Thursday, March 19, 2009

Big Brother will SOLVE our Budget Problems...who needs liberty?

So we all know that every city is hurting for cash. Chicago is looking for new ways to balance the budget. And they may have found a way to cover ALL, that's right ALL of the budget gap with only ONE new program. Sounds great, right?

Well, hold on. Alderman Ed Burke (who is spearheading this proposal) has a great plan, but it does have one small issue. It totally destroys the principal of public privacy. See, the plan is this.

We've all seen those new traffic cameras, you know the ones that take pictures of cars that run red lights (and then mail a ticket to the registered owner, even if that owner is not driving or did not commit the violation) Yeah, those. The traffic cameras are already meeting legal problems in court because they cannot ensure the proper person is punished for the violation.

But Chicago wants to use them even further, in this case to catch uninsured motorists. Studies show 25% of all drivers are not insured, and Alderman Burke thinks he can balance the budget on scofflaws.

From the Chicago Sun Times:

"But, aldermen clearly had dollar signs in their eyes after hearing InsureNet’s pitch to enlist the city’s entire network of surveillance cameras — and install new ones at high-traffic locations — in the hunt for the uninsured.

“You could put these cameras on the Dan Ryan. … You could have the same camera at the entrance to O’Hare Field’s parking lot where you have 10,000 cars parked. In theory, 20-some percent of those wouldn’t be insured and they’d all be in violation of a city ordinance,” Burke said.

“Maybe that’s why the staggering amount of revenue you’ve suggested could be potentially achieved.”

Transportation Committee Chairman Tom Allen (38th) agreed that InsureNet’s numbers were “eye-opening.” But, they’re based on a $500 fine and, “That’s a pretty big hit for people to pay,” Allen said.

He added, “I like the idea. We’d all like people to have insurance. But, there is a certain group that, outside of putting people in prison, may never get insurance. It’s purely money.” (end excerpt)

It's purely money...and that's how your leaders see you, purely money. Never mind the burden this program puts on folks who are already financially strapped (probably the reason they don't have insurance). Instead of actually increasing insured motorists and thus making us all safer (why do they never have programs to help reduce the cost of insurance to lower income drivers? That would actually improve the number of insured motorists.) No, instead of that, Chicago would rather count on using the financial struggle of it's poorer, hard working citizens to balance it's budget. I'm sorry, Julio, you get a $500 ticket and lose the ability to get to your job.

But Chicago city government needs more money to hire all their friends, and other corruption projects the city needs money for. How else will Alderman Burke afford his summer vacation?

Here's the article:,red-light-camera-uninsured-031609.article

And here's Alderman Ed Burke...


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