A modest proposal to balance the nation’s budget

The country is missing a good bet that would balance the budget and provide many social benefits.

In keeping with the tradition of $600 automatic traffic fines, the central government just has to institute a program of fines for crimes.

A prison director gave a hint of what was possible. She was detained Tuesday on the allegations that she was providing conditional liberty to a prisoner in exchange for money. The story is HERE!

The state should do the same thing instead of instituting burdensome taxes. After all, you get less of what you tax, so by taxing or fining armed robbers instead of prosperous businesses, there would be fewer crooks.

The courts are releasing most of these scofflaws anyway, so why not hit them with a big fine. If speeding generates a $600 fine, armed robbery should be worth at least $1,500. And property fraud, maybe $5,000.

Perhaps people would say that crooks have no money which is why they rob and steal. They would just have to sell their BMW with the tinted glass, their motorcycle or other sports car to cover the fine. Maybe even their Smith & Wesson.

Meanwhile, Banco Popular is instituting a program for repeat traffic offenders. The bank will advance the motorist the money to pay the fine and then take payments covering principal and interest. After all, some motorists have six or eight speeding fines generated by the radar controlled cameras on the principal highway.

The same with crooks. Suppose some bandit runs up four armed robbery fines of $1,500 each. That’s $6,000, and Banco Popular, true to the banking tradition, is much more aggressive at getting loans repaid than the Poder Judicial is
in jailing bad guys. Prosecutors released a series of photos Tuesday of convicted criminals they sort of lost track of: rapists, fraudsters and all sorts of bad guys. The crooks were convicted but they vanished while waiting for a higher court to hear their appeal.

Banco Popular would not lose people like that.

And if the bandit is hit with multiple fines, he might have to get a real job instead of mugging people around Parque la Sabana.

Hence fewer crooks on the prowl.

Cops would like the idea, too. No more bloody shootouts with bandits. They could whip out their ticket book instead of a gun.

The highway traffic cameras are awarding hundreds of speeding fines a day. If the fines for crime program is a success, that hidden camera in the supermarkets and gasoline stations could be converted to produce instant fines for bandits.

At the current rate, President Laura Chinchilla would have the country’s budget in the black in no time under the slogan “If you can’t pay the fine, don’t do the crime!”

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