This inane need for politicians to add laws on top of more laws has always puzzled me. Especially in these hard economic times when many of the same politicians must resort to emptying over-crowded jails. And still the trend of more laws less jail space continues.
And that, in my mind, can only mean one thing.
It isn't about punishment of crime as much as it is about collecting the increased fines associated with new laws. It's a Revenue Stream!
Unfortunately that doesn't bode well for society as a whole because when criminals are given a pass for the sake of budget constraints that amounts to a judicial system slapping offenders on the wrists knowing that they will probably see some of the same people circulating through their courtrooms in the very near future.
Now does that mean that some of the new laws aren't needed? Or that they all require jail time? No of course not.
However let's look at that new Illinois Law that just kicked-in banning the manual use of cell phones while driving. Legislators made it a point to toughen-up a long lax law protecting public safety to include jail time for the worst of offenders, yet, judges will be forced to reconsider that penalty because people like Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle wants to empty over-crowded jails under her jurisdiction.
Of course they blame lack of revenues for this move but I find it strange that the news media have decided to give Preckwinkle (and all the others) a ready made excuse without ever once questioning where the enormous sums of money the Cook County Board takes in to feed a bloated budget really goes? And it isn't as if that that money hasn't been collected over the decades - it has.
The real problem here is that the cost of corruption, cronyism and nepotism have diminished the ability of those charged with protecting the public safety from doing so in a proper manner. And so the same old, same old just perpetuates itself. More laws, higher fines, more revenue - and no real results as politicians divert those monies!
But lets be a little honest here and ask who is really at fault? I mean not only are the people doing the stupid ass things that requires lawmakers to impose more and more of their knee-jerk solutions onto the law books but no one is doing the right thing by holding their elected officials accountable. Especially when it comes to the gazillions of dollars collected from them (and most likely their ancestors) over the last five or six decades that they swore would patch one budget shortfall after another only to see lawmakers vote themselves a raise or hand out no bid contracts shortly thereafter.
Seems to me the more money we give politicians the more it winds up in their, their families or cronies pockets.
Someone, though, better start asking "where's the beef" soon before breathing is fined in Illinois.
Tags: 2014 Illinois Laws, Chicago Political Commentary, Cook County, Cook County Board, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Corruption, Cost of Corruption, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Crime and Revenue, Fines as Revenue, Illinois, Illinois Lawmakers, Illinois Legislature, More Laws Less Jail Space, New Illinois Laws, New Laws, News and Opinion, Op Ed, State Revenues, Wendy's Where The Beef Commercial, Where's The Beef