Electorates in almost every state have put people in office who have been hacking away at state university budgets. They are saying loudly and clearly, "We do not want to support the public university system. It is a bad use of our dollars." So, what do the universities do? They see that the support from the state is dropping precipitously, so they look for ways to stay solvent.
If you are complaining about this, maybe you are the problem. Americans have asked for their state governments to be slashed. That isn't free. Now state services will be slashed too. The 20 kilobuck annual in-state tuition will be a reality by the end of the decade. No one seems to care about that. So grow up and live with your choices.
The MBA has brought us the model of "gotcha capitalism." This model does not offer value for the money. Instead, it relies on the premise of offering something of little or no value in exchange for real money. Look at cel phone plans and telecoms. What does your ISP promise? What are all of those mysterious fees???
To add insult to injury, the American consumer is unwilling to pay for quality. Hence, everything out there is crap.
It is a sorry story.
This comment is right. To collect a mileage tax, a huge bureaucracy is needed and every vehicle must be read every year. How hard is it to disable an odometer? Not very. The incentive to cheat is massive. And the cheaters will win big.
All the infrastructure needed to collect gas tax is in place. It does not involve every American filling out (yet) another tax form each year. No new enforcement apparatus is necessary. Gas usage is an excellent indicator of a driver's share of wear and tear on the roads. Do you really want to gob-smack Americans who drive fuel-efficient vehicles? This is a subsidy for the SUV set.
Raise the gas tax for the legitimate cost of maintaining the roads. Most people know that bad roads are far more costly than gasoline. I used to spend over a grand a year on repairing the underside of my car whilst driving New Jersey's pothole-infested roads. Investing in such things as smart signals could save us all a lot of gas, anguish and money in the end.
This is a solution in desperate search of a problem.
Mr. Obama, kick it to the curb before it becomes a bludgeon with which the republicans will beat you fiercely. There are other ways for you to more productively spend energy and political capital.