This is an interesting day in my house as my wife and I start the process to renew for the second time her resident alien registration--a process that wasn't a walk in the park when we initiated it in December of 1991 and which became part of the infinitely more complicated post 9/11/01 world.
We'll be in Hartford, actually near Hartford, for some time today accomplishing the mechanical aspect of the process (my wife is still under warranty; oh how I love that joke!) with the paperwork having already started (Sigrid is relentlessly organized and has been at this drill for some time).
The initial application in 1991 was very much a No Fun Allowed process as we faced a very large and, in my opinion as a fellow Federal employee, stunningly uncaring if not actually hostile staff of people with whom we interacted. We succeeded, I felt, in no small part despite their efforts rather than because of them.
Interestingly enough, a decade ago, the much more intense and complex renewal process was relatively painless and smooth so I often wonder how much my fear twenty plus years ago colored my original perceptions and suspect I know the answer.
I mention this because bubbling through our legislature in Hartford, albeit a distance from where my wife and I will be for part of the day, is a proposal, actually a proposed law, that would allow folks who aren't supposed to be here here, politicians call them 'undocumented workers,' to apply for and receive State of Connecticut driver's licenses.
The argument as best as I can follow is seductive even if the logic is somewhat tortured. In a state where property insurance is not only nearly a religion but where crimes against property are often punished more severely than those against persons, it has been suggested those who are not supposed to be here if they must drive to work or to live (because mass transit is something even in Connecticut cities that is close to non-existent) are currently doing so illegally (we are the Constitution State and sticklers for this stuff).
That means, as night follows the day, they have no vehicle insurance (you think you can smell what the Prudential Rock is cooking. No you can't.) and while public safety could and should be a concern, much more importantly there are taxes and fees involved in all aspects of purchasing insurance.
Did the light of cognition just come on? Welcome, camper! Connecticut has the beggar's bowl out for new "revenue streams" (= taxes) and the legislators in Hartford have already spent all the money projected to be collected from this insurance expansion/explosion. And let's not forget the costs and fees associated with the issuance of the licenses themselves. Ka-ching!
Meanwhile my wife watches the postman every day for official looking mail that will not contain a driver's license application proving rules are for people who don't know better. Adds a whole new meaning to 'you need not be present to win.' Actually it's easier to win if you're not really here (wink, wink). If we're not careful, we're going to owe Hughes Mearns royalties. And these days we're so tight for money we squeak when we walk.