Okay.. now I’m really angry with this whole ‘Big Government’ /Environmentalist effect to create chaos in my personal daily life.
Decades ago environmentalists decided that everyone in California had to have a government smog/emissions program, despite the fact that so many other states do absolutely fine without one. As we Californians know.. getting the car ‘Smogged’ has become an added expense to owning and even selling off our vehicle.
But now let’s take a close look at how this can turn into a complete and unnecessary burden upon an average resident such as, well.. myself.
I have a 2002 Toyota Camry, a nice enough vehicle.. not a smoke-billowing polluter, just an average, clean car that I use to conduct my business and earn a living. With income down, I have paid my registration fees but fell behind on getting the Smog check done. Why? Not because it would cost $50 or so to simply have it checked and be done with it. No. I’d have been willing to do that.
Rather, it fell behind because the car will not pass ‘Smog’ if the check-engine light is on, which it is in my case. I had it checked out this last week.. $1,100 in repairs, possibly up to another $300. Just for repairs. This is just the beginning.. there’s more. Big Government is about to enter the picture.
Two weeks ago I was given a citation for my overdue tags. So, despite the economy being what it is.. there’s another $266 added. Yes, a fine for not having the previous $1,100 to do the repairs for a smog certificate that in all reality we could live without. But wait, there’s more..
As I am filling out DMV forms online, I go outside to get my registration info from my car and.. lo and behold, MY CAR IS GONE. Vanished. I called the police to report it stolen. They tell me that a Code Enforcement agent, who only has the authority to give citations for overgrown weeds by the way.. called in my license plate to the local Police because he noticed my tags were delinquent. My local City wants more income.. so the Police called a tow company and now.. I can’t do the needed repairs on my car to get the Smog Certificate to get the Tags to satisfy the Citation so I can go back to running my business for income!
So.. I call the tow company. Another $365 to get my car back, so I can then do the required repairs. Plus an extra $50 per day ($350/week.. $1,400/month) for storage. But wait, there’s more. Before I can pay the tow company.. I have to not only pay the DMV $266, but then I need to take proof of that to the Police station where I pay them another $100 for a slip of paper, a Release Form. Yes, I’ll be paying the Police $100 for taking the trouble to have a tow truck put my car into Impound.
And after all this.. I still need to get my car to the mechanic to do the original $1,100 in repairs. And all this for what? A smog certificate. So then, what is the tally now?..
Police Release Fee: $100
Impound Fee: $415
Required Smog Repairs: $1,100
Now, I’ll admit that it’s my responsibility to comply with the State Law for a Smog Cert. I don’t like it any more than any other resident here in California, but it is my part to comply. But this scenario just goes to show what a burden, not to mention inconvenience, environmentalist bureaucracy can place upon the backs of people who simply want to own a vehicle so they can earn a living.
‘More Government’ is not the answer. It is not what the founding fathers of our country envisioned when they fled governmental tyranny to begin with. How many other people, in much more dire straights than myself, will find themselves without a car after an incident like mine? Without a car, they can’t hold down a job. Without a job, they end up on welfare and government assistance for housing, etc. They can’t go to school to better themselves either.
In my case, I’ll get through this. But for how many will this be the “last straw” that destroys what hope they had for working to provide for their families or get an education? At what point does common sense and humanity or compassion become a part of this Big Government approach to placing undue burden upon it’s citizens?
Government isn’t supposed to drive people into poverty and then make a meager attempt to then provide for them out of the pockets of the over-taxed Middle-Class. Government is supposed to make for a framework where people can freely, without undue interference have a shot at working for the lifestyle they desire. Make no mistake.. the tentacles of Big Government will eventually strangle out our freedoms as surely as it has in other Socialist countries.
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.