The Raleigh-based John Locke Foundation has, for years, positioned itself as Ground Zero for conservative and libertarian thought in North Carolina. For years, we on The Right have been able to count on the folks at Locke to provide us with intellectual ammo to use in the battle against The Left.
However, in recent months, John Hood — the foundation’s el presidente — has stepped off the boat on the port side one too many times for this writer’s comfort.
First, Hood allowed himself to become the poster boy for the gay rights crowd in the fight for the marriage amendment.
( * “See, Renee Ellmers and John Hood agree with us. The rest of you tea-baggers need to get with the program.” *)
Now, Hood publishes an article detailing his ideas for reforming the state gas tax and the financing of road construction. South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee all have gas taxes about half of what we have, as well as a much better business climate. They seem to get things done in transportation without taxing the living hell out of their residents. You would think an alleged conservative intellectual like Hood would advocate having the state start acting like its neighbors on roads. You would think he’d call for *CRAAAAAAZY* stuff like cutting taxes and rolling back regulation.
But, sadly, no. Here’s Hood’s great idea:
[…] Charge for Use. My preferred solution is to use tolls and other means to charge motorists directly for the miles they drive. In his new Cato Institute paper, O’Toole describes a plan to phase out the gas tax in favor of what amounts to electronic toll collection for all highways and streets – a GPS-based user charge that could be paid at the gas pump. His plan addresses issues of privacy, feasibility, and transition. […]
Is this some kind of Manchurian Candidate scenario where Chris Fitzsimon has captured the real John Hood and replaced him with an evil twin?
Government tracking our movements with GPS? (Paging Mr. Orwell. Mr. George Orwell … )
If Hood’s recent swing to the left is indicative of the current state of the conservative establishment in North Carolina, we — folks — are ON OUR OWN.