Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Playing Catch-Up

Here's a story from last week that merits a response here.

Now, not that we need any additional evidence to bolster the claim that Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo has the mental capacity of a bag of yak nuts, but check out his latest "outside the box" thinking.

Commuter crashes eyed as a cash cow

Looking for new ways to collect from some of the half-million suburbanites who drive into Boston each day, a city councilor is proposing a surcharge on those who cause accidents.

An automatic charge of several hundred dollars levied on out-of-town motorists who are deemed by police to be at fault in accidents would defray costs of emergency services, under a proposal by Councilor Robert Consalvo to be submitted to the council today.

Yeah, that'll really bring in all the suburbanite/out-of-state workers, shoppers, diners, and tourists, the dollars of whom the city already relies on quite heavily.

I mean, everybody knows know there are simply no shops, restaurants, or tourist destinations outside the fortified walls of Meninostan.

And, of course, there's no way any employer would dare eliminate any jobs in such an already business-friendly environment as Boston, and ship them out of state. Once this brilliant measure passes, large corporations will be scrambling to set up shop in Boston, and bringing all their job opening with them, for sure.

Oh, wait...

P&G moving 150 Gillette jobs from Hub

Procter & Gamble Co. said it is transferring about 150 Boston jobs to other cities as part of the consumer products company's takeover of Gillette Co.

About 100 employees are moving to P&G's headquarters in Cincinnati, mainly to work in the company's oral care and personal care divisions. Another 25 people are transferring to Bethel, Conn., where the Duracell battery division is located. And about 25 employees are moving to Caracas, site of P&G's Latin American headquarters.

Shocking, I know.

Back to the original Globe article...

"We've got to start thinking outside the box," he said. "Why should the city have to pay for someone from the suburbs who gets in an accident? Our police and fire are putting in hundreds of hours, and as a result taxes for residents in the city of Boston are going up."

Well, if ever there was a financial incentive program for the city's police officers to declare out-of-towners to be at fault when writing up their accident reports, this would be it. Nope, no potential for abuse here. None at all.

Tapping the wallets of outsiders has recently been a desire in Boston, where officials see their options for raising revenue as severely restricted. Mayor Thomas M. Menino has looked for ways to draw funds from services, such as restaurant meals, that are heavily used by visitors. Last year, Councilor Paul J. Scapicchio proposed charging suburban motorists a commuting tax to enter the city. He is no longer on the council [gee, that's too bad - ed.], and the measure was never enacted, but the plan won praise from Boston drivers [I must have been out when they called for my opinion] who said they would be happy to share costs with those who share the city's traffic-clogged streets.

Likewise, Consalvo's proposal is being greeted with enthusiasm from city residents, fellow councilors, and Menino, who praised it as innovative.

I'd expect nothing less from one of the very few local pols proven to be even more detached from reality than City Councilor Consalvo here.

Menino added that he is "always interested in any legislation that could bring additional revenue to the city."

How about a "Total Fucking Moron Tax", to be levied against members of both the political ruling class and uneducated proletariat in equal measure? This would help offset the cost of fixing all the city's problems by collecting much-needed revenue from the individuals responsible for creating the problems in the first place.

Or better yet, to borrow a phrase: Let Boston sink.