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Dori: Why do Seattle Public Library fines get erased, but not car tabs?


The Seattle Public Library system’s decision to eliminate fines goes into effect in January.

One of the stated reasons for the new library levy that passed in August was so that people would no longer have to pay fines. It’s another stunning statement by government to enable irresponsibility.

It’s very interesting. The voters say that they want $30 tabs. They clearly state through their I-976 vote that they want to lower their taxes. But government steps in and says, “Oh, no. We’re going to overturn that in court so that we can keep charging you these inflated prices for your car tabs. It does not matter what you vote for. We’re still going to get you.”

Then at the same time, government says, “We want to lower the amount of money we collect from people who won’t return a library book.”

Dori: Will Seattle spend $213M so Councilmember Juarez doesn’t have to return her library books?

Why do the drivers get punished, but not the lazy library users? The car drivers did nothing wrong. On the other hand, the library users were too irresponsible to turn a book in on time. When you reinforce bad behavior and punish good behavior, guess what will happen?

Does government think that we are these little babies who need to be coddled because we don’t know any better? Does it think that we don’t know enough to return materials that we borrowed? That’s how you treat a 9-month-old, but it’s not how you treat an adult. If you make an obligation by checking out a book, you are making a deal with the Seattle Public Library. You should be able to fulfill your end of that deal. It is not that hard to return a library book.

Ah, but there is a new deal in town now. “If you don’t return your library book on time, we’ll just raise everybody’s property taxes, and they will pay for you instead.” Why would we bother having any personal responsibility?

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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