Thursday, March 3, 2011

Now we’re footing the bill too?

Mexico’s situation is spiraling out of control with violence. Our own government will not even send inspectors to work in Mexico anymore. It’s too dangerous. The Department of Homeland Security issued an alert warning truckers to stay out of Mexico.

Yet, here we are holding hands and singing “kumbaya” and going to open our already weak border to trucks from Mexico.

We know how this plays out. Mexico will put its best foot forward and send a few legit poster children into the U.S. to blaze a path for the lesser qualified. The U.S. has final say on which motor carriers get access with the pre-authorization safety audits. Woo hoo. Big deal.

Mexico’s databases are junk. The corruption within the legal system makes any information input suspect. How on earth are U.S. inspectors supposed to know what they are really dealing with?

But there’s something even more disturbing going on here.

There is no plan to inspect every truck and driver coming in from Mexico. It doesn’t go on now because of limited resources.

However, interestingly enough, President Obama said today that the U.S. has the manpower to inspect every single rail car bound for Mexico to make sure we’re not shipping guns down there. And last spring, he said the same thing.

Dang. That’s a lot of inspections we’re doing to protect Mexico.

How can our own government not afford us the same protections from trucks coming in from Mexico?

While we’re talking about your hard-earned tax dollars benefitting Mexico, let’s look at this electronic on-board recorder requirement. All Mexican trucks allowed to operate in the U.S. as part of this program will be required to have them.

Guess who’s paying for them. We are. The U.S. taxpayers. Now if the funding comes from the Highway Trust Fund, that adds insult to the injury because U.S. truckers basically support the trust fund.

So now your own tax dollars are paying for another truck from another country to come in and compete for your freight. How does that make any sense?

If Mexico cannot live up to its obligations, and for crying out loud, pay their own way, then they are no more ready for a cross-border trucking program than I am ready for retirement.

The Obama administration and the Department of Transportation must interject some sanity into this bilking of U.S. taxpayers to launch a program that is going to get people hurt and put plenty of truckers out of work.