier: http://movingforward.discoursemedia.org/costofcommute/
Here's a US specific article with links to other reports: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/01/the-real-reason-us-gas-is-so-cheap-is-americans-dont-pay-the-true-cost-of-driving/384200/

To be fair, these studies are about personal vehicle commuting, not specifically truck-commuting.  Either way, heavy drivers are not paying their share of the costs.


Back to the topic, boys will buy things to show off.  Maybe people will start spending on servants / housekeepers again? My gardener can lift more than yours can!

I'm sure one-upmanship will never die!  I just hope people start to admire and pursue more badass ways to show off - like the ability to bike long distances without breaking a sweat! Or growing an abnormally large carrot! Haha, my buddy's EXTREME ABILITY to secure financing on a large vehicle, or that guy down the road's TERRIFIC SKILL at pressing his gas pedal all the way to the floor! just doesn't do it for me...

BCBiker

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #124 on: September 14, 2015, 09:27:42 PM »
Yes, there do exist people who make insanely long highway commutes in trucks, but I don't think this is particularly common - most people with very long commutes pick something more efficient

Wow! This really took off since I have been gone. Really good discussion! Especially RidinTheAsama. I agree that incentives are what drive our stupid car behavior. I hope that incentives can be better aligned with the needs of more people in the future but am not hopeful.

Syonyk: I'm not sure if you live in the Netherlands or some other more reasonable society but in my city and in every other American city I see 10s of thousands of truck/suv commuters without having to look very hard...

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #125 on: September 14, 2015, 11:13:39 PM »
I live in the greater Seattle region and it's mostly EVs, Priuses (Priui?), and such.  Tons of Leafs, tons of Teslas, all sitting in traffic as I zip past on my ebike.  Most of the trucks I see are obviously work trucks.  Landscaping, construction (with crap in the bed), etc.

The thing is, I don't really care that much what other people do.  If other people want to drive trucks to work, fine.  I don't actually see many in the parking lot at work.  I don't think replacing a stupidly long commute in a truck with a stupidly long commute in a Prius is going to change much, and a short commute in a truck just doesn't matter much either.  The newer ones are fairly efficient, and the older ones are well paid off, embedded-energy-wise.

And you can ignore me entirely because I might be badly biased.  I do own a truck.  It's a huge tow pig.  Diesel (7.3 Powerstroke, as God and International intended), crew cab, long bed, 4WD, everything.  I use it to haul stuff and tow stuff.  My wife & I are moving out to the middle of nowhere (by most people's terms), I am going to be doing a radical amount of landscaping/garden beds/aquaculture/etc, and we're going to buy a used 5th wheel to tour the country in.  It made sense to buy a low mileage truck out here instead of buying a much higher mileage truck once we moved, as the cost is lower out here (oddly) and I intend to keep this thing on the road for about the next 60 years.

I just don't drive it to work.  And, I find it very funny how many people ask me if I can help them move stuff.  Or haul stuff to the dump.  Or whatever.

libertarian4321

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #126 on: September 15, 2015, 04:07:04 AM »

Maybe you personally do plenty of other great things with your life to offset the 'evils your truck casts on the world' (purposeful exaggeration for effect - please don't take literally...) but no can claim, when choosing a big gas guzzler, that they aren't impacting other people in this world, and that they are free to pay extra for such a privilege if they want - not until our systems have changed and the extra they are paying is truly proportional to all the hidden costs.

You presume that the person who drives a truck has more negative impact on the environment than someone who drives a politically correct vehicle.

Your presumption is WRONG.

I drive a "gas guzzling" 2002 Silverado.   

A smug enviro weenie who pulls up along side my truck probably feels superior because "his environmental footprint is lower."

I just had my truck inspected.  In the past year, since my last inspection, I had driven it 1,200 miles.  Lets say my truck get's 12 mpg (it actually gets significantly better mpg than that, I'm just keeping the math easy).

Smug a-hole 2014 Prius driver drives his Prius 12,000 miles per year (about the national average).  The Prius gets 48 mpg, maybe.

So "environmentally correct" smug Prius guy actually burned 2.5 times as much gas as I did, and had a far greater negative impact on the environment  than I did with my "evil" truck.  I won't even get into his greater environmental footprint due to driving a newer car (frequent replacement of ANYTHING, including cars, has a HUGE negative impact on the environment), using more parts, more tires, more oil, environmentally dangerous batteries, etc.

See, folks, being "environmentally friendly" ain't as easy to achieve as you might think. 

You don't become "environmentally friendly" just by joining the Democratic Party, the Sierra Club, buying a Prius, and slapping a "save the whales" sticker on the back of your new iPhone 6s (which replaced your "old" perfectly workeable iPhone 6) . 

You can't judge a truck driver as "evil" and the smug Prius guy as "good" just by the vehicle they drive. 

Well, you can make that "judgment," but you'd be an idiot if you did so.

Why do I drive so little?  Because I've made lifestyle choices to allow myself to do so.  I mostly work from home.  I plan and schedule trips to accomplish multiple purposes, I don't just pop into the car and drive every time I need a quart of milk.  I frequently walk or bike or ride share.

Needless to say, these choices are also money savers.


RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #127 on: September 15, 2015, 04:31:44 PM »

You presume that the person who drives a truck has more negative impact on the environment than someone who drives a politically correct vehicle.

Your presumption is WRONG.


I never said a prius owner is automatically holier and better than a truck driver.
I never said driving a prius 12,000 miles is better than driving a truck 1,200 miles, and I don't disagree with you in the slightest regarding your whole comparison.

In some ways I am much like you.  I've designed my life to involve as little driving as possible.  I own a Subaru Outback that gets 25-30 mpg - somewhere between your truck and the prius.  I justify this by using the vehicle to its fullest capacity as often as possible (with the seats down and the back lined with a tarp I can fit about 3/4 of a yard of mulch or similar in there). Maybe we should pat ourselves on the back for doing a good job, or maybe we should keep trying to do better.

So, where we seem to agree:
Driving less is a good thing.

Where I hope we agree but maybe hasn't been made clear:
Driving the most efficient vehicle that is suitable for the type and amount of driving one does is a good thing.

Where we disagree:
You previously implied that a driver covers all the costs of his/her driving choices, and has no impact on the society around him/her (unless I misunderstood you?).  I think I have made my position on this quite clear, and provided reasonable support for that position.  Driver's do not cover their own costs and are in fact heavily subsidized.

When I drive, I am not ignorant to the fact that society around me is helping to cover the cost, and is worse off for it.  I do not feel any guilt for this since I already do what I can to minimize my impact in this regard.  I strongly believe that our system should be adjusted (taxation would be one way, I'm sure there are many others to which I would be open) such that drivers are forced to face the reality of their situation and actually pay for the damage they do.  I think this is the only way to affect serious change in driver's habits.

I hope that clears up my position on this.  If there's anything you'd like to refute please do!

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #128 on: September 15, 2015, 08:19:34 PM »

Maybe you personally do plenty of other great things with your life to offset the 'evils your truck casts on the world' (purposeful exaggeration for effect - please don't take literally...) but no can claim, when choosing a big gas guzzler, that they aren't impacting other people in this world, and that they are free to pay extra for such a privilege if they want - not until our systems have changed and the extra they are paying is truly proportional to all the hidden costs.

You presume that the person who drives a truck has more negative impact on the environment than someone who drives a politically correct vehicle.

Your presumption is WRONG.

I drive a "gas guzzling" 2002 Silverado.   

A smug enviro weenie who pulls up along side my truck probably feels superior because "his environmental footprint is lower."

I just had my truck inspected.  In the past year, since my last inspection, I had driven it 1,200 miles.  Lets say my truck get's 12 mpg (it actually gets significantly better mpg than that, I'm just keeping the math easy).

Smug a-hole 2014 Prius driver drives his Prius 12,000 miles per year (about the national average).  The Prius gets 48 mpg, maybe.

So "environmentally correct" smug Prius guy actually burned 2.5 times as much gas as I did, and had a far greater negative impact on the environment  than I did with my "evil" truck.  I won't even get into his greater environmental footprint due to driving a newer car (frequent replacement of ANYTHING, including cars, has a HUGE negative impact on the environment), using more parts, more tires, more oil, environmentally dangerous batteries, etc.

See, folks, being "environmentally friendly" ain't as easy to achieve as you might think. 

You don't become "environmentally friendly" just by joining the Democratic Party, the Sierra Club, buying a Prius, and slapping a "save the whales" sticker on the back of your new iPhone 6s (which replaced your "old" perfectly workeable iPhone 6) . 

You can't judge a truck driver as "evil" and the smug Prius guy as "good" just by the vehicle they drive. 

Well, you can make that "judgment," but you'd be an idiot if you did so.

Why do I drive so little?  Because I've made lifestyle choices to allow myself to do so.  I mostly work from home.  I plan and schedule trips to accomplish multiple purposes, I don't just pop into the car and drive every time I need a quart of milk.  I frequently walk or bike or ride share.

Needless to say, these choices are also money savers.

I agree with you that thinking that driving a Prius automatically makes you better than truck is a false-premise. Indeed, the environmental impact is often more dependent on miles than mileage. I actually do not focus a whole lot on the environment. I find it interesting how people who are "environmentally conscious" and don't believe in post-its because of environmental impact but happen to drive large Subaru SUVs 20 miles to work every day still fits in the same world-view. That is certainly not rational by any stretch of the imagination.

As it were, my environmental impact related to my daily commute has been pretty close to zero over the past 4 years... whatever the impact of 2 bicycle tires, some chain grease, and the extra metabolism required is.

I don't bike to work for environmental reasons. I do it because it makes my life better.  There is a narrow set of circumstances in which a truck can make one's life better for an extended period of time in practical, rational terms (truck is being used frequently to haul stuff so consistently that renting doesn't make financial sense, potentially recreation). Some people think that feeling like a big man by rumbling the muffler makes their life better (or at least I assume this as I see it all the time and it doesn't make a lot of sense).  Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Most people who own trucks don't need them and the overall impact on their life is negative, especially in financial terms. And the reason for this post is to point that out and speculate what these same folks will do when it is not an option. :)

libertarian4321

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #129 on: September 18, 2015, 02:41:20 AM »
Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Umm, no, it is NOT "bull shit."

I'm a big guy, about the size of an average NFL defensive lineman.

Trust me, my really basic "work" style truck with it's cheap cloth bench seats is a whole Hell of a lot more comfortable than squeezing myself into my wife's little Beemer (I have to fold myself into the damned thing) even though she has fancy leather bucket seats with heating/cooling, lumbar support and a whole lot of other stuff. 

None of it makes up for the fact that those seats are JUST TOO DAMNED SMALL.

Maybe a truck isn't more comfortable for YOU (I have no idea, because I'm not you), it is far more comfortable for me.

See, that's the beauty of a free country.  I get to decide which vehicle is best for me, and you get to choose what is best for you.

If you weigh 150 lbs and want to squeeze into a Prius or an econo-mini-smart-eco-whatever-the-Hell, go for it. 

But don't presume to lecture me on why I should do the same.   You ain't me, son. 

Also, I'm not sure where this "guys who drive trucks do it to be more manly because they like loud exhaust noises" bull crap came from.  I live in Texas.  You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a truck here.  And yes, once in a while, you'll run across some guy with a truck with a fake loud exhaust (and usually a rebel flag flying from the rear), but these clowns are one in a thousand truck drivers.  Almost all of the trucks on the road are just regular trucks, no "loud" or "large" or "manly" add ons. 

If they spend extra money on anything, these days it's usually on LUXURY crap- leather this and that, fancy sound systems, technology, massaging leather seats, stuff like that, not loud mufflers.  Most of the trucks my friends drive are far more expensive, and far more luxurious than my wife's Beemer. 

More "plush" than "manly."

And yes, driving a truck is a bit more expensive than driving a mini-econo-enviro-whatever.  Again, we all make choices.  I'm the multi-millionaire next door.  I chose to buy the (allegedly) "expensive" truck.

I'm quite damned sure that I don't need you to give me a lecture on how I'm failing financially because I drive a 14-year old pickup that you don't approve of.

All this talk about trucks is giving me "car fever."  I might just go out this weekend and buy a new truck. :)

Fear not, kids, the cost of that "expensive" truck will be little more than a rounding error on my net worth. 

And don't panic when I blow by your little Prius (or whatever), it's going to be okay.  I'm not going to hurt you.  Really.  I'm just trying to get to Home Depot to buy a new water heater.  I'm not trying to intimidate you.  Relax.


libertarian4321

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #130 on: September 18, 2015, 03:00:45 AM »

Where we disagree:
You previously implied that a driver covers all the costs of his/her driving choices, and has no impact on the society around him/her (unless I misunderstood you?).  I think I have made my position on this quite clear, and provided reasonable support for that position.  Driver's do not cover their own costs and are in fact heavily subsidized.

When I drive, I am not ignorant to the fact that society around me is helping to cover the cost, and is worse off for it.  I do not feel any guilt for this since I already do what I can to minimize my impact in this regard.  I strongly believe that our system should be adjusted (taxation would be one way, I'm sure there are many others to which I would be open) such that drivers are forced to face the reality of their situation and actually pay for the damage they do.  I think this is the only way to affect serious change in driver's habits.

I hope that clears up my position on this.  If there's anything you'd like to refute please do!

Might I suggest that you are irrationally obsessing about "car choices" and ignoring everything else.

Hell, son, EVERY PURCHASE YOU MAKE, whether a truck or a box of condoms or a cheap plastic toy, has a "societal cost."  To be even more specific, that cheap plastic toy is TRANSPORTED OVER PUBLIC ROADS ON A BIG TRUCK.   You say "Driver's do not cover their own costs and are in fact heavily subsidized."  But I double damned guarantee you that 18-wheeler is even more heavily subsidized.   

So maybe you should stop bitching about truck drivers and bitch about anyone who ever buys anything?

Look, not everyone "pays their fair share" on everything.  It's never happened, and it never will.

It's absurd to obsess about the "unfair advantage" the truck driver might have, while blissfully ignoring all the THOUSANDS OF OTHER inequities. 

People with no kids subsidize those who have kids to an APPALLING DEGREE (don't get me started on this).

Those who achieve, earn, and save subsidize that don't to an almost criminal degree.

Those who buy and use less subsidize those who buy a lot of crap to a huge degree.  Transportation/road costs are just a tiny part of this.  I could rant all day on the economic and environmental impacts of buying piles of "stuff" (which most self-styled environmentalists conveniently ignore or are ignorant of).  Excessive consumerism is a far bigger problem than "low mpg trucks."

Any "unfair" advantage you perceive (and again, I could argue, with numbers, that in many cases, you'd be wrong about the "truck" guy having an unfair advantage) earned by a guy driving a truck rather than a Prius is a ridiculously small drop in the bucket compared to any of these.

My suggestion, stop whining and obsessing about such a relatively trivial "unfairness."   If you do feel the need to obsess about "unfairness" in society, focus on the larger ones I mentioned.


GuitarStv

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #131 on: September 18, 2015, 10:13:07 AM »
Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Umm, no, it is NOT "bull shit."

I'm a big guy, about the size of an average NFL defensive lineman.

Trust me, my really basic "work" style truck with it's cheap cloth bench seats is a whole Hell of a lot more comfortable than squeezing myself into my wife's little Beemer (I have to fold myself into the damned thing) even though she has fancy leather bucket seats with heating/cooling, lumbar support and a whole lot of other stuff. 

None of it makes up for the fact that those seats are JUST TOO DAMNED SMALL.

Maybe a truck isn't more comfortable for YOU (I have no idea, because I'm not you), it is far more comfortable for me.

See, that's the beauty of a free country.  I get to decide which vehicle is best for me, and you get to choose what is best for you.

If you weigh 150 lbs and want to squeeze into a Prius or an econo-mini-smart-eco-whatever-the-Hell, go for it. 

But don't presume to lecture me on why I should do the same.   You ain't me, son.

I'm 6' and 210 lbs, and have no issue at all sitting in a Prius or most small cars.  Can I ask what your height and weight are?  Most of the people I've heard making your complaints are obese.  If this is your case, maybe the seat size isn't the real issue you should be addressing. . .

Syonyk

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #132 on: September 18, 2015, 10:25:10 AM »
NFL Defensive Lineman sized, so "pretty damned big." 6'3, 320+ lbs?

No idea what he actually is.

TheBuddha

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #133 on: September 18, 2015, 11:20:48 AM »
But I double damned guarantee you that 18-wheeler is even more heavily subsidized.   

Really?


Quote
On average, a typical 80,000 pound GVW tractor-trailer truck pays $13,889 per year in truck highway taxes according to the above data. A hypothetical auto owner driving 20,000 miles per year at 25 mpg, and paying $100 in registration fees, ends up paying about $397 per year. So on average, looking at federal and state taxes, a tractor-trailer combination trucks pay about 35 times what a typical auto would pay based on national averages.

Link

I'm a truck driver. We pay a ton of tax out here just to operate. It's not our fault congress keeps raiding the Highway Trust Fund for their pet projects.

Quote
A new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, compiled at the request of Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain, details how the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has obligated $78 billion over the last five years for “purposes other than construction and maintenance of highways and bridges.”

Link

AlanStache

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #134 on: September 18, 2015, 11:53:42 AM »
But I double damned guarantee you that 18-wheeler is even more heavily subsidized.   

Really?


Quote
On average, a typical 80,000 pound GVW tractor-trailer truck pays $13,889 per year in truck highway taxes according to the above data. A hypothetical auto owner driving 20,000 miles per year at 25 mpg, and paying $100 in registration fees, ends up paying about $397 per year. So on average, looking at federal and state taxes, a tractor-trailer combination trucks pay about 35 times what a typical auto would pay based on national averages.

Link

I'm a truck driver. We pay a ton of tax out here just to operate. It's not our fault congress keeps raiding the Highway Trust Fund for their pet projects.

Quote
A new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, compiled at the request of Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain, details how the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has obligated $78 billion over the last five years for “purposes other than construction and maintenance of highways and bridges.”

Link

ok, that is one half of the fraction, but "heavily subsidized" here is what the trucker pays divided by total costs.  You have listed only what the trucker pays.  Is 14k more or less than the a trucks 'fair share' of the total road maintenance costs?

AlanStache

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #135 on: September 18, 2015, 12:20:22 PM »
ok, that is one half of the fraction, but "heavily subsidized" here is what the trucker pays divided by total costs.  You have listed only what the trucker pays.  Is 14k more or less than the a trucks 'fair share' of the total road maintenance costs?

According to this DOT cost allocation study, tractor-trailers cost between 10-20 times as much per mile for road repairs. If we're paying 35 times as much, then it's more than our fair share.

It's a complicated formula of course and I'm not saying we pay too much. It feels about the right amount for the amount of damage we obviously do to the roads. But to claim that we're "heavily subsidized"? I just don't see it.

"times 10-20 per mile", with "35 times" more tax, but if trucks drive more miles than cars it could even out on a per vehicle basis (if I understood the numbers correctly).  So "heavily subsidized" might be a stretch (wrt road maintenance) for tractor-trailers.

TheBuddha

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #136 on: September 18, 2015, 12:28:25 PM »
[I removed my previous post, I messed up while editing and somehow lost the original text.]


"times 10-20 per mile", with "35 times" more tax, but if trucks drive more miles than cars it could even out on a per vehicle basis (if I understood the numbers correctly).  So "heavily subsidized" might be a stretch (wrt road maintenance) for tractor-trailers.

Okay I found the data, after clicking around. It looks like tractor-trailers do underpay, except for the very heaviest ones.

But here are some fun discussion points:

Quote
Pickups and vans have the largest over or underpayment of any vehicle class; as a group those vehicles pay $1.6 billion more in highway user fees than their highway cost responsibility. Other vehicle classes that in the aggregate pay more than their highway cost responsibility are 2-axle single unit trucks, all truck-trailer combinations, and 5- and 6-axle twin-trailer combinations. Five-axle tractor-semitrailers have the largest underpayment of any vehicle class, followed by automobiles and 3- and 4-axle single unit trucks. These classes account for 32 percent, 16 percent, 15 percent and 13 percent respectively of underpayments by all vehicle classes.

Link

Pickups/vans overpay their fair share, while autos underpay:


« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 12:31:58 PM by TheBuddha »

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #137 on: September 18, 2015, 12:52:21 PM »
Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Umm, no, it is NOT "bull shit."

I'm a big guy, about the size of an average NFL defensive lineman.

Trust me, my really basic "work" style truck with it's cheap cloth bench seats is a whole Hell of a lot more comfortable than squeezing myself into my wife's little Beemer (I have to fold myself into the damned thing) even though she has fancy leather bucket seats with heating/cooling, lumbar support and a whole lot of other stuff. 

None of it makes up for the fact that those seats are JUST TOO DAMNED SMALL.

Maybe a truck isn't more comfortable for YOU (I have no idea, because I'm not you), it is far more comfortable for me.

See, that's the beauty of a free country.  I get to decide which vehicle is best for me, and you get to choose what is best for you.

If you weigh 150 lbs and want to squeeze into a Prius or an econo-mini-smart-eco-whatever-the-Hell, go for it. 

But don't presume to lecture me on why I should do the same.   You ain't me, son.

I'm 6' and 210 lbs, and have no issue at all sitting in a Prius or most small cars.  Can I ask what your height and weight are?  Most of the people I've heard making your complaints are obese.  If this is your case, maybe the seat size isn't the real issue you should be addressing. . .

At 6' and 210 is closer to the size of a receiver.

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #138 on: September 18, 2015, 12:58:16 PM »
http://www.ninersnation.com/2013/2/23/4021846/2013-nfl-combine-results-defensive-linemen-measurement

They're *big* - and, generally, quite tall.

And, often, tall people have problems with small cars.  I'm 6'0", and the only way I could drive a Mazda2 was with the seat all the way back.  If I were another few inches taller, I wouldn't be able to fit in that car comfortably, even if I were super thin.  Or if my legs were abnormally long for my height.

This isn't a problem in a truck.

Kashmani

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #139 on: September 18, 2015, 03:42:12 PM »
So I just rented a Ford F150 (don't own a car, occasionally need one) from Budget that cost $40 less than the economy option. After a bit of gas math I decided it was worth it.

On the road it is such a pain to drive. It has to be a foot or more wider than a Civic (my preferred car), difficult to park, even in oversized american big box store spaces, unstable at high highway speeds, and with so many buttons that are more than an arms-length away from the driver because of how large the center console is. I had to lean over just to use the radio tuner.

 I really have no understanding of why anyone would want one and yet they are one of the best selling models in America. Clearly no one wants to rent them which is why it was the cheapest rental car option.

As a big guy, I always have the opposite reaction. I sit in a full-size truck and it feels remarkably spacious and non-cramped. The nicest vehicle I have ever driven was a full-size Chevy Silverado. The head was not bumping against the ceiling. The shoulders (and, alas, love handles) were not pushing over the side of the seat. The buttons were big enough for me to wear mittens (important in minus 30 Celsius) and still turn them. And the pedals were big enough and far enough apart that wearing a pear of Sorel pac boots does not mean pushing in two pedals at once. The kids could be in the back and there was STILL plenty of room to carry stuff, without the need to fold down any seats. So unlike our family station wagon, it's not a choice between kids or materials. And with a fibreglass topper, it can be a year-round hauler, with an enclosed trunk that can be removed when hauling building materials, soil, gravel, or anything else. Plus, recently getting the family car stuck on a non-maintained road simply because mud filled up the wheel wells after half a mile, bigger wheels and bigger wheel wells hold some appeal. I can definitely see why people like trucks, even though they are expensive to buy and run.

Disclaimer: I live in a condo and drive a Smart Car when not walking or biking. There is no way a full-size truck would actually fit into my life, or either my underground parkade at home or or the one at work. However, when out in the countryside, I do look longingly at them. I totally get why people like them. Most cars are a compromise between utility and economy. Economy is a good thing. But sometimes it is tempting not to have to compromise.


RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #140 on: September 18, 2015, 03:46:25 PM »
Might I suggest that you are irrationally obsessing about "car choices" and ignoring everything else.

There are many other issues I think are worth debate, and require change in our world.  This is just the one that came up in this thread.

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Hell, son, EVERY PURCHASE YOU MAKE, whether a truck or a box of condoms or a cheap plastic toy, has a "societal cost."  To be even more specific, that cheap plastic toy is TRANSPORTED OVER PUBLIC ROADS ON A BIG TRUCK.   You say "Driver's do not cover their own costs and are in fact heavily subsidized."  But I double damned guarantee you that 18-wheeler is even more heavily subsidized.   

So maybe you should stop bitching about truck drivers and bitch about anyone who ever buys anything?


Not to worry, my previously mentioned list of things I'd like to see changed in this world ALSO involves people who buy too much shit they don't need.

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Look, not everyone "pays their fair share" on everything.  It's never happened, and it never will.

That's a really bad reason not to strive for something worthwhile.
"There has never been world peace.  Let's just give up that idea and let the world fall into anarchy" - Nobody, ever
"There has never been universal access to the internet.  Let's just leave that as a 'city' thing and ignore the rest" - Nobody, ever

And to be clear, I don't think everyone should pay their fair share for "everything".  I differentiate between human rights and human privileges.  Everyone should have access to clean drinking water whether or not they can afford it.  Anyone who chooses to build a large daily commute into their lives should pay for that privilege.

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It's absurd to obsess about the "unfair advantage" the truck driver might have, while blissfully ignoring all the THOUSANDS OF OTHER inequities. 

See above... many worthy issues out there.  This is the one that came up in this thread.  I'm kinda new to the forum, perhaps we will have a chance to discuss some of the others in the future.

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People with no kids subsidize those who have kids to an APPALLING DEGREE (don't get me started on this).

I should probably take your advice and not open this one up.... but I just don't have the willpower to let it slide.

Regarding property tax that is a common form of funding schools: 
It's wrong to look at that system as a 'parents pay taxes for their kids to go to school' setup.  The taxes you pay to the school system are based on your property value and ignore whether you have 0, 1, 4, or 12 kids in the school system.  Instead the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes back into the school system that educated me', this ends up looking a lot more 1-to-1 in terms of students-to-taxpayers.

If that doesn't do it for you, there's the idea of having an educated society surrounding you.  If you enjoy interacting with at least semi-intelligent people, and your life is improved by some of the systems around you that were created/maintained by educated people (phones, internet, banking, roads, etc.) then you have the school system to thank - keep paying into it.

Regarding "baby bonus" style tax incentives and such:
I suspect that some of your wealth and achievement in life is in part thanks to a growing economy.  To date, a growing economy depends on a growing population.  Your tax dollars that help grow the population, help to grow the economy, which helps to line your pockets.

If this topic should be shifted to a separate thread, and anyone wants to do that, please go for it... sorry for letting it get the best of me and crowding things up here.

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Those who achieve, earn, and save subsidize that don't to an almost criminal degree.

Those who buy and use less subsidize those who buy a lot of crap to a huge degree.  Transportation/road costs are just a tiny part of this.  I could rant all day on the economic and environmental impacts of buying piles of "stuff" (which most self-styled environmentalists conveniently ignore or are ignorant of).  Excessive consumerism is a far bigger problem than "low mpg trucks."

Any "unfair" advantage you perceive (and again, I could argue, with numbers, that in many cases, you'd be wrong about the "truck" guy having an unfair advantage) earned by a guy driving a truck rather than a Prius is a ridiculously small drop in the bucket compared to any of these.

My suggestion, stop whining and obsessing about such a relatively trivial "unfairness."   If you do feel the need to obsess about "unfairness" in society, focus on the larger ones I mentioned.

Again, again... other inequalities deserve attention too... some other time, some other forum thread...


Truck vs. Prius - I thought we already agreed that unnecessary driving of either is a bad thing.


And FINALLY, we get back to the whole point I am trying to make, and which you keep avoiding by steering us to other tangents.  Way back in this thread somewhere you said (paraphrased, because I'm not going to go look it up) "I can drive whatever I want, however much I want, because I PAY FOR IT"  This is wrong.  If you want to debate on this one statement, please reply separately from any replies to all our tangents above so we can keep it straight.  I don't care whether a prius driver or a small pickup truck driver or 'supped up monster truck driver is paying 'closer to their fair share' including or ignoring all the variables like age of vehicle, or humanitarian purposes the vehicle is used for, or distance driven...

EVERY driver is being subsidized for EVERY mile they drive.  This should be changed.

JLee

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #141 on: September 18, 2015, 04:12:29 PM »
Regarding property tax that is a common form of funding schools: 
It's wrong to look at that system as a 'parents pay taxes for their kids to go to school' setup.  The taxes you pay to the school system are based on your property value and ignore whether you have 0, 1, 4, or 12 kids in the school system.  Instead the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes back into the school system that educated me', this ends up looking a lot more 1-to-1 in terms of students-to-taxpayers.
[...]
EVERY driver is being subsidized for EVERY mile they drive.  This should be changed.

It's wrong to look at that system as a 'drivers should pay taxes for the roads they drive on.' The taxes everyone pays towards the road system are based on the necessity of a nationwide transportation infrastructure that provides emergency services, food supplies, and public transit as well as private transportation abilities, regardless of how that's used by each individual. Instead, the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes into the transportation infrastructure that allows the country to function'.  Though ironically, pickup drivers pay more than their share (see several posts prior).

:P

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #142 on: September 18, 2015, 05:07:05 PM »
Regarding property tax that is a common form of funding schools: 
It's wrong to look at that system as a 'parents pay taxes for their kids to go to school' setup.  The taxes you pay to the school system are based on your property value and ignore whether you have 0, 1, 4, or 12 kids in the school system.  Instead the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes back into the school system that educated me', this ends up looking a lot more 1-to-1 in terms of students-to-taxpayers.
[...]
EVERY driver is being subsidized for EVERY mile they drive.  This should be changed.

It's wrong to look at that system as a 'drivers should pay taxes for the roads they drive on.' The taxes everyone pays towards the road system are based on the necessity of a nationwide transportation infrastructure that provides emergency services, food supplies, and public transit as well as private transportation abilities, regardless of how that's used by each individual. Instead, the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes into the transportation infrastructure that allows the country to function'.  Though ironically, pickup drivers pay more than their share (see several posts prior).

:P

Touché.
Well I like the style of your rebuttal there anyway.  But what I get from your argument is that we should not complain about our infrastructure taxation, and in fact should welcome more of it to provide these essential services.  Which is similar to my conclusion - drivers should pay more taxes (or in some other way directly pay for the privilege to shuttle themselves around the country while spewing exhaust)

As for the post about truck drivers paying more of the tax burden.... I couldn't find in that study what cost they associated with emissions and health implications.  Obviously different from the ones used in this study that I've linked a few times http://movingforward.discoursemedia.org/costofcommute/
I guess that's one problem with all-encompassing cost analyses.  Some costs are very hard to put specific numbers to, and can be treated differently in different studies.

JLee

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #143 on: September 19, 2015, 01:14:57 PM »
Regarding property tax that is a common form of funding schools: 
It's wrong to look at that system as a 'parents pay taxes for their kids to go to school' setup.  The taxes you pay to the school system are based on your property value and ignore whether you have 0, 1, 4, or 12 kids in the school system.  Instead the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes back into the school system that educated me', this ends up looking a lot more 1-to-1 in terms of students-to-taxpayers.
[...]
EVERY driver is being subsidized for EVERY mile they drive.  This should be changed.

It's wrong to look at that system as a 'drivers should pay taxes for the roads they drive on.' The taxes everyone pays towards the road system are based on the necessity of a nationwide transportation infrastructure that provides emergency services, food supplies, and public transit as well as private transportation abilities, regardless of how that's used by each individual. Instead, the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes into the transportation infrastructure that allows the country to function'.  Though ironically, pickup drivers pay more than their share (see several posts prior).

:P

Touché.
Well I like the style of your rebuttal there anyway.  But what I get from your argument is that we should not complain about our infrastructure taxation, and in fact should welcome more of it to provide these essential services.  Which is similar to my conclusion - drivers should pay more taxes (or in some other way directly pay for the privilege to shuttle themselves around the country while spewing exhaust)

As for the post about truck drivers paying more of the tax burden.... I couldn't find in that study what cost they associated with emissions and health implications.  Obviously different from the ones used in this study that I've linked a few times http://movingforward.discoursemedia.org/costofcommute/
I guess that's one problem with all-encompassing cost analyses.  Some costs are very hard to put specific numbers to, and can be treated differently in different studies.

I didn't intend it as a serious argument, but the parallel was too good to not touch, haha.

Statistics are really tricky, and it's difficult to provide a fair and accurate comparison when it is so easy to manipulate numbers in a way to paint an argument in a specific way. This isn't intended towards anyone here - just speaking generally.

For example, both of my vehicles haven't been driven since late May. I'm still paying normal registration fees - they're going to be parked again over the winter with minimal use, but suspending registration isn't worth the hassle IMO. I'm subsidizing for roads that I'm not even using (I'm out of the country), and my property tax is paying for schools I won't use (I have no kids and I was homeschooled).

It would be interesting to see a thorough cost analysis, but I'd be surprised if drivers weren't paying for most of their cost, if not all. If we aren't paying for it, who is?  People who don't drive, by income taxes? Most people I know who are carless are lower income (I know this isn't universally true), and most high income people I know have cars (multiple ones), and therefore are paying a much larger amount in income tax, which goes to the government, which is allegedly subsidizing the roadway infrastructure?

The percentage of people in the US who don't take advantage of the roadway system in some way is so absurdly small, I'm not sure I really understand the argument.

Now, from a pollution perspective, it's entirely different - but paying more money in tax doesn't make the air any cleaner.

RidinTheAsama

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #144 on: September 21, 2015, 03:15:04 PM »
Now, from a pollution perspective, it's entirely different

That's exactly the perspective I am taking - The "external costs" perspective.

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but paying more money in tax doesn't make the air any cleaner.

If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2015, 03:35:08 PM by RidinTheAsama »

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #145 on: September 21, 2015, 03:58:30 PM »
If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)

Of course, but you're not looking at the big picture. All goods are transported using fuel, therefore, raising the price of fuel would also raise the price of every single product people buy, which will hurt low income and poor people the most.

Who is hurt more when $100 of groceries goes up to $120...the low income earner, or someone making $100k a year?

GuitarStv

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #146 on: September 21, 2015, 05:10:52 PM »
If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)

Of course, but you're not looking at the big picture. All goods are transported using fuel, therefore, raising the price of fuel would also raise the price of every single product people buy, which will hurt low income and poor people the most.

Who is hurt more when $100 of groceries goes up to $120...the low income earner, or someone making $100k a year?

So give trucks that carry food a rebate for the gas taxes they pay, avoiding the problem entirely.

music lover

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #147 on: September 21, 2015, 08:23:47 PM »
If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)

Of course, but you're not looking at the big picture. All goods are transported using fuel, therefore, raising the price of fuel would also raise the price of every single product people buy, which will hurt low income and poor people the most.

Who is hurt more when $100 of groceries goes up to $120...the low income earner, or someone making $100k a year?

So give trucks that carry food a rebate for the gas taxes they pay, avoiding the problem entirely.

That doesn't really solve anything because all it really does is add another layer of beaurocracy and raise costs across the board. And, of course, food isn't the only thing low income people buy. Then there is the issue of trucks that carry some food and some other products. What will it cost to keep track, to issue refunds, and to prevent abuse or fraud on nation wide program where millions of commercial vehicles operate every single day?

There are already gas taxes on fuel purchased...those who use more fuel pay more tax. It's simple, it polices itself, and it doesn't require another layer of government.

Syonyk

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #148 on: September 21, 2015, 08:41:47 PM »
Yeah, but that doesn't punish people who drive something someone else thinks is stupid enough - people obviously still buy trucks to drive!

If you want to reduce carbon emissions, tax carbon directly.  In all it's forms.

If you want to reduce people buying big trucks, tax trucks directly.

As an interesting hypothetical, what happens if people are buying big, jacked up, electric pickups?  They're still going to be less efficient than a Leaf, but they won't be polluting (directly) nearly as much.  And if someone who lives in an area with a lot of solar/hydro power buys one... what then?  How will you justify attacking their choice of transport?

I mean, I could pull my truck's engine, throw half a ton of batteries up there, toss half a ton of batteries in the back, and it'd only be slightly heavier than it is now.  I actually intend to work on this project at some point (with a local runaround truck).

GuitarStv

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Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
« Reply #149 on: September 22, 2015, 11:46:15 AM »
If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)

Of course, but you're not looking at the big picture. All goods are transported using fuel, therefore, raising the price of fuel would also raise the price of every single product people buy, which will hurt low income and poor people the most.

Who is hurt more when $100 of groceries goes up to $120...the low income earner, or someone making $100k a year?

So give trucks that carry food a rebate for the gas taxes they pay, avoiding the problem entirely.

That doesn't really solve anything because all it really does is add another layer of beaurocracy and raise costs across the board. And, of course, food isn't the only thing low income people buy. Then there is the issue of trucks that carry some food and some other products. What will it cost to keep track, to issue refunds, and to prevent abuse or fraud on nation wide program where millions of commercial vehicles operate every single day?

There are already gas taxes on fuel purchased...those who use more fuel pay more tax. It's simple, it polices itself, and it doesn't require another layer of government.

You just argued about the unfairness of a flat tax on the poor.  Now you're arguing that the current flat tax on the poor is absolutely the way to go.  Does a flat tax harm the poor or not?  Why is a flat tax both the best way to tax gas, and untenable (at any rate other than the current one)?