Monday, February 19 , 2018, 12:32 am | Fair 51º


Ron Fink: If Liberals Can Ignore Laws They Dislike, Why Can’t Conservatives?

Lately the strategy of liberal Democrats has been to simply say “we don’t like your stupid law, so we’ll ignore it”.

Most notably a few hundred cities and a couple of states have decided that they’ll just circumvent federal law and offer sanctuary to tens of thousands of illegal aliens. 

They even condone helping some serious criminals who have multiple felonies on their record and don’t think that the safety of legal residents of their communities is as important as their need to accommodate even the worst criminals in the illegal alien population.

Even President Barack Obama has instructed the Department of Justice to ignore certain laws he doesn’t like, specifically the deportation of illegal aliens. He was recently rebuked by federal judges after they concluded that he acted illegally.

So, what if conservatives took the same approach to laws that they think are stupid?

There is a huge debate going on about the cause and means to prevent global warming.

The forces seem divided among those who feel that the reality of global warming is settled science (those who are making tons of cash like Al Gore by marketing carbon offsets) and those who justifiably question the alarmists theory’s in a factual matter.

Liberals are leading the charge and strongly support the fuzzy science and manipulated spread sheets used to justify the global warming alarmists’ theories.

Of course, their end goal is to totally ban the use of carbon based fuels in the United States, and the strongest regulatory agenda is centered right here in Santa Barbara County.

The federal government has been steadily increasing the pressure on industry to eliminate carbon emissions from everything from large diesel-powered equipment to the family lawn mower. These rules have cost our economy billions of dollars to implement, thus strangling economic growth.

But that’s not enough for California, which has adopted much stricter standards, and our county, not to be outdone by higher authority, has adopted requirements that are several orders of magnitude stricter that both federal and state law.

So knowing that these onerous and probably unnecessary rules are a strong deterrent to economic growth, suppose that the city of Lompoc were to adopt a resolution to ignore those rules within the city limits. What would happen?

The first thing is that the manufacturing industry would probably take a more favorable approach to locating their businesses in our city. The second is that the enviro-police would descend on Lompoc in an invasion force that would make the Normandy landing look like a picnic.

Our elected officials would be hustled away to some gulag for “re-indoctrination,” the county would take over city government, and all would be peaceful again in the environmental Mecca known as Santa Barbara County.

If the city of Lompoc were to adopt a resolution condemning the expulsion of illegal aliens, it would be a totally different story. Local liberal activists, state and federal level Democrat politicians and maybe even President Obama himself would stage a parade along Ocean Avenue praising their action.

Then there are all those unfunded mandates that are sent our way by federal and state politicians. Most are to implement environmental regulations, which neither the state nor federal government will provide funds for.

One of the big-ticket items was a requirement to modify waste-water treatment plants to meet newly established discharge standards several years ago. These requirements cost local jurisdictions millions of dollars to build, and in Lompoc the cost was over $80 million to rate-payers.  

Many small communities across the U.S. chose to simply ignore the new rules and they were sued by the federal government in order to make a point. Most were heavily fined for violating the Clean Water Act.

The cost to rate-payers, that’s you and me, will continue for several decades, and then even more stringent rules may be adopted that require even more costly retrofits.

The last item is taxes, a subject that is near and dear to all of us. What do we get for the amount of money we ship off to the tax collector each year? Not much.

We pay gas tax to maintain our road system, which is crumbling under our tires, and the bulk of the money is spent on environmental studies, storm-water-mitigation measures, bike lanes and empty public transportation systems. 

California once had the finest roads in the nation, but not anymore.

Our property taxes are used in part to support a failing education system, run by liberals who somehow can’t figure out how to educate our children so that they can lead productive lives.

So, why don’t we try and stop paying for faulty services? How long do you think you could get away with that? 

Maybe a year or two and then they would haul you away and shame you publicly.

Folks it’s time to take a good hard look at what’s going on. When liberal Democrats don’t like a law they simply ignore it or make up their own rules. 

To them it makes perfect sense to protest things, so why can’t conservatives do the same thing?

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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