I'm about to say something that I've said a million times before, but it bears repeating; your government, at all levels, is full of mouth-breathing doofuses, and it's our fault that these people are somewhat-gainfully employed at taxpayer expense.
I have to repeat this mantra because of a recent piece of legislation proposed (for all I know, it has already passed,and I'm too lazy to look it up) by a local politician that manages to do something in a half-assed way while giving the appearance of being of real benefit to the citizens of this once-great land.
State Senator Diane Savino (Dimwit - Staten Island) has recently remembered that the state has a vested interest in chasing down auto insurance frauds. One cannot argue with the basic logic behind this reasoning: people who commit insurance fraud do, in fact, harm the rest of the law-abiding, honest, hard-working citizens of New York State. Senator Savino suggests that some New York State residents are fraudulently registering their vehicles in other states in an attempt to avoid paying higher insurance premiums. This is, indeed, blatantly unfair, and truly dishonest.
In order to combat this insidious threat to civil society, Sen.Savino has suggested a program in which busybody citizens who see an out-of-state license plate they believe belongs to a New York State resident are asked to report this violation of the law and unethical behavior to the State Insurance board or similar authority, so that a fine may be issued,or in some instances, criminal proceedings, can be begun against the offender. Those who report violators will be eleligible for a cash reward, which if I recall, was supposed to be $5,000.
There are three problems with this suggestion:
1. It turns every citizen into an agent of the state. If you can offer bounties to citizens for reporting out-of-state-license-plates -on-state-resident automobiles, then you can pretty much offer a bounty on anything. It's only a short hop, skip and a jump to reporting on your neighbors who use old fashioned lightbulbs, plant 'illegal' gardens, or make minor home modifications without an expensive-and-hard-to-get permit.
2. There is, it appears, no system in place to prevent abuse. Have a disagreement with your neighbor, and the next thing you know, he's turning you in -- and collecting cash -- for your out-of-state license plate, even if that automobile is legally registered at another address in another state.
3. The proposed law fails to take one, critical, step: having discovered an out-of-state plate, what happens when the plate in question is discovered to belong to an illegal alien? In these parts, it's not uncommon to see plates from Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Georgia, and guess what? The majority of them seem to be attached to automobiles full of HISPANICS, usually illegal ones, who make the round-robin following seasonal work.
In many cases, these illegals have registered a 'permanent' address in New York so as to take advantage of the over-generous welfare system and public school system, and then register their vehicle at a second address in another state (where they're probably also collecting welfare). In the winter months,the illegals head south for landscaping and construction work, and in summer, return to New York for same, where the minimum wage is higher.
What happens, if, one should report an illegal out-of-state license plate, and it turns out to belong to a double-dipping illegal immigrant?
Does the law then entail the arrest and deportation process, or is the offender simply fined for being a bad boy and then otherwise allowed to continue being a willfully-and-persistently foreign douchebag sucking at the taxpayer teat?
The law doesn't seem to address that little contingency, and because Senator Savino is a democrat (which means she was dropped on her head at birth, and intelligence is considered the next best thing to herpes), and because sucking up to illegal immigrants is a guaranteed vote-and-campaign-fund getter in these parts, I rather doubt that it does.
But of course, the idea behind the law was to make it appear as if State Government was actually interested in doing something positive for it's citizens -- enforcing a policy aimed at a minor violation of the law, or at least , a circumstance which might be spun as a violation of same -- while allowing an even greater injustice to persist.
After all, if it wasn't for the illegal immigrant vote, Miss Savino would probably still be pole dancing, selling hotdogs, sucking up a union salary for no work, or whatever it was she was doing before she got elected to office.
But then again, that one, last, critical step will never be taken, because it's not politically correct, and spells certain electoral death. All-in-all, the purpose is not so much to catch insurance cheats as much as it is to punish people wealthy enough to maintain two households, and to spread some taxpayer cash around under the guise of 'responsible government'.
Miss Savino is, to a certain extent, correct; insurance fraud does hurt the consumer. However, unless her proposed law addresses this problem (the out-of-state-plate-connected-to-an-illegal-immigrant) with harsher penalties, and the threat of deportation, then it's a load of hot air. Which is worse: the citizen who commits a little insurance fraud, or who plays fast-and-loose with the law in the technical sense, or the illegal immigrant who sucks up welfare, purposely defrauds the system, wrecks our schools, and fills our hospitals with sick and injured who can't pay for their own care, often with diseases once eradicated in this country?
For what it's worth, I thin k the illegal alien is the worse threat to society, but Miss Savino doesn't listen to people like me. After all, I'm only a native-born Son of New York, and worse, a White Male one who speaks English. If people like Savino had their way, I'd be sitting in a concentration camp, and paying for the privilege.
Then again, if my neighbor is encouraged to start taking pictures of my license plates and turning me into the authorities for something that isn't even their business for cash, I probably already AM living in a concentration camp.
By all means, eradicate insurance fraud, but if you're not going to take the next step and do the right thing when the offender turns out to be a member of a politically 'protected' group, then drop the whole thing. You're really not doing anyone any favors.