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D.C. Red Light Scam

By Jeff Brewer | Bio
[email protected]



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Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, the man who�s mayoral campaign was almost derailed because his minions forged over 7000 signatures on nomination petitions to qualify him for the Democratic party�s primary ballot, is continuing to demonstrate he�s unfit for office.  In Friday�s Washington Times, the mayor admitted, finally, that the city�s 50 traffic/red-light cameras were part of a money making scheme, an admission made after months of denial by he and the city�s police chief, Charles Ramsey, a.k.a. Chief Wiggam.   Initially, Williams and Ramsey were adamant that the cameras were installed for reasons of safety, rather than as a revenue-raiser for the city.

The highly inefficient (to put it mildly) D.C. government, is facing a $320 million dollar budget deficit.  As a remedy, the economically illiterate dolts running the show are planning on increasing an already intolerable tax burden through a sin tax on cigarettes, a surcharge on getting fire and police services to come to citizens� aid, and the ill-conceived camera scam.  Mayor Williams, in the spirit of all the tax and spend liberals before him, even proposed an increase in income tax rates for those evil rich people living in Williams� fiefdom. 

Perhaps the most abhorrent aspect of the city�s traffic camera acknowledgement, though, is that D.C. officials are actually, publicly admitting they have an incentive to see drivers break the law.  How perverse and backwards is that?  D.C. police should be working to reduce crimes and misdemeanors, rather than profit off thousands of citizens running a few miles over the speed limit.  Instead of fastening cameras to traffic lights to catch people breaking the law, D.C. police should be on the streets, increasing their presence either on foot or in squad cars, to deter speeders from breaking speeding statutes in the first place!  That is supposed to be a major task of the police�to deter people from committing crimes, however small, rather than gloating when drivers or whoever else violate the law. 

By design, the D.C. speed limit is anachronistically low, as city officials know full well that people driving in modern, 21st century sedans and SUV�s will not b compelled to move at the speed of a horse and buggy.  Theoretically at least, the District stands to take in thousands of dollars in �revenue� simply because people will risk a ticket to stay on time.  More sinister, officials will reap the harvest of repeat offenders; people will continuously �break� these purposely, reduced speed limits. 

What this amounts to is a contrived tax on District workers and residents.  Those movers and shakers that are the lifeblood of Washington, D.C. are getting more of their income taken from them and redistributed to lazy bureaucrats and less than ambitious �disadvantaged� residents in southeast D.C.  

Washington, D.C. political brass are facing tough budget decisions over the coming weeks.  The answer, however, isn�t to raise taxes and zap �speeders� but rather to cut spending and lower taxes to free up more income for D.C. residents to spend and invest.  To the city council�s credit, spending cuts are on the docket, but as Art Laffer proved once upon a time, raising tax rates will not raise revenue.  Let�s hope D.C. officials consider this fact before plunging further into heavy taxation.


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