Scenes from Our Unshared Sacrifices, Part 2 (Ceci n'est pas une tax):
So the Rude Pundit walked to his car one morning, which he knew was in a no-parking zone, but, since he lives in an impressively sketchy neighborhood, sometimes the cops don't give a damn until about 8 a.m. Still, and all, it's a gamble. And he knew the fee for losing the bet, around 40 bucks; however, it's better than driving around at 2 in the morning, hoping someone leaves a legal space. The Rude Pundit accepts that he's done wrong and pays the price. This one morning he went out and saw the ticket that said he had lost this time. He picked it up and glanced at the cost: $52. Bastards had jacked up the fine by about 25%. "Yeah," the Rude Pundit thought, "let's talk some more about who's paying for shit."
'Cause shit's gotta get paid for. You want cops? You want your potholes filled? You want your fires put out? Even if you subcontract the fuck out of all those jobs, until only mercenaries from Xe are blowing away local purse snatchers with AKs, shit's gotta get paid for. And if your state or your city says that there ain't no way they're gonna raise taxes on anyone or any entity, no matter how stuffed to the gills with cash they are, well, they're gonna come up with ways to get money. 'Cause shit's gotta get paid for.
So, for instance, in Glendale, California, which has an $18 million budget gap, the price for to get a license for your pet just went from $5.50-$27.50 to $15.50-$65. And it now costs $80 for a permit to take pictures at the local sports complex. It used to be free. By the way, the justification for the hikes is that fees haven't gone up in years. Or, in other words, they're at historic lows.
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett has cut state programs and refused to tax natural gas drillers. So $1.1 billion was cut from education programs. At the same time, he's got a panel endorsing a plan to jack up drivers' license fees from $29.50 to $69.50 and vehicle registration from $36 to $98. It doubles the length of time between renewals, but since the fee is more than doubled, it's not a wash. This is to fill a $3.5 billion transportation funding hole. But, hey, at least it ain't a tax hike. You want roads, don't you, Pennsylvanians?
The list goes on. State park fees, traffic fines, birth certificate fees. And, as ever, it hits those who can afford it least. All to keep alive the chimera of "no new taxes," when, in effect, it's the same damn thing. It's a driving tax. It's a pet tax. It always was. It always will be.
Somebody's gonna get fucked. The only question is who. It's just easier to fuck the people who are already prone.
(Note: Hey, here's an idea: raise taxes on these little fuckers. Oh, and mayors actually have a good idea on how to fill some budget gaps that don't involve dicking people over.)