Most people won’t immediately notice the effects of laws that went into effect July 1. That extra cent added to every dollar spent within the state of Kansas isn’t going to take an immediate bite out of your pocketbook.
And it will likely be months before restaurant and bar owners know the full effect of a statewide smoking ban that went into effect on July 1.
It will be even longer for most drivers to note changes to seat belt laws that make not wearing a seat belt a primary rather than a secondary offense. The changes will allow police to pull over drivers for not wearing their seatbelts.
But one thing was perfectly clear upon passage of the bills that became law on July 1 – the Kansas government wants to dig deeper into the lives and businesses of private citizens.
Kansas wants a larger bite out of your wallet. State officials want more say in how business owners conduct business within the four walls of buildings they own or lease, and they want more excuses to pull you over.
Taken individually, the new laws are small things, but when added to the litany of laws and regulations already in existence, it’s starting to feel like the weight of oppression. Every law makes it just a little more difficult to go about your daily business without government intervention. And typically government intervention feels like a trip to the DMV. Given the choice between that or a root canal, most would choose the root canal. At least you know the price going into the dentist’s chair, what to expect when you get there, and have a choice about the place and doctor that will perform a root canal.
We’re not advocating for lawlessness. We aren’t looking for anarchy, but we wish state and federal and local legislators for the matter, would put the brakes on new laws and regulations that needlessly affect thousands.
Wearing a seatbelt is for an individual’s own good, but individuals in a free society are allowed to do dumb things. Ditto for smoking. Beware any politician who wants to do something for “our own good.”
The problem with that logic is there is no logical stopping place. Do we start regulating table salt as they’ve considered doing in New York? Do we start forcing people to exercise or eat their vegetables? And at what cost does enforcement come?
And the state has yet to explain to most Kansans how they’re in such desperate need of an additional cent on every dollar spent in the state. They’ve yet to prove that much of the money we send to Topeka isn’t wasted.
Studies show the new sales tax will cost the average family between $100 and $360 per year. That’s in a time when salaries aren’t increasing. Those dollars have to come from somewhere, and they will likely come at the expense of businesses that desperately need them to survive.
We’re in a real mess these days – July 1 with its litany of new laws simply served as a resounding reminder of it.