Thursday, October 20, 2011

Big Government Run Amuck - Louisiana Bans Cash Sales On Used Items

This is such a comical example of the mindset of most of those who presume to govern us that it actually makes me giggle, even though the joke's actually on us.

The State Legislature of Louisiana in its wisdom just passed House Bill 195, which bans cash transaction for second hand or used items,unless the seller is a licensed pawnshop - they're exempted.

State representative Rickey Hardy ( a Democrat,of course), who co-authored the bill explained it this way, saying, "they give a check or a cashiers money order, or electronic one of those three mechanisms is used."

According to Hardy, the bill is targeted at thieves stealing anything from copper to televisions who then sell them for cash. Hardy thinks that somebody who just broke into a Garden District apartment in New Orleans and got away with an IMAC, some jewellery and maybe a TV set is going to ask the fence he deals with for a cashier's check or a money order, especially if he's going to rush from the fence to go hit up his connection for a fix or some crack.

"It's a mechanism to be used so the police department has something to go on and have a lead," explains Hardy.

Of course, if most of N'awlin's Finest ever did track down the kind of burglar I mentioned above and the stuff was in good condition, it would likely just end up in their homes. But then combatting crime isn't reallywhat this is about. I could be wrong,but I doubt even State Rep. Hardy is that stupid.

No, the idea of banning cash payments is designed to accomplish a number of other ends. When there's a money order, a credit card purchase or a cashier's check, there's a paper trail not to a criminal but to the seller involved. That means that sales tax has to be collected and remitted to the state, whether you're selling something out of a shop or at a garage sale (frequently known as tag sales in that locale) or gran'pa's old vintage radio or the gee-tar you stopped playing six months ago via a classified ad in the local paper or something like Craig's List. Th ebill evens targets non-profit sellers of used items like Goodwill. Not only is it designed to collect more tax but to collect additional fees for reseller permits and allow Big Government to add a whole new layer of regulations and regulators and additional law enforcement.

It also makes it easier for Big Government to add special new and improved taxes and fees on any particular items it thinks it can - used cars or firearms, for instance. Or to ban legal sales of them entirely. Read between the lines on that one.

Another benefit for fans of Big Government is that it creates an entirely new criminal class out of generally law abiding people, who usually have enough money and property to be capable of paying hefty fines if they're caught.

The ones targeted will of course be generally law abiding, because the criminals the bill is supposed aimed at aren't going to give a damn about breaking a new law. They and those they deal with will keep right on doing business as usual.

By the way, I wouldn't want anyone to go away thinking this was anything less than a bi-partisan effort. Not only did this bill pass with majorities from both parties, but it was signed into law by Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, someone some folks still cite as a 'conservative' icon.

Yes, there are Republicans who enable Big Government too...when it's doing something they like.

please helps me write more gooder!


grumpy pelican said...

I live in New Orleans and was not aware of this travesty until today. Since there was no real discussion, I found a copy and it's a very broadly written law with pretty severe penalties if and when they decide to enforce it. Are garage sales okay? Does the used book dealer have to pay a fine? Who knows? Let's not even consider the fact that the dollar is supposed to be legal tender. It's a terribly written law and I am really surprised that Jindal signed it. It sure changes my opinion of him.

Bourbon said...

Rosey's official comment is: "That Sucks." It's a pain, but I've bought stuff off Craigslist and at garage sales, a grill, a freezer, times are tough and I want to save some bux. I've sold at garage sales too. Eff Bobby Jindal for signing this!

Anonymous said...

I wager that this will create an "underground" economy, where stuff will still change hands for cash and there isn't any way it can be enforced without great expense or invasive measures which will carry the risk of legal backfiring.

We have had the GST sales tax here in Canada for years, and even though you technically have to pay the GST, even with private sales, there are cash sales going on that the government cannot collect on no matter how hard they try.

Where there's a will, there's a way.