Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A DMV by any other name

For those that need to define people in terms of political affiliation, I am Libertarian, or as I see it: the party that expects citizens to be responsible and punishes those that are not. I agree with the party ideals that government should be as small as reasonably possible, without their meddling in my personal life. So I bet you will never guess what I am getting ever more mad at –the government turning over things such as motor registration, licensing, and tax collection to the private sector. That leads to a smaller government right? Well, no.

Let’s take the example of motor vehicle registration. At some point the government decided that this would be a swell way to make money. So they make everyone pony up when they switch from ponies to motor vehicles. OK, this is a bad idea, but that decision has already been made and “is the way it is” (<- I hate that phrase), so let’s skip on past this point. So now the government is making money on this new tax or fee or whatever they want to coat it as. Fine. But then lo’n’behold the government says: “Whoa, we are spending a lot of money collecting these fees, let’s outsource them and just collect a percent.”

See that? Right there. That can not happen. Now private businesses are making a profit from fees that the government can’t be bothered to collect. So now there is a host of private businesses that are feeding from the hand of the government, I hesitate to call them private though since they are really working as a proxy government office. In my mind government has been expanded by this act. Sure the government isn’t using taxes more, but they have given authority of something that they deemed mandatory to another group of people. Since I HAVE to now deal with these people they are still, from my perspective, part of the government. We should be looking for ways to actually reduce government and not just reduce taxes collected, which is not the same thing, and we should keep that in mind. Anyone that has government ordained power over us is still the government, no matter where the money ends up in the end.

(Side note, the only way a private business can even exist doing the government’s collecting is if they are getting a cut, which means that the government has set the fee at a level that includes them outsourcing the collection in the fee itself.)

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