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

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  •  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-)
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          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-)
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