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Is Global Warming Used to Bully People into Paying Taxes?

Los Angeles is considering a plan that will help residents fight global warming and spend less time in traffic — all for the low, low price of $90 a year.

Lawmakers want to ask LA voters to chose between an additional $.09/ gallon tax at the pump, or an additional registration fee around $90 a year. The registration fee would be higher for cars, trucks, and SUVs that produce more carbon emissions. The fee would raise $400 million a year for public transit and other programs designed to relieve congestion and improve air quality.

Opponents point out that politicians can always conjure up the vague threat of global warming as a way to convince citizens to tax themselves and bail the government out of poor budget management. Because the environment could use infinite attention, opponents argue, it is a perfect tool for demagoguery.

Does being "green" mean making costly, and open-ended commitments to improving air quality? When polluting industries brag about their empty "green-washed" credentials, is it up to everyday citizens to implement real change? Is it promising that the city of traffic and smog might make sacrifices to reduce emissions? Does it count as a sacrifice if only the poor are pushed off the roads?


Join The Conversation
goreisscum goreisscum 9 years
you people in california are a bunch of crackheads for even thinking about paying that extra money to this scam of the century. if you want to keep paying that money to the enviro-nazis break away from this country and join the country of iran. leave the rest of us out of this. if you pay this extra money youre totally insane. why dont you ask that pig al gore to pay for his man-made global warming scam. he can afford it considering all the money he has stolen from our country. also, with the amount of food he eats, it is a fact that hes doing most of the enviromental damage anyway.
stephley stephley 9 years
Actually, MMM that's exactly the area I travel in. School's in Santa Monica, I work in Century City now but have worked downtown on Figueroa, shop a lot of time in Culver City and love to play in the West Hollywood-Beverly Hills area. I go to the Farmer's Market at the Grove often. It's all do-able and no more a pain in the tush than driving my car daily to Burbank was when I first moved here. I'm from D.C. where the subway spoiled me and I quickly decided I couldn't live in LA's car culture and stay sane.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Stephley, it seems with your travels that maybe you were in a closer area than many than myself and many of my friends were able to be in. I lived in Los Angeles for a little over two years, have friends who have been there longer, friends who are still there, most of which work in the entertainment industry. I suppose if you are in a local enough area that it is possible, for for anyone traveling long distances across the city during peak travel times (where cars can barely get around) that it is not that easy to get around. I mostly speak traveling from the Hollywood/West Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Century City/Culver City/Santa Monica Areas. (I can't comment much on the Valley as I never spent much time out there.) Additionally, I have to say that I previously lived in the NYC area and San Francisco where Mass transit can get you almost anywhere you need/want to go in a reasonable time. I did not find that was possible at all in Los Angeles. I can't comment on how there transit system has improved since the 90's, but I can say that coming from me and many of my friends, that it is not a reliable system, especially when you look at places like NYC and SF.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
Hmm. Well, try it and lets see if that money actually goes where they say it will.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
global warming or not la is gross. children who live out there have a higher rate of asthma and in the valley the smog just sits on the sky stuck between the mountains. something should of been done a long time ago.i would pay extra to create some sort of mass transit system but i would like to see the results first, we have been made soo many promises on what are tax money is being used for and we never see results (helloooo what the hell happened to our cigarette tax money). and if im going to pay extra for my registration so they can ride the bus, they better damn well stop charging me to park out there.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Stephley, thanks for responding. I always like to understand a little better, and it's a useful topic for discussion. I think my schedule and area may be better for driving, kids are at school by 7 am and I have a reverse commute (east in the morning, west at night) so it's much easier than most. With me, it's more a matter of time than even convenience. I work full time, kids have after school stuff, DH works variable hours and is usually not available to help with things. I just can't jam any more into my days. I do drive sensibly, and have an older Japanese sedan. I consciously try to batch my errands so that they're in the same area, on a logical circuit. So, I'm not *completely* offensive! I still think this is just an excuse to guilt us into paying more taxes, though.
stephley stephley 9 years
I take my daughter to a school in the next town, a 20 to 30 minute ride most mornings, then take another 20 to 30 minute ride to work. She has classmates whose parents drive in from the valley - 45 minute rides when there's no traffic, worse if there is - so I'm not sure how you can say one is harder than the other. We deal with rowdy homeless people on the bus occasionally; the bus drivers know us now though and actually look out for my daughter and mother. The fact is, people say they want to do something about pollution or climate change but only if the solutions don't cost them money, make them uncomfortable, or inconvenience them.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Ah, I meant to add, this is just a thinly veiled grab for more money. The budget is a disaster this year, mostly because of insane, short-sighted spending and bad (or no) planning.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
They already have funding for public transit. Last I heard, it sucked--sorry, Stephley. I don't know how you manage. Grade schools are usually smaller and more closely spaced, is that the situation? My kids' high school is a 20 minute morning drive, door-to-door, on surface streets. Sometimes 25 in the afternoon. When they bus home in the afternoon (*if* the buses come on time and *if* the stop isn't bypassed because the bus is already "too full") there's an average wait of 40 minutes for a bus and a 30 - 40 minute ride. I *think* there may be a bus which would get me to the nearest train station (1-1/2 to 2 miles away) to go to work, but it's not in a safe area (and I'm not a wimp). Besides, it's more time- and fuel-efficient for me to run errands at lunchtime in the less-congested area near my office, so that means driving. There are also safety and security concerns. That's not just paranoia, we've had one or two situations.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Janeth, man made global warming is a theory. I acknowledge that parts of teh earth are warming on the short term (although we have actually cooled to 1998 levels). The cause for the warming in this short term is still being debated, despite what the Gore group says. And I congratulate LA for any and all improvements they have made to the mass transit system, and thanks for not asking me to pay for those advances.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Yeah stephley I agree. I grew up out side L.A. born in 70. I've lived in the Bay Area for the last four. L.A. has made drastic improvements in its mass transportation plan since the mid 90's and they're not even half finished. They have some wonderful ideas which are in the works and I applaud them because instead of just sitting on the problem they attacked it one piece at a time and they're making great progress. The Metropolitin Transit Authority is doing some good things.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Having never lived in or near LA, how did I contribute to the pollution there? If a local government wants to put it to a local vote, be my guest, but it better be ratified by that state.
janneth janneth 9 years
Oh, no, somebody is calling global warming a theory again? "Does being "green" mean making costly, and open-ended commitments to improving air quality?" A big Yes.
stephley stephley 9 years
Don't pay the tax because of global warming then, pay the tax because we know for a fact that cars contribute heavily to polluted air and Los Angeles has some of the most polluted air in the country since the 1960's. Don't argue over the name, just clean up the mess you know you helped make.
stephley stephley 9 years
MMM, I can say with absolute certainty that you are incorrect. I've lived in LA for ten years, lived without a car for five. I get my daughter to school every day, on time, by bus and I get myself to work every day, on time, by bus. My elderly mother also lives out here, and gets where she's going every day, by bus. I get from the office to school events on time, by bus, all the time. I've taken visiting friends downtown by bus and not lost an entire day. I've gone to malls all over the area and found the time spent on the bus isn't much different from the time sitting in my car in traffic. Many of the people here who you'd like to protect from the tax, already are using bicycles, buses and their feet. Maybe you're also wrong about whether taxes could help the situation.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I have a hard time paying more in taxes than I need to or should. If you want to spend money saving the environment, that is your choice. Don't force me to spend money on a theory.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
There is a book by Ed Begley Jr. Called living like Ed. That is an excellent companion book for people who want to live green but have this perception that it's too expensive.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Mass transit is NOT possible in Los Angeles. If you'ev ever attempted to use Mass Transit in Los Angeles, it is not something you can take unless you have the entire day to get where you are going. Walking is rarely possible in Los Angeles. I promote people walking as much as possible, but it is not often that you can walk to many places in Los Angeles due to how spread out evrything is. Driving a fuel efficient car is possible for many people in Los Angeles, but the people with whom the tax will hit the most, aren't able to just go out and by a fuel efficient car. Many people rely on what they can swing financially. Driving less is not always possible in Los Angeles again, due to the size of the city. Riding a bicycle is possible in some situations and totally think this is great when it can be swung. As for people doing the above just because it is inconvenient, I do not agree and do not agree with hitting people with further taxes that are highly unlikely to actually do anything to fix or alleviate the issue.
stephley stephley 9 years
Being green could mean using mass transit (which is possible in LA), walking (also possible in LA), driving a fuel efficient car, car sharing, simply driving less or riding a bicycle (possible in LA). If that's too inconvenient for people, then yeah, let's make them pay a little extra for the privilege of crapping up our air.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I don't know, the last time I checked it wasn't global warming that put a lien on my house.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
More taxes will save the environment. Why do people have such a hard time with this?
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