Fleecing the Taxpayer in the Age of Petty Tyrannies
By John W. Whitehead
The Rutherford Institute
October 16, 2013
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We labor today under the weight of countless tyrannies, large and small, carried out in the name of the national good by an elite class of government officials who are largely insulated from the ill effects of their actions. We, the middling classes, are not so fortunate. We find ourselves badgered, bullied and browbeaten into bearing the brunt of their arrogance, paying the price for their greed, suffering the backlash for their militarism, agonizing as a result of their inaction, feigning ignorance about their backroom dealings, overlooking their incompetence, turning a blind eye to their misdeeds, cowering from their heavy-handed tactics, and blindly hoping for change that never comes.
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Consider the red light camera schemes that have been popping up all over the country. These traffic cameras, little more than intrusive, money-making scams for states, have been shown to do little to increase safety while actually contributing to more accidents.
In most cases, state and local governments arrange to lease the cameras from a corporation such as Redflex, which takes its cut of ticket revenue first, with the excess going to the states and municipalities. Indeed, these intricate red light camera systems—which also function as surveillance cameras—placed in cities and towns throughout America, ostensibly for our own good, are in reality simply another means for government and corporate officials to fleece the American people.
For red light camera manufacturers such as Redflex, there’s a lot of money to be made from these “traffic safety” fines. Redflex, which has installed and operates over 2,000 red light camera programs in 220 localities across the United States and Canada, made $25 million in 2008. In addition to revenue from fines, Redflex also gets paid for installing the red light cameras, which cost $25,000 a pop, plus $13,800 per year for maintenance.
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My first experience with a red light camera was sitting in Saint Peter’s hospital as my wife was battling a fatal illness. This one time she when she was in, her room had a window that looked out over Easton Avenue. That intersection had one of the first red light cameras. Being a bored fat old white guy injineer, I was attracted when at night the flash would capture my attention. She would sleep through it, but I was on the alert.
I noticed that if the traffic entering Easton Avenue from the hospital made a legal right turn on red, despite making a VERY full stop, the picture would get taken.
Then I noticed that if there was a car over the stop line, two picture would be taken.
Of course, being as my wife would say “a nosy busybody”, I call City of New Brunswick. After bouncing around, I was told: “if I got a ticket, I could appeal”.
(Yeah, you see where this is going.)
So I deliberately went an got myself a ticket to the show.
I filled out the form for an appeal and it requires to state “accurately all reasons for an appeal”.
Since I was running out of Doctors to torture, I figure to munch on a few bureaucrats as an appetizer.
Imagine my disappointment, when I got a form letter, with boxes checked, that said: “Appeal accepted. Case dismissed with prejudice. Not guilty.” and some illegible signature.
Wonder if that is an automatic response to EVERY “appeal”?
If it’s just money grab, why do The Sheeple tolerate it?
… because they are Sheeple.
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