Lawmaker wants to add bicycle pollution tax.

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He's still saying as a counter argument to 'bikes are ecologically friendly' that 'well your body still respires carbon dioxide' without the faintest hint that he understands the concept of scale. That was the argument as we knew it, so you're adding no real new information.

His argument doesn't become less insane or less bad because his argument was a reply to an even worse (and conveniently missing) original email, like as if there's some equation that allows one stupid idea to make a second idea less stupid.

Revnak:

Frission:

Revnak:
/snip

Thank goodness. I still think his argument is idiotic and I disagree with him, but instead of being pure stupidity, the phrase was taken out of context and was just a bad reply to an argument.

Thank you for the research.

I also disagree, at least with that part. The gas tax is fundamentally about road usage, and there is no comparative tax on bikes right now. There are a lot of bicyclists in Washington, and a lot of bike paths. It does make sense to tax them for that. However, bikes are definitely not a significant source of pollution, but considering that is not what his argument or the tax are really about, that is ultimately irrelevant.

Then maybe he should focus his arguments on reality and not bull shit.

Also: Bike usage of roads creates a negligible amount of damage to roads compared to car use. So the idea that a bike owner or pedestrian should pay equal proportionate amounts of tax to car owners to recuperate losses to road structure due to use is still terrible.

Let's be realistic: If we ordered 42 pepperoni pizzas and you ate one slice out of the bunch while I gobbled the rest down like some sort of king of grease, it's a bit ridiculous for me to claim that it's unfair you didn't pay your share for 21 pies.

And if I end up in the hospital with a quadruple bypass because I feel like eating 41 and 9 tenths of a pie every evening is a great idea it's really fucking insulting to insist that your body producing a healthy normal amount of cholesterol is exactly the same as what happened to me as some sort of weird bullshit excuse for why you should pay for half of what I ate.

The guy's fucking email even admits he's full of shit and that the bike owner already pays for the fucking road once when he drove his car over it, but he's like "Well, you should pay a second time, because you own a bike so fuck you".

What a load of horse shit.

The guy has no fucking sense of scale period, whether it's measuring how much strain somebody puts on a road or measuring how much carbon is created between either respiration vs. burning gasoline for fuel.

Dum de dum, I double posted by accident, durr, durr durr.

Edit: Actually I'll use this dumb ass double post to amend my previous post that his argument that somebody that also rides a bike should pay the car fuel tax twice even if he doesn't use fuel for his bike is flawed in the same way that saying that somebody that with a good mile to gallon car should pay an inflated flat fuel tax as to not hurt the feelings of dip shits that bought gas guzzling 4 ton SUVs in a recession.

Like he's got some backwards vendetta where the people that damage the environment or roads the most should pay the least.

"Whaa I put 4 tons of pressure on the road per feet of driving and spit out 20 thousand plus pounds of poison out every year, but I should only owe the same amount in repairs to this network as a guy that drives a 400 pound 2 chair smart car that's powered on water and the smug feeling that hipsters get, because they cause in some distant atomic way damage to the road comparable to a light rainfall, and their bodies produce a negligible amount of toxins, and I have no sense of scale or frame of reference and can't compare any two numbers no matter how distantly apart. In conclusion, fuck bikes."

Damien Granz:
He's still saying as a counter argument to 'bikes are ecologically friendly' that 'well your body still respires carbon dioxide' without the faintest hint that he understands the concept of scale. That was the argument as we knew it, so you're adding no real new information.

His argument doesn't become less insane or less bad because his argument was a reply to an even bad (and conveniently missing) original email, like as if there's some equation that allows one stupid idea to make a second idea less stupid.

I'd like to see the e-mail too. It's conveniently missing because the bike shop owner decided not to show it. Look, you just make a stupid argument there too. I guess that makes you insane as well.
Edit- Should have changed this before I pressed post, apparently the site didn't show it, as I have found parts of the guy's e-mail elsewhere.

Revnak:

Frission:

Thank goodness. I still think his argument is idiotic and I disagree with him, but instead of being pure stupidity, the phrase was taken out of context and was just a bad reply to an argument.

Thank you for the research.

I also disagree, at least with that part. The gas tax is fundamentally about road usage, and there is no comparative tax on bikes right now. There are a lot of bicyclists in Washington, and a lot of bike paths. It does make sense to tax them for that. However, bikes are definitely not a significant source of pollution, but considering that is not what his argument or the tax are really about, that is ultimately irrelevant.

Then maybe he should focus his arguments on reality and not bull shit.

We've all made mistakes in arguments. I've made some extremely stretched comparisons at times that were ultimately off base. I am not insane. This guy didn't think through what the wrote. That doesn't make his a crazy person, it makes him wrong.

Also: Bike usage of roads creates a negligible amount of damage to roads compared to car use. So the idea that a bike owner or pedestrian should pay equal proportionate amounts of tax to car owners to recuperate losses to road structure due to use is still terrible.

Except about ten percent of the road is built for them to use as bike lanes and they currently pay no usage tax for that ten percent dedicated to them. I'm probably exaggerating the percentage here, but that doesn't change that 0% is infinitely less (Edit-proportionally, which is the way that matters to this argument) than whatever chunk that they use, and that is what they are currently paying.

Let's be realistic: If we ordered 42 pepperoni pizzas and you ate one slice out of the bunch while I gobbled the rest down like some sort of king of grease, it's a bit ridiculous for me to claim that it's unfair you didn't pay your share for 21 pies.

Except it isn't nearly that small and even that isn't really that ridiculous. It especially isn't ridiculous if there are millions of citizens sharing the tab for those pizzas.

And if I end up in the hospital with a quadruple bypass because I feel like eating 41 and 9 tenths of a pie every evening is a great idea it's really fucking insulting to insist that your body producing a healthy normal amount of cholesterol is exactly the same as what happened to me as some sort of weird bullshit excuse for why you should pay for half of what I ate.

You're back on the irrelevant pollution argument. At least I think you are. You may be stretching the comparison here.

The guy's fucking email even admits he's full of shit and that the bike owner already pays for the fucking road once when he drove his car over it, but he's like "Well, you should pay a second time, because you own a bike so fuck you".

He isn't paying for it a second time. He is paying for the part dedicated to him as a car driver and the part dedicated to him as a bicyclist. In fact, if he bikes often enough, he is still probably paying much less considering he is likely not using much gas. What you're saying is like saying that since he filled up his gas tank once this month already, he shouldn't have to pay the gas tax the next time around, which is silly.

What a load of horse shit.

The guy has no fucking sense of scale period, whether it's measuring how much strain somebody puts on a road or measuring how much carbon is created between either respiration vs. burning gasoline for fuel.

The amount of road dedicated to a bicyclist is definitely more than zero. It makes sense to have them pay more than none of the cost. You're talking about a 25$ tax on bikes over 500$. That's less than the sales tax on it. It's also less than the percentage of tax put on gas for cars (who I am assuming pay far more in gas than a cyclist does in bikes). Also, it's a one time payment if you only get one bike. It's unlikely to be completely out of scale. If anything I would imagine it would be below the amount of infrastructure dedicated to them. Also, the guy apologized for that comment, as if one needs to do so when they make an incorrect argument.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/05/173523998/cyclists-do-no-emit-more-carbon-than-cars-state-legislator-admits
Edit- This article is better and contains his full apology.
http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/03/04/rep-orcutt-says-bicycle-carbon-emissions-not-a-point-worthy-of-even-mentioning/

Revnak:

The amount of road dedicated to a bicyclist is definitely more than zero. It makes sense to have them pay more than none of the cost. You're talking about a 25$ tax on bikes over 500$. That's less than the sales tax on it. It's also less than the percentage of tax put on gas for cars (who I am assuming pay far more in gas than a cyclist does in bikes). Also, it's a one time payment if you only get one bike. It's unlikely to be completely out of scale. If anything I would imagine it would be below the amount of infrastructure dedicated to them. Also, the guy apologized for that comment, as if one needs to do so when they make an incorrect argument.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/05/173523998/cyclists-do-no-emit-more-carbon-than-cars-state-legislator-admits
Edit- This article is better and contains his full apology.
http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/03/04/rep-orcutt-says-bicycle-carbon-emissions-not-a-point-worthy-of-even-mentioning/

Wow, not often someone is willing to admit they made a mistake like that. Heck, I don't even think Orin Hatch apologised for that "abortion is 95% of what they do" statistic on planned parenthood, just said it was an "Intentional exaggeration" and he can't be held accountable for his own words. Kudos, Orcutt.

I feel up to the math on whether or not the tax is justified. We'll assume that the average bicyclist buys a bike that would be effected by the tax each year (they likely don't). That puts them at 25$ annually in usage taxes.
For stats on how much the average Washingtonian pays in gas, we'll go with ehow's 3$ a gallon rate of 1,600$ annually. They tax rate is roughly 50c a gallon, or 17% (rounding up). That puts them at 272$ a year in usage taxes.
That puts cyclists at 9% of the rate that cars pay. If we assume that they use 9% of the road that cars due, this works. It is also quite plausible that cyclists use such a fraction of the road, especially if we aren't limiting them to bike lanes. If we then filter this through the rates of bicycle commuters (3%) vs. car commuters (45%), we find that combined cyclists pay .61% of all road usage taxes under this tax. As over .3% of the total budgets of state and federal transportation construction must be spent on and over .42% of local motor vehicle funds must be spent on paths and trails, this is quite close to being realistic, especially when you consider that the early numbers make this percentage a good deal larger (most people do not replace their bikes annually), though I admit the cycling rate I chose may be a bit high (it is based of the Portland Oregon rate of 3.5%) which makes the number higher. Because of this this math can only be seen as an extremely rough estimate.
Sources
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5232136_much-american-spend-gas-year_.html
http://depts.washington.edu/waaction/plan/pa3/rec_b.html % spent on bike paths
http://houserepublicans.wa.gov/news/orcutt_march0113_enewsletter/ Gas tax

Revnak:

I'd like to see the e-mail too. It's conveniently missing because the bike shop owner decided not to show it. Look, you just make a stupid argument there too. I guess that makes you insane as well.
Edit- Should have changed this before I pressed post, apparently the site didn't show it, as I have found parts of the guy's e-mail elsewhere.

It was your argument that the bike shop owner's email somehow makes Orcutt's nonsense 'in context', not mine. I'm telling you that you've given us no new information.

Revnak:

We've all made mistakes in arguments. I've made some extremely stretched comparisons at times that were ultimately off base. I am not insane. This guy didn't think through what the wrote. That doesn't make his a crazy person, it makes him wrong.

No, he crosses the line into crazy when he decides his career choice is running the State of Washington then uses arguments like this. I'm of the mind honestly that if a journalist, politician or doctor or some other figure of authority of the like makes arguments like this they should be fired.

You're free to think or make these arguments as a citizen, but I think that placing yourself in a position of responsibility like what a politician (should in theory) be, then you don't get to make up stupid as shit arguments and pass it off as fact.

If you make a mistake, you don't have a team of people capable and willing to check facts for you, and you don't decide the course of the state of Washington's affairs.

I'm tired of shit like Senator Kyl's 'Not intended to be a factual statement' being due course of politics.

Revnak:

Except about ten percent of the road is built for them to use as bike lanes and they currently pay no usage tax for that ten percent dedicated to them. I'm probably exaggerating the percentage here, but that doesn't change that 0% is infinitely less (Edit-proportionally, which is the way that matters to this argument) than whatever chunk that they use, and that is what they are currently paying.

The fuel tax is used for maintenance of the road. You don't pay for the entire road with the fuel tax because then it would be astronomically higher. You're making this out like people with bikes don't pay jack shit for income or sales or local taxes and the like and the only way they make income is through taxes on gasoline, so that this guy hasn't paid nothing. They should pay in relative comparison towards their damage to the road.

Revnak:
The amount of road dedicated to a bicyclist is definitely more than zero. It makes sense to have them pay more than none of the cost. You're talking about a 25$ tax on bikes over 500$. That's less than the sales tax on it. It's also less than the percentage of tax put on gas for cars (who I am assuming pay far more in gas than a cyclist does in bikes). Also, it's a one time payment if you only get one bike. It's unlikely to be completely out of scale. If anything I would imagine it would be below the amount of infrastructure dedicated to them. Also, the guy apologized for that comment, as if one needs to do so when they make an incorrect argument.

You still seem to want to be of the mind that the state doesn't collect any other taxes, despite the fact you're admitting he paid sales tax on the bike once already.

Ok, fine. Let's pretend that absolutely no other taxes other than special excise taxes goes towards road maintenance.

If 25 dollars over 5 years is worth what a biker makes of the road, despite the fact that bike trails and encouraging bike riding actively saves the government money over making more roads for cars and punishing bike riders brings in, let's calculate how much wear and tear a bike is compared to a car then and now much a car should owe in taxes?

An average family care is about 2 tons, or 4,000 pounds. The average biker is about 200 pounds of human plus bike. Nevermind that a human's ass would be in the car too. That's about 20 times as heavy than the bike. However, estimates suggest that a car wears on the road equal to about 9600 bikes (and in turn 18 wheeler tractors fully loaded wear on the road equal to about 9600 cars). That would make each car owner owe $240,000 over 5 years at the rate of 25 dollars per 5 years for the bike. A single 18 wheeler tractor would be worth $2,304,000,000 in that same time period. That's gonna fucking jack up prices for goods in that town pretty hard, but I guess the road is worth it.

That assumes by the way that 50% of the road is paved for bikes and 50% of the road is paved for cars. The skew gets even more shitty for the car owner if somebody wants to do the math to figure out what he'd owe for the actual percentage of the road cars use, because I know for damn certain 50% of the roadways in Washington state aren't Bike Only.

See, you can maybe make the argument that bike owners should pay their fair share for the roads, but the truth is that their 'fair share' compared to cars, no matter the metric you use, is going to be miniscule.

Vausch:

Wow, not often someone is willing to admit they made a mistake like that. Heck, I don't even think Orin Hatch apologised for that "abortion is 95% of what they do" statistic on planned parenthood, just said it was an "Intentional exaggeration" and he can't be held accountable for his own words. Kudos, Orcutt.

Yeah, I'll give him credit where due that he did at least man up and apologize.

I'm just tired of bullshit being the primary method of communication for journalists and politicians. I mean, I'm aware that was always the case and shit, but at least in the past they had to pretend to care about being truthful.

Now they don't even give us the courtesy of pretending like they're honest.

Revnak:
I feel up to the math on whether or not the tax is justified. We'll assume that the average bicyclist buys a bike that would be effected by the tax each year (they likely don't). That puts them at 25$ annually in usage taxes.
For stats on how much the average Washingtonian pays in gas, we'll go with ehow's 3$ a gallon rate of 1,600$ annually. They tax rate is roughly 50c a gallon, or 17% (rounding up). That puts them at 272$ a year in usage taxes.
That puts cyclists at 9% of the rate that cars pay. If we assume that they use 9% of the road that cars due, this works. It is also quite plausible that cyclists use such a fraction of the road, especially if we aren't limiting them to bike lanes. If we then filter this through the rates of bicycle commuters (3%) vs. car commuters (45%), we find that combined cyclists pay .61% of all road usage taxes under this tax. As over .3% of the total budgets of state and federal transportation construction must be spent on and over .42% of local motor vehicle funds must be spent on paths and trails, this is quite close to being realistic, especially when you consider that the early numbers make this percentage a good deal larger (most people do not replace their bikes annually), though I admit the cycling rate I chose may be a bit high (it is based of the Portland Oregon rate of 3.5%) which makes the number higher. Because of this this math can only be seen as an extremely rough estimate.
Sources
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5232136_much-american-spend-gas-year_.html
http://depts.washington.edu/waaction/plan/pa3/rec_b.html % spent on bike paths
http://houserepublicans.wa.gov/news/orcutt_march0113_enewsletter/ Gas tax

All this would work if roads were made of adamantine and once placed never ever had to be looked at again.

And also that again the state didn't collect any money for road work except through special excise taxes, and that bike users were banned from owning cars.

Then I'd agree with you.

Damien Granz:

Revnak:

I'd like to see the e-mail too. It's conveniently missing because the bike shop owner decided not to show it. Look, you just make a stupid argument there too. I guess that makes you insane as well.
Edit- Should have changed this before I pressed post, apparently the site didn't show it, as I have found parts of the guy's e-mail elsewhere.

It was your argument that the bike shop owner's email somehow makes Orcutt's nonsense 'in context', not mine. I'm telling you that you've given us no new information.

It was more that I would have liked to see it, but whatever, I guess we can just drop this.

Revnak:

We've all made mistakes in arguments. I've made some extremely stretched comparisons at times that were ultimately off base. I am not insane. This guy didn't think through what the wrote. That doesn't make his a crazy person, it makes him wrong.

No, he crosses the line into crazy when he decides his career choice is running the State of Washington then uses arguments like this. I'm of the mind honestly that if a journalist, politician or doctor or some other figure of authority of the like makes arguments like this they should be fired.

You're free to think or make these arguments as a citizen, but I think that placing yourself in a position of responsibility like what a politician (should in theory) be, then you don't get to make up stupid as shit arguments and pass it off as fact.

If you make a mistake, you don't have a team of people capable and willing to check facts for you, and you don't decide the course of the state of Washington's affairs.

I'm tired of shit like Senator Kyl's 'Not intended to be a factual statement' being due course of politics.

It was a fucking e-mail! Nobody fact checks their e-mails. Then the guy apologized and it was not even the primary part of his argument anyway. Seriously.

Revnak:

Except about ten percent of the road is built for them to use as bike lanes and they currently pay no usage tax for that ten percent dedicated to them. I'm probably exaggerating the percentage here, but that doesn't change that 0% is infinitely less (Edit-proportionally, which is the way that matters to this argument) than whatever chunk that they use, and that is what they are currently paying.

The fuel tax is used for maintenance of the road. You don't pay for the entire road with the fuel tax because then it would be astronomically higher. You're making this out like people with bikes don't pay jack shit for income or sales or local taxes and the like and the only way they make income is through taxes on gasoline, so that this guy hasn't paid nothing. They should pay in relative comparison towards their damage to the road.

http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/ftfacts.html
Notice the part about construction. That is not the sole purpose. And of course I know that other taxes exist. However, funnily enough, it seems that in the state of Washington that about half of the money collected by the state itself through state taxes (as opposed to federal funds, bonds, or local taxes) is actually attained through the fuel tax, and it makes up 25% of their total revenue. Other taxes I presume fit into the 10% devoted to other revenue, and therefore make up no more than 10% of the budget. In other words, while you certainly don't pay for the whole thing through usage taxes, you do actually pay for a hell of a lot of it that way.
Edit- whoops, forgot to post a source on the budget.
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Finance/budget/BudgetPieCharts.htm

Revnak:
The amount of road dedicated to a bicyclist is definitely more than zero. It makes sense to have them pay more than none of the cost. You're talking about a 25$ tax on bikes over 500$. That's less than the sales tax on it. It's also less than the percentage of tax put on gas for cars (who I am assuming pay far more in gas than a cyclist does in bikes). Also, it's a one time payment if you only get one bike. It's unlikely to be completely out of scale. If anything I would imagine it would be below the amount of infrastructure dedicated to them. Also, the guy apologized for that comment, as if one needs to do so when they make an incorrect argument.

You still seem to want to be of the mind that the state doesn't collect any other taxes, despite the fact you're admitting he paid sales tax on the bike once already.

Ok, fine. Let's pretend that absolutely no other taxes other than special excise taxes goes towards road maintenance.

If 25 dollars over 5 years is worth what a biker makes of the road, despite the fact that bike trails and encouraging bike riding actively saves the government money over making more roads for cars and punishing bike riders brings in, let's calculate how much wear and tear a bike is compared to a car then and now much a car should owe in taxes?

An average family care is about 2 tons, or 4,000 pounds. The average biker is about 200 pounds of human plus bike. Nevermind that a human's ass would be in the car too. That's about 20 times as heavy than the bike. However, estimates suggest that a car wears on the road equal to about 9600 bikes (and in turn 18 wheeler tractors fully loaded wear on the road equal to about 9600 cars). That would make each car owner owe $240,000 over 5 years at the rate of 25 dollars per 5 years for the bike. A single 18 wheeler tractor would be worth $2,304,000,000 in that same time period. That's gonna fucking jack up prices for goods in that town pretty hard, but I guess the road is worth it.

That assumes by the way that 50% of the road is paved for bikes and 50% of the road is paved for cars. The skew gets even more shitty for the car owner if somebody wants to do the math to figure out what he'd owe for the actual percentage of the road cars use, because I know for damn certain 50% of the roadways in Washington state aren't Bike Only.

See, you can maybe make the argument that bike owners should pay their fair share for the roads, but the truth is that their 'fair share' compared to cars, no matter the metric you use, is going to be miniscule.

Except that's not how that actually works at all. These taxes are also designed to pay for construction of the roads, not just the natural destruction of them that happens over time. This tax in particular is meant to help pay for extensive expansion to infrastructure for cyclists.

Revnak:
I feel up to the math on whether or not the tax is justified. We'll assume that the average bicyclist buys a bike that would be effected by the tax each year (they likely don't). That puts them at 25$ annually in usage taxes.
For stats on how much the average Washingtonian pays in gas, we'll go with ehow's 3$ a gallon rate of 1,600$ annually. They tax rate is roughly 50c a gallon, or 17% (rounding up). That puts them at 272$ a year in usage taxes.
That puts cyclists at 9% of the rate that cars pay. If we assume that they use 9% of the road that cars due, this works. It is also quite plausible that cyclists use such a fraction of the road, especially if we aren't limiting them to bike lanes. If we then filter this through the rates of bicycle commuters (3%) vs. car commuters (45%), we find that combined cyclists pay .61% of all road usage taxes under this tax. As over .3% of the total budgets of state and federal transportation construction must be spent on and over .42% of local motor vehicle funds must be spent on paths and trails, this is quite close to being realistic, especially when you consider that the early numbers make this percentage a good deal larger (most people do not replace their bikes annually), though I admit the cycling rate I chose may be a bit high (it is based of the Portland Oregon rate of 3.5%) which makes the number higher. Because of this this math can only be seen as an extremely rough estimate.
Sources
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5232136_much-american-spend-gas-year_.html
http://depts.washington.edu/waaction/plan/pa3/rec_b.html % spent on bike paths
http://houserepublicans.wa.gov/news/orcutt_march0113_enewsletter/ Gas tax

All this would work if roads were made of adamantine and once placed never ever had to be looked at again.

And also that again the state didn't collect any money for road work except through special excise taxes, and that bike users were banned from owning cars.

Then I'd agree with you.

Except that the last bit of math does take into account the amount of money spent on cyclists specifically as a part of the whole, which includes road upkeep, so it does not assume all roads are made of adamantine at all. And the fact that they pay other taxes is irrelevant. The same argument could be brought against fees for public transportation as well as the fuel tax itself. I'm saying that it is fair when compared to the fuel tax. While also skipping over that motorists do in fact actually pay other taxes that are essentially usage taxes such as the excise taxes on cars and trucks.

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