Lawmaker proposes tax on bicyclists, says they pollute environment

bicyclist

Oh oh! There goes another polluter.
Photo credit www.davidsanger.com

A Washington state lawmaker is now walking back — or should I say riding back — a comment he’d made in late February that bicyclists pollute the environment and should be taxed accordingly. He proposes a $25 fee on bicycle sales of $500 or more.

Proving once again that idiotic statements aren’t limited to any one particular party or ideology, GOP state Rep. Ed Orcutt, a ranking member of the Transportation Committee, stuffed his foot firmly in his mouth in an email he wrote to a constituent, according to The Huffington Post.

“If I’m not mistaken, a cyclist has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 seems to be a greenhouse gas and pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.”

Just as a personal observation, whenever someone begins an argument with the phrase, “If I’m not mistaken,” it generally means they are. And he was.

The email was posted Saturday on the Cascade Bicycle Club’s website and was picked up by the media on Monday.

Now that the whole World knows he’s an idiot, Orcutt backpedaled in another email.

“My point was that by not driving a car, a cyclist was not necessarily having a zero-carbon footprint,” Orcutt said in the email. In looking back, it was not a point worthy of even mentioning so, again, I apologize.”

Orcutt should just come clean to his constituents — it has nothing to do with pollution, the environment or greenhouse gases. It’s all about revenue, pure and simple.

The Beatles said it best in their 1966 song, “Taxman.”

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

Not much has changed. If politicians have developed a talent for anything, it’s for finding new ways to remove money from the wallet of the poor taxpayer.

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