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Regulation of the Day 181: Offensive Bumper Stickers

Tennessee State Rep. Gary Moore must be a very busy man. This year alone, he has solved the state’s budget troubles, fixed the broken education system, slashed the crime rate, and ended poverty.

Granted, I didn’t see any headlines about any of those things. No, the evidence for Rep. Moore’s achievements is much more indirect: he found the time to introduce a bill banning offensive bumper stickers. Surely he wouldn’t spend time on something like that unless he’d already solved his state’s more pressing matters?

There’s no way that fining drivers $50 if another driver takes issue with their bumper sticker would take precedence over reforming TennCare. The bumper sticker bill also covers movies being shown inside vehicles; surely Nashville’s solons wouldn’t worry about what cartoons parents are showing their kids in the back of their minivans until they found a way to raise stagnant standardized test scores.

On the other hand, maybe Tennesseans would be better off if their elected officials spent all of their time on minutiae. Whenever legislators do try to tackle the big issues of the day, wallets across the state get a lot lighter.