Saturday, January 17, 2009

Seatbelts Anyone?

I can't believe how stupid big government spending can be sometimes. Here's an article in the Rapid City Journal, and I became progressively more irritated the more I read.

First off, seat belts save lives, and that's a proven fact. But here's my gripe:

According to the article, if South Dakota simply makes a seat belt violation a primary offense (currently it's a secondary offense, and you can't be pulled over for just that), the Federal government will give us a five million dollar check. In times of a budget deficit, that sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

Not so much. Should South Dakota accept that check, there are strings attached that require the money to be directed toward seat belt campaigns (everyone's probably heard those stupid "click it or ticket" campaigns in Minnesota) and safety-related things. The article states that seat belt compliance in South Dakota without any laws forcing us to do so is at 72%.

So bottom line, accepting that five million dollars of taxpayer money basically goes toward making commercials to remind us to do something that 72% of the state does already.

In addition, why is it the government's responsibility to protect us from ourselves? Why aren't we responsible for our own safety in our vehicles? We know it's smart to wear out seat belts and most of us do, so why not use five million dollars for more worthwhile causes or perhaps not even take it from us in the first place? Criminalizing not using a seat belt will do very little to increase the 72% compliance anyway, and I think it's ridiculous that this appropriation takes taxes from the entire country to pay for seat belt radio ads in South Dakota.

These kinds of stupid, redundant appropriations are why our spending is out of control and we have a trillion dollar budget deficit. You want to talk about change? Let's start paying attention to how dumb the government's spending practices are.

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