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Send Eyman to the other Washington

Post by Brian O'Neill on Oct. 17, 2010 at 9:10 pm with 12 Comments »
October 17, 2010 9:10 pm

I try to steer clear of issues in which I have little understanding, such as politics and economics (and women). But this time I can’t help it, because with his latest work, Initiative 1053, Tim Eyman is seriously pissing me off.

It’s not that I can’t appreciate the idea of keeping the politicians on a short leash. I applauded Eyman’s early successes in rooting out excess spending in state government. But there comes a point when trimming the fat can cut right into the meat.

Here’s my issue. State and local governments must balance their budgets at the end of the year. If there’s no money to pay for a budget item, then we’re not getting it.

In the other Washington, however, there is obviously nothing to restrain federal politicians from spending well beyond our means. Want more money? Presto.

Once again at the state level, however, the hero of smaller government has reincarnated the notion that any amount of tax increases would be wrong. I-1053 would require a 2/3 super-majority by voters in order to raise taxes, a near impossible feat given the nature of modern day partisan politics.

Those taxes, which Eyman wants back in our pockets are meant to pay for the basics: roads, schools, cops, firefighters, jails, etc. After two years of deep and painful cutting, which were based on economic realities rather than Eyman-omics, the questions are extremely basic:

Can we live with less education? less public safety? Can we live with more felons walking the street? more gridlock? In a word, no.

Tim, thanks for the memories, but we just don’t need anymore legislation like I-1053.

Might I recommend the other Washington? We could use a guy like you over there.

Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. Pecksbadboy says:

    What a lame argument

    If a tax is worthy of forcing on the citizens, both sides must heartily agree. The fault is the 2 party system, NOT Eyham and the wishes of the taxpaying residents of the state of WA.

  2. enotrams says:

    Eyman simply doesn’t care.
    He and his cronies in Spokane only care about the money they make from running initiative campaigns each year. The bottom line is no money no Eyman. Eyman has ZERO CREDIBILITY because he will only run initatives if he gets paid…period. No Eyman salary….no initiative.

    Governance by initiative is poor governance and unfortunately charlatans like Eyman have exploited this state’s legislative process while feeding off the uniformed, disenchanted, and sometimes naive populace. There’s no denying that this guy won’t get off his a$$ unless someone pays him a salary.

    The fact that this guy only runs initiatives for profit should be cause enough for every voter to pause and question what the hell this guy is doing.

  3. reformedliberal says:

    This letter writer is a great example of the simple-minded thinking that gives us such an entrenched and intransigent Legislature. Note how he gives the Legislature a pass for its role in our budget problems… methinks we know which party he belongs to.

    Eyman doesn’t want tax increases to be impossible; he wants them to be difficult and painful for politicians. Which is as it should be.

    We have ample money at every level for essential services like education and public safety, what we lack is the political will to make tough choices. When the easiest choice is to simply raise taxes, tax increases are the predictable outcome. That’s wrong and needs to be fixed… and STAY fixed.

    It’s time for a Constitutional Amendment to take away the power of Legislature to set aside an initiative. They have abused that power and deserve to lose it.

  4. nwcolorist says:

    Mr. O’neill, your columns are always appreciated. There is one leveling factor about Tim’s initiatives – to become law they must be passed by a majority of the state’s voters. It’s not really Eyman that you have a beef with, it’s the voters that pass his initiatives.

    The elephant in the room that is continually ignored by the so many is that, if the Legislature were representing ALL the people of Washington state, Tim Eyman would be out of a job.

  5. Here’s the thing I don’t get… the Constitution is very clear on the subject of a majority. How can Tim and a simple majority require some kinds of legislation to get a SUPERmajority without a Constitutional amendment? Could I circulate an initiative that changes the required number of votes to pass an initiative? Maybe that’s the way to finally get rid of Eyman?

    And to Nwcolorist, Tim has failed on several initiatives in a row but his sugar daddy always comes through. He doesn’t need “the people” to have a job. He just needs one guy to continue paying for them.

    Anyway, nice job as always Brian.

  6. slasmith says:

    Brian, The initative does not require a super majority of voters to raise taxes. Please get your facts straight. If passed it would require a super majority of the legislature to raise taxes or a simple majority of the electorate (voters).

  7. tree_guy says:

    “Send Eyman to the other Washington” Brian

    Eyman isn’t running for any office on the federal level, how do you propose sending him?

    Eyman isn’t exercising any right that isn’t available to you as well, Brian. No one is required to vote for the initiative, if it displeases you then you should vote no. But don’t try to prevent other people from supporting it. Eyman has thousands of supporters in the area and you will be witnessing it in just 2 weeks.

  8. One day I was in an auto parts store and this big guy walked up to the counter and explained he had bought a carburetor and it was the wrong one. It didn’t fit. He asked for a refund but the clerk refused because it was not the policy of the store. The guy became annoyed at first and when refused by the manager he got angry, really angry. I thought to myself ‘It’s a fair request’ he was going to waste his money on something he didn’t need. I think of our legislature as the store and Tim Eyman is the big guy at the counter. And I keep thinking to myself, yeh, I want my money back. Mr. O’Neill believes we need to continue paying outrageous pay and benefits to bureacratic workers that do not give us value for our money. Me too, I’ve been seriously pissed off for years.

  9. Brian O'Neill says:

    Reformed Liberal- Thanks for your comments. If you recall from my column, I gave credit to government watchdogs, including Eyman, for keeping an eye on waste. That’s a logical stand for any citizen. However, my point is that in our current situation, the wheat has already been separated from the chaff. I have watched fellow police officers get furloughed while our calls for service rise. I have sat on a committee in our school district trying to find “efficiencies” (layoffs) due to a hemorrhaging budget, only to find that further cuts would violate agreed upon class sizes. Eyman’s measure would do nothing more than push us further from the goals we should set for ourselves in terms of our safety, education, etc.

    I don’t belong to a party, but I do work for the system. You should come in and take a look.

  10. BlaineCGarver says:

    Well, it seems that Brian, like our so-called state leaders, think he is so much smarter than a majority of the voters. Keep on thinking, Brian, that’s what you’re good at…

  11. scott0962 says:

    nwcolorist,

    Well said.

  12. OldLefty says:

    enotrams says:
    October 17, 2010 at 11:07 pm
    Eyman simply doesn’t care.
    He and his cronies in Spokane only care about the money they make from running initiative campaigns each year.

    At the risk of sounding Limbaughesque

    DITTO.

    As to the “voters” that support Eyman’s initiatives, PT Barnum called it – “There is a sucker born every minute”.

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