Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Archives: Nov. 2012

Nov.
30th

Here’s what you get to do if you have a safe seat

Taking the most expensive corporate-financed junket anyone can remember isn’t corrupt behavior, exactly, but it’s not the kind of thing you do if you feel accountable to the public.

McDermott, a very liberal Democrat from the very liberal 7th Congressional District, won re-election Nov. 6 with 80 percent of the vote. Competition is essential in politics. McDermott at least needed a very liberal challenger.

Nov.
30th

Want to be a reader columnist? Here’s how

Since 2000, we’ve reserved a spot on our Monday opinion pages for contributions from a selected panel of four to six local reader columnists. Now it’s time to invite readers to apply for our 2013 roster of guest writers.

We are looking for contributors who represent the diversity of South Sound residents – urban, suburban and rural, young, old and in between.

To apply, submit two fresh sample columns (not previously written material), each 500 to 700 words. Include a cover letter that includes your phone number and tells us a bit about yourself. Read more »

Nov.
29th

Tax abatement might be good move for UPlace

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

What’s better for University Place’s Town Center:

(a) A project that doesn’t get built, thus generating no tax revenue?

(b) Or a project that does get built and starts generating some tax revenue immediately and even more a few years down the road?

The answer to that question seems obvious. And it’s why the City Council should give serious consideration to providing tax abatement to a Tacoma-based developer currently building one mixed-use building at Town Center and hoping to build a second.
Read more »

Nov.
28th

What will Romney and the president talk about over lunch? Here’s a suggestion

This came in late in the afternoon – way past our deadline for the Thursday print edition.

I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall listening in to the lunch conversation between President Obama and Mitt Romney. I’m guessing it’ll be a little awkward. Anyway, writer Matt Miller has an idea for what they should talk about.

By Matt Miller
Special to The Washington Post

I don’t know whether Emily Post has any tips for breaking the ice over lunch with your just-vanquished foe. But I have just the thing if President Barack Obama was serious about asking Mitt Romney to “work together to move this country forward.”

Romney was once a world-class management consultant with a legendary appetite for “the data.” His private-equity success was due partly to his knack for identifying and purging inefficiencies from bloated, underperforming enterprises. It’s time, therefore, to set him loose (analytically speaking) on the mother of all domestic challenges: America’s radically inefficient health-care system. Read more »

Nov.
27th

I-502: How much legality in legalized marijuana?

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Legal marijuana succeeded big in Washington Nov. 6 – and failed big in Oregon.

One reason: The stoners behind Oregon’s Measure 80 had no interest in restricting the drug. Their initiative specified no limit for possession, no limit on growing, and left regulation in the hands of a commission to be controlled by the marijuana industry.

It jabbered about the wonders and harmlessness of cannabis.

Washington’s Initiative 502, in contrast, specified serious restrictions.

It forbade the public consumption or display of marijuana, required tight licensing of growers and retailers, and – unlike Measure 80 – established a blood-level limit for people caught driving under the influence of marijuana.

In other words, it was written by grown-ups. It’s reasonable to conclude that a measure as lax as Oregon’s would have failed here as it did there.

In a year or so, we’ll find out if Washingtonians enacted I-502 on paper – but got Measure 80 instead.

The campaign for I-502 insisted that the initiative wasn’t about expanding drug use and trafficking. The argument was that the use and trafficking were already happening – and the state should legalize and impose rules on what is now an unregulated black market.
Read more »

Nov.
26th

Benefits go begging when vets aren’t informed

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Ignorance isn’t bliss if you’re a military veteran unaware of the benefits and services available to you.

Unfortunately, that’s the case for millions of America’s veterans. A McClatchy Newspapers analysis of 2010 Veterans Affairs survey data found that more than half of veterans have little or no idea what benefits they’re entitled to – including access to VA health facilities, payment for disabilities incurred during military service, home loans and money for education.

Even among the best-informed cohort – younger veterans who served since 9/11 – 40 percent say they have little or no understanding of their benefits. More than 60 percent are unaware of their life insurance benefits.
Read more »

Nov.
25th

On Cyber Monday, states lose millions in sales tax

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

If you’re like millions of other Americans, you’ll spend some time today hiding your computer screen from your boss. It’s not a good idea to be caught shopping on company time, after all.

Yes, today is Cyber Monday, one of the busiest online shopping days of the year. Shoppers will be searching for the bargains they weren’t willing to brave the Black Friday hordes to find. And many of them will be attracted to the lower prices online sellers are often able to offer because they don’t charge sales tax that brick-and-mortar stores must collect.

But when millions of Americans avoid sales taxes by getting their bargains online, they’re cheating their communities and states out of desperately needed tax revenue – revenue that pays for such things as roads, public safety, education and infrastructure. Read more »