California’s officials were reportedly beside themselves when they heard about Washington’s intentions. In fact, they had already drafted ambitious plans to jack up fines, capture more revenue, and hopefully bring the budget catastrophe to an end. Rumor has it that an Assemblyman from San Francisco was about to introduce a bill establishing $256 fines for consuming coffee, burgers, or donuts while behind the wheel. We’ve also heard that the bill assesses a $492 penalty for applying makeup while driving. When asked why they’re charging more for putting on makeup than for eating or drinking, authorities replied that not only does this distract drivers, but that misapplied mascara and smeared lipstick are crimes against humanity and warrant a higher penalty. When asked whether this statement could be interpreted as sexist, a NOW spokeswoman said “Not this time, but we’ll complain if they do it again.”
California authorities had apparently laid out an extensive, two-pronged plan to capture this much-needed revenue. The first part focused on morning drive time, during which officers were to be positioned in two areas: near business centers to nab the makeup criminals and next to Krispy Kreme drive-thrus to corral people stuffing down those warm glazed ones. (There was apparently a very high demand from CHP officers for this assignment.) The second part was to surreptitiously station law enforcement personnel just outside McDonald’s and Burger King drive-thrus. Analysts concluded that if enough policemen were positioned in the right places, they could possibly ticket enough burger-consuming drivers to create a budget surplus. These plans created an internal rift within the Obama Administration as The First Lady endorsed the California plan as part of her war on obesity.
When asked why the Transportation Department is pressing these issues at a time when traffic deaths are the lowest they have been in 57 years (and incidentally, the lowest in history at 1.16 fatalities per 100 million miles driven), Secretary LaHood simply replied “Because this is what we do.” California officials are desperately lobbying to stop them from their natural inclinations. As one Democrat succinctly asked, “How else are we going to get enough money to continue paying our inflated salaries and benefits?” Californians breathlessly await the outcome of this battle of big-government narcissism.
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