Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

In case of Emergency, raise fees and fines! by grassroothawaii
June 1, 2010, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

By Hideo Hikida

For those of you who live in Washington DC or know of anyone who does, the cost of living in our nation’s capitol just went up a little more. Once again reneging on his pledge to not raise taxes, the Mayor of Washington DC, Adrian Fenty implemented “Emergency” executive orders to increase fees for business permits and fines for traffic violations in order to finance his spending plans for 2010 and 2011. Granted, people who live in Washington DC already are victim one of the highest costs of living in the country, but for the Mayor to do this is just rubbing salt in the wound. (something like this..).

It seems like Fenty tried to first raise taxes to finance the spending plans, but with the City Council rejecting the proposal, Fenty just decided to take another route to raise money. The Mayor said that the measures were necessary to balance the budget and that the increased fees and fines would generate an estimated $7 million this fiscal year. Under the order, some traffic fines were doubled, but some were even increased four or five times the original amount. To give you an example of how CooCoo for CoCo Puffs this guy is, the fine for passing a school bus with flashing lights was $50. With the new executive order, the fine increases ten fold to $500.

The Department of Motor Vehicles also increased fines for failing to yield to parades, funeral processions and pedestrians, and for passing fire apparatus or driving over a fire hose. Motorists also can get a $10 ticket for “failure to back into [a parking] space.” I wonder what other crazy fines there are that have yet to be mentioned.. maybe there’s a fine for a car with too many speakers? Or maybe a fine for having clowns in cars?

Mayor Fenty is just one example of inefficient budget management. I’m sure there are things the Mayor could have done to balance the budget more effectively. Tracking down wasteful spending would be a good start, and our friends at CAGW seem to have plenty of examples of that.

I pray that this is more of an isolated incident and not a soon-to-be national trend followed by Mayors nationwide. If that is the case, I might need to start thinking about living in Canada.


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