The House Transportation Committee passed a bill to allow the next phase of Sound Transit to go forward, if approved by the voters in the ST region. Since it didn’t get any GOP votes, and since the GOP control the state Senate, that’s going to be a tough step. Anyway, good news: The most coherent, most decent, just generally best person you’ll ever hear of, Rep. Ed Orcutt, has decided to be an ass about it!
The bill passed 13-12 almost strictly along party lines. All but one Democrat voted yea, and every Republican voted no.
“Okay, Seattle” representative Ed Orcutt (R-20, Kalama) said, “go ahead and tax yourself into oblivion.”
So first of all — and I’m aware that this is me being a broken record — the thing that’s killing us here in Seattle isn’t taxing ourselves and getting the benefits. It’s the state taxing us and sending the money to places like Kalama. Also, that isn’t killing us too badly as we’re doing fine.
Second, what does “Okay, Seattle” even mean when you vote against letting Seattle do a thing? The bullshit paternalistic rhetoric doesn’t match the bullshit paternalistic action. Pick a bullshit paternalistic lane, and bullshit paternalistic stay in it.
Third, it’s the job of a state representative to do what’s best for the state. They really shouldn’t be gleeful about the failure (even if it’s just in their head) of a part of the state they don’t represent. Honestly, if he believes his nonsense, he isn’t fit to serve.
Fourth, Sound Transit isn’t just Seattle. When Seattle needed to tax ourselves to preserve transit service, we just went ahead and did it. This is for a regional transit plan, for goodness sake.
And finally, the whole premise is silly since Sound Transit will almost certainly be a net good for the region.
I wrote most of this post on public transit. In fact, most of the writing that I do for Horse’s Ass is during my commute. If we didn’t have decent public transit, I doubt I’d have the time to write on HA. I also do some actual paid work work on my commute from time to time. I’m not really sure what the economic value of that is, but it’s not zero. It’s certainly more than my output when I drive.
Beyond just me personally, this is a growing region, and we’re going to need to get people around. Better transit isn’t just a luxury. We’re going to have to pay for it somehow, and Sound Transit, while hardly perfect, is the best option we’ve got.