Pubdate: Sat, 22 Feb 2003
Source: Greenville News (SC)
Copyright: 2003 The Greenville News
Author: Keith Housand


So Mike Fair thinks raising taxes on alcohol to pay for budget shortfalls 
in law enforcement and prisons is a nifty idea? (Feb. 8 commentary: "Those 
who cause the problem should pay for the solution.")

I've got a better idea. Stop arresting people for victimless crimes. This 
will allow the state to re-focus limited budget resources on the real 
criminals, not just the people whose lifestyle you disagree with. Since 30 
percent of the state's prison population is related to drug laws, the 
savings would be dramatic.

Now do not misunderstand me. If your bad habit directly endangers others, 
as is the case with driving under the influence, the state has a real 
interest in curtailing that behavior.

But the harm the state has done to individuals under the guise of 
protecting them is enormous. It is twisted logic that enables the state to 
take people's property, kidnap them at gunpoint, extort money from them and 
lock them away for years and justify that they are doing it for their own good.

Increase taxes? No. Increase freedom? Yes.

Keith Housand

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