Thursday, October 19, 2006

Budget Deficit?!? No Worries! The Gov't has levied a Sponge Bob Toy Tax!

For any ya'll out there in LYMA land who have traveled with children lately, I know you'll feel my pain...

My wife and I were flying out of Salt Lake with my son a couple of weeks ago. On the way to the airport, my mother gave my son a gift - a "Patrick Star" liquid filled squishy toy. (Frankly, I was more excited about the toy than my son, but that's my right as a father!) We threw the toy in our baby bag.

When we arrived at that nice little table where they make you declare all of your liquid filled items (conveniently after we had checked our bags), the security personnel were adamant about the fact that the Sponge Bob toy was a bomb. They made us throw it in the box along with other confiscated items. I tried to argue that along with baby bottle full of white fluid, a medicine bottle, diaper rash cream, etc. the toy was merely a baby item. They weren't having it. They made me give it up.

We'll leave the debate over the new security measures for another post. What I want to discuss is what happened to my toy. This morning on the today show, they did a piece on what happens to confiscated items after their owners give them up. Apparently, in many states, they are auctioned off. In fact, according to the Today Show, airports across the country confiscate an item every 3 seconds. The money Illinois made auctioning off confiscated goods was added to the state's general fund, earmarked for schools.

I'm for giving more money to schools just as much as the next person, but I've got a great idea:

Use the money to cut down on the waiting time at airport security!

I sure hope when they are calculating what the war on terror costs America, they include the cost of my Sponge Bob toy.

5 Comments:

At 10/19/2006 11:39:00 AM,

What is your source for the $1 billion in Illinois? The article you linked to says that Pennsylvania netted $307,000 over two years, which sound a lot more reasonable. 

Posted by Last Lemming

 
At 10/19/2006 12:06:00 PM,

Fair point. That is what my wife and I heard this morning, but after doing more research it looks more like States in general bring in about 50K - 100K a year. Shoddy citing on my part. I couldn't find the exact figures (nudge nudge to Mr. Cincinatus). I have, however, edited my post accordingly.

I also added a link to the Today show web video. I can't view it where I am right now, but have at it and figure where I went wrong.

 
At 10/19/2006 11:16:00 PM,

$50,000?! I think they're drastically undervaluing you Sponge Bob.

 
At 10/20/2006 09:20:00 AM,

hey wait a second... does this implicate the Takings clause of the US Constitution????

 
At 10/21/2006 02:31:00 AM,

...and you said Con Law I was useless!

 

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