It seems control of every aspect of our lives is not limited to the prerogative of federal bureaucrats but is being taken to new heights by local government officials. According to Ann, Ann Arbor City Council members are considering fining motorists $100 for idling their vehicles — a normal condition of operating a car. Under the proposed ordinance, the fine could be levied for any vehicle left running while unoccupied or left running for five minutes while occupied. If you live in Ann Arbor, you might want to think twice about ordering a vehicle with remote start, as it would be against the law to use it.

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The image of Ann Arbor police officers sniffing auto tailpipes with stopwatches in hand is more than any freedom-loving American can bear. In an apparent attempt to ameliorate public concern regarding the proposed ordinance, council member Margie Teall claims the main goal of the ordinance is to educate people on how idling affects the environment — with enforcement to follow. We have heard this line before from police agencies prior to the state Legislature passing the mandatory seat belt law. The request from police agencies to "just trust us" has turned into routine issuing of tickets for not wearing seat belts.

We live in a time when many government officials are incapable of balancing their budgets but feel they are more than competent to dictate how their constituents are to live their lives — including what kind of light bulb they can use, how much water can be in their toilets and now if they are allowed to idle their car. America is quickly changing from the land of the free and the brave to the land of the regulated and fined.

The popularity of Congress is at an all-time low — if the action of Ann Arbor officials is an indication, local government officials will not be far behind in feeling the public’s disdain.