8:15 a.m. KTSA Morning Edge Commentary 9/23/2002
"Clean Air" Plan Isn't
Politicians down here in our grid section of Texas are trying to clean up the air. Their intent is sincere, but most of 'em aren't doing homework.
This is too big an issue to allow desk jockeys to decide. Sure, it makes sense to come up with our own regional plan, to keep the feds from imposing their own.
But does it make sense to insist that 100-percent of cars and pickups and SUVs pay $39.50 for an inspection sticker? Nine out of 10 cars will pass. The bureaucrats know it. They just want to make everyone pay forty bucks, to generate a slush fund part of it to fix cars owned by poor people.
You're probably poor. You're "poor" and eligible for free car repairs if you're a family of four making $36,200. Family of five, $42,360. Family of six, $48,520. Poor babies. The rest of us will fork over to fix you right up.
Okay, they want the slush fund. Do they want clean air? The plan would not make power plants clean up smokestacks. Smoky buses exempt. Black-belching diesel trucks exempt. But no exemption for late-model cars which would all pass the exhaust tests. Why? Bucks for bureaucracy.
Bexar commissioners set a splendid example on the 10th by voting FOR a Clean Air plan if it does NOT contain the $40 inspections that attack no real problem.
Comal commissioners failed to back the cleverly-named Clean Air Plan last week, but they're probably going to vote again this week. What part of No don't they understand?
I hope you Comal commissioners do your OWN homework before you vote again. You'll find tailpipe tests really are useless. My neighbors in New Braunfels may want to communicate your wishes on this before your commissioners re-vote on Thursday.
I'm Brad Messer with commentary at 8:15 on KTSA's Morning Edge.