Danny Westneat thinks thinks that despite a down economy and rising gas prices, our local elected officials are “as tax-crazy as an IRS agent on Ritalin.”
A $75 million Pike Place Market levy. A $146 million Seattle parks levy. A $17.6 billion, tri-county light-rail package. Roughly $300 a year, in total, for the average Seattleite
Oh, and don’t forget that 20-cents-per-grocery-bag Green Fee!
If this is proceeding with caution, what will “full-steam-ahead” look like?
And while Danny reassures us that “I like all these things,” he can’t help but wonder…
… where’s the restraint? There’s no hint that government has any sense of limits.
I’ll tell you where the “restraint” and the “sense of limits” comes from, Danny… from the voters, that’s where. See, nobody’s raising anybody’s taxes, at least not without our approval at the polls, so this familiar refrain of blaming politicians for putting tax measures on the ballot, well… it just plain pisses me off.
When voters approve measures that cut taxes, we’re told that’s “the will of the people,” their ballot a sacred text that is somehow inviolate. When Tim Eyman passes one of his stupid, selfish and ill conceived initiatives, we’re told that’s “the will of the people” too.
But apparently measures that raise our taxes are entirely different. Apparently, we voters simply can’t be trusted to resist the natural temptation to tax ourselves, especially for frivolous things like parks and transit. And if God forbid we voters are foolish enough to tax ourselves the equivalent of a single tank of gas a year to extend light rail south to Federal Way, north to Lynnwood and east to Redmond, well, apparently, it’s our elected officials who deserve the blame for their obvious lack of restraint in giving us the opportunity to decide these issues for ourselves.
I’m just sayin’.