Dear Legislators: When you take bold, progressive action–we have your back

Tweeting in the wake of last night’s decisive win for the Yes campaign in Oregon’s two controversial tax increase measures, my friend Carla at Blue Oregon wrote:

Dear OR Legislators: When you take bold, progressive action–we have your back. Remember this night.

That’s something I hope Washington Democrats remember from yesterday’s Oregon election as well. When (and if) you take bold, progressive action, we have your back. And by “we,” I don’t just mean progressive bloggers like me and Carla. I mean the entire progressive/Democratic infrastructure, and ultimately, a comfortable majority of the people.

But knowing Carla as well as I do, her concise, celebratory tweet also contains an implied threat to legislators: If you consistently fail to take bold, progressive action when needed–watch your back. We’ll remember this night.

And that’s a message I hope our own Democratic caucus internalizes too.


  1. 2

    Zotz spews:

    @1: I was in Oly yesterday to talk with my fairly conservative D leg folks.

    One main topic of discussion was the need for more revenue and particularly the “low hanging fruit” of egregiously bad tax exemptions. They were very tuned in and were able to offer specific examples they would pursue.

    It remains to be seen what they actually do, but I am coniderably more optimistic after.

  2. 3

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    So increasing taxes on businesses and folks with income over $125k is “Progressive”??
    I have talked with several Oregon businesses in recent days…they told me flat out if Oregon increases business taxes, they are moving. Period.
    Do you really think this “Progressive” tax mania is going to create jobs??
    Oregon is hurting as badly as Washington.
    What do they both have in common??

    Do you really think these tax increases and creating Class Warfare is going to generate that much more tax revenue? Seems like you Progressive’s sit around in a dark room in a circle-jerk dream world where you can do whatever you want….and there are no unwanted or undesirable consequences.

    The Government Salaries/Benefits/Paid Time-off is out of control. The 1st step is to rein it in. Won’t happen in Washington & Oregon where the Unions own State Government…bought & paid for with Union Dues, much of which came from tax dollars thru excessive salaries.

    Connect the dots folks.

    See where Oregon stands in a couple of years.
    Progressivism got them in this hole.
    You think more Progressivism is going to bail them out???
    Wise up and grow up.

  3. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 How do you plan to keep schools open and criminals in the pen without revenues, idiot?

    Are you going to pack your Washington commercial properties on U-Haul trucks and move them to Montana?

    Washingtonians have received billions of dollars in tax cuts as a result of the recession. It didn’t require a Timmy Eyman initiative; all they did was quit buying cars, going out to eat, and electronic toys. At least this tax cut trickled down to the low and moderate income groups who pay most of the sales taxes.

    I agree government salaries are out of control. Last I heard, they were 35% below the salary schedule. The last time the state paid competitive salaries was, oh, circa 1949. Unfortunately, due to the fiscal shortfall, they’ll have to wait … again.

  4. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, goatfucker doesn’t mind if criminals run loose in our streets for lack of prisons to be them in, because he’s in Montana.

    Hey, I have an idea, let’s charge commercial landlords a fee-for-service to keep burglars in jail.

  5. 6

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    4. Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 How do you plan to keep schools open and criminals in the pen without revenues, idiot

    I already told you where I would get the 1st $1 Billion…10% across the Board Salary decrease, 20% decrease in Benefits including reducing Paid Time-off. Then shut down the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Gregoire cuts her staff Budget in half to a level more like Gary Locke, shut down the Dept of Ecology and Repeal the Growth Management Act for another and other costly regulations for another $1 Billion or more.

    Schools must start Consolidating School Districts. There is a runaway Bureaucracy of Education Overhead that MUST be eliminated.
    Same at the UW and other Higher Ed. Institutions.

    Jails? Public Safety and Infrastructure are 2 main purposes of State Government. The Jails are a joke. Prisoners have so many perks benefits. Start treating them like prisoners so they don’t ever want to come back!

  6. 7

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Racist Roger Rabbit vomits–

    Hey, I have an idea, let’s charge commercial landlords a fee-for-service to keep burglars in jail.

    We already pay in the form of Property Taxes, B&O Tax, Sales Tax, tax on phone svc, garbage, water/sewer/stormwater etc.
    Let’s look at the % of Burglaries Commercial vs. Residential before to start fwapping your piehole.

    As y’all can see, Career Government Loser Racist Rog hates business! Why? Because he failed personally in his AMWAY Distributorship.
    Why?? Because who in the world would want to work with such an anti-business Leftist!

  7. 8

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Even though Oregon passed a Tax the Rich and Tax Small Business out of business initiative…here is where America is at according to the Democrat-leaning Rasmussen Poll–

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of voters nationwide believe cutting taxes is better than increasing government spending as a job-creation tool. Only 15% of voters hold the opposite view and believe that increasing government spending is the better approach.

    However, while voters overwhelmingly think cutting taxes is the better approach, they also overwhelmingly expect Congress and President Obama to take the opposite approach. Seventy-two percent (72%) say the nation’s elected politicians are more likely to increase government spending than cut taxes. Only 14% think they’ll cut taxes instead.
    The nation’s unemployment rate stands at around 10 percent, and in early December, 67% of adults said they expected the unemployment rate to be the same or higher in a year’s time.

    Keeping pushing though.
    High taxes will yield higher unemployment.
    If you had gone to a more Conservative School and paid attention in basic economics, you would get that.

  8. 9


    For progressives, this should be the big story. Not the former nude model in MA, not the clown wearing the St. Bernard Parish lockup reds..

    Oregon did this. Oregon of all places..

    Oregon shamed this state and was first to break the logjam of fear..

  9. 11

    topher spews:

    Why do a majority of Americans believe that tax increases are better at creating jobs? Because the media and the Conservative noise machine tell them so. It’s empirically not true. So, why do we care what a Republican pollster finds with leading questions. If a majority of Americans said that we should invade Canada, that wouldn’t make it a good idea. The biggest problem we have right now is that the people with the most ability to educate the public and move opinion toward the truth are afraid to do it. And the media gatekeepers don’t want them to know it anyway.

  10. 12

    sarah68 spews:

    Topher’s absolutely right and one of the few people who’ve said it: that the problem is the poor education Americans receive about how to process information — i.e., THINK about it — and make decisions about what’s best in a given situation. We have become a nation of dumshits.

  11. 13



    Mr. Rabbit, this is your hole so I will be brief, for far too long the Progressives have been manipulating disasters on a migratory basis through what tantamounts to malpheasance of the public trust.

    Each year we are told of the crisis in Education, Fire and Public Safety and after twenty years most people have figured it out that its all a shell game, bait and switch. When has the need for Government solution real or imaginary gone beyond those elemental purposes? Secure the Public Trust, sir. It doesn’t take more than twice to realize the ride your side has been taking us.

    What do you think about us that you can insult us and then ask for more of the publics trust? Perhaps a resurrection of ‘Riding The Rails’ is necessary to get these elitists attention? What more must one do before you unwisely exclude those “Too Stupid” to get the benefit of your erudite wisdom?

    Perhaps the perfume of it masks the more obvious smells these hoi pelloi and rabble rebels smell. Molon labe.

  12. 14

    Blue John spews:

    @6. I always enjoy how cyn, who says he doesn’t live here, so he doesnt care what it’s like to live here, is always quick to give advice that destroy our ecology and envoriment. Mudslides? Salmon? Won’t matter after cyn’s proposals are passed. An educated electorate? Not after cyn is done. Why is that cyn wants us to be come Somlia or Colombia?

    Jails? Public Safety and Infrastructure are 2 main purposes of State Government. The Jails are a joke. Prisoners have so many perks benefits. Start treating them like prisoners so they don’t ever want to come back!
    That doesn’t work
    Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Recidivism in the jails was reduced during his time as sheriff.
    Truth: Sheriff Joe Arpaio spent $10,000 in taxpayer money to have Arizona State University study recidivism in the jail system. The result showed that there was no change in the rate at which inmates returned to jail. Sheriff Joe Arpaio immediately declared that ASU was wrong.

  13. 15


    Stupid wingnuttery..

    Ok times are tough.. Pare back..

    But don’t cut into the freaking bone! Education is our future.. More infrastructure spending is not only needed to fix dilapidated stuff but creates badly needed jobs..

    And this state’s revenues have been declining for years.. Can’t squeeze more blood from the miserable regressive tax turnip. So go where the money is – the Michael Duncemires of the world who reaped all the benefits from the rotten enchilada that is this state’s broken tax system.

    Not killing the patient is all anyone is talking about..


  14. 16

    Lou Booga spews:

    The silence about this outcome is deafening! I have a feeling there was a “Dewey beats Truman” moment this morning when the various editorial boards had to throw away their carefully prepared self congratulations.Hooray for the people of Oregon!

  15. 17


    Mr Cynical @ 3

    So increasing taxes on businesses and folks with income over $125k is “Progressive”??

    You’re a quick study. You figured that out all on your own?

    Your list of gutting government services to enact your libertarian utopia forgot to eliminate election administration and the courts.

    There’s something that confuses me about your ravings. Trogs are known for their message control. Say the same thing over and over until it becomes conventional wisdom.

    Cynical, you’re all over the map. As in “too long, did not read”. Try to simplify. Maybe start with simple cut and paste. Then riff on a theme as you gain some writing ability.

  16. 18

    Rat City Spawn spews:

    Oregon moves from the 48th lowest tax on business to 46! So you’re going to close your still profitable business and move to one of the four lower? Aside from Nike and Columbia Sportswear*, which Oregon businesses are so unique that the four lowest states would be interested? The four lowest already have somebody else in your business who is established and has all the customers. Good Luck!

    *Neither of which actually employ that many people in Oregon. Most of their workforce is in Vietnam and China. Their Oregonians are in finance, design, and marketing and I’m sure they would be thrilled to move to a shitty state like Alabama. Not to mention how both Nike and Columbia brands are enhanced by the Pacific Northwest outdoors image.

  17. 19

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    18. Rat City Spawn spews:

    Oregon moves from the 48th lowest tax on business to 46!

    Give us your source please….and don’t forget to include the Income Tax on individuals & other taxes EMPLOYEES pay.
    I have seen the joke of pulling just a portion of the tax burden out and holding it up as evidence we need to raise taxes.
    Businesses look at the overall tax burden..on themselves and employees, in deciding where to locate.

  18. 20

    Sam Adams spews:

    How much of this increase will go to the primary functions of gov’t and how much will go to either special interests or those who pander to those in office?

  19. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @6 “Then shut down the Superintendent of Public Instruction”

    I agree with that part of it — I think Washington should remodel its tax structure in the mold of other states — but I don’t see how you save $1 billion by cutting the pay of the 10 employees of the Growth Management Hearings Boards by 20% or even by firing them and eliminating their jobs.

  20. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Specifically, I see no reason for school taxes to be laundered through a state agency and then sent back to local school districts. In most other states, which have more rational tax structures than ours, school taxes are collected and spent locally. If you get K-12 funding out of the state budget and keep it in the local districts, like everyone else in the U.S. does, you would cut the state budget almost in half as Cynical says, because the K-12 money channeled through the SPI’s checking account is about 45% of the total state budget.

    Of course, this wouldn’t make a dime’s worth of difference in how much the other state functions cost, or how much taxes it takes to support them. But anything that makes Cynical feel good might help take some pressure off his goats.

  21. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 I think it’s a travesty you have to pay B & O taxes. (I also think your claim that you pay B & O taxes is bullshit, but that belongs in a different thread.) I think the B & O tax should be killed. Wiped out. Eliminated. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of the state sales tax, too! I’m in favor of the Gates Commission plan of replacing the job-killing B & O tax and the regressive sales tax with a state income tax that will distribute the state tax burden more fairly, so we don’t have a situation where the poor are paying 17% of their income to the state while the rich pay only 3%. The sooner this happens, the better.

  22. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 I’ll bet if you polled the public to find out how many people would rather get government services for nothing than pay taxes for them, you’d find that “free” is very popular.

  23. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 (continued) I’ll bet a similar poll of consumer attitudes, if the questions are carefully worded, also would find that people like free cars, free TVs, free iPods, and free rent, too.

  24. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 (continued) I’ll bet if you poll Republicans, you’ll find they like horses and boys better than women.

  25. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @13 It’s true we greedy liberals have been taxing ourselves (and the poor) to buy all the education, libraries, police and fire services, courts and jails, parks, and social services we can get away with, and poor mouthing to get even more of these things. I admit we’re not above tacking another $20 onto everyone’s annual property tax bill for computers in the classrooms if we can pull it off.

    But if you compare that with Bush borrowing $1 trillion from China to give tax breaks to billionaires and throwing away another $1 trillion on an unnecessary war in Iraq, I prefer liberal greed to conservative greed.

    Does that put it in perspective for you?

  26. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @13 (continued) “What do you think about us that you can insult us”

    Since you asked, what I think about you is that you’re gullible fools who fall for incredible lies, and it’s not possible to insult people as stupid and credulous as you guys are.

    P.S., you don’t have to call me “Mr.” and you’re wasting your time making the effort because I’m not going to respect you anyway.

  27. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 The wingnuts’ idea of “economy” is eliminating spending on tools. That’s how the economy got where it is — they decided taking profit out of America was more important than investing in America.

  28. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In 2007, the financial industry received 40% of all corporate profits, even though the financial industry makes nothing — not food, not housing, not machinery, not even the paper they push in endless circles.

    Anyone seeing this statistic who knows anything about economics would immediately realize that unless this changes the American economy will go over the abyss.

  29. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The paper financial economy was, of course, built by Republican capitalists under a succession of Republican administrations. It wasn’t Democrats who sent all our manufacturing jobs to China, India, Mexico, Indonesia, and other labor hellholes.

  30. 32

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    21. Roger Rabbit spews:

    I agree with that part of it — I think Washington should remodel its tax structure in the mold of other states — but I don’t see how you save $1 billion by cutting the pay of the 10 employees of the Growth Management Hearings Boards by 20% or even by firing them and eliminating their jobs.

    You missed the point…as usual.
    The GMA has virtual crushed all economic development in rural communities. It’s not the salary of the Hearings Board…IT’S THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF GMA ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL AREAS you dumba$$.

  31. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @20 I’m all for eliminating special interest spending. Let’s start with the $3 billion we gave Boeing to facilitate moving their headquarters to Chicago and moving their assembly plant to South Carolina.

  32. 34

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @32 “The GMA has virtual crushed all economic development in rural communities.”

    What economic development in rural communities? There’s been nothing in those places for the last 100 years, except for the farms watered by dams built with city taxpayers’ money, so what exactly did the GMA “crush”?

    I’ve been traveling around rural Washington for over 40 years. What I see today is exactly what I saw before GMA came along: People living in rotting mobile homes, junk cars and litter in yards, and miles of arid sagebrush (eastern Washington) and hillsides denuded of trees by clearcuts (western Washington).

    There’s not many people in the rural counties. There’s not much economic activity in those places. What there is, is almost entirely supported by public lands, public employment, or public subsidies. The GMA doesn’t even apply to some of those counties.

    So WTF are you talking about?

  33. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @32 Cynical, I don’t claim to have a perfect understanding of the state budget, but I’m confident I have a much clearer picture of where the money goes than you do. There are about 200 state agencies, boards, and commissions — most of them very small.

    The overall size of the state budget is distorted by the fact local school funding goes through the OSPI and appears on the books as “state spending.” We’re the only state doing that, and K-12 spending is not part of state government in any sense. When you disregard that, the “real” state budget is only slightly more than half the size of the apparent budget.

    The bulk of the “real” state budget goes for a handful of big-ticket items: Prisons, transportation, and social services. By far the biggest chunks of social services spending are Medicaid for poor people and Medicaid for indigent elderly people in nursing homes. You and I disagree on the basic philosophy of punishing people for being poor by denying basic medical care to their kids. Maybe you want to live in that kind of country, but I don’t; and I say, if that’s the kind of country you want to live in, move to a real third world country instead of trying to turn America into a third world country.

    Maybe you’re also mean enough to cart the old folks out of the nursing homes, deposit them on the curb, and let them die there. Just because you’d do it isn’t a reason for me to do it.

    The state budget lumps all state revenue and spending together, but some of the larger state programs are either self-supporting or are supported by dedicated taxes. Workers comp and unemployment insurance are both large programs, but none of the money for those programs comes from general tax revenues. The lottery and liquor board, both sizeable agencies with sizeable budgets, make money for the state. The gambling commission, horse racing commission, and most of the other little regulatory or special-interest commissions are self-supporting through user fees.

    About a quarter of state spending comes from federal funding. In the Medicaid programs administered by DSHS, it’s half. If you cut those programs, you lose the federal matching money. So, a $1 billion cut in Medicaid doesn’t save $1 billion in state taxes, it saves only $500 million in state taxes — and some other state will get the federal money that currently benefits Washington residents.

    Cynical, you are an ass. Your ideas are stupid. Your belief system is governed by a morally bankrupt and illogical ideology. You haven’t thought through the issues, researched the facts, or suggested solutions. Your “solution” is to dismantle civilization. This deserves no credibility, and you have none.

    Why should anyone listen to you?

  34. 36

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Rog sez:

    The overall size of the state budget is distorted by the fact local school funding goes through the OSPI and appears on the books as “state spending.” We’re the only state doing that, and K-12 spending is not part of state government in any sense. When you disregard that, the “real” state budget is only slightly more than half the size of the apparent budget.

    So are you saying that the amount cannot be reduced???? If salaries, benefits and paid time-off are reduced…then the State Contribution can theoretically be reduced. Right??

  35. 37

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I am all for the State getting out of Public Education…but I’m also for the economies of scale of larger school Districts.

  36. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The great fallacy underlying the arguments of trolls who whine about penny-ante “special interest” programs is that this spending accounts for only a couple percent of the state budget. Laying off half the governor’s personal staff might save one-hundreth of 1 percent of the state budget. That would permit a reduce of the sales tax from 9.5 percent to 9.4998 percent. You would save 4 cents of sales tax on the purchase of a $20,000 car. The penny-ante whining by penny-ante trolls about penny-ante programs is just that — penny-ante.

  37. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @37 My understanding is you guys are for getting out of public education altogether, and left to you, only children of the affluent would go to (private) school.

    This is consistent with the conservative worldview, which sees less and less need for labor as workers are replaced by automation or cheap foreign labor, and sees human beings as having worth only in terms of their ability to add profit to the bottom line.

    If their free-market economic system doesn’t provide enough jobs to go around, tough. If you don’t win under this system, then you and your family don’t deserve housing, food, or medical care, much less education.

    Even wild animals take better care of their own than that.

  38. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 Anything can be reduced. For example, you can reduce the defense budget by reinstating the draft and paying our soldiers nothing for fighting our wars. Suggest what we should cut. Be specific.

  39. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @37 Which school districts should be larger? Should all of eastern Washington be one school district? Should Seattle School District be combined with the suburban school districts? How big should school districts be in counties that have only a few hundred schoolkids, but most of those kids live miles from the nearest school? Should a parent in Oroville have to drive to Moses Lake to attend a school board meeting to complain about a dictionary having the word “oral sex” in it?

  40. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I think, Cynical, you’ll find that people smarter than you put more thought than you did into this question of how many school districts Washington should have and what size they should be.

    Taken to its logical conclusion, your argument would lead to a single statewide school administration … oops, that’s exactly what they did 100 years ago, and they called it the Office of Public Instruction.

  41. 44

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    There are a lot of small School Districts.
    I’m not an advocate of 1…but perhaps 1/2 of what we have now and 1 ESD (centralized accounting)

  42. 45

    delbert spews:

    How about we fire 80% of the 78 IT specialists on staff at the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. The person who told me the WDFW staffing level said they have 3 IT people running an entire bank.

    I’m sure we could fire a good fraction of the staff in Olympia and nobody would notice a thing.

  43. 46

    Mathew "RennDawg" Renner spews:

    Congraulations to Oregon for punishing success. Many of these business may come to Washington when leave to avoid the punishment.

  44. 47

    Lou Booga spews:

    What a delightful way of reframing a victory for students,the uninsured,and low income families! Inherited wealth is certainly the best kind of success, which we serfs should all be in awe of. As to the dream that “many of these business may come to Washington… to avoid the punishment” Well I just did a search and found that there are NO punishing taxes on the moon.Sure, it’s far away but no punishing taxes is no punishing taxes.

  45. 48

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Lou Booga–
    Waste your life being jealous & envious of other taxpayers who create jobs and create wealth and pay taxes for your lazy ass…
    or participate!!

  46. 49

    Lou Booga spews:

    All Hail The Great God Of Commerce! Woe to anyone who would dare question Its Deity! I’m so glad you could interrupt your pissing contest with R.R. to offer me some wise and sober advice because I can now see what an American hero Paris Hilton really is…all those jobs scoring her coke,wiping the puke off her beautiful face,and that’s not counting all those lawyer jobs.Maybe there’s a little hero in you too…