Roger’s Rules

Happy New Year: that will be 30¢ more, please

So, when I wasn’t paying attention last Spring, the de Blasio administration in New York cooked up yet another mechanism for relieving denizens of Gotham of a little more of what some quaint folks still refer to as “their” money. Bill de Blasio, of course, thinks of it as his money. In this, he is merely following the lead of our masters in Washington, whose insatiable appetite for the green stuff leads them to hoover up as much of our money as possible (for really, you know, it is our money: pace Barack Obama and Elizabeth “Big Chief” Warren, we did build: they merely spend it).

But I digress. What prompts this little outburst was my discovery yesterday that New York City has just enacted a 30¢ “improvement surcharge” on every taxi ride.  That’s on top of the 50¢ surcharge they imposed some years ago.  What’s the “improvement” in question?  The New York Times had the story last April, but since I do not read our former paper of records, I missed it.  There is was in black and white: “The de Blasio administration on Wednesday approved a 30-cent surcharge on all yellow and street-hail livery taxi rides as part of a plan to make half of New York’s yellow cabs wheelchair accessible by 2020.”

I’d say you can’t make it up, but these guys not only made it up but, as I discovered where I got into a cab yesterday, they actually imposed this stupid tariff on the sheep, er, the citizens of New York. What’s next, cabs with extra flashing lights for the deaf? Sirens for the blind? Mandatory Arabic-speaking drivers for terrorists?

“It’s only 30¢ Kimball, suck it up. Are you anti-cripple or what?”

What I am against is the proliferation of government schemes to line their bureaucracies pockets by fleecing the citizenry.  30¢ may seem like a paltry sum. But it is only one of a veritable galaxy of levies, fees, surcharges, tariffs, penalities, “Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises” that governments federal, state, and local suck out of the helpless populace. The idea of requiring every taxi to be wheelchair accessible is as stupid as requiring every bus to be wheel chair accessible. It is a top-down imposition that is of questionable benefit to the halt but inestimable benefit to the rapacious bureaucrats who want to run your life.