The new decade was a mere 28 days old. The 'Tens still had another 3, 624 days to go. Not even one percent of the decade had passed. And in its infancy the decade already had the dumbest legislative idea of the decade being presented in Sacramento. I know there is still a lot of time left, and a lot of elected officials with dumb ideas, but it will be very difficult for any politician to surpass the idiocy of the proposal being pushed by California State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D).
Did I really need to put the (D)? For an idea like this can only be conceived and pushed as realistic by an entrenched long term California Democrat.
Senator Lowenthal wants to eliminate free parking. ""Free parking has significant social, economic and environmental costs. It increases congestion and greenhouse gas emissions."
Laugh or cry?
It is Lowenthal's idea to eliminate free parking for stores and businesses. He feels employees should pay to park, having to do will encourage them to ride public transportation to work, employers that provide free parking are encouraging their workers to drive cars. Those filthy nasty things that are increasing the temperature of our planet by several degrees each month, or so the mythologists would have us believe.
In a state with an unemployment rate over well over 10%. In a state with businesses shutting down or leaving for other states, or countries. In a state with the highest taxes on residents and businesses. In a state with the most broken budget in the nation. In this state what is really needed is one more tax on its citizens and businesses.
I'm guessing that Sen. Lowenthal's bill will have exemptions for state and local government employees. And exemptions for schools and teachers. And exemptions for businesses where a certain percentage of the employees belong to unions. I would not be surprised if exemptions are also given to medical marijuana facilities.
The basic premise for Lowenthal's bill is that free parking causes more pollution. Because free parking encourages people to drive. If you had to pay for parking everywhere you would drive less and that would save our planet. So he would give subsidies to cities that charge residents and businesses for parking. So basically cities like Mendocino and Blythe with plenty of open space would pay for parking structures in Long Beach and San Diego.
The basic principal of stupidity that applies here is the same one that has applied to a tremendous amount of California politics the past decade: the global warming myth. Lowenthal is a drinker of the Kool-Aid provided the movement that has begot the scientists who have been proven to deny publications and exposure of ideas contrary to theirs regarding man made global warming. A movement that conveniently starts and stops its temperature readings to meet their conclusions. A movement that has as a member the chief United Nations scientist who has been caught citing "science" of glacier melting to actually be an unsupported quote in a newspaper. A movement that has spawned the California Air Resources board which voted to accept a report that led to legislation on diesel emissions that has already closed several businesses in the state; a report written by a man who falsified his scientific and academic credentials and whose scientific methods were called into question.
Of course we should not be surprised that a bill to prevent free parking would find traction in Sacramento, after all these are the same people who have mandated the end of the traditional lightbulbs in the state in order to save the globe and have them replaced with highly toxic and dangerous "squiggly" bulbs. Yes the heat and radiation from my little 40 watt bulb is much better than the one filled with mercury that can kill my daughter if broken.
This bill is also not surprising coming from Senator Lowenthal. He is the who said in February 2009 in the middle of the perennial budget debates created by Lowenthal and his fellow Democrats, "it doesn't matter how we got here." A man who feels record budget deficits that will stretch out for another decade due to the structural problems created by his party and his branch of the government (albeit abetted since 2003 by the governor and at least one or two Republicans) does not care how the budget got to be as bad as it is is a perfect candidate to propose legislation as dumb as no free parking. To save the environment.
Lowenthal has been in office since 1998, first in the Assembly and now in the Senate. His tenure coincides with the explosion of state spending that has ruined the California budget and economy. Since 1998 the spending from Sacramento has doubled. Taking advantage of increasing revenues through the real estate boom and the economic growth period of the early 2000's Democrats in Sacramento, abetted at the time by Grey Davis, increased salaries, benefits and the number of workers receiving those benefits, expanded social programs beyond the needy, created new groups of recipients, and put bond measures on our ballots that voters passed. The Lowenthals of the past decade have burdened our state with structural deficits and a state on the brink of bankruptcy.
Evidently that is not enough. Now they must finish the job and push the state over the edge by further punishing businesses, shop owners and citizens. The result will be more business closings, more jobs lost and more citizens leaving for Texas or Arizona or Nevada to start businesses, invest their savings, help their new communities and prosper in a state that will allow them to do so.
I will repeat what Sen. Lowenthal said in the press release for the no free parking bill, "Free parking has significant social, economic and environmental costs. It increases congestion and greenhouse gas emissions."
I say that bad legislation has even more significant costs as we have seen and experienced in recent years in California.
The decade may only be a month old, but it will be a challenge for anyone to present dumber legislation in the coming 119 months that Senator Alan Lowenthal's No Free Parking bill.
L.A. Times story on the legistion.