We have all seen the taxes at the fuel pump and away from the pump, Highway Use Tax, registration tax, permit taxes………did I miss some because I’m pretty certain I did. Truck drivers and carriers are taxed on a daily basis and we didn’t even mention tolls or other everyday expenses incurred. The infrastructure of our country is in a perpetual state of decline and professional drivers on average are making less while paying more to the different levels of government and the enforcement agencies that represent them. Many drivers don’t even know that on average about .50 cents of each gallon of diesel fuel put in their tanks is supposed to be put towards subsidizing the cost of unleaded gasoline for passenger vehicles. Imagine that the trucking industry is helping to keep gas prices down for the public, yet for some reason gas prices are still extremely inflated.
The FMCSA just added a new set of rules to the existing Hours Of Service rules so the
roads would be safer for everyone, agency could generate more revenue. Sorry but I’m calling a spade a spade here as we all know that this wasn’t about safety because if it had been then they would have listened to the men and women doing the job. Instead Anne Ferro herself decided to base it on a theory from some technicians in a university lab using driving simulators. Do these things sound like representing the people they are taking money from?
Just last week an amendment was going to be proposed to pull the funding for these new HOS rules, however that amendment never even made it to the floor because Rep. Hanna and the rest of congress caved in to the pressure of the Teamsters and special interest groups a.k.a. financial campaign supporters. This was supposed to be a person that many of us thought was going to bring our fight to the floor and amid the smallest inclination of a rough road decided to scuttle the works rather than take on a real world pressing issue. You will all be happy to know that congress did indeed discuss Iran and proper dress code while on the chamber floor and they also addressed the benefits of government employees.
So here is the question, are we honestly represented in Washington D.C. or even on a state level? Are there any active professional drivers that hold any type of position in the government that could help represent drivers? Ann Ferro says “yes”. You see I posed that question to her via the webinar listening session that the FMCSA held at the Mid-America Trucking Show. Her reply was that there are few people on their panel that have CDL’s………..Anne Ferro doesn’t seem to understand that a CEO of a mega fleet carrier doesn’t drive a truck on a regular basis and quite frankly probably hasn’t even sat in a truck in the last 5 years other than for a photo. In summary I would have to say that no we really don’t have any real representation in our government, what we have is a bunch of taxpayer-funded lip service. Until we start standing up for ourselves and bringing the fight to lawmakers then we will continue to be burdened with increasing taxes and operating expenses. The only people who truly know the everyday impacts of these rules, regulations, and taxes are not the ones passing them into law and somebody needs to give us a damn good accounting as to why.
This is an open invitation to any politician on any level who has the slightest amount of integrity to stand up and answer these questions and also to answer for your actions or lack thereof when addressing the interests of the professional American truck driver………the very same people who keep this country running every day!!