Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hands in my Pocket

We all know the economy is in the toilet. I have also made mention of how I am trimming the household budget looking for wiggle room in dreaming about a new motorcycle. It’s a hard job trimming expenses, and ultimately doing without some nicety I may have been enjoying, but that’s the bare bone truth of what needs doing. All my efforts may be for not, however, if I can’t keep Uncle Sam and his relatives hands out of my pocketbook.

Currently I am watching the New Hampshire Legislature as they deliberate HB 95. There are parts of this bill that are completely ridiculous. (Use the new link to the right to keep tabs on your motorcycle rights in NH.) While I can understand how neighborhoods would like to enjoy a bit of piece and quiet, insisting on motorcycle equipment that typically does not come standard, shows in my humble opinion, how uninformed those drafting the bill are (House Bill 95 sponsored by representatives J. Day, Henson and Kepner.)

On another front, in watching the local news, possible sources of revenue are being considered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. One that has already taken place is adding a $6 annual service charge per transponder for those use this device for the fast lane (EZ Pass.) Both NH and MA are considering increases in the gas tax as well. The extra tax on gas reaches farther than you would expect. It not only affects you directly when you fill your tank, but the cost of everything that is trucked to us goes up as a result as well. Look for more increases at the grocery store in addition to delivered goods and services.

In both states, and increase in traffic patrol is being talked about to raise revenue. Be prepared for more traffic stops. This feeds directly into my first concern above, because not only will they monitor speed, equipment will be scrutinized, and if the tachometer issue passes (which I doubt) you will have officers having check points testing decibel levels during bike week.

If you are fortunate enough to have lived through a company layoff, be prepared for a pay cuts. So while you have trimmed your budget, cut back on outings with the car or bike, given up some things you used to enjoy, prepare to suffer here too. The alternative is grim. Take the cut or test the stinking job market.

The underlying point of all this is simple: Remain vigilant. Protect your rights. Vote for someone who represents you, not any one party. Ultimately, handing over too much power will mean you have fewer liberties. Watch your accounts carefully for added fees or other unsubstantiated charges, because while there are plenty who pick our pockets while hiding behind the law, there are those doing so who are not.

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