Friday, March 18, 2011

Just An Observation

Y'all know I put in more than a couple miles traveling throughout the Midwest - the country with wide open spaces, straight roads and fast speed limits. I and my compadres travel at the maximum legal velocity that the local laws allow, perhaps even a fudge factor above and beyond what the legal limit might be - say in Michigan on their secondary roads limited to fifty five mph, or Nebraska at sixty on similar byways.

It's never fast enough for a large segment of the population, though. Perhaps some of the motivation for this post comes from George Carlin's quote:
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?
 But, small "l" libertarian that I am - I say it's not my problem. If you wanna drive fast and look serious, risking speeding tickets and paying for the extra fuel that yer hot rod is drinking up, more power to ya. Same for people in company cars or pickups. I can't tell you how many times I've had my doors blown by someone with a logo on the side of some muddy extra cab in oil drilling country, or Bob's Electrical Contractor or whomever. That's a business expense that the individual company is willing to absorb, and once again, it's none of my business.

However, when the vehicle in question is .gov owned, that's another story entirely. Whether it's the local school debate team in their Suburban, one of the state's whatever bureau, or a GSA tagged US Gubbmint car - well, I'm paying for that gas, man, and you're pissing me off. It's nice that we taxpayers have been footing the bill for wheels for y'all to drive from point A to B as part of your job, but you don't need to take that responsibility for granted.

But, hey, it's not their car or their money paying for the gas. So what? Why should they care? It's not like the car is in their name or anything. It's a perk, dude. Drive it into the dirt and throw it away. After all, it's probably cream white and a stripper model - it's not like they're getting to drive Beemers.

I guarantee you that I am passed by the overwhelming majority of said vehicles. I suspect the odd one I have actually gone by might have had mechanical problems preventing it from going faster.

We are so often told that our various .gov operations are being cut to the bone, that there is no room for saving any more money, while they travel around in cars burning up the pavement and staying in the higher priced motels as well. I never see these cars parked at a Budget Host or America's Best Value Inn - nope, they're at the Holiday Inn Express, or the Hampton Inn.

So, when I do hear cries from various sectors of our betters in the government how services will have to be cut in order to make the budget because they're as austere as humanly possible - well, let's just say I think their eyes are brown. An entitlement mentality has crept into their thinking, and what they think they need just to survive is fairly luxurious and wasteful to the rest of us.

I don't pretend to have the solutions for this - but it is instructive to realize how public sector employees view discretionary spending while on the job.


drjim said...

They should have governors on them limiting them to no more than 10mph above the speed limit.
And a GPS logger to see *where* they've been on OUR dime!

Jeffro said...

Yeah, but in WY, NE or CO on the interstates - that would be 85mph. Which is what they drive anyways.

Of course, this is all proven technology with Quaalcom and trucks governed to various speed limits - somewhere from 62 to 68 mph. Even with those restrictions, most of those fleet trucks are comparatively hauling ass in MI - blowing by me as well.

drjim said...

Yeah, I see those Qualcomm bubbles on even Sears trucks out here.
I had a couple of "junkers" a while back. I was able to get a lot of neat parts out of them for some Ham radio stuff.

Lisa Paul said...

Okay, I nominate you are Secretary of Transportation. Or Minister of Government-Funded Motor Pools. Or something.

Great points! Have you thought of writing your congressperson?

Jeffro said...

That's not a bad idea, Lisa - the writing the congressman part anyways. I'm Facebook pals with Senator Pat Roberts, whose office has actually responded intelligently to emails in the past (as opposed to certain other Kansas politicians).