Big Government? Try Watching the License Plates
by James Glaser
August 5, 2008

This past weekend I drove from Tallahassee to Pensacola, Florida for Wanda's family reunion. This could be an article about good Southern cooking, over-eating, or how gas prices put a damper on travel, but it's not. This is about big government.

Traveling one hundred and ninety miles down Interstate 10 gives you time to reflect on just how expansive our government has gotten. Right off the bat I started seeing State Trooper cars, and because I drive the speed limit, I am glad to see them out on patrol. Usually it is kind of fun to see where they hide, just over the lip of a hill or in some wooded spot near the highway where their radar gun can spot speeders. Those wooded areas soon start looking like a parking lot, as they are used over and over again by Law Enforcement. Wanda has driven this stretch of the highway many times, so she will give me a heads-up about spots she knows of. This past weekend the only patrol cars we saw had their lights on with someone already pulled over.

Like I said, I drive the speed limit, and yes, everybody does seem to pass me, so those Highway Patrol Officers don't bother me a bit. If you are ever in an accident you will be glad they are around.

What got me thinking about the size of our government was all the government license plates I saw going by me as I drove along at seventy miles an hour. I couldn't help but wonder if those government workers were in a hurry to get home, or perhaps they eager to get the "people's" work done.

I saw city police cars, county sheriff patrol cars, unmarked state, county, and city cars, state trucks, county trucks, and then there was a couple of National Guard jeeps. National Guard jeeps were going the other way, and I doubt if they ever make it up to the speed limit, The closer to Pensacola we got, the more federal plates we saw as they have Eglin Air Force Base and NAS Pensacola there.

Now, this was the weekend. So I assume the number of government licensed vehicles was down compared to a weekday, but still there were many of them. Also, even though we started out on Saturday, there were many places along the road where construction was actively going on. Either the bid for the job had a time-line with a penalty for finishing late, or the bid was for time and materials. Otherwise, those work crews would have had the weekend off.

I have no idea of what percentage of the cars we saw were government owned, and I doubt that I noticed every one, but there sure were enough to make me wonder about just how big has our government gotten.

Try it next time you travel. Start noticing, and counting how many government cars, trucks, and military vehicles you see on our highways. I bet it will amaze you like it did me.

Post Script: Thought You Would Like To Know—

If you weren't invited to Barack Obama's birthday party dinner, don't feel bad. The meal wasn't free, but cost $15,000 to attend. You could bring a date for only an additional $13,500. Two hundred and fifty people attended. Think about it, two hundred and fifty people paid fifteen grand to eat cake and sing Happy Birthday to someone. Do you still think the Democrat Party is the Party of the working man and woman?

Free JavaScripts provided
by The JavaScript Source

BACK to the 2008 Politics Columns.