When an individual or business entity is found guilty of violating one of the hundreds of thousands of laws on the books, and there is no victim, why does the government get to levy a fine against the accused? And what do they do with all that extra revenue?
You’ve probably noticed (especially around holiday weekends) a ramp up in TV ads warning you that cops are out and about enforcing Seat Belt laws — the infamous Click-It-or-Ticket propaganda. If I fail to put on my seat belt, who is the victim here? What social justice is being carried out when I’m fined up to $200 in some states for failing to comply with this overbearing, Big Brother intrusion of personal liberty?
And there are hundreds of thousands of more laws like this. Billions of dollars at stake.
Statists will tell you that it’s for my own good and that seat belts save lives. Let’s forget for a moment that we’re arguing a central bureaucracy knows what’s better for me than I do. Let’s also assume that huge, punitive fines are actually successful in getting the sheep to follow orders.
Where does the money go? Who gets to spend it? If safety was, in fact, the goal of our legislators, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that the money collected in fines should go back to the people — maybe a refund for always driving with your seat belt on?
The reality is that these laws for our own good are there to collect revenue from the masses. It’s a secret tax. It’s included in state and federal budgets. They COUNT on you to violate the law / receive a
tax bill fine.
Now, someone will undoubtedly say something like “as long as we (the state) have to pay money to clean up your mess, then there is the case to levy fines for violations.” So, for example, if NYC has to pay for all the additional health care costs due to overweight people drinking gallons of soda at a time, the city has the right to levy fines for behavior that will directly lead to NYC’s increased risk / exposure. (I won’t go into how ridiculous limiting cup size is in this battle of the diabetic bulge.)
My point is that the problem lies with NYC having to pay for the health care, not that it’s doing a poor job of managing health.
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And no, I didn’t just receive a tax bill for seat belt liberation.