I dunno… sure does sound like a definitive statement of fact to me:
The Legislature cannot raise taxes.
But of course, that’s not true. The Legislature can raise taxes. It would require a remarkable display of bipartisan support—exactly the kinda bipartisanship the Seattle Times editorial board so often breathlessly pines for—but it can be done, even under the unconstitutional two-thirds strictures of I-1053.
For example, let’s say there was some kind of devastating natural disaster, a tsunami or an earthquake that required hundreds of millions of dollars in immediate emergency spending for relief and reconstruction… could (and should) the Legislature raise taxes to meet these needs, despite statewide voters “emphatic votes on three separate ballot measures” this past November?
I’d like to think so. So isn’t this really just a question of priorities? And isn’t that what politics is always about: priorities?
So no, neither the Legislature, nor the governor, nor the voters, nor the Times gets off that easily. We can raise taxes, if we want to. And if we don’t raise taxes to help offset the proposed devastating cuts to education and social services, then the human suffering and long term costs these cuts create is on our heads.