Ever since Fox's Roger Ailes implemented a business model of promoting opinion over facts our country has seen a gradual decline into hyper partisanship and tribalism. Millions of people it seems are willing to believe anything as long as it comports with their beliefs, their opinion. Truth has been under constant assault from those wishing to push a political agenda based on fear and anxiety, not supported by facts.

Instead of making cogent, reasoned arguments for or against an idea they must attack it, try to tear it down with lies and disinformation. They brand it as liberal, socialist, or whatever the word of the day is.

Too many people have abdicated their moral responsibility in favor of hyper partisanship. They have become so partisan that they no longer respect truth, they are no longer capable of critical thought or the ability to employ the scientific method. They are people who refuse to learn, refuse to accept the reality that confronts them every day.

Such a person is Richard Cicerelle. He has written letter after letter to this paper espousing all manner of right wing propaganda. He blames Democrats for everything he disagrees with. He refuses to believe anything negative about Trump or the GOP even when given the facts.

Cicerelle's letter last week was another example of his willingness to distort the truth in order to push his anti-Democrat agenda.

He called the state's tax-by-the-mile proposal an intrusion into his personal life. Somehow in his mind, it is his right to not divulge how many miles he drives in a year. Somehow, if the state knew that, his rights were being violated... lol. I hope no one tells him that the car insurance industry bases his premium on how many miles he drives in a year. Why isn't he up in arms about the insurance industry? Because he'd rather attack Democrats or liberals or socialists. They are the enemy.

Cicerelle claims Democrats are out to steal his money, all they wanna do is tax us more and more. He even opined about them taxing our children and other nonsense.

Were he not so blinded by partisanship, Cicerelle could know that despite his rhetoric, Washington state under Democratic leadership has the best economy in the nation while also enjoying the 18th lowest tax burden in the country. And for the cherry on top, we were also recently voted as the best state to live in.

One of Cicerelle's concerns with the proposed per-mile tax was that it would cost him more. He could of course do the math and see how he'd fare with the new tax but that would be silly. He just assumes. He just attacks, reasoning is not what he is about.

The truth is some will pay more but many will pay less under the proposed per-mile tax. The key is miles per gallon. The reason Washington and other states are considering this change is because modern cars, thanks to Democrat-led mpg standards, have become so efficient that they do not contribute enough in gas tax to cover the damage they cause to our infrastructure. The current gas tax has become less fair over the years. Those who drive older cars are paying significantly more tax than those with high-mpg vehicles. A per-mile tax would even the playing field, making it more fair overall.

Washington has based the proposed per-mile rate of 2.4 cents per mile on the fact that the average for cars in the state is about 20 mpg. If you do the math you'll see that if you get less than 20 mpg. you will likely pay less under the new tax. If you own a truck or older car and only get 10-15 mpg you will pay significantly less with the per-mile tax.

So you see, this is not some horrible intrusion into anyone's life. This is not Big Brother spying on you as Cicerelli claims. This is a state trying to create a more fair system for collecting the taxes we need to maintain our transportation infrastructure. That's all, no conspiracy, no big brother, just common sense.

SCOTT CALHOUN

Long Beach

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