Once again we will attempt to bring clarity to an obscure topic.
Should traffic fines be calculated based on the driver’s income?
Aroused by our last post, readers have bombarded us with their thoughts regarding the $1,000,000 fine levied on a speeder in Switzerland last week.
After doing some research I discovered there’s more than just class warfare going on in the European countries that have in place a system called the Day-Fine.
A day-fine or day fine or unit fine is a unit of fine payment that, above a minimum fine, is based on the offender’s daily personal income. A crime is punished with incarceration for a determined number of days, or with fines … Jurisdictions employing the day-fine include Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Croatia, Germany, Mexico, and Macao.
So, theoretically, the penalty is a certain number of days in jail or a fine instead. What will set off our right-wing friends at this point is the philosophical position adopted by the Europeans which says that incarceration is actually a financial punishment. In effect it prevents the scofflaw from working while they are in jail and not collecting their salary.
The next logical step is then to calculate a financial substitute for jail-time based on what the perp would be making while incarcerated.
And of course the European bureaucrats have this stuff nailed:
Usually, the day-fine is one half of daily disposable income. The daily disposable income is considered to be one 60th part of the person’s monthly mean income during the year, after taxes, social security payments and a basic living allowance of €255 per month have been deducted. In addition, every person for whose upkeep the fined person is responsible decreases the amount of daily fine by €3. The income of the person is calculated on the basis of the latest taxation data.
Who could argue with that?
So my answer to the question of whether fines should be based on income?
Wait for it…
Why the f*ck not?
And while I’m at it, I’ll throw in my opinion that Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy should be dropped. The argument from Repubs these days is that this will kill our small business entrepreneurs and destroy jobs. Well all you Rush Conservatives, how about this stat:
Republicans … say Mr. Obama is about to spring a big tax increase on many small-business owners who file their taxes as individuals. Analyses from the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization, show that less than 3 percent of filers with small-business income pay at the top two income tax rates, and many of those are doctors and lawyers in partnerships.
Now if we could just exempt the doctors, it would be perfect.