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.