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Let’s Have the Same Standard for All

Proponents of making mandatory seat belt use a primary offense, along with opponents of repealing Nevada’s mandatory helmet law for motorcyclists, keep saying the main reason is to protect the taxpayers from picking up the tab for others’ irresponsible behavior. Indeed, in speaking about the seat belt bill yesterday Sen. Mike Schneider (D-Las Vegas) used pretty much those exact words.

“I say if you want to attempt suicide,” Schneider blubbered, comparing riding a motorcycle without a helmet or driving without a seat belt to slashing your wrist or putting a bullet through your brain, “just get it done. But don’t come to the taxpayers here and say ‘Hey, pick up my expenses for my irresponsibility.’”

OK, fair argument.

But shouldn’t we be saying the same sort of thing to welfare recipients whose irresponsible behavior is responsible for their plight? I mean, why not mandatory condoms or other birth control devices so that taxpayers aren’t picking up the expense of their irresponsibility? Or why not mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients? Why not make taking a job offered to you mandatory if you’re collecting welfare benefits?

Why is it that nanny-state politicians like Sen. Schneider only want to protect the taxpayers from “some” irresponsible behaviors but not others?

And why aren’t conservatives in the Legislature asking these questions during debates and hearings on these bills?

Inquiring minds wanna know.