The fleecing of the flock


Each Sunday morning just before morning worship at our church, the children march around and through the congregation to the tune of Father Abraham, collecting dollars for missions we support. Members of the congregation wave dollar bills in the air and the kids come running to collect them and return their take to the collection jar. The kids are so irresistibly cute that they often make several passes to the same contributors and miraculously return with a fistful of dollars.

Last week I heard the state of Ohio had put together a plan to “fleece” those who had discovered the savings of opting for electrically fueled automobiles. The Wizards of State (a newly formed cabinet created by my imagination, but nonetheless is real) determined that the savings you and I might enjoy (in not paying tax on gasoline) is unfair to the state coffers and those people needed to pony up their fair share, so they will pay an added “registration” fee to own one of the less fuelish forms of transportation.

Please understand that I realize that highways, by-ways and other infrastructure must be funded by we the taxpayers, but the way this came down just seemed a little too much “in your face” for my taste.

I recall when so many people, discovering the savings, raced out and purchased vehicles that operated with diesel fuel. It wasn’t long until the price of diesel equaled, and then became greater than gasoline.

It seems to me that there is always some “Wizard of State” standing by to “Fleece the Flock” however they can. Remember when they wanted to place a tax on each head of livestock a farmer owned because of the methane emissions? Well, that was indeed laughable. However, what’s even more laughable is that you might think that idea has died.

Do we tax the farmer who raises the beef, or do we tax beef consumer at the grocery? Oh wait! Let’s figure out a plan to do both! But first we must bring in a few “green” advocacy groups to legitimize the “fleecing” before we can enact such taxation in good conscience.

Oh, but wait (again)! Is methane the enemy or is CO2 the enemy? And if both are enemies of the ozone, then if we just kill off all plant life we can remedy both. The gas emitting cattle will starve out, so no more methane. Problem solved. Oh, but wait (still yet again)! We starve out also. Maybe the “fleecers” need to do more studies. Surely there are government grants available to fund such research. Government grants, huh? Where does that come from? Oh yes! We the people again.

Some years ago, a dear friend of mine was approached by a candidate for an office in that county. The candidate explained that he was a hard-working individual with an impeccable reputation and his honesty was well-known in the community. After extolling his virtues to my friend, he asked for his support in the upcoming election. My friend thought a moment and told him that he just could not support his bid for office. “Why not?” inquired the nearly heart-broken candidate. My friend responded, “Because if you win and get in there with all those crooks, they’ll ruin you. I just can’t see doing that to such an honest lad.”

I don’t think by in large our politicians are “crooks” (initially). However, I do believe that it becomes easy to drink the “Kool-Aid” when you are immersed in it day after day.

I believe our system is the best on the face of this planet even with its flaws. I just think sometimes our system forgets how to properly “fleece the flock” without our being able to see it coming so clearly.

Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at and

Herb Day Contributing columnist Day Contributing columnist

No posts to display