A Dec. 24 letter asking for the state inspection sticker system to be dropped had good intentions, but author Carlton Wilcox lost sight of the real issue: money.

As it stands, the inspection sticker system only benefits two entities: service garages and car dealers. The Republicans’ last nominee for governor (Shawn Moody) is a body shop owner. As for the Democrats, a well-known auto dealer and Democratic Party donor (Adam Lee) had his name floated early on as a possible gubernatorial candidate. In other words, these are not only deep-pocketed businesses, but also very well-connected ones.

There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the inspection sticker system is a regressive tax on the rural poor. The poor drive older vehicles. Those older vehicles are more prone to rust, and wear and tear, so they fail inspections more often than newer vehicles.

The owners then have no choice. Lacking public transportation, they have to drive to work, the grocery store or the doctor. So it’s either spring for the repairs or purchase a newer vehicle. This usually means spending their entire savings and/or going further into debt.

All of this is avoidable. Either eliminate the state inspection sticker system entirely, or at the very least make inspection mandatory once every two or three years. Give Maine’s rural residents a much-needed break.

Both liberal and libertarian-leaning members of Maine government should be able to unite behind this issue because it would mean less government in our lives and a helping hand to the working poor. Unfortunately, it’s likely that the power and money of the above-mentioned beneficiaries will again win out over the needs of the average Mainer.

Jeremy Smith

Old Orchard Beach