OpinionMeister

Monday, February 28, 2005

Diplomats May Have to Park Like the Rest of Us

I am pleased to say that there is finally an idea by both Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer that I agree with. Since it is their constituents that are among the most inconvenienced by illegal parking by diplomats, they came up with an idea to stop it. The Washington Post Insider blog describes it. Link.
You can thank a pair of New York Democrats -- Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer -- for forcing foreign diplomats posted in this country to adhere to U.S. traffic and parking laws.

And they are paying up, by golly, under threat by Uncle Sam that U.S. aid sent to their countries would get cut by 110 percent of the amount owed in unpaid fines.

For a country like Egypt, which had owed $1.8 million to federal and local police jurisdictions in Washington and New York, this could add up to some serious bucks.

Other countries that made a habit of ignoring traffic tickets included Nigeria, Indonesia, Brazil and Morocco, to name a few.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Schumer inserted the clever measure into a current spending bill, the latter remarking that it "is simply outrageous for these individuals to park illegally and blatantly ignore paying their parking tickets -- New Yorkers face severe penalties if they do this and so should diplomats."

Of course, if the president had advocated this, these two senators, along with their 44 Democratic Senate colleagues, probably would demand that aid be increased to countries that do not pay their parking fines.

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