Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Feds Mandate Your Town Replace It's Road Signs

The Rule of Law is a fundamental principle that our country was founded on. The rule of law respects us as equals. It allows us to organize our lives, plan our futures, and resolve disputes in a rational way. In our country laws are created by elected representatives through a system of checks and balances. This method was created so that the law makers were accountable to the people. Make bad laws and get voted out of office.

Being held accountable for the laws you vote for while a member of congress puts extreme limits on what representative is willing to vote for. Over the years this has proved annoying for Congressmen, Senators, and the President who may want to enact laws that the people don’t want. In the last election we saw the result of congress passing many laws, including a Healthcare bill, that the people clearly didn’t want; the largest single change in the House of Representatives about 75 years. This is a good thing as it allows the people to hold their elected representatives accountable. To get around voting for unpopular laws, congress has delegate it’s law making authority to bureaucrats. This allows unpopular laws, termed regulations, to be enacted without the elected official having to be held accountable for the creation of a new law the people don’t want. Worse yet this allows large corporations to force laws that will benefit the large corporation at the expense of the people without having to have a new law passed.

Case in point: ABC’s Jonathan Karl Reported that The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) is ordering all local governments -- from the tiniest towns to the largest cities -- to go out and buy new street signs. 3M one of the few makers of reflective sign material successfully lobbied the FHA to change the regulations to include:

  • Whenever street name signs are changed for any reason, they can no longer be in ALL CAPS.
  • Increase the size of the letters on street signs from the current 4 inches to 6 inches on all roads with speed limits over 25 miles per hour by January 2012.
  • Install signs with new reflective letters more visible at night by January 2018.

    In Dinwiddie County, Virginia -- with lots of roads but not many people -- the cost comes to about $10 for every man, woman and child.

    "The money is better spent on education, or the sheriff's department or on public safety than something like that," said Harrison Moody, chairman of the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors.

    Many local residents in Dinwiddie say their current street signs work just fine, and they see no reason to change them.

    "There are a lot of people out there that are hungry," said Dinwiddie resident Thomas Davis. "Why spend [money] on street signs when everybody can read a street sign or, if you don't know where you're going, get a GPS."

    This is a prime example of Too Much Government, and the mentality of ruling elite who think they know what is best for everybody. Don’t think this is Obama or Democrat bashing. These changes to the law were originally started under Bush. Changes in bureaucratic regulations are changes in laws, laws should have to voted on by the Senate, House, and signed by the President. We have allowed our elected officials to horribly overstep their bounds and responsibilities, creating institutions that can create laws, tax the public, and limit individual liberty without being held accountable to the voter.

    Who knows better how local dollars should be spent, the federal government or local government? This is a case where the federal government is forcing local government to spend money they don’t have on things that may be good, but take away from much more urgent needs. In Milwaukee this will cost the cash-strapped city nearly $2 million -- double the city's entire annual for traffic control.

    This is not an example of the Rule of Law, but an example of am unaccountable bureaucratic dictate. What this change in the law amounts to, is a transfer of wealth from the citizens to 3M. This is a typical and predictable unintended consequence of liberal ideology trying to make everybody “safer” for their own good. The idea that because people might vote out a representative who makes an unpopular vote or decision, it is necessary to create bureaucracies to insulate elected officials is now the preferred method of liberal ruling elites to circumvent the will of the people. The FHA mandates to change signage is an example of an unfunded, unaccountable mandate of elitist big government working with elitist big business to take your money and avoid being held accountable.

    What would you tell your elected representative if he/she came back from Washington having voted to force your local town to change and update all its signs during these hard economic times?
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