Inside Opinion

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Tag: Initiative 1033

Nov.
4th

Hard times helped defeat I-1033

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

It’s not just that Initiative 1033 lost, but the margin by which it lost: 12 percent, as of Wednesday afternoon.

A blow-out. Even some of Eastern Washington’s conservative counties joined the Puget Sound region in shooting down a Tim Eyman measure designed to sharply curb government spending. This in a year when many voters have been feeling plenty of their own financial pain.

Several factors were at work.

Washingtonians pay attention. They weren’t looking at just their own households this year; they were looking at the condition of their state and local governments.

They’ve seen police protection and other vital local services threatened. They’ve seen the Legislature cut deeply into higher education and health insurance for the working poor. They’ve seen some convicts given Get-Out-of-Jail-Early cards and others freed from community supervision. They’ve seen the public schools squeezed.

Many voters, it appears, didn’t want to institutionalize this kind of distress as the new baseline for public budgets, which is precisely what I-1033 would have done.
Also, the Legislature’s ruling Democrats gritted their teeth, slashed some of their most cherished programs and balanced a hard-times budget without attempting a general tax increase.
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Nov.
1st

Some ballot choices more crucial than others

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Voters should always take care when making their election picks, but some parts of the ballot deserve more attention than others this year.

In many South Sound races, voters have two good options, and the public will be well-served no matter the outcome of the election.
Other decisions are more pivotal. Take the election for Federal Way Municipal Court. Judge Michael Morgan has hurt the court’s standing and its internal workings. He has to go.

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Oct.
24th

2009 isn’t the year for Initiative 1033

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

The theory behind Initiative 1033 – tying the growth of government to the growth of population, plus inflation – strikes us as sound. What worries us is the impact of its peculiarities.

Tim Eyman’s I-1033 is roughly modeled on Initiative 601, which is a good foundation. The latter measure, enacted by the voters in 1993, also employed a population-plus-inflation formula to curb state spending.

Until lawmakers started covertly dismantling it, I-601 provided an effective check on the Legislature’s binge-and-purge cycle. The state had long been in the habit of expanding services and salaries generously during good times and painfully paring back during bad times.

Tying the budget to a real-world trend line made sense. I-601 also provided a cushion: A rainy day fund – designed to tide the state through recessions – had first claim on unspent revenues. Unfortunately, lawmakers raided that fund after it grew temptingly healthy in the late 1990s.
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Oct.
24th

We’ve got mail . . . and mail . . . and mail . . .

We were expecting to get a lot of letters to the editor in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 3 election, but this is ridiculous. Every day this week, the e-mail letter box has been overflowing.

What are the hottest topics? In roughly this order:

Referendum 71, by far. I’d guess the letters by supporters of domestic partner rights outnumber the opponents’ at least 10 to 1. I’m guessing the election results will be closer than that.

• The Pierce County auditor’s race. Several writers have complained about Auditor Jan Shabro putting her name on

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Sep.
3rd

I-1033: Starving the (already starving) beast

I’m only now catching up with a piece on Initiative 1033 our columnist Richard S. Davis published July 31 in the Puget Sound Business Journal. Davis is no fan of big government; he’s the most fiscally conservative guy I know.

I’m excerpting the beginning, because I think the last sentence below is inspired:

Given the condition of state and local budgets here this year, an initiative to limit public spending surely strikes some folks as piling on, like tossing a stone to a drowning man.

Wherever you turn, governments hemorrhage red ink, forcing difficult (if overdue) spending cuts.

Yet Initiative

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