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Hed — Get tough on spare change

Cynics will have a field day with the proposal by several elected city officials to get tough on abusive panhandling.

After all, it’s being proposed in an election season a cynical time if ever there was one and it calls for remedies that, in many cases, will prove to be unenforceable.

As part of the proposed ordinance, panhandlers could be fined $500 for their abusive ways, which of course raises the inevitable question: Will they be forced to panhandle in order to pay up? We can already hear the L.A.-bashers champing at the bit on this one.

Certainly, there have been more-novel approaches to the panhandling problem mostly involving volunteers and business-funded private security but those efforts have limited effectiveness, especially in a city as vast as L.A.

We figure it’s better to have a get-tough panhandling statute than none at all. Even as a modest deterrent to the growing brazenness of panhandlers specifically touching, blocking and using threatening language it’s an effort well worth pursuing.

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