by Goldy, 02/22/2010, 12:02 PM

Righties like to accuse liberals like me of being tax and spend Democrats, and I suppose, to some extent I am.

See, as a liberal, I believe in using government to improve our collective quality of life by providing services and investing in infrastructure. But, I also believe that we need to pay for these services and investments by responsibly raising the necessary revenue… you know… we need to raise enough taxes to pay for what we spend.

In that sense, “tax and spend” is both liberal, and fiscally conservative.

The Seattle Times, on the other hand, appears to be embracing a less responsible  philosophy of government, one which I have dubbed “no-tax and spend.” Like your run of the mill politician, the Times ed board is much more enamored of cutting taxes than it is of cutting services. For example, it’s latest rant against a bill that would allow the Department of Natural Resources to charge timber companies, developers and others a reasonable fee for accessing valuable data that collects.

The other bad bill, Senate Bill 6747, would allow the state Department of Natural Resources to charge exorbitant fees to citizens for access to the agency’s Natural Heritage Program, which includes a database of species and ecosystems that are a priority for conservation. The costs could be as high as $6,000 for an annual subscription or $100 per request plus a $75/hour charge.

Money throughout state agencies is tight, but charging hefty fees for information intended to be public is an irresponsible solution. If the DNR imposes such fees, expect more agencies to follow suit with public-request-killing fees.

Of course, the Times is either befuddled or befuddling or both, as this bill has nothing to do with public records requests, and does not authorize similar fees from other agencies. What it does do is allow DNR to continue the Natural Heritage Program by offsetting crippling budget cuts with a fee comparable to that being charged for a similar program in neighboring Oregon.

NHP has already seen a more than 50% cut in its biennial budget, from $1.38 million to $585,000, and further cuts would jeopardize an additional $240,000 in federal matching grants. The proposed fees would not cover the full cost of running the program, but it would stabilize funding enough to keep it going at current levels.

The Times and I both acknowledge that the NHP provides a valuable service, the difference is how we propose to pay for it. Personally, I’d prefer an adequate and fair broad-based tax system that provides sufficient and sustainable revenues to pay for services like the NHP, without resorting to user fees. But barring that, I’m not philosophically opposed to offsetting part of the cost of the program by charging timber companies, developers and other users the going rate for such services.

The Times, on the other hand, would prefer to pay for programs like the NHP by pulling wads of money out of a leprechaun’s ass. Or something like that.

Yeah sure, the Times has enunciated a few cost-saving proposals, most of which involve fucking the state employee unions, but in general there has been a remarkable disconnect on its op-ed page between its reflexive support for popular government services, and its knee-jerk opposition to the taxes and fees necessary to pay for them. As the Times points out, the state isn’t the federal goverment… “it cannot print money or borrow from China.” So something has to give.

When it comes to the NHP, I say “tax and spend,” whereas the Times simply says “spend.” You figure out for yourself which one of us is being more fiscally responsible.

26 Responses to No-tax and spend conservatives”

1. John425 spews:

Goldy says: “…responsibly raising the necessary revenue… you know… we need to raise enough taxes to pay for what we spend.”

No one objects to paying for the good government that we get, Goldy. It’s the bullshit notion that you can spend whatever the fuck you please by just going back and squeezing the taxpayer again and again.

2. GEM_in_Orange spews:

I have always used the phrase “mortgage and spend” for people like the former POTUS — or my current Governor (the one with the Austrian accent).

3. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 Who’s spending “whatever they please”? Every state agency has absorbed deep cuts. They’ve laid off employees, frozen hiring, cut programs.

As for “paying for the good government that we get,” that has to rank as the most hypocritical 8 words you’ve ever posted on this blog. Your entire posting history on HA makes clear there’s no tax you’re willing to pay and there’s no government you consider good.

Spare us your empty platitudes. Give me a line-item list from the state budget of specific things you want to cut. Then I’ll give you a straight-up “yes” or “no” answer.

4. Roger Rabbit spews:

Samantha Bell, appearing on “Good Morning America,” told a TV audience her father was justified in flying a gasoline-laden plane into an IRS building to protest “injustice.” Then she added that she moved to Norway because Medicaid wouldn’t take care of her when she was laid off and pregnant.

5. manoftruth spews:

you mean as responsible as california?

6. Roger Rabbit spews:

If our tax protesters want to live in Norway to escape high taxes and socialistic government, I say let’s take up a collection to buy ‘em all one-way tickets.

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

@5 California is a perfect example of what happens when people who want government services for nothing succeed in rewriting tax laws with initiatives.

8. Roger Rabbit spews:

California is like a cereal box context in which everyone wins the grand prize.

9. Roger Rabbit spews:

Why should our legislators take advice from a newspaper whose own fiscal management is so poor they begged for special tax breaks in order to survive?

10. T spews:

I’ve always said that for all their imperfections, I’ll take a tax-and-spend Democrat over a spend-and-spend Republican every time.

Also, the Seattle Times continues to test my ability to hate them more than I already do.

11. manoftruth spews:

you guys are as full of crap as the tv ads they run trying to say high fructose corn syrup is good for you. joseph geobbels would be jealous.

12. Chris Stefan spews:

@10
Democrats: the party of fiscal responsibility.

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

@12 What party? Remember what Will Rogers said: “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” Nothing’s changed since then.

14. The Raven spews:

Borrow and spend Republicans.

15. Broadway Joe spews:

Republicans – negativism and nihilism.

Why do they hate America?

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@15 Because they hate themselves and, above all, they hate their mothers.

17. Eric Arrr spews:

Yeah, Goldy, I believe the catch-phrase you’re looking for is Borrow & Spend.

18. Mr. Cynical spews:

Goldy–
As you attempt to push forward your shriveling Progressive Agenda, keep in mind America is not in-tune with your Progressive messiah–

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -19 (see trends).

Both Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist lead their likely Democratic opponent in Florida’s Senate race. Data released yesterday on the Republican Primary in Florida shows that Marco Rubio has opened a wider lead over Charlie Crist. Overall, 45% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove.

I liken what Obam-Mao is doing to the Football Coach leading a 5-mile uphill run….but failing to look behind him to see that NO ONE ELSE IS THERE!!

19. Mr. Cynical spews:

Democrats are the part of Borrow and

SQUANDER!

20. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

Borrow and

SQUANDER!

Nope that was Shrubya.. Borrowed to wage a stupid war.

Borrowed to give billionaires tax cuts..

The sooner we go back to top tax rates of 90 percent, the better. Tax rates like that keep the rich’s money working in the real economy, instead of in the mattresses or playing hedge fund games.

21. manoftruth spews:

@20
The sooner we go back to top tax rates of 90 percent, the better.

yeah, good luck with getting 90 per cent out of
michael bloomberg
steven spielberg
mo greenberg
etc, etc, etc..

22. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Ahhh yes, the fool@20 went back to using his link. Puddy knew Puddy could goad him into it again.

Mass layoffs occurred in January and this moron calls for 90% tax rates.

Whatamoron

23. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

22 – zzzzzZZZZZzzzz..

I march to my own drummer asswipe..

You can now return to your right wing bullshit from where you take your orders..

24. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

calls for 90% tax rates.

Damn straight you dope. We had rates that high in Eisenhower’s time. Employment was a helluva lot better then.

Again you ignore my rationale. High taxes mean that rich people’s money comes off the sidelines to be put to use doing meaningful things unlike that casino finance on Wall Street.

25. Leslie Harris spews:

This is it in a nutshell

26. platypusrex256 spews:

can we vote keynes out of office?