This week I was going to try to write about something other than government regulation in an industry that is supposed to be deregulated, that was until I saw this little gem from a politician who clearly has no connection with reality.
A new bill was introduced on July 19th by Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, that asks for an increase in required minimum insurance for motor carriers. The proposed increase would raise insurance premiums by nearly 500%, no that’s not a typo ladies and gentlemen it is really supposed to say 500%. The current $750,000 minimum insurance requirement would be raised to $4.42 Million and also tie it to the cost of medical insurance inflation. So Mr Cartwright, are you now asking the trucking industry to subsidize health insurance for America? after all we are already subsidizing the cost of unleaded fuel for commuters with .50 cents of each gallon of diesel fuel purchased for commercial motor vehicles going to that purpose.
Cartwright claims that “This is a matter of public safety” and continued on with “Tragically, more than 100,000 people have been killed in commercial vehicle collisions since 1980. This legislation is essential to protecting our nation’s highways and ensuring that victims receive the proper amount of compensation for their losses.”
First off Mr. Cartwright, it is not a matter of public safety, what you are proposing is compensation reform at the very least and quite possibly venturing into fleecing American trucking companies. I will go one step further and publicly ask you Mr. Cartwright to prove how this will improve public safety, would you like a month, a year or how about a decade or two in an attempt to connect the two. I find it pathetic that you took the first and most convenient excuse you could think of to try and promote your bill. Your bill smells of nothing more than yet another form of generating revenue from the trucking industry to fund a failing government medical insurance plan. Your statement about the number of deaths since 1980 involving commercial motor vehicles is so twisted, misleading and convoluted that it sounds like a sermon a snake oil salesman would have given back in the old west.
The number of deaths and accidents involving commercial motor vehicles has declined sharply since 1980 however you conveniently ignored that fact, you were very quick to point out that according to a lobbyist group study that 42% of the settlements paid by carriers from 2005 to 2011 for vehicle accidents exceeded the minimum insurance requirement. Where does that tie into public safety again? oh that’s right it doesn’t. Why is it that you use fatality totals from accidents over the last 33 years and the statistics regarding payouts only span 6 years? Mr. Cartwright I was always raised that if something looks like manure and smells like manure then chances are it probably is manure so stop trying to feed everyone this pile because none of us need to taste it to find out.
With people like Matt Cartwright and Anne Ferro continually firing more and more regulations and requirements into a “deregulated” industry it will eventually reach a point where it can no longer sustain a profitable business model. We continually have new claims that a bill needs to be passed in the name of safety and when we ask government officials to substantiate their claims we get excuses or the silent treatment. How much longer do these people think they can keep kicking the life out of the trucking industry in America before everyone involved finally has enough? I want everyone to contemplate that question……meanwhile I’m off to go find an air freshener to mask the stench of Mr. Cartwright’s bill.