Sunday, January 16, 2011

State governments should cash in on vanity license plates, not censor them

State governments hurting for money should look to vanity license plates to raise funds.
They should substantially increase the fees for vanity license plates or do what Texas just did – auction them off. (The Texas license plate for FERRARI drew a $15,000 bid. Here’s a list of other winning bids.)
States also shouldn’t devote resources to censoring license plates. If a proctologist in New York City wants to have the license plate “ASSMAN,” like on the sitcom “Seinfeld,” he should be able to get it … for a price.
If someone wants to have a swear word on their license plate, it’s a statement on him or her and the government should just butt out.
Governments shouldn’t waste resources on something so ridiculous as deciding the appropriateness of license plates. I’ve seen bumper stickers that were pretty racy, but we aren’t censoring those. Thank you, First Amendment.
Stories about states censoring license plates regularly make the news. Here are stories from Virginia, Washington state, Nevada and Colorado. Jalopnik also has a list of “50 Vanity Plates That Slipped By The DMV.”
Enough already. Give people want they want, but make them pay for the privilege.

Photo: Still from "Seinfeld" episode featuring the Ass Man.

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