Blogging Challenge (Day 15): Inspection Stickers are a Tax on the Poor

Today is the last day of November, which means I have to get my car inspected. Every year around this time, I start thinking about vehicle inspections and how stupid they really are. The idea behind them is to make sure you aren’t polluting the world really badly and that your vehicle is “safe” to drive.

Right?

Wrong. The idea is basically a tax on the poor. A way to oppress the lower classes that can’t afford brand new vehicles. The people that fail the inspection are the ones that can afford it the least. They’re the ones with the older vehicles that are just hoping the car makes it to work, not that they aren’t ripping a giant hole in the ozone by operating it. They’re the ones that look at the tires and hope they’ll last another month, but while they’re planning to replace them in the future (because they’re poor, not stupid), they can’t necessarily afford to do it RIGHT NOW.

They need those tires to last another month so they can get to work so they can make money to put food on the table, pay the mortgage and hopefully have enough left over for the cheapest tires they can find in another month or two.

Meanwhile, special interest groups representing auto manufacturers, environmental groups and labor unions are getting rich off of this. How many repairs are being made because of failed inspections? How many of those repairs aren’t necessary to get the driver from point A to point B?

People need to be able to get to work if they’re ever going to advance in their field, maintain steady employment and be financially stable for their families. Don’t get me wrong – rah rah, environment! But realistically, I don’t think anyone gives 2 shits about the ozone when their kids are crying because they’re hungry and they lost their job because they couldn’t get to work because some rich politician decided their 8-year old Ford needs a $500 repair to “run better”. Hell, you even need a car to get to the social services office to sign up for food stamps.

Stop taxing the poor and making it any harder to crawl (or in this case drive) out of poverty or off the edge of a major financial ruin. For the working poor that live outside of the city limits, not having a car isn’t an option and inspections put many people in the position where they have to find a way to afford a repair that’s way outside of their budget when the car still runs.

I hope every politician and every tree hugger sleeps better at night knowing there are children – thousands of them, actually – that are hungry, wearing shoes that are worn out, pants that are threadbare and jackets that are too small and not warm enough because they decided that a special interests environmental group or big-business labor union was more important to you than taking care of your neighbors.

If you don’t live in the city – which many working poor and lower middle class families don’t – you can’t survive without a car. Vehicle inspections are a tax on the poor and an unnecessary burden.

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