Budget Crisis in San Francisco Because People Obey Law

The City of San Francisco is running into budget problems because drivers just aren’t racking up the fines anticipated, reports the San Francisco Chronicle:

The Bay Area’s sputtering economy has meant good news for San Francisco drivers, who have seen a drop in competition for the city’s notoriously scarce on-street parking spaces, but bad news for City Hall’s finance wizards who count on fines for illegal parking to help balance the budget.

Unfortunately, building fines and excise taxes into the budget lead to this sort of problem. The government needs people to do proscribed things, or it needs to proscribe more things to keep spooning citizens’ money down its sucking maw. People might shriek over a property tax increase, or might vote down a sales tax hike, but who’s going to oppose raising a parking ticket fine?

Until your dentist appointment runs over fifteen minutes, or you don’t know the lottery-style system of proper side-of-street parking (stay overnight in Milwaukee, eh?) and suddenly you’re paying $250.

The silver lining, if you’re looking for something positive to say about profligate spending outpacing revenue: The anticipated shortfall is only $4 million dollars in the $352 million dollar deficit San Francisco’s running this year.