Saturday, May 30, 2015

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Thankfully, the state has you covered for the holiday weekend.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: You'll be happy to know your tax dollars are hard at work preparing us all for a holiday weekend.

BE: Oh boy, I can see this coming.

JB: Yep. Three state agencies, the Insurance Dept., the Turnpike Commission and PennDOT are well-staffed enough and thoughtful enough to tell us all how to act, you know, cuz so many of us have never had a holiday weekend before.

BE: I'm betting you're going to tell me how to act.

JB: Not me, the state. Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine points out that there might be some parties over the weekend and that "while [party] guests should always practice responsible drinking," hosts can be found negligent if drunken party-goers get in booze-related mishaps after the party.

BE: He has a solution, I guess.

JB: Yep. He says buy a "social host liability policy."

BE: I better hurry. Bet they're going fast.

JB: Hold on. You might not need one if you follow PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch's tips on responsible drinking.

BE: That's good, I'm a little short this month. On cash AND common sense. What can I do?

JB: Well, Barry says you can "plan a safe way home before festivities begin."

BE: Never would have thought of that.

JB: He also says you can designate a "sober driver" or take a drunk's keys or take a taxi.

BE: This administration is full of new ideas.

JB: And don't forget, if you are driving, "steer clear of texting while driving." This tip comes from Turnpike boss Roger Nutt, who also says, "Keep your thumbs on the wheel."

BE: He's the Jersey guy, father of Corbett's campaign manager, hired at $196,700, right?

JB: That's a big thumbs up, buddy.

BE: Well, sometimes you feel like a Nutt.

JB: And he's earning his pay. Says he's "working hard to educate our customers about the dangers of texting while driving."

BE: Ground-breaking stuff. Again, something I've never heard of.

JB: Do I sense a little cynicism?

BE: Grrrr.

JB: Grrrr.



Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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