(Notice! This post is not by Goldy. Read the byline!)
John Madden, the famous football coach, once said about Packers quarterback Brett Favre, “he’s so good, he could beat you with yours.” You see, Favre is so good, he could be swapped to the other and lead the other guys to victory. With all the recent introspection by right-wing bloggers, I’d be a failing our conservative friends if I didn’t put forth my own ideas. Does this Democrat think he could beat Democrats with his own ideas? Hey it’s worth a shot. If they don’t like my ideas they can go back to those bullshit sex offender mailings!
First off, my GOP friends, who’s running things back at HQ? Mike Hargrove? After Chris Vance quit as party chief, the GOP base passed on the ‘establishment’ candidate to replace him and picked Diane Tebelius. She was supposed to be a departure from “Vance-style centrism,” which irritated the base. While Tebelius can’t be blamed for everything, she has to go. A huge loss like this must result someone (other than your candidates) losing their job.
Education. Here’s a haymaker you can use on Democrats. Why not call their bluff on teacher pay and per pupil funding? Try this: Increase teacher pay by 100%, but make it much, much easier to fire the bad ones. Pay science and math teachers more than others. Keep superstar teachers from leaving their field for higher paying jobs at Microsoft. Young teachers will love it, and good teachers will earn more money.
While money isn’t everything, our per pupil spending is too low. We’re at about $9,000. Instead of bumping it up a few hundred bucks, let’s really show folks we’re serious about educating our kids by boosting that number up to, say, $15,000. Now hold your (Gold)water, my conservative friends. Instead of sending that money directly to school districts, let’s send it to the parents of school children so they can choose which school is best for their kids. Contrary to the fears of liberals, most parents won’t leave their public schools. Parents with kids stuck in bad schools with have a real ‘out.’ The problem with most GOP voucher plans is that they are stingy with the money!
Speaking of money, let’s talk taxes. Let’s say it: Income tax. Folks, it’s coming whether we like it or not. This stuff is complicated, but one thing is sure. Our tax system sucks. Let’s swap the B&O tax for a state income tax (one that WA taxpayers can write off on April 15th). Let’s do like Rep. Toby Nixon said: a flat income tax with plenty of write-offs for poor and middle class folks. Liberals will yelp that it’s not progressive, but that’s the beauty of it. If you get there first, you can set the terms of the debate. The Democrats can’t amend the state constitution without your votes, so bargain hard and make ’em squeal.
One final note, and it’s on transportation. You guys got murdered in the suburbs. No wonder… THEY LIKE ROADS, AND THEY LIKE TRANSIT!!! I know how much you guys hate Sound Transit, but face it, dudes; it’s looking a lot better these days. Do like the GOP did in Denver: approve big increases in the sales tax to build light rail to the suburbs. When moderates, swing-voter suburbanites start taking the train, they’ll reward the folks who brought it to them. Make sure that’s Reagan Dunn and not Ron Sims! While GOP stalwarts like Kemper Freeman may not like light rail, try this instead: run light rail right under Bellevue Square! It’ll bring folks to his mall! As for highways… well, you’re going to have to give up on I-605, or any such nonsense. We’re out of the freeway business, boys. It’s better to focus on keeping current infrastructure maintained.
I hope ya’ll find this useful. It’s the best I can do. If you want to discuss this more, feel free to drop by Seattle’s Drinking Liberally every Tuesday at 8:00pm. I’ll be there… with the rest of the winning team.