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View Diary: New questions emerge about Mitt Romney's run-in with the law (140 comments)

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  •  I guess the mistake (10+ / 0-)

    the officer may have made was making it sound like he had a choice: don't put the boat in the water, or pay $50 and put it in. Unlike a lot of people, Mitt Romney is not motivated by a $50 penalty.

    The problem with fines of that amount, I suppose, is that if you are rich enough, it's not worth following the law. In my town we have some red light cameras that have a sign about a $375 penalty (or some similar amount). I guess if you're Mitt Romney you might as well just speed right through that intersection because who cares about a $375 fine?

    •  Norway fines according to ability to pay (24+ / 0-)

      I don't remember the exact details, but I believe the head of Nokia was caught speeding and paid a $10,000 fine. That's the way to do it!

      “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan” is an anagram for “My ultimate Ayn Rand Porn.”

      by theKgirls on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:07:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We should do that here, but then (10+ / 0-)

        that would be deemed the dreaded "Socialism."

      •  Income based fines... absolutely (4+ / 0-)

        A $175 speeding ticket is 0.35% of a $50,000 annual income.

        So just post the percentages on the highways.

        No littering!  00.4%!

        No speeding!  00.35 to 0.8%!

        Well that wouldn't work given state of math understanding.

        So post a sign that says "$175 at 50K".   Each person can do the math and figure out how much more or less than $50K he/she makes.

        Of course it really should be a progressive fine... larger percentages for the very rich.  

        Well this is getting complicated.  And delusional.  But it is the way the world should work.

        •  What??? How in the hell would this be enforced? (0+ / 0-)

          Bring tax records to court every time you get a moving violation?

            Could you imagine the uproar for a doctor having to pay a 2500 dollar fine for a seat belt violation and a teenager who makes nothing paying a dollar.

          •  Your tax records are held by the government (0+ / 0-)

            Just set up a computer system that links your driver's license to your state and federal income tax income statements.   Piece of cake!

            Can I imagine the uproar?  I can imagine the cheers.    We could have a minimum fine for those with no income.  Or it could be payable with interest when income is finally reported in the future.   You could imagine all sorts of just and fair formulas... and all you need is a good computer system and the political will to create a just society.

            Oops.  It's that last point that will kill it.

            •  Rush Limbaugh could do (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Debby

              a whole show based on your idea.

              "And the POOR people will be allowed FREE SPEEDING!!!!"

              I can smell the umbrage from here.

              Still enjoying my stimulus package.

              by Kevvboy on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:41:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Ok, for the sake of a good debate: (0+ / 0-)

              Minimum fines for those who have no income....housewives, teenagers, people who work for cash, people who do not report, undocumented workers, people who lie on returns, Swiss bank accounts etc.

              What if it is a company truck driven by a minimum wage driver?  What is the scale for that?  Who's income do you use?

              A borrow car driven by a friend?  Car owner is a doctor, the friend is on SS.  

              You made 75,000 last year, and tax records prove that but you have been unemployed since January.  Do we use last year's income or this year's income.  A huge fine for an unemployed person would really suck, wouldn't it?

              If one only have to pay a dollar for speeding because one is a housewife with no income, for example....speeding would become a non issue for that person, would it not?  However, her husband who works, better watch his speed.

              Certainly the argument could be made that " a rich person could care less about a 100 dollar fine, so speeding is a non issue with them already".......

              True, however, how many rich people do we have on the roads in comparison to the not rich (99% versus 1% ) .....I would rather see deterrents in place for dangerous and illegal behavior for most even if the 1% are not hit as hard and especially when if this income sliding were a reality, the 1% would simply find an attorney or other means to get rid of it.    

              •  There are other disincentives to speeding (0+ / 0-)

                aside from fines. There is the increase in your insurance premium, for one example.

                And of course if you have enough violations you can have your license suspended.

                So the "poor" people would not be allowed to speed for free, in any case.

              •  Purely for sake of debate, of course (0+ / 0-)

                since we're not talking about anything that could actually happen here...

                Fines are intended to deter behavior.   If we want to deter people equally, we should define an amount that is a deterrent relative to their income level.   Minimum wage truckers should be deterred by a threat to 1% of their annual income .... $75 K earners might require 1.5% of annual income for the same deterrent effect.  

                Fines are a tax on bad behavior, and should be progressive, like all taxes, so that the effect on people's lives is similar.  

                What does it take to deter an earner of $1 million per year?   I don't know, but you could study it and find out...  

                It is absurd to ask an unemployed person and a high earner to pay $175 for the same infraction.... for one it is a huge hit, for the other a minor inconvenience that will not influence behavior.  

                =

                We use last year's income, because that's what's available.    The operator of a vehicle is generally responsible for the fines that accrue on the operation of that vehicle, regardless of who owns it... but we all know about the camera problem.

                A housewife with no income should pay a fine that deters a person with no income from speeding.  

                A rich person should pay a fine that will in fact make a rich person less likely to commit the infraction again.

                Seems simple as a principle, although the information systems necessary to administer it would be complex.  But isn't justice worth it?  

        •  Or Asset-based. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miles
      •  The same idea we use for medical care costs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theKgirls

        and insurance premiums. The greater the need, the higher the price. The smaller the income, the higher the price.

        Business 101. Price your goods as high as the market will bear. Mitigate your risk by punishing your employees and your customers severely. Why do you think the Republican platform supports torture? You silly lazy socialist scumbag, you.

        That's what happens when so many of us expect free stuff.

        Oh, it's ok officer. I'll just pay the fine like I've always done when IRS penalties or SEC fines are levied against my corporation-people.

        My boat corporation is people, too, my friend.

        Think about what Willard actually did.

        1. He gets a ticket for attempting to launch an unregistered boat.
        2. He hands money to a law enforcement officer.
        3. He then launches the boat against the protests of the very same law enforcement officer.
        4. Odds are good that he explained that he was the Governor, for Pete's sake. And a lawyer. And he knows rich people. That always helps, right?

        A normal person would understand that it's probably not a good idea to violate the very same law in full view of the law enforcement officer who just cited you for that violation. A normal person understands that a fine is not the same thing as a bribe. A normal person does not argue with a police officer. A normal person does not disobey orders given by law enforcement officers.

        Things will be different if he gets elected and converts our country in the The United Republics of Kolob.

        This is not such an insignificant little nit of a problem. It fits right in with all the other disconnects he has with most humans. It reinforces the overwhelming evidence that Willard is a self-made self-centered self-righteous sociopath and a full tilt Asshole.

        He isn't fit to run for the office of Fence Viewer for any town in New England. Fence Viewers walk the borders of their town looking for markers and folks from the adjacent towns who are also out walking in the woods.

        These days, Fence Viewers turn this into a social event and try to get the town to pay for a little of the beer they'll be drinking. Besides, it's a tradition. That's the excuse.

        Willard wouldn't get that job. And it's not because he doesn't drink beer. It's because we Yankees know he won't do the job. He'd try to cheat somehow. Or he'd hire someone to do the job that no 'Mericans will do.

        And that's the problem with Willard.

        And that's the problem with free market ideology.

        "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

        by GrumpyOldGeek on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:51:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of Seinfeld being allowed (7+ / 0-)

      to park illegally because he could just pay the fine.  Use to annoy the piss out of me.  So b/c of your money you don't have to follow the same rules as everyone else?  

      I always thought they should have towed or booted his car.  If they can make him pay in money, and least make him pay in time.  

      •  Still not a disincentive; he would (0+ / 0-)

        have paid someone else to stand in line, sign it out, etc.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:06:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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