I don’t necessarily disagree with the general sentiment of the Seattle Times’ recent editorials on higher education and fixing potholes; these both constitute important government services that demand public investment, as the Times appears to recognize. But if the Times’ editors are going to continue editorializing in favor of spending taxpayer dollars, they might want to start rethinking their seemingly knee-jerk opposition to raising them.
For example, in making the case for dedicating more city resources towards pothole repair, the Times correctly points out that in 2006, Seattle voters approved a roads and bridges levy that, amongst other things, promised to “pave and repair Seattle streets.” What the Times fails to recall is that its editorial board advised readers to vote “No” on the $365 million proposition.
Likewise, while the editors rightly insist that “among the many things Washington must do about higher education, none will be as important as returning its investment in the system to a stronger, more robust stage,” they were also among the loudest voices arguing against a high earners income tax that would have restored budget dollars for education, while reducing taxes for 98 percent of Washington households.
The Times editors like to smugly harrumph about “Tax and Spend Liberals” like me, and I don’t deny the label—I think our state currently invests too little in our public and human infrastructure to sustain and grow our economy and improve our quality of life. Disagree with that perspective if you want, but at least give me credit for enunciating how we might pay for my spending priorities, unlike those “Don’t-Tax but Spend Conservatives” at the Seattle Times.