Saturday, February 6, 2010
I just got the mail this morning and received a notice for the renewal of my license plate for 2010. It comes from Jesse White, of course, the secretary of state. And it shows an increase in the license fee, now $99. White was careful to make sure the letter pointed out that it was the fault of the "Illinois Legislature" for the increase in the fee. The note, on the upper flap of the convenient return payment envelope reads:
"Public Act 96-34, approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor, established a $20 fee increase for license plate registration/renewal and applies to registrations expiring in January 2010 and later."
That's me, of course. My license plate expires March 31, 2010.
I'm also not surprised that White would pass the buck and that the legislature made sure that the increase didn't get announced until AFTER the February 2 primary elections, so that people like White would be unopposed. Because if the voters knew White was planning to raise the fee on license plates and pass the buck on the legislature, maybe someone would have run against him.
I like Jesse White, but I wonder about how much he likes me. He spends more time leading the Jesse White tumblers on tours throughout the state to promote his re-election candidacy than he does spending time worrying about me.
Can you blame him, though? Every elected official cares about themselves before they care about us.
But I am perturbed that no one in White's office can count. Well, they were able to count the days on the calendar to make sure the timing of the increase came AFTER White won his Democratic Party nomination, unchallenged. he knew enough to count those days to make sure I didn't get my notice until after the election.
I am more perturbed though by the error on the billing. Yes, an error from the Secretary of State's office. Imagine that. The last time I renewed my license, it cost me $78. This time, White says, it will cost me $99. Yes, $99.
So, if they increased the fee $20, shouldn't my bill be $98 not $99. But who cares about an extra dollar theft from some government agency that rips off the taxpayers everyday routinely and without any accountability, caring or explanation.
The math is wrong, Jesse. But with how many millions of vehicles in Illinois, that $1 mistake could reap even more money.
I'll pay it, of course, But I will also be praying that one day we get an honest politician to hold public office, instead of the sneaky little slippery people who claim to be our elected officials today.
$1 is nothing to jesse White and his tumblers and his patronage workers, but it means something symbolic to me about the inherent corruption and failings of our unaccountable government in Illinois.
-- Ray Hanania