2/3

One of the most dispiriting aspects of the shitty budget is the fact that a majority of House legislators voted to soften the blow. The most ludicrous, outdated tax exemptions remain on the books, not because we lack the majority the constitution requires to repeal them, but because of the extra requirement imposed by the voters. I hope Darryl is right that this time the legal maneuvering will work. But if anything, past courts’ rulings have been pretty consistent that they don’t want to hear any challenge to these initiatives, so nobody has standing.

So if this challenge fails, I’d like to offer a potential solution that pits Tim Eyman’s populism against itself. In the past the same legislature that claims to respect the will of the people in these instances have been quick to cut the class size initiatives. So my solution is a more broad based initiative that says the legislature needs 2/3 to cut education (or social services, or higher ed whatever polls best, or whoever is willing to spot the money).

Ideally, this would provide a class of people with standing, but as with the tax side, I’m not sure the court will think anyone has standing. Still, even if this bad, probably unconstitutional law stays on the books, it’s better than the status quo.

Right now, there is no incentive for the no tax people to compromise since cuts need 50% and tax increases need 66%. But, if budget cuts have the same hurdles to pass, then we might see a more balanced approach emerge.

And, yes, I’m aware that everybody has their own idea for an initiative, but nobody has the money. I’d prefer a court win to initiative trickery. But we can come back to the same place every few years, or we can find another way around it.

Comments

  1. 1

    LD spews:

    Its their own greedy 30% – 40% budget bustin fault. They have been raising tuition at 15% per year, and in this economy no one gets the cadillac benefits government workers get. We are heading into a damn depression because of Obama’s idiotic spending spree, so stay tune, it’s going to get a lot worse! And if I do say you democrats get just what you deserve.

  2. 2

    spews:

    Why is it legal for all these initiatives that require super-majorities pass with a simple majority? I suppose in the fantasy world of the Eymanistas this disparity makes perfect sense.

  3. 3

    What do you expect spews:

    Just keep cutting taxes and services until we race to the bottom and become the next Mississippi. I don’t personally think that’s a target we should be shooting for, but if that’s what the people want…to turn Washington into a 3rd world hole, so be it. I can always move.

  4. 4

    TT spews:

    You’d have to be very careful about how you write such an initiative. If the Democrats offered a Constitutional Amendment right now that said “No tax increases and no budget cuts without a 2/3rd majority” of course the Republicans would say “HELL YES!”. That would freeze the budget at today’s levels. There’d have to be a complicated formula in a no cuts initiative that would define a cut as really more like “raising the budget less than the rate of inflation coupled with some growth factor, etc.”.

    That’s a hard sell. Much easier just to say “no new taxes”.

    Government by initiative is stupid. I like the Founders idea of a Republic much better than I do direct democracy. I am siding Madison et alia.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    You’re missing the boat, Carl! Ya gotta look at the BIG picture! If it takes a 2/3 majority to bypass an Eyman initiative, then it should take a 2/3 majority to enact one in the first place. It doesn’t make sense that 50% of the voters can enact a law that says it takes 67% of the voters’ elected representatives to change it.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Anti-Union Bill

    Sometimes it takes only one vote to repeal a law, if that law was enacted in violation of other laws. The Wisconsin judge who issued an injunction against Gov. Scott Walker’s union-stripping law today struck it down because Republican legislators violated the state’s open meetings law by ramming the legislation through without notice. GOP leaders now have two options: Appeal the ruling or attempt to re-enact the bill. The clock is ticking on both options; Republican state supreme court justice David Prosser will lose his seat on Aug. 5 if there’s a court challenge to the final recount that counted 14,000 Waukesha ballots “found” in canvas bags with holes in their bottoms that anyone could easily reach an arm into; and Republicans could lose control of the legislature in recall elections scheduled for July 12.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43....._politics/

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 How about local option? Amend the state constitution to move school funding out of the state budget to the school district level — that is, school districts have their own revenue from local property taxes — and let Republicans run the counties and school districts they control as they please. If they want to fund public schools in Whitman or Lewis counties at third-world levels, then let ‘em. But no more subsidies from Seattle taxpayers to the jackrabbit counties — make ‘em pay for their own schools, roads, etc. Then if people don’t want to live in those places they’ll move to an area with better schools and services. I’m tired of paying taxes to support anti-government ingrates.

  8. 8

    who run Bartertown? spews:

    Time to face facts all you progressives….the 2/3 initiatve was a direct response to your out of control spending increases in olympia. 30-40% increase in less than a decade? Are you kidding me?

    the 2/3 initiative was a counterweight to your one party olympia spending spree….you are the only ones to blame for it…so now deal with it.

    And speaking of spending, federal way now gets to spend 200million on a light rail line that won’t make it to theirtown as promised….just more lies and failed promises from the light rail scam folks. Biggest waste of money ever in this state….just lies and broken promises designed to suck out more taxpayermoney.

  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 Er, light rail was passed by initiative, not politicians, idiot. I thought people like you LIKE direct democracy? Deal with it.

    Oh, and how do you feel about the out-of-control spending increases in D.C.? The borrow-and-spend Republicans increased the rate of growth in federal spending three times as fast as Democrats in the ’90s — I don’t hear any squeaking from you about THAT.

  10. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It should also be pointed out there was a deep recession in 2000-2001 and a large portion of “spending increases” in the 2000s were simply a recovery of state revenues and services to normal levels.

  11. 12

    zzippy spews:

    @1 LD you crack me up, man, with your spewing of right-wing talking points — which happen to be mostly false.

    In response, not because I care at all about your uninformed opinion but instead simply because it’s too damned easy, please see yesterday’s post on this very site (05/25/2011, 12:34 PM) showing that (at the federal level) it is the Bush tax cuts and the oil wars that account for most of the country’s deficits. (And to go off on a little bit of a tangent, I think that the “Economic Downturn” portion of that graph would be far greater were it not for the “Recovery Measures” section.)

    Also, please see http://www.epi.org/publication.....c_employee for a detailed and factual analysis that concludes that at least state and local employees are under-compensated on average.

    There’s more where that came from if you really want to talk facts, but based on your posts here, I doubt you do.

  12. 14

    Ekim spews:

    @8,

    Our “out of control spending increases”??!!??

    King County lives within its means. It is the fucking Republican welfare counties that are out of control. Why don’t they live within their means?

    For instance, Yakima county generates about $320 million per year in tax revenues and spends about $730 million. Guess who picks up the tab? King County!

  13. 15

    Ekim spews:

    How about an initiative to require individual counties to live within their means? King County would do just fine without the drain of resources going to the Republican welfare queens.

  14. 17

    LD spews:

    As an intelligent individual who bought both my kids 5 years of tuition through the GET program at $51 a credit, or $5100 per year, in an economy that produces zip on interest rates in a bank or CD, I have to laugh watching the 14% to 20% tuition increases year after year.

    Each time they do that, they lose money. People who can no longer afford college, and they will now have to apply extra funding for the existing GET accounts.

    Idiocracy is a movie about Democrats and Government that none of you should miss.

  15. 18

    Gen spews:

    How about asking Speaker Chopp to grow a pair and stand up to the so called “roadkill caucus”. He’s let a handful of Republican wannabe’s control the process. If the Roadkill’s don’t want to stick up for Democratic values (like Rep. Hurst) he should take away their Chair positions. Why reward Republican behavior while calling themselves Democrats. We definitely need a new Speaker of the House. One we can respect.

  16. 20

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    “Time to face facts all you progressives….the 2/3 initiatve was a direct response to your out of control spending increases in olympia. 30-40% increase in less than a decade? Are you kidding me?”

    That’s some really misleading horse-pucky there, Bartertown. In fact, it verges on bullshit propaganda. But let’s just take 10 years @ 30% spending growth. That’s 3% per year. That does not include compounding, so it’s really a bit less. Further–what has been the population growth in our state in the last decade. You need to figure this in, too.

    Oh? You didn’t do that? Fucking liar.

  17. 21

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    “…and in this economy no one gets the cadillac benefits government workers get.”

    Well, that’s a fucking lie. Check out CEO benefits,,here , for example.

    You paint with a broad brush. So you are basically a liar.

  18. 23

    who run Bartertown? spews:

    @20

    your right, asshole – I was off…state spending has nearly doubled.

    has our population doubled? answer: no.

    go spend someone else’s money – I’m tired of carrying lazy fucks like you, ylbleeder, and rujaxoff.

  19. 24

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @17….so you envision your brilliant offspring earning 100 college credits a year?

    That’s bullshit.

  20. 25

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    “state spending has nearly doubled.”

    From when to when, mr data point nose picker? That matters. What has the inflation rate been over that period? What components of the budget have grown fastest and why?

    You’re so fucking ignorant it hurts.

  21. 28

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    “I’m tired of carrying lazy fucks like you…”

    Fuck you, too…you fucking parasite.

  22. 29

    LD spews:

    Thank you Tim Eyman and THE MAJORITY OF VOTERS IN WASHINGTON for making sure Gregoire has a balanced budget for two years.

  23. 31

    who run Bartertown? spews:

    @25

    I already gave you the timeline you dick-sneeze.

    tell your progressive buddies in Olympia to stop fucking spending money like its free…assholes….juts keep pissing our money away, its what you do best.