Recent federal tax cuts have put the pressure on states to meet budgetary demands including road maintenance. Evidently many states are enacting crushing penalties for traffic law violators in order to offset loss of federal funds.

Starting on Sunday, if a jerk from Maryland or the District drives recklessly in Virginia, he’ll be liable for a $100 fine. But if the jerky driver is a Virginian, he’ll get slapped with an extra $1,050 fine on top of the $100. Similarly, if an out of state drunk gets caught on a Virginia road, he’ll face a $250 fine if this is his first DUI. But a Virginian caught in the same act will have to pay the $250 plus a bonus fee of $2,250.

Just like Coquille imposing fees upon gas stations to generate lost revenue, state and local governments are contriving all manner of clever devices to make up for tax cuts to the very rich. Virginia expects to generate $65 million a year in increased fines!

The Economy, Stupid

“We’re enjoying sluggish times, and not enjoying them very much.” —George Bush Sr., in 1992

“A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness.” —George W. Bush, in Sept. 2000