I-1033: Eyman’s most vindictive, dangerous and mean-spirited initiative yet

Assuming his numbers can be trusted (and that’s a huge assumption), Tim Eyman has apparently turned in enough signatures to qualify Initiative 1033 for the November ballot, his most vindictive, dangerous and mean-spirited initiative yet.

I-1033 is a “TABOR” initiative, one of many, similarly constructed spending-cap measures that have been peddled in the initiative states nationwide, and have been funded by a shadowy network of ultra-wealthy, right-wing extremists. Thus, unlike most of Eyman’s initiatives, don’t be surprised to see a fair amount of out of state money flooding into Washington to fund the “Yes” campaign.

The Washington State Budget and Policy Center has a great analysis of I-1033 and its consequences, and I encourage you to watch their slideshow, but don’t think it an exaggeration to summarize the measure as the end of Washington state government as we know it.

I-1033 caps government spending at the previous year’s spending, plus population growth and inflation, and while that may appear to be a formula for fiscal stability, it is in fact entirely and intentionally the opposite.

As I’ve previously explained, Implicit Price Deflator (IPD) for Personal Consumption Expenditures, the inflation index I-1033 uses, comes nowhere close to measuring the rising costs of providing government services. For example, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, the cost to consumers of durable goods has plummeted 14 percent since 2000, while the cost of consumer services has risen 29 percent.  Over that same period of time the IPD (generally accepted to be the most accurate measure of inflation) has risen 21.6% for Personal Consumption Expenditures as a whole, but over 42% for State and Local Government.

So why has the inflation rate for state and local government services risen at nearly twice the rate as that for consumer expenditures?  According to a report compiled by the Washington D.C. based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, it mostly comes down to productivity:

Proponents of TABOR-type tax and expenditure limits sometimes contend that a growth formula based on population plus inflation would be adequate to maintain public services at a roughly constant level. But researchers long have recognized that the services provided in the public sector, such as education, health care, and law enforcement, tend to rise in cost faster than many other goods and services in the economy in general. This analysis was first put forward by economist William Baumol, who pointed out that technology and productivity gains may make goods cheaper to produce, but the services that government provides are different. Baumol said public services typically rely heavily on well-trained professionals — teachers, police officers, doctors and nurses, and so on — and technology gains do not make these services cheaper to provide. It may take far fewer workers to build an automobile than it did 30 years ago, but it still takes one teacher to lead a classroom of children. (In fact, as education has become increasingly important, the trend is toward more teachers per pupil, not fewer.) Doctors generally still see patients one by one, and nursing care remains labor intensive despite technology.

Even in a stable economy, population plus inflation just can’t keep up with the rising costs of providing government services, resulting in government spending power dropping year after year after year (as is already happening in WA state under our current unfair and inadequate tax system these past fifteen years). But of course, our economy is not stable, and here is where I-1033′s true destructiveness comes into play.

I-1033 would limit annual spending to that of the previous year adjusted for population growth plus IPD, which means that during every economic downturn, the base level of spending from which future increases are calculated will be ratcheted down to the lowest revenue point, creating an ever widening gap between projected spending increases, and those actually allowed under I-1033.

Of course, Eyman chooses the trough of our worst economy since the Great Depression on which to base future revenue increases, but even if he hadn’t, the inevitable result would still be a dramatically smaller government, and in short time. For example, had I-1033 been implemented in 1995, revenues during our current, already squeezed biennium, would have been $6 billion lower than they are now.

How much is $6 billion? That’s the current state budget for higher education, natural resources, public health, early learning, corrections and the Basic Health plan… combined!

Like I said, it’s not an exaggeration to describe I-1033 as the end of state government as we know it. In fact, the consequences would be so unbelievably dramatic that there is almost a sense of complacency amongst the opposition—we simply can’t believe that the majority of voters could be so stupid as to pass such an incredibly irresponsible measure.

But it’s ignorance, not stupidity that frightens me.

If I-1033 draws in national money from the usual pro-TABOR suspects, this could be an awfully tough fight. The TABOR camp has spent years honing their rhetoric and talking points, and Eyman has been dutifully aping their instructions since filing. It’s going to take a lot of voter education to defeat this measure, and with the weakened state of our local media, and the generally timid demeanor of our political leaders, I’m not entirely confident that we’re properly prepared to defend against this latest assault on our quality of life.

Comments

  1. 1

    TermLimitsNow spews:

    I can’t help myself. I feel so sorry for anybody who measures their quality of life based on government services. It’s too sad.

  2. 2

    Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor spews:

    Here’s what I said after turning in our petition signatures today at 11 am:

    We have a message to our thousands of supporters throughout the state of Washington: YOU DID IT!! Thanks to your months of hard work, persistence, and support, today the Lower Property Taxes Initiative campaign is submitting over 314,227 voter signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia. We really appreciate everyone’s extraordinary effort. 292,000 signatures were needed, so hitting 314,227 makes it a slam dunk. That gives us a cushion of well over 70,000 signatures. There’s no doubt this guarantees Initiative 1033 will be on the November ballot.

    We are ecstatic. Just getting on the ballot is a huge victory.

    In January, we started a debate over lowering property taxes and over the past 6 months, we’ve discussed 1033’s policies and principles with the people. And thanks to the 314,227 citizens who voluntarily signed a petition, that debate will continue until election day when a decision will be made by the people. We’re grateful to our supporters for providing us with the opportunity to make the case for 1033.

    The Lower Property Taxes Initiative substantially reduces property taxes by controlling the growth of government. 1033 says that the growth rate of state, county, and city general fund revenue cannot exceed the inflation rate plus population growth. Revenues collected above the limit will reduce property taxes. Not only does 1033 provide meaningful property tax relief, but it stops politicians from shifting the tax burden by raising taxes someplace else. 1033 provides ‘net’ property tax relief.

    Property taxes are a huge problem, especially for struggling working families and fixed-income senior citizens. Too many are being taxed out of their homes. We don’t want Washington to be a state where only rich people can afford to buy and own a home. Citizens desperately need and deserve property tax relief, especially now, during these tough economic times.

    No state, county, or city politician can say they didn’t see this coming. For decades, citizens have told politicians about their own personal property tax horror stories — and politicians consistently ignored them. For decades, during both good times and bad, governments allowed taxpayers’ property tax problems to fester, arrogantly dismissing the people’s repeated, urgent call for relief. Why is Initiative 1033 necessary? Politicians need to look in the mirror — it is their decades of inaction and greed, as well as their complete lack of empathy and compassion for the taxpayers’ struggles, that necessitated 1033.

    Nonetheless, it’s important to note that 1033 is a very reasonable, moderate way to provide meaningful property tax relief. 1033 doesn’t slash government tax revenues — it simply controls their growth. Under 1033, the government will continue to grow, but it’ll grow at a rate that the citizens can control and the taxpayers can afford. 1033 allows governments to get off the fiscal roller coaster, instilling discipline, restraint, predictability, and sustainability in the budget process. 1033 gives politicians the excuse to say ‘no’ to the special interest groups and the courage to finally prioritize and reform, getting maximum use and benefit from existing revenue. It’s long past time for governments to move away from the boom-bust insanity that has plagued the budget process for decades.

    And again, 1033 does it in a very reasonable, moderate way.

    In 2001, we sponsored an initiative that capped certain revenue growth and allowed voter approval for higher increases. Ever since then, politicians for the state, counties, and cities have complained about 747′s 1% cap, saying “give us an inflation-adjusted cap” – 1033 gives them an inflation-adjusted cap. When we filed the original version of our initiative in January, politicians complained that its cap didn’t account for population growth – so we refiled the initiative and expanded the cap to include an allowance for population growth. Politicians complained that the original cap included federal funds and prohibited rainy day accounts – 1033 specifically exempts federal funds and carves out exceptions for rainy day accounts.

    We listened and responded to their concerns – when have politicians ever done that for taxpayers?

    And let’s also remember that inflation plus population growth is how much they automatically get — under 1033, they can always go to the people to get more — 1033 has a built-in safety valve that allows the voters to approve higher revenue if government makes the case for it.

    Our property taxes keep growing faster and faster and government keeps getting bigger and bigger – the people are losing control. The Lower Property Taxes Initiative is our last, best chance to gain control of our government and provide the first real reduction in property tax bills in our state’s history.

    For many years now, Jack, Mike, and I have worked really hard with all of you. Of the various initiatives we’ve pushed over the years, 12 have qualified for the ballot, and 8 have been approved by the voters. 1033 will the 9th. We’ve provided common sense solutions to serious public policy problems that politicians repeatedly ignored — and we’ve let the voters decide. Most of the time, the voters have endorsed these ideas and we believe that as a state, we’re better for it. By working together, we’ve dramatically lowered vehicle tab taxes twice, capped property tax increases twice, instituted performance audits of state and local governments, shrunk the size of the King County Council, required government to treat everyone the same without regard to race or gender, protected the initiative process, and made it a whole lot tougher for politicians to take more of the people’s money.

    We’ve helped give the average taxpayer an equal voice in the process.

    We don’t win every battle, but we feel extremely gratified by the progress we’ve made so far. The snakepit of politics is the dirtiest, meanest, nastiest arena of all. Political activism is very difficult but also very necessary. No one can be successful at it without facing scathing, vicious attacks. We’re accustomed to that. In fact, we wear it as a badge of honor. If we were ineffective, these issues would never see the light of day.

    Jack, Mike, and I are very proud of our efforts, very proud of our supporters, and very hopeful the voters of Washington will support lowering property taxes by approving 1033 in November.

    – END –

    http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

  3. 3

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–
    Your ideology does not allow you to see that:
    a) Non-government workers are tapped out.
    b) The ONLY way to reform government and stop the runaway State Government spending machine is to TAKE AWAY THE MONEY.

    Gregoire and the State Democrats have passed 2 straight unsustainable Budgets. The consequences will become apparent to all in the next Budget. Rather than make needed spending cuts, Gregoire and her Klan INCREASED spending by $8 BILLION in the face of a recession…and in the latest Budget, it was smoke-and-mirrors like underfunding the already massively underfunded State Retirement Fund. The lack of fiscal honesty and responsibility is appalling.

    Hence, the only option folks have at this time to reign things in is I-1033.

    The State Employees Union is the problem. It should be disbanded immediately. State Employees Paid Benefits are over 30% and Paid Time-off is worth another 18%. Nearly 50% on top of their salaries!!!
    Self-employed folks get no paid time-off.
    Slef-employed folks must pay 100% of their health insurance and Social Security.

    Thank You Tim.
    Let’s rein ‘em in!!

  4. 4

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Like Margaret Thatcher said, the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

  5. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    Anti-tax intitiatives, such as those ushered by Eyman’s semi-annual campaigns, rely upon temporary conditions which might make them momentarily appealing to taxpayers. By offering such amendments on a regular basis, Eyman is counting on eventually hitting such a temporary economic condition whereby voters might approve the measure. But his measures usually include provisions making it very difficult to reverse course once those temporary conditions are abated.

    This became apparant back in the late 1970′s, when Calif. Prop. 13, the grand-daddy of such initiatives. was passed. It relied for passage upon a temporary situation where the state government was recovering from lower revenues due to the rescession of 1974-75, and there was a temporary period of high inflation beginning in 1976-1979. The inflation boosted appraised house values, causing real estate taxes to increase noticeably. The state government didn’t react quickly enough to adjust the tax rates in compensation, in part because it wanted another year or so of increased revenue to offset the reductions and cutbacks it had made during the previous rescession, and in larger part because government just doesn’t move that fast (our system of government is set up to discourage such rash policy adjustments).

    The situation was further complicated in California by some peculiar local circumstances. In Serrano v. Priest, the court ruled that a system whereby local real estate tax revenue which went directly to local school districts was unconstitutional, because the wealthy school districts received far more money than the poorer ones, and the effective tax rates (measured as a % of valuation) were higher in poor neighborhoods thhan in rich ones. The end result was that Calif. was forced to consolidate school funding revenue, taking some of the money from wealthier districts and distributing it to poorer districts, and tax rates were more equalized (causing increases in the effective tax rates of wealthy taxpayers, but the money was going outside their district).

    Another problem was that California assessors originally had wide lattitude in making their assessments. This allowed them to make some exceptions for elderly residents who wanted to continue living in their homes, but who’s homes could be assessed at a higher value if the value of the property as commercial or “tear-down” use was considered. But because there were also scandals as assessors used that discretion to favor friends and “business partners”, that latitude was removed in favor of some strict standards for making the assessments. The result was that a large number of elderly residents saw their assessments rise dramatically, leaving heart-rending stories of elderly widows being forced to sell their properties because they could no longer afford the taxes.

    Finally, California was seeing lots of population growth which raised property prices generally, and increased demands for roads and services (making tax cuts more difficult to achieve).

    Now, all of these problems could have been addressed individually within a year or two, and by the start of the rescession of 1980-1984, many of the concerns were eliminated without further action simply by the fact that inflation – and property value increases – were being crushed by the Fed’s amazingly high interest rates at the time.

    But before that happened, in stepped Jarvis and Gann, who pushed Prop. 13 which was adopted in 1978, and which has hamstrung “Gov. Terminator” of late. In short, the measure rewarded long-term residents who stayed in their homes by capping their tax increases. Since that encouraged older residents to keep their properties off the market, the price for that measure was instead paid by younger residents, who not only had to pay higher tax rates based upon valuations as of the time of their purchase, but also inflated housing values because fewer properties were on the market (older taxpayers were holding still).

    Now the current initiative probably has one of the better chances of passing than Eyeman’s previous intiatives, because of a similar temporary condition. Real estate prices spiked a couple of years ago, and now they are going down. Because appraisals are not done every six months or so, and tax rates don’t adjust with every appraisal, this means that some people are suprised to see that they are still paying taxes on the higher appraisals of two years ago, and others are just getting notices (like I did last month) that their appraised value dropped considerably, but their taxes haven’t dropped yet. Expect Eyman to take full advantage of this temporary disparity to try to get support for his initiatives.

    Now remember, however, that this condition is very temporary, and will probably be evened out within a year or so. I haven’t read the details of Eyeman’s initiative, but they usually contain provisions making it difficult, if not impossible in practical terms, to reverse course once those conditions change. Of course, that’s Eyemans’ goal – like a rachet wrench, he wants to make incremental gains when the pressure is moving in his direction, but have a stopgap preventing any losses to his position when things turn the other way.

    Which, of course, begs the point that Eyman’s main purpose of all this is simply to make money by producing initiatives on a regular basis, which he will continue to do as long as he can find rich donars to fund his efforts.

  6. 6

    spews:

    @1: Yeah… who would want to measure quality of life on education, infrastructure, police and fire protection or public health?

    Oh, wait.

    @2: Instead of cutting and pasting what you post on EVERY SINGLE WEBSITE, how about if you actually address what Goldy said here?

    Are you in favor of shutting down higher education? Drastically reducing police service? Reducing public health protections? You do such a great job of trying to strangle government… let’s see what you’re in favor of cutting at the same time.

    Yet again, it’s proof that conservatives will not be happy until the world is a smoking crater, one way or the other.

  7. 7

    rhp6033 spews:

    DK @ 6: Compulsive tax-cutters like Eyeman don’t want to be hamstrung by the difficult decisions which the legislature faces, such as raising taxes or cutting services. They know both are very unpopular.

    That’s why they only address one side of the equation. Essentially they are saying that they want the credit for cutting tax, and they want to pass the responsibility and blame to somebody else for the unpopular decisions which have to be made to cut services.

    If pressed, they would try to avoid the question with dismissive comments that they would “cut waste and abuse in government”, or “run government like it was a private business”, or “make government more efficient”, without providing any details on how it was going to go about it.

    They don’t want to get stuck doing the dirty work, such as when the Reagan administration tried to take vegitables off the school lunch menus by declaring ketsup a vegitable (“hey, it may be mostly vinager and sugar, but it has tomatoes in it too!”), or illegally cancelling disability payments under SSI and VA, only to find out that stories of disabled, blind veterans being kicked out on the streets because their disability payments are held up pending their appeals isn’t very politically palatable.

    Which is why Eyeman doesn’t have the courage to run for office and make such decisions himself.

  8. 8

    spews:

    @7: True.

    I’m all for the idea that new state initiatives that require more government expenditures should have new funding measures attached (or at the very least, properly identified). But if we’re going to be making that kind of arrangement, it would be a good plan to attach all of the programs that Tim is willing to cut in favor of his initiatives as well.

    So what do you say, Tim? Are you willing to actually give the people a full choice, or just bribe them with the promise of a few extra bucks a year without a full accounting of the impacts that choice would have?

  9. 9

    Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor spews:

    post #5 rhp6033 wrote: Which, of course, begs the point that Eyman’s main purpose of all this is simply to make money by producing initiatives on a regular basis,

    Response: As far as fundraising for I-1033 is concerned, we have repeatedly asked our supporters for donations since January. We’ve received 2063 individual donations totalling $664,769 so far. 2063 — that’s really extraordinary — it’s clear that I-1033 has a very broad base of grassroots support. Supporter Mike Dunmire is a real rock star among our supporters — he’s inspired many to contribute because of his leadership and support. The feedback we’ve gotten on this guy is incredible. His $300,000 contribution, along with my $250,000 loan from a 2nd mortgage on my house, certainly helped a lot, but we value everyone who contributes to our efforts, especially during these tough economic times. Everyone who donated has earned our deepest appreciation. And the number of people who collected voter signatures has never been higher: out of the 48,148 supporters who were mailed a I-1033 petition in February, an extraordinary 34,588 sent back a partially filled or fully filled petition — and a bunch of them asked for more. Thousands of man hours went into I-1033′s signature drive.

    For 12 years, our supporters have been asking us to do a property tax initiative. During each and every campaign, we heard supporters repeatedly say “yes, I like lower car tabs, but when are you going to lower my property taxes?” and “sure, I support performance audits, but my property taxes are killing me, do an initiative that help me with that” and “I appreciate how this year’s initiative makes it tougher to raise taxes, but I’m being taxed out of my home from the existing tax burden, do an initiative that tackles our state’s property tax crisis.”

    I-1033 substantially reduces property taxes. It doesn’t limit increases like our previous initiatives have done, I-1033 lowers your property tax bill. It’s necessary and it’s long overdue.

    http://www.permanent-offense.org

  10. 10

    rhp6033 spews:

    Tim @ 9: So are you willing to reveal at this time exactly how much you, and your related companies, are receiving from your “supporters” for conducting this campaign?

  11. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 Imagine what your quality of life would be today if America had no military when the British attacked us in 1812, or Japan and Germany went to war against us in 1941.

    Oh wait, you’ll make an exception for military spending, you say?

    Oh, okay. So let’s just get rid of the Department of Corrections budget, close the prisons, and free all the murderers, robbers, and sex offenders to prey on society to their heart’s content.

    Oh wait, you’ll make an exception for jails and law enforcement spending, you say? Well, now we’re getting somewhere, because that accounts for about 3/4ths of King County’s budget.

    Well okay. Let’s get rid of the state and county health departments. No vaccinations, no restaurant inspections, no epidemic prevention or control. You’re on your own. (Do you suppose the impetus for this gummint spending might have come from the fact the plague killed a third of humanity in the middle ages, and the 1918 Spanish flu killed more people than the First World War? Ya think?!) But no problem, you have good health insurance for when (not if) you or your kids get sick from all the bugs spreading uncontrolled through society. Right?

    Oh wait, you’ll make an exception for public health …

    Here’s a suggestion for you. How about if you draw up a list of public services you’re willing to do without, and let’s work on spending from there. Oh wait, we’ve suggested that before, many times, and people like you never come up with specific cuts …

    Do you understand now why rants like yours have no credibility whatsoever?

  12. 12

    manoftruth spews:

    hey goldstien, is being mean spirited illegal? if it is, how come the jew mayor bloomberg has 5 billion while some people dont have enough to eat in new york. thats mean spirited isnt it?

  13. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 Tim: Thanks for posting your (unpaid) political advertising on Goldy’s blog. You should get on your knees and kiss Goldy’s feet for giving you FREE space to do this.

    Here’s a suggestion: If you want to use a liberal blog to peddle your propaganda, how about at least engaging in a discussion here, instead of just pasting in your ad?

    You can start by addressing the points Goldy has repeatedly raised:

    – That Washington is in the middle (i.e., average) in terms of state/local tax burdens;

    – That inflation-adjusted revenue, in per-capita real terms, is in fact in long-term decline;

    – That tax burdens are severely maldistributed in our state.

    With regard to the latter, you’ve been on the initiative scene for a good many years now, yet I’m still waiting for you to propose something that would make our state tax system less regressive will still providing the revenues our state and local governments legitimately need for services the majority of our citizens consider essential.

    I say you’re an empty suit, Timmy, a guy who goes around in clown suits demagoging tax issues and floating proposals that do little or nothing to solve the underlying problem, which is that people with a lot of money pay little in taxes while people with little money pay a lot of taxes.

  14. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 Government workers are tapped out, too, Cynical. We also need to stop runaway executive compensation and corporate profits in the private sector by TAKING AWAY THE MONEY. In fact, that’s exactly what tapped out consumers all across America are doing — they’ve quit spending money they don’t have. Welcome to the Bush Depression!

  15. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 “TermLimitsNow” — no problem, that’s already done. The voters term-limited you guys last November.

  16. 17

    Haywood Jablome spews:

    @ 6 – and liberals arent happy until everyone is taxed at 100% of their income and completely dependent on mommy govt to sustain them.

    Its time to stop the bastards in Olympia from stealing our money – before they have taken it all and put every one of us in the poor house.

  17. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 “The State Employees Union is the problem. It should be disbanded immediately. State Employees Paid Benefits are over 30% and Paid Time-off is worth another 18%. Nearly 50% on top of their salaries!!! Self-employed folks get no paid time-off. Slef-employed folks must pay 100% of their health insurance and Social Security.”

    Tell you the truth, Cynical, I wouldn’t work for the state today. The working conditions are awful, there’s little job security anymore, and the pay and benefits are peanuts, and the retirement system is nothing like what it used to be.

    I’m not so sure it was a good idea in the first place. Instead of working long hours for low pay to make our state a better place to live for ingrates like you, maybe I should’ve been an ambulance chaser or class-action attorney going after deep-pocketed businesses, i.e. devoted my efforts to enriching myself instead of the public good, and built a career on pure, selfish, greedy profit motive. That’s what you believe in, isn’t it? Isn’t that the only valid motive for work and way to make a living in your viewpoint?

  18. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 Capitalism has the same problem, so it’s six-of-one or half-a-dozen of the other.

  19. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 The property tax system instituted by Prop. 13 is grotesque. You can have two families living side-by-side in identical houses of equal value but one is paying several times as much taxes as the other.

    Prop. 13 discriminates against new homebuyers, young families, and recent arrivals. It also stifles job mobility and the housing markets. Basically, you can’t afford to move for a new job or any other reason because you’ll have to start over at the bottom of the tax heap.

    The California system encourages people to keep homes in the same family for generations. It clobbers the new homebuyer. It increases companies’ labor costs because they have to compensate employees they want to transfer to California for the high property taxes they’ll pay as new homeowners there. And even then, many employees will turn down the move.

    Washington voters were smart enough to see through Prop. 13′s bullshit. When a similar initiative was floated here some years ago, it was resoundingly defeated. As I recall, the vote against it was something like 78%.

  20. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 Cripes, Eyman, is it possible for you to post something besides a canned press release? Can’t you even write a short comment?

  21. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @12 “is being mean spirited illegal?”

    Obviously it isn’t, because if it was, every Republican would be in jail.

  22. 23

    Hitler spews:

    Newsflash to Nutroots: This country was founded on the distrust of government. That sentiment still endures and is embodied in this initiative.

    I will vote for it, and so will many others. The time for your ill conceived experiment in domination and control through the enslavement of the population through taxes and nannyism is over.

  23. 25

    proud leftist spews:

    State budget issues should never be the subject of initiatives. The electorate simply will not do the investigation necessary to make a responsible decision. Initiatives are anathema to responsible government. It’s time for an amendment to the state constitution simply getting rid of initiatives and referendums. And, Timmy, hell has a special place for narcissistic, self-aggrandizing people like you who do nothing but hurt others during your time on earth.

  24. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 That’s no solution, this is the West, and we treasure our Right Of Citizen Initiatives and Referendums, which among other things were the source of labor reforms and public power at times in the last century when capitalists owned governors and legislatures lock-stock-and-barrel. No, the problem isn’t the process itself, but simply one demagogue exploiting the process. The solution is an educated electorate that cuts through the crap and votes down ill-advised proposals. I trust voters more than you do. They’re not always right, but the majority of them recognize crap when they smell it.

  25. 28

    proud leftist spews:

    Roger @ 27
    The initiative/referendum process had its place, as you note. I do trust the electorate, and juries for that matter, more often than not. But, especially when it gets to budgetary issues, I just don’t see that such should be subject to public vote. Hell, I have trouble finding the time to get my brain around some of that stuff and I’m a political junkie with a JD. There may be fundamental values issues that are appropriately subject to initiatives and referendums–death with dignity types of issues, for instance–but, budget issues? I don’t think so.

  26. 29

    where's waldo? spews:

    who are the pigfucking lawyers that drafted this for Timmy boy?

    Groen’s firm?????

    Jim Johnson’s partners????

    Name the pigfuckers!!!!

  27. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Since when are we JDs any good at accounting or budgeting? That’s why they have CLEs called “Accounting For Lawyers” geared to the college freshman level.

  28. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @29 (continued) I think who Eyman’s financial backers are is more to the point. If people knew where the money for the I-1033 campaign is coming from, they’d have a better understanding of whose nest this initiative feathers.

  29. 34

    spews:

    Something tells me that if we were all taxes 99% of our income, and Tim Eyman had an initiative that would disallow the government from raising the rates and taking our last 1% of our money, Goldy would say Eyman’s initiative was vindictive, dangerous, and mean-spirited.

  30. 35

    where's waldo? spews:

    the reason for the question about the PIGFUCKING lawyers is that Johnson drafted an UNCONSTITUTIONAL initiative for timmy boy (747) and Groen’s firm did work for TE as well.

    So who drafted this one?

  31. 37

    manoftruf' spews:

    re 1: I feel the same degree of sadness for people stupid enough to believe that massive tax cuts for the rich somehow makes their life better.

  32. 38

    non-petrol spews:

    “Roger Rabbit spews:

    @29 Looks like an amateur job to me.

    A Tim E. DIY job? That’s all you have to say. It’s unconstitutional.

  33. 40

    Mark1 spews:

    Gee Goldy, things keep getting worse for you. Still unemployed, divorced, can’t get laid, gets red light tickets in POS Nissans, losing your hair along with having a pre-pubescent screech owl voice, Ditzy Darcy turns you down again and again, and once again good buddy Tim Eyman gets another one on the ballot. Jealousy is a sign of insecurity Goldy; see all your rants on Tim and the Seattle Times for blinking red arrows to that. I almost feel sorry for you–almost. Good luck!

  34. 43

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Mark1-@40

    Gee Mark, you kind of hit every single one of Goldy’s short-comings in one post!
    Marxist ideologues like Goldy salivate at the elimination of the non-government working class.
    Goldy is a Utopian Marxist.
    Everything for “the greater good”.
    No personal initiative….typical of the Atheist Progressive Pot-smokin’ krowd Goldy hangs with.

    But the real bottom-line you hit Mark1 is JEALOUSY and ENVY!

  35. 44

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    And if you think California is a laugh riot just now, go ahead and vote for this!

    Personally, I wouldn’t piss on Time Eyman if he were on fire.

  36. 45

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    KKK Klown laughs @ 43: ‘Everything for “the greater good”.’

    Free marketeer money worshiping lickspittle: “A rising tide lifts all boats”.

    Looks like the same hokum to me. Hitler had a lot of personal initiative, too. You are a moron, KKKynical.

  37. 46

    DavidD spews:

    Eyeman and his ilk will not be satisfied until Washington is worse off than Somalia, nevermind California.

    Maybe it’s time to run him out on a rail.

  38. 49

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @38 Their plan is to put lawyers who write unconstitutional initiatives on the state supreme court and that’ll make ‘em constitutional.

  39. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @40 Even if all that were true, Goldy can write; all Eyman can do is cut-and-paste press releases into Goldy’s blog.

  40. 52

    Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor spews:

    an earlier post wrote: Who are the lawyers who drafted this, Tim?

    response: Law firm of Groen, Stephens and Klinge in Bellevue – we worked with Dick Stephens, a brilliant attorney. He was the one who drafted 2007′s Initiative 960 which voters approved and which made it tougher to raise taxes. Early this year, the state supreme court UNANIMOUSLY rejected Lisa Brown’s lawsuit and allowed all of I-960′s policies to remain in effect. Dick deserves enormous credit for drafting I-960 very carefully to survive an anticipated court challenge.

    same thing goes for I-1033 – it was very carefully written.

    http://www.permanent-offense.org

  41. 56

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    So Tim, as long as you’re here, why don’t you answer Goldy’s arguments? I’m particularly interested in your response to the appropriateness of using the CPI index as an inflation measure for government services. If the cost of a widescreen TV drops 50% do you think a teacher’s salary should be cut 50% too? If the CPI includes goods made in China, do you think school districts should pay Chinese wages to office assistants and custodians? What say ye?

  42. 57

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey Timmy, I’m gonna vote AGAINST your latest brainwave. See #56 for a partial explanation.

  43. 59

    McGyver spews:

    33. proud leftist spews:

    Roger @ 30
    You got that right, and I’m managing partner.

    That just means P.L. tells his partner to be top all the time.

  44. 60

    Mike spews:

    Eyman drafted I-1033? It is unconstitutional.

    End of story.

    No doubt.

    He isn’t a lawyer – no way could he have cobbled together a constitutional law.

    Sorry, that’s how it is.

    Somebody post a link to it. We’ll figure out how T.E. mucked it . . . .

  45. 61

    Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor spews:

    previous post by Mike: Eyman drafted I-1033?

    response: It was drafted by the law firm of Groen, Stephens and Klinge in Bellevue – we worked with Dick Stephens, a brilliant attorney. He was the one who drafted 2007’s Initiative 960 which voters approved and which made it tougher to raise taxes. Early this year, the state supreme court UNANIMOUSLY rejected Lisa Brown’s lawsuit and allowed all of I-960’s policies to remain in effect. Dick deserves enormous credit for drafting I-960 very carefully to survive an anticipated court challenge.

    same thing goes for I-1033 – it was very carefully written.

    http://www.permanent-offense.org

  46. 62

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    52 & 61 — You know what? I don’t think Tim Eyman is a person. He’s a robot. Or a computer — a cheap, low-powered PC with a Pentium I processor. My proof? His/its comments at 52 & 61 are exactly the same. Meanwhile, he/it hasn’t responded to my questions. We’re talking to a machine, not a person, folks.

  47. 64

    manoftruf' spews:

    These conservative clowns forget so quickly. They are the ones who have CAUSED every financial disaster that the US has ever suffered.

    A little less cant, please. You stupid little fuckers are like a goddam broken record.

  48. 65

    2cents spews:

    Well at least Tim doesn’t have to worry about property taxes anymore. U.S. Bank’s ready to put him out on the street. ironically our taxes will be funding Eyman and his wife on welfare.

  49. 66

    manoftruf' spews:

    Tim: With all of the billions of dollars in tax breaks that we’ve given to Boeing, they are STILL going to S. Carolina.

    Don’t they know that a ‘skilled work force’ down there consists of ten clamshuckers and a tobacco farmer?

    So, how have these tax cuts helped our state? You are just a self-interested political whore hired to distract the voters and make them take their eye off the ball

  50. 67

    GS spews:

    So Goldy, are you telling us there are 314,227 right-wing extremists who signed this initiative in this state? Well If so your party is in real trouble.

    Running up a 9 Billion dollar spending spree, with the Unemployment skyrocketing in this state, who’s fault was that?

    Every part of this state government are over-taxing the people? Property taxes at 15% increase per year while evaluations are way out of line with property values falling like a rock.

    Boeing leaving the state, whose watch was that on? The second 787 plant was announced today is not going in this state, it’s going to be in South Carolina.

    Microsoft moving off shore because of your party’s massive tax burdons.

    Unemployment still rising, and the stock market falling like a rock as a result.

    Cap and trade will toss this country into a deeper recession.

    This initiative will pass by a great margin, reeling this government into some real head count and program slashing.

    Thanks Tim, and all the folks that helped, signed, tea partied, and are working to fund and reform this spending pit in Olympia, County government and City Government.

    We’d like a few dollars left in our wallets at the end of a week of work, if one even has work, and for those that don’t they will still get some relief.

    This will pass by a large margin!

  51. 68

    GS spews:

    Your buddy Obama wants Socialized medicine, well read it and weep!

    Medical care in the United States is derided as miserable compared to health care systems in the rest of the developed world. Economists, government officials, insurers and academics alike are beating the drum for a far larger government rôle in health care. Much of the public assumes their arguments are sound because the calls for change are so ubiquitous and the topic so complex. However, before turning to government as the solution, some unheralded facts about America’s health care system should be considered.

    Fact No. 1: Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.[1] Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.

    Fact No. 2: Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.[2] Breast cancer mortality is 9 percent higher, prostate cancer is 184 percent higher and colon cancer mortality among men is about 10 percent higher than in the United States.

    Fact No. 3: Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.[3] Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit are taking statins, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease. By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons and 17 percent of Italians receive them.

    Fact No. 4: Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.[4] Take the proportion of the appropriate-age population groups who have received recommended tests for breast, cervical, prostate and colon cancer:

    Nine of 10 middle-aged American women (89 percent) have had a mammogram, compared to less than three-fourths of Canadians (72 percent).
    Nearly all American women (96 percent) have had a pap smear, compared to less than 90 percent of Canadians.
    More than half of American men (54 percent) have had a PSA test, compared to less than 1 in 6 Canadians (16 percent).
    Nearly one-third of Americans (30 percent) have had a colonoscopy, compared with less than 1 in 20 Canadians (5 percent).
    Fact No. 5: Lower income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians. Twice as many American seniors with below-median incomes self-report “excellent” health compared to Canadian seniors (11.7 percent versus 5.8 percent). Conversely, white Canadian young adults with below-median incomes are 20 percent more likely than lower income Americans to describe their health as “fair or poor.”[5]

    Fact No. 6: Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the U.K. Canadian and British patients wait about twice as long – sometimes more than a year – to see a specialist, to have elective surgery like hip replacements or to get radiation treatment for cancer.[6] All told, 827,429 people are waiting for some type of procedure in Canada.[7] In England, nearly 1.8 million people are waiting for a hospital admission or outpatient treatment.[8]

    Fact No. 7: People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed. More than 70 percent of German, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and British adults say their health system needs either “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.”[9]

    Fact No. 8: Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians. When asked about their own health care instead of the “health care system,” more than half of Americans (51.3 percent) are very satisfied with their health care services, compared to only 41.5 percent of Canadians; a lower proportion of Americans are dissatisfied (6.8 percent) than Canadians (8.5 percent).[10]

    Fact No. 9: Americans have much better access to important new technologies like medical imaging than patients in Canada or the U.K. Maligned as a waste by economists and policymakers naïve to actual medical practice, an overwhelming majority of leading American physicians identified computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the most important medical innovations for improving patient care during the previous decade.[11] [See the table.] The United States has 34 CT scanners per million Americans, compared to 12 in Canada and eight in Britain. The United States has nearly 27 MRI machines per million compared to about 6 per million in Canada and Britain.[12]

    Fact No. 10: Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.[13] The top five U.S. hospitals conduct more clinical trials than all the hospitals in any other single developed country.[14] Since the mid-1970s, the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology has gone to American residents more often than recipients from all other countries combined.[15] In only five of the past 34 years did a scientist living in America not win or share in the prize. Most important recent medical innovations were developed in the United States.[16] [See the table.]

    Conclusion. Despite serious challenges, such as escalating costs and the uninsured, the U.S. health care system compares favorably to those in other developed countries.

  52. 69

    Another TJ spews:

    Poor little Timmy. The Darth Vader tights just don’t give him the satisfaction they once did.

  53. 70

    spews:

    Answer my God-damned question, boy!

    Goldy, let’s say all citizens were taxed at a 99% rate. People only got to keep 1% of their income. And then Eyman drafted an initiative that would prevent the government from taking our last 1%, admit it, wouldn’t you accuse Eyman’s initiative of being dangerous, vindictive, and mean-spirited? Would you say he’s trying to assault our quality of life?

  54. 72

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    @20,

    I can just imagine what you say about life insurance companies: They discriminate against older people. Why should some guy, 90 years old and on death’s door, pay more for life insurance than a healthy young buck?

    Because it’s statistically true that the old guy is gonna die before the young guy, that’s why.

    As far as two people living next to each other in CA paying different property taxes, one of those two paid more for his/her house than the other. That means they have more economic power than the other, so they can afford to pay more property taxes.

    The whole point of Prop 13 was to prevent elderly people, who worked hard all their lives (unlike you, rodent) from being thrown out of their houses because the government raised their property taxes to some untenable amount.

    Would you rather have those elderly folks thrown out into the street? I thought you were a “progressive?” Oh, I get it: you’re only a “progressive” when it suits you, right?

  55. 73

    Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor spews:

    post by Roger Rabbit #62 wrote: comments at 52 & 61 are exactly the same.

    response: I identified our attorney and law firm that drafted our initiative in post #52 and then Mike in post #60 said that I-1033 was written by me. So I responded to Mike #60 with the same response.

  56. 74

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    GS@68: Don’t look for a rational response from NutsTooTight. Diddled Luvr may be cogent.

  57. 75

    YLB spews:

    68 – Source of that cut and paste is the right wing stink tank Hoover institute. It was also featured in the Moonie Times.

    I call right wing bullshit.

    A total deflection from the fact that health care costs in this country are totally out of line with preferred outcomes and the health insurance industry’s profit incentives are at more often than not at odds with beneficiaries who have the misfortune to actually become ill or injured and need health care.

    Almost 50 million people don’t have even crappy insurance that won’t cover them when they get really sick. What’s so great about that?

    A good part of Obama’s policy is to confront spiraling costs and make health care accessible to the uninsured.

  58. 76

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Moronic one@75: Puddy would trust the Hoover Institute over the Always Talking But No Points or Memoranda or Daily Kook-aid sites you luv to use. Hoover Institute promotes:

    This Institution supports the Constitution of the United States, its Bill of Rights and its method of representative government.

    Golly who on this blog promotes this? Seems most of the HA libtardos.

    Puddy also notices how the number of uninsured keeps ratcheting higher and higher by HA libtardos. Puddy already explained in the number are people who choose to not buy insurance but can afford it. Puddy already explained what the US Census recently proposed as uninsured including the number of illegal aliens (progressive term: undocumented workers) included in that number. Now clueless wonder claims almost 50 million which is a tad under the 65 million bantied about by NutsTooTight.

    BTW the Washington Times has been covering the Dummocraptic Pension Funds scandal not being covered by the Loonie Libtardo Times. Puddy knows these real facts hurt a HA clueless wonder such as yourself. That’s why you love to disparage the Washington Times because they cover all the news, not just that presented by the libtardo MSM.

    You, clueless wonder are as clueless as always!

  59. 77

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Hey clueless wonder, please regale to all of us the latest medical wonders determined in one of the socialized medicine & hospital countries, not universities or research institutions or big pharma companies. Must be sumtin weally weally important. If they can do it in Arizona high skuuls, Puddy figgers the clueless wonder must have at least a GED intelligence. Could be wrong though!

    Don’t be clueless, show us that wonderful “mind” in action.

  60. 78

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Tim–
    This Initiative will pass easily, especially if you publish a list of the TOTAL COMPENSATION of each individual State Employee.

    TOTAL COMPENSATION = Salary + 30% for Benefits + 17% for paid time-off

    Tim, the Unions want to focus only on State Employees low salaries.
    It’s the TOTAL COMPENSATION that we the taxpayers foot the bill on.

  61. 79

    YLB spews:

    Puddy would trust the Hoover Institute

    Of course you would. As you would trust Drudge, Limbaugh, Hannity and any other paranoid, batshit-insane right wing bullshit artist out there. Notice that Gaseous Shit-for-brains (GS) left no link. I had to dig it up. Lo and behold, a right wing stink tank. Facts damage even further, the empty right wing cranial cavity.

    This Institution supports the Constitution of the United States, its Bill of Rights and its method of representative government.

    Oh really? So they say. I watch what they do. and I say they prop up the privileges of the ruling class in this country through apologizing for the status quo. Or the status quo to the extent it benefits their patrons.

    Puddy also notices how the number of uninsured keeps ratcheting higher and higher by HA libtardos. Puddy already explained in the number are people who choose to not buy insurance but can afford it.

    Oh yeah. Michelle Malkin was all over that poor couple who had a mortgage, a business and yet couldn’t afford decent care for their ailing child. The current system was serving those people just great. And your stupid chimp wouldn’t sign SCHIP so those people could get help. idiot…

    Puddy already explained what the US Census recently proposed as uninsured including the number of illegal aliens (progressive term: undocumented workers) included in that number.

    AFAIK that’s not supported by the facts. I’ve seen nothing credible to back that up. Of course you don’t post a link. Why not? Because it would only lead to right wing bullshit. Shit. Gaseous Shithead (GS) was less of a coward than you.

    claims almost 50 million which is a tad under the 65 million bantied about by NutsTooTight.

    40,50,65 – it’s all indicative of a market failure. When people’s lives are at stake, it has to be addressed.

    BTW the Washington Times has been covering the Dummocraptic Pension Funds scandal blah, blah, blah…

    That piece of shit rag has been funded by Moon to the tune of over a BILLION dollars in losses. It hasn’t make a penny. Where did Moon get that money? You ever think of that? I can’t believe anyone could support that shit.

    Heh. You seem so offended that anyone would push back against right wing bullshit like that Hoover cut and paste.

    Nothing but a FIEND screaming…

  62. 80

    YLB spews:

    the latest medical wonders determined in one of the socialized medicine & hospital countries

    Nice link there Stupes… You find that all by your lonesome? So proud of you..

    The “wonder” is that people can access the health care system in those countries a lot easier than many people can in this country.

    You travel don’t you fool? What happens if you come down with a bug in Canada, Britain or France? Anything out of pocket?

    What happens when a Canadian or a French or a Brit visits this country? AFAIK they’d better buy some health insurance before they hop on the plane.

    And a moron like you has a really big problem with “socialism”. Oh like the socialism of public university research or even big pharma that draws on publicly-funded research all the time and then privatizes the profits they build on top of that and then get so affronted when governments want to negotiate prices with them.

    idiot…

  63. 81

    rhp6033 spews:

    PI @ 72 said: “…As far as two people living next to each other in CA paying different property taxes, one of those two paid more for his/her house than the other. That means they have more economic power than the other, so they can afford to pay more property taxes….”

    Facts not supported by the evidence, conclusions not supported by the facts.

    If measured in real dollars (adjusted for inflation), the people favored by Prop. 13 might have paid more money for their house than the newcomer, and had an easier time of it, also (lower down payments/interest rates, etc.). Individual histories vary.

    Secondly, it doesn’t follow that the person who paid more for their house because they bought it more recently has more power, and a greater ability to pay. The new home purchaser could be a working couple where each is working more than one job just to get their foot in the door of the housing market (which is harder because they are paying a greater share of the property taxes than their neighbors). Their neighbor might be the retired mayor of Glendale of Pasadena, with millions stocked away in retirement savings and capable of living in their home without Prop. 13 subsidies for the next century or so.

    If the initiative was targeted to help the poor keep their homes, it was poorly drafted.

  64. 82

    wazzu3404 spews:

    I went to college with Tim Eyeman and I can tell you from personal experience that he’s a complete nutjob and won’t be happy until government ceases to function completely. We have to fight this thing.

  65. 83

    Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor spews:

    I went to college with wazzu3404 and he’s an awesome, awesome dude.

    but wazzu3404 has chosen to post anonymously so there’s no way to confirm whether he even went to WSU, ever knew me, or even has a clue what he’s talking about.