* A recent Blade editorial praised the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Passed by Congress and signed by the President on Monday, it expands government control over the production and marketing of tobacco products.
We all know that smoking is bad for you - but so are a lot of other things. If this product is so bad for you that government has to mandate huge warnings on the package (as if we didn't already know the facts) why not just go ahead and make the things illegal?
Because politicians (and anti-smoking advocates) know that they cannot outlaw smoking - which is what many would like - because the public would revolt. So they attack it incrementally, removing a bit of freedom here, a bit of freedom there ... all under the guise of 'promoting public health.' They know what's best for you and so they'll take things slowly until one day when you'll wake up and wonder how government was able to mandate what you eat, drink and consume.
Of course, they're also counting on the revenue taxes on these products generate - a bit of irony, don't you think?
* Congress has passed the 'cash for clunkers' provision which, in case you haven't heard, would confiscate tax dollars from everyone in order to subsidize the purchase of new vehicle for some. Now, you only get the subsidy if you're trading in a 1984 model or later for a vehicle that gets at least four miles to the gallon more than the one you're trading in.
It's no surprise that liberals love this new law...but here's the problem. The old vehicles have to be scrapped. What, you ask? That's right. The old vehicles cannot be resold or traded, they must be destroyed.
This means that people without the financial ability to purchase new cars will no longer have older cars in the market. When you reduce supply, but the demand stays the same, the prices go up, making it harder for people in difficult economic times to actually afford the transportation that everyone says is key to getting and maintaining a job.
Liberals, of course, love the fact that the cars will no longer be consuming more gasoline than they think is proper. But the 'poor' people they constantly claim to want to 'help,' will be worse off in the long run.
And then there is the unintended consequences of the law. If a dealership must scrap the traded-in vehicle, it has no value to them. They're not going to give you a fair market value for the car with the hope of re-selling it for a bit more in order to make a profit. No - because they cannot re-sell it, you're only going to get what the government is willing to pay you for the vehicle. And that amount may be significantly (at least in these economic conditions) less than what the dealer would normally offer prior to the law taking effect.
Government has now interfered again in the free market - substituting their social agenda for the fair trading of goods.
And they claim we're not heading toward socialism....
* Lucas County Commissioner and Toledo mayoral candidate Ben Konop submitted an op-ed piece to the paper, which they published. It touts his idea to take savings from privatizing the county life squad transportation services to create a scholarship fund so people in Lucas County can go to college for free. Well, almost free, because they'd have to 'give back' to the community by performing one hour of 'service' for every $20 of scholarship they get.
As I've said before, if there are savings to be had in county government, let's look at them. Konop has previously suggested a work week of four 10-hour days. I think it needs to be considered - along with any other money-saving ideas. Gather the facts, evaluate the proposals, and, if they can result in the same level of service for less cost, go ahead! Don't wait until there is agreement on how to spend the savings before creating the savings in the first place.
Of course, Konop's ideas are NOT about savings for tax payers. They're all about how to get his ideas implemented, which is why you haven't seen any of his potentially good cost-savings ideas go anywhere.
Side note: he likens the area to a "sinking business lacking in forward-thinking leadership" and says, "We're speeding in a car toward the edge of a cliff, and all anyone cares to do is argue over which radio station we're listening to."
Actually, Ben, the car speeding toward the edge of the cliff is government spending and your idea is just more of the same. So who's really playing with the radio?
* We all know how Mayor Carty Finkbeiner likes to read articles about other cities and then try to duplicate their experiments here...Well, I just hope he hasn't seen this, or this yet.
* In case you missed it, Justin's got a great clip of mayoral candidate Keith Wilkowski and Vice President Joe Biden. Apparently, Wilkowski was being so disruptive that Biden called it a 'conniption fit' in finally calling on him.
* Thomas Sowell is one of my favorites. In his column today, he starts with: "Even if the "stimulus" package doesn't seem to be doing much to stimulate the economy, it is certainly stimulating many potential recipients of government money to start lining up at the trough." So true - so true....
(And this column is also an excellent rebuttal to Konop's scholarship scheme, though I doubt Konop would heed any of it...)