Jerry Brown pitches another plan to screw the middle class and especially the wealthy
California operates an outrageous system of extortion, masquerading as traffic fines, as a way to raise billions of dollars in revenue without making the highest-in-the-nation taxes even farther out of line with national norms. Not only have fines been drastically increased for trivial infractions like talking on a cell phone, shadowy “administrative costs” of hundreds of dollars have been tacked on for the privilege of paying up.
That’s all hunky dory with the governor, who hates cars and enjoys a chauffeur courtesy of the Highway Patrol. But there is a problem: the fines (and “administrative costs”) are so outrageous that poor people can’t afford them. And the poor (and illegal immigrants) occupy sacred ground in Jerry Brown’s California. They should not be made to suffer. Only the middle class and affluent deserve to be agonized with coming up eight hundred bucks to pay off a traffic fine. You see where this is going, don’t you? Judy Lin of AP writes:
Calling California's traffic court system a "hellhole of desperation" for the poor, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing an amnesty program for residents who can't afford to pay off spiraling fines and penalties that have resulted in 4.8 million driver's license suspensions since 2006.
The push by the Democratic governor spotlights concern among lawmakers and court administrators that California's justice system is profiting off minorities and low-income residents. It's a civil rights issue that has prompted discussions between the Brown administration and the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the governor's spokesman, Evan Westrup.
Of course, it would be the “poor” who get to pay the reduced fines and administrative costs, though the article does not lay out any details. But in Uncle Jerry’s California, those who have “disproportionately extracted, by whatever skill, more and more from the national wealth,” (his exact words) must give back some of what they have “extracted,” while those who lost life’s lottery (his view of people who don’t acquire skills or refuse to work hard) must be protected from the consequences of their own behavior.
I would wager that welfare payments, food stamps, Section 8 rent subsidies and the whole panoply of non-income benefits that the poor receive will not be counted when it comes time to exempt people from the fines that actual income-earners have to pay.
So much for equal justice under the law.
Hat tip: iOTWReport