So, the politics has been pretty nasty here in Washington State, but I like this place and so I’m going to detail some of the reasons why I support or do not support various Washington State initiative measures on the ballot.
Just to start out, contrary to popular beliefs, I am a pretty classical libertarian in theory, but have socialist tendencies in practice. I like political theory if it can be supported by facts. I’m more interested in the actual results rather than any kind of cosmic spiritual battle between nebulous concepts like freedom and democracy and liberty and “Main Street.”
All information is pulled from the Voters’ Pamphlet I received in the mail from the guv’ment. No other sources will be used for this.
Okay, let’s push forward.
I 1053 – This measure would restate existing statutory requirements that legislative actions raising taxes must be approved by two-thirds legislative majorities or receive voter approval, and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval
Oh. My. Zeus.
This is a terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible idea. And all I have to say is one word to show why.
This is exactly the reason why California sucks so hard right now.
It is incredibly hard to get even a simple majority in legislatures, let alone 2/3 majorities. The ability to raise taxes is the one single most important thing that legislatures can do in American political theory and you want to hamstring them in that area? Why?
Taxes are important, people. They are super, super important, because nothing in this world comes for free. Roads don’t come for free, nor schools, police protection, firemen, water, electricity – all of these are provided for or subsidized by the government, and I don’t know about you, but I think most of these are essential to maintain the lifestyles we do today.
That’s why taxes are tied to the legislature. If you don’t like your taxes, vote out the monkeys you voted in several years before. But do not vote for this unless you want to turn out to be like California, where they can’t afford anything and every public service is crumbling all around you and it sucks for everyone, including you.
This is not good governance. This is proposing anarchy and the collapse of the government through slow, slow, slow poison, at the expense of its citizens. The less laws we have, the better, and this law is one we definitely do not not not not not not need.
I 1098 – concerns establishing a state income tax and reducing other taxes.
I don’t like income tax, just on a general basic level. So when I saw this, I immediately balked. However, I am going to be voting yes on this, and here are my reasons why:
1. The income tax is as follows:
If you have a family: From $0 – $400,000, you pay nothing. From $400,001 – $1,000,000, you pay 5% of the amount above $400,000. If you make over a million dollars (you lucky dog you), you pay $30,000 plus 9% of the amount above $1,000,000.
If you are single: From $0 – $200,000, you pay nothing. From $200,001 – $500,000, you pay 5% of what you make. And if you make $500,001 and above, you pay $15,000 plus 9% of what you made.
In addition, it will reduce the B&O taxes for small businesses, and it will decrease the state property tax by 20%. 20%!
Why I Like It:
1. If there’s something I hate more than income taxes, it’s property taxes. It’s the idea that you’re still paying rent to the government even though you bought a piece of land for yourself. I mean, it’s yours now, right? The government may put in a one time sales tax, but I don’t pay a Playstation tax or a Wii tax or a desk tax or a computer tax because I own that item. I feel a property tax is a heinous way for governments to basically charge us rent, even on land we supposedly bought. I feel a lowering of property taxes helps assuage the guilt of voting in an income tax.
2. B&O taxes will be reduced for small businesses. I like small businesses. And I know how crazy the B&O taxes are here. My wife tried to help my dad once with his taxes for his small businesses. It’s a mess. Plus, there’s that whole trickle down theory of economics that people still believe in, and do you know what I believe in more than rich people? Small businesses. Small businesses are the engine of America’s economic dynamism. Rich people? Not so much. So lower taxes for small businesses and raise taxes for people who get rich off of their corporate ventures (which indirectly covers the small business taxes and then some)? I’m down with that.
And for those of you who say I only support this because I’m not rich? I say to you, nay. I would still support this even if I was rich. Because I actually feel like I have a civic duty to the society I live in, and I’m not a sociopathic jerk like you.
I 1100 – This measure would close state liquor stores, authorize sale, distribution, and importation of spirits by private parties; and repeal certain requirements that govern the business operations of beer and wine distributors and producers.
Disclaimer: My wife works in the wine industry.
This one I would normally support, but recessions are hard times, my friends, and so I’m gonna have to vote against this one.
We have a budget crisis, and that budget crisis needs money, and currently, apparently the state needs a bucket of cash to close that hole caused by the recession.
Here’s an analogy – if the government is a business, and it’s in the red, and it needs money fast, here’s what you don’t do – close down the liquor selling division that is making revenue. It’s a stupid move. Really, it is. especially if that division is generating $350 million dollars annually, and that closing costs will be roughly $55 million dollars. Stupid.
Come back in ten years when we don’t have a recession going on, and then we’ll talk. In the meantime, as far as I know, this law is not especially throttling the beer, wine, and spirits industry, and it’s making the state money. I’m all for the status quo on this one.
If you really want to hear about some crazy, stupid, backwards laws about the alcohol industry, talk to my wife. She will regale you with stories of how the Prohibition Era really caused A Messed Up Time that we’re still cleaning up legally.
Also, I’m against I 1105, a very similar law to I 1100.
I 1107 – This measure would end sales tax on candy; end temporary sales tax on some bottled water; end temporary excise taxes on carbonated beverages; and reduce tax rates for certain food processors.
Oh dear. The candy tax. This initiative has some incredibly duplicitous rhetoric behind it, so here’s the skinny folks.
1. There is no “candy tax.” There’s been a lot of talk about a candy tax, but it doesn’t exist. What does exist is that right now, candy is not exempt from sales tax. Food staples are, like bread, milk, cheese. You know, stuff that is actually really useful for people. I am all about sales tax exemptions for food staples. But candy is not a food staple (seriously, people. Did your mothers raise you at all?!). The so-called candy tax is just regular sales tax. Yep. You’re not paying any extra taxes than if you had bought an Xbox 360. Yet, nobody is screaming about ending sales tax (I hope that never happens).
2. This is the same thing with bottled water. I have a grudge against bottled water. It’s wasteful, both in resources and money. It creates all kinds of ecological problems. It’s not that much safer (or even more dangerous) than your tap water. It’s just plain wrong and useless. So taxing it, I’m all down with it the same way I’m down with taxing cigarettes.
3. There is an excise tax on carbonated beverages. But again, soda is not a staple. It will probably very much kill you faster than most other things you could buy in the long run. Carbonated beverages is a huge contributor to the obesity epidemic in America, which puts a massive financial strain on our already beleaguered health care system. An excise tax will offset the public harm that soft drinks do (yes, I do believe there is more of a public harm from soft drink consumption than gay sex, but then, I think John Stuart Mill would agree with me here).
Neither of these products are essential staples for living. All three of them do cause public harm. I have no problem with taxing unnecessary products that cause public harm.
And that is that, folks. Happy voting! You are voting, right?