By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
While I was driving home from a tea party meeting tonight I learned a valuable lesson. Radar guns work at night. I was driving down Lamb's Canyon, which is a windy rode that connects the Beaumont pass area to the San Jacinto Valley, of which I need to drive through in order to get home to Murrieta from Banning. Anyway, while I was going down the hill I was thinking about a number of things and not really paying attention to what I was doing. Then I realized that the last turn was a little tight, I looked at my speed and realized I was going faster than I should, so I hit my brakes and sure enough at that moment I saw a California Highway Patrol waiting in the darkness for a fool like me to come flying by. Sure enough, as I whizzed by him, he flipped on his lights and got behind me. It's the only time in my life I don't appreciate the colors red white and blue.
The location that he caught me at was just uphill from a stoplight at a service road that heads out to a waste management site. On his speaker he told me to make a right at the light, and that's where he pulled me over.
I drive a 1998 Toyota Camry. It's an older car, but it does the job. It replaced my dying 1995 Toyota Corolla just a few years ago. I have not been in the position to buy a new vehicle since my construction days during the housing boom. In fact I have only bought one new vehicle in my life, and it was right smack in the middle of the boom, and during the first half of my 14 years at a construction company. When construction fell apart in 2008 I left the industry and began driving in sand and gravel truck. In a sense I was still in construction, but I was really just a local trucker. All in all I spent about 20 years around Construction.
The highway patrolman walked up to my car as I rolled down my window and as I kept my two hands in plain view because I realize cops are people too and if they can't see both hands they are nervous. The last thing you want on a dark road is a nervous law enforcement official, and for that matter keeping your hands in plain view is a good practice at any time you need to interface with law enforcement. Anyway, he asked me if I knew how fast I was going, and I honestly responded I'm not sure exactly how fast but I'm sure it was a lot more than I needed to be, and I know better on a downhill not to let my vehicle get away from me like that. He asked me for my license registration and insurance, of which I gave to him promptly, and after he handed back my insurance card I explained to him that while we had paid for the registration, I still hadn't gotten my car smogged yet because there had been some repairs that needed to take place, and I I'm saving the money for the next parts, and then once I replace them I will still have to wait for the monitors to fully cycle through. I had asked DMV if I could have a temporary registration permit, and they told me "no" unless I had failed smog. I wasn't about to pay money to fail Smog on purpose knowing that it wouldn't pass. He nodded, and said, "they are trying to get the older cars off the road."
He then took my information to his car and he was gone quite a while so I was positive I was going to get a ticket. When he came back he told me he decided to give me a verbal on the speeding and a Fix-It ticket on my registration. In other words it would not cost me any money, I was going to be registering my vehicle soon anyway, and so he really gave me a break. We chatted a moment, I mentioned I used to have a class A license, and he mentioned that he used to be a commercial enforcement officer. We chatted about diesels for a while, and what Sacramento had done when it came to emissions regarding big rigs which literally pushed all the small guys out of business or out of State. It's the great contradiction, really, because with that legislation requiring big rigs to meet higher emission standards the consequences were exactly the opposite of what the Democrats claim they support. In other words, the Democrats claim to be for the little guy and to hate the big profiteering corporations, yet, their legislation regarding emissions assisted the big corporations by either pushing the smaller independent truckers out of business or out of State, leaving less competition for the corporations.
I joked with the officer, thanking him for his mercy, because I said that I fear one person more than him ... my wife. He laughed, told me to slow down and drive safely, and then off I went.
I got to thinking about what he said about them wanting to get the older cars off the road. The smog laws and the higher registration fees, and the gas taxes are all signs of exactly that. California's Democrats are doing whatever they can to put older cars off the road, so that only the newer energy efficient vehicles are remaining. Here's the thing, they say they are for the poor and the downtrodden, and that the Republicans are for the rich and profiteerng segment of society. Yet, the laws that they are pushing which are pushing the older cars off the road really do the opposite. It is the people who don't make a lot of money, those who are in poverty and the lower middle class that the Democrats claim to be champions for, who drive the older cars. They can't afford the newer cars, yet the gas prices are going up because of the high taxes, the registration is going up due to the Democrats hiking up the fees, and it's getting harder and harder to hang on to your older car because it's getting harder and harder to get the car to pass smog as it gets older. What it does is it puts the poverty-stricken into a position of having no car at all. Look at me, technically I am driving my car illegally because I can't afford to take it to a mechanic to fix it quickly, so I am doing all the work myself. Doing it that way, and buying the parts online because they are cheaper that way, has put me into a position where I am driving with expired registration. But, I can't afford to replace the vehicle, I can't afford to buy one of the newer Vehicles, which also creates higher costing maintenance.
But, the great contradiction does not stop there. They are also hurting the poor segments of society with other laws as well. For example, they are pushing for a service tax. This is essentially a sales tax for services. So if you take your car in to have it worked on, in addition to the sales tax on the parts you will also pay a service tax on the labor. If you go to the doctor the doctor will now have to charge you a service tax for visiting him. If you have a babysitter, technically that babysitter will now have to start charging you a service tax for providing you that service. The service tax will even be applicable to tax preparers. After all, they are providing a service by doing your taxes. In other words the Democrats have found a way to tax you on doing your taxes.
The service tax does one thing and one thing only, it drives up prices. We do not live in a static world where the business owners will simply pay for the service out of their own pocket, the taxes will be passed on to the consumer, driving up the cost of all services. Poor people have a tight budget, we have to be very frugal in our spending, but with the service tax that forces us to pay more than we were before. So, for those who are on tight budgets it forces us to remove things from our budget. In other words Johnny may not get that pair of new shoes for school. He'll have to wear his shoes for three years instead of two years. The car will have to go unrepaired, and suddenly it pushes us into the buses which in the long run could cost us more money depending on how much we use them. What about long trips? What about visiting family outside of the State? Only the rich will be able to visit family because the service tax, the high gas prices, and all of the other things that are driving everything out of range for the poor will keep them in their little bubble of a neighborhood. Only the wealthy will be able to afford to visit family who do not live in their own community.
Which brings me to another part of the Great contradiction. Those neighborhoods are becoming more dangerous. The Democrats in California with AB 109 and Propositions 47 and 57 have driven up crime rates in California. But when crime rates rise it's in the neighborhoods where the impoverished live that the crime rates go up because the criminals normally commit crime in their own communities. Once again, the policies of the Democrats are not good for the poor, of whom they say they champion.
Even the increase in minimum wage actually hurts the poor. Businesses do not pay taxes, they pass the cost on to the consumers. So if minimum wage goes up, so do the prices of things. Hours are cut and employees are let go. So, as the lower class begins to join the unemployment line, the cost of living goes up, but the wages for the middle-class does not go up. What it does is it pushes the middle class closer to poverty, putting more people into poverty. If the Democrats were for the people, and for the poor people, why are they trying to create more poor people with their destructive policies? Once again, it is the great contradiction. They say they are for you, but in reality they are against you. The great contradiction destroys the impoverished, leaves people in starvation and without a car. And it gives more power and wealth to their own high-ranking political elite. In reality, the Democrats are not for the poor as they claim. They are not for the people as they claim. They are for themselves, and they are for creating taxes any way they can so that they can spend it on the expansion of government, and expansion of government that creates more bureaucracy and more control over the people so that all of us may be easier to control inside their iron fist.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary