The Telegraph, Macon, Ga., on a using $20 from wildlife tags to fund conservation efforts:
State Rep. Bubber Epps, R-Dry Branch, has come up with an absolutely brilliant idea. Following a Georgia Senate effort to force the state to use the $1 per tire disposal fee to help clean up landfills, Epps is attempting the same thing when it comes to special wildlife car tags. People pay the extra fees in a number of different areas such as colleges and universities and branches of the military because they want other drivers to know what they support. And they believe, mistakenly, that the extra money for the tag goes to support those causes, including wildlife conservation.
There is a dirty little secret that's not so secret anymore. When a driver plops down his or her $80 ($35 fee, $20 registration fee and a one-time $25 manufacturing fee) to purchase the wildlife conservation — trout or bobwhite quail — prestige tags most of the money hits the state's treasury, not conservation efforts. Epps bill, HB 730, would lower the $35 annual fee to $25 and send $20 of that amount to land acquisition and other land management and habitat programs. That still sends $25 annually ($5 plus the $20 registration fee) to the general fund.
Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? The state rakes in $2 million from this bait-and-switch scheme and even more from other fees targeted to go for stated purposes but end up in the general fund. The state should follow its own Department of Consumer Affairs when it comes to truth in advertising and stop this tax-disguised-as-a-fee charade.
The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle on immigration:
Republicans came to their senses on immigration reform by deciding inaction was the best course of action. We couldn't agree more.
The GOP finally realized the futility of drafting meaningful legislation with a Democrat-controlled Senate and a president who has indicated he'll undo anything he dislikes with the stroke of a pen. Any attempt at "comprehensive" reform under these circumstances would, at best, result in a new slew of costly-but-ineffective measures and, at worst, the president's goal of outright citizenship for the nation's more than 11 million Democrat-leaning illegal immigrants.
Have we forgotten the last attempt at massive "reform" legislation - the debacle known as Obamacare?
Better to hold off until after mid-term elections when, hopefully, common sense will be more in vogue in Washington. Besides, illegal immigrants aren't going anywhere; lax enforcement of existing laws assures us that.
Immigration "reform" was a Democrat-Republican suicide pact in which only Republicans pulled the trigger. Thank heavens they didn't go through with it.