Joe & Linda SkinnerBEHAVIORISMSGrand Junction Free Press Columnists

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February 28, 2013
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THE SKINNERS: Losing trust in government

SHE SAID: I wonder if anyone who favors limited government has tried to get an appointment to take the test for a driver's license. Last week, a clerk at the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle office in Grand Junction said they were not making any appointments for the driving tests until April 8. I was inquiring for a young friend who had been trying to get an appointment for the test for the last two months. I could not believe he could not sign up for a test appointment.Officers at the state DMV number were not aware that making an appointment was not allowed. After many phone calls, I was able to arrange for him to be tested this week. The area supervisor, Pamela Hardwick, who solved this problem, advised anyone facing a similar problem should ask to speak to an office supervisor.On our first contact, the GJ DMV clerk recommended that if you want to take a driving test in a timely manner that you avail yourself of the private services that offer courses and testing, at an additional charge. It seems like a cruddy way to help the economy. It's not only regular drivers this moratorium affects, but commercial license seekers, too.If you use a private company, you can have your license within a week. While the system is a boon to those driver education businesses, it hurts business in general, and those of limited income in particular.Why should you have to pay extra to a private business to get a state-mandated test taken when taxpayer monies (our money) are supposed to provide the service to us? Of course, if you live on the Eastern Slope, in the larger cities, you can make the appointments for the test online and not have to make many phone calls. HE SAID: That inconvenience certainly has you on your soapbox. My first thought is that you forgot that the state was in dire financial straits last year and is probably not going to get better soon. In fact, we all may be looking at cuts like these in all the things we have come to expect government to do. Unlike the pundits, I don't think there is any single problem that caused this mess. Of course, billions of dollars in bombs would have been way down on my list of things to be paid for, not to mention drones, especially when they are planning to use them to spy on civilians in this country. But, my dear, getting a driver's license is not a fundamental right, it is a privilege.SHE SAID: I wonder how many people are driving illegally as a result of being told they could not sign up for the test. Anyway, you are confusing state and federal spending. You are also starting to sound like one of those conspiracy theorists. Have you been noticing any drones overhead lately? A drone is certainly cheaper than planes and pilots at millions of dollars each. Don't get me started on all the billions that have been paid to contract services for the military, which according to Wikipedia is $6.5 million a day. The military eats up $851 billion a year, $30 billion more than Social Security. Surely some large savings can be realized. The budget morass is frustrating; it's enough to drive me insane.HE SAID: Well, at least you don't have to take a test to be driven insane. The decisions about what to cut in difficult times are not made by impartial parties. Our legislators, both state and federal have their own agendas when they make these decisions. That is if they are not grandstanding about gun rights or sponsoring state legislation to not cooperate with the federal law enforcement. They think representative democracy is what represents their interests. We are impacted by their decisions when they increase per diem pay, or remodel offices, or give their buds back home more subsidies. These actions make it impossible to not react with anger when we can no longer get what we need from government. This is a bigger problem than one person who cannot get a driver's test. Like the incomprehensible tax law, these things destroy the trust of the people in their government. We are in a very deep hole if we don't start to rebuild the trust very soon.SHE SAID: I suppose we'll need an unobtainable building permit for that!The Skinners hope that cutbacks do not detract from your enjoyment of life. They can be reached at

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The Post Independent Updated Feb 28, 2013 02:30PM Published Feb 28, 2013 02:28PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.