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Trump signals open to mileage tax with praise of Oregon program

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The White House on Wednesday praised an experimental program in Oregon that charges a mileage tax to volunteer drivers, adding to signals that President Donald Trump is open to finding new revenue sources to pay for his proposed infrastructure program.

In the annual Economic Report of the President, the White House described Oregon as a “pioneer” in transportation funding and highlighted its funding initiative, which began in 2015.

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Volunteers are charged a fee of 1.7 cents for each mile driven on state roads. In return, drivers get rebates for state fuel taxes. As of the end of 2016, only about 700 people were participating in the program, which is intended to gather data and generate consumer feedback.

“The program offers tangible evidence that a tax on vehicle miles traveled is a promising alternative to relying on fuel taxes,” the report said.

 Trump last week called for using $200 billion in new federal spending over 10 years in an effort to stimulate $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending, largely through states shouldering most of the costs and relying on unspecified spending cuts to pay for repairs.

The report also boosted the idea of driverless cars, saying widespread use of them could lift economic growth and create jobs.

The idea of a transportation tax, however, could prove controversial with Trump’s fellow Republicans. Many of the party’s lawmakers dislike the idea.

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(Reporting by David Shepardson and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Paul Simao)


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Armed security forces in DC are refusing to identify their agencies — sparking condemnation

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On Tuesday, Mother Jones national security reporter Dan Friedman posted an image of heavily-armed federal officials overseeing protests in D.C. — and noted that they refused to identify their agency when asked.

Asked who they’re with, these guys say only that they’re with “The Department of Justice.” pic.twitter.com/ciVDtP8ndk

— Dan Friedman (@dfriedman33) June 2, 2020

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Internet scorns Trump for saying D.C. was the ‘safest place on earth last night’: ‘Bunker Boy says what?’

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to proudly proclaim he had succeeded in restoring order to Washington, D.C. last night.

Washington, D.C., was the safest place on earth last night!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2020

Commenters on social media did not see it the same way.

Did your hear that George W. Bush’s former alum have launched a Super PAC to elect Joe Biden?

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Trump campaign provokes outrage with demand that media stop saying protesters were tear gassed

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On Tuesday, the Trump campaign issued a statement demanding that the media "correct or retract" the reports that peaceful protesters were tear gassed in front of the White House — citing claims from the U.S. Park Police that the substance used to forcibly disperse the crowd was not tear gas.

This demand did not go over well on social media, with commenters siding with journalists over the official reports — and others asking what the point is for the White House to dispute the type of substance they sprayed at peaceful protesters.

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