State GOP leadership is in denial

Anybody who knows anything about state politics knows that this is shaping up to be a tough year for Republicans in Olympia… that is, everybody except, perhaps, our state GOP leaders:

Republican Party Chairwoman Diane Tebelius, however, said she sees no cause for concern.

“I’ve never been a believer that what might be happening in federal politics is necessarily affecting what goes on in state politics,” she said. “I think we’re going to pick up seats in the [state] House and Senate, and at a very minimum will retain all our seats in the state Senate.”

Party leaders in the state House and Senate agree. “I don’t feel like I’m going to lose any seats and I could possibly pick one up,” said Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla.

Uh-huh. National politics never impacts local races. Tell that to all those Democratic legislators swept out in 1994.

Of course, not all state Republicans are as steeped in denial as Tebelius:

“I’m worried,” said Rep. Fred Jarrett, a moderate Republican from Mercer Island. “If it’s a bad year for Republicans everywhere, I’m a Republican.”

Fortunately for the ever popular Jarrett, he’ll easily win reelection whatever baggage the “R” next to his name might carry. And fortunately for the Dems, as one of the state Republican caucus’s last remaining true moderates, nobody in his party’s leadership much heeds Jarrett’s sage advice anymore.

But it’s not just the general political climate that sucks for local Republicans (and man does it suck), for circumstances have conspired to leave the GOP with a buttload of open seats to defend, many in swing or Democratic-leaning districts. All things being equal, Democrats were poised to pick up a few seats this year just on pure numbers.

But they’re not equal. President Bush’s approval rating in WA ranks near the lowest in the nation, while local polling consistently shows Democrats with a double-digit lead in generic preference. And in a more nuts-and-bolts measure, Democrats are out-raising their opponents in close races throughout the state.

GOP faithful may be momentarily comforted by Tebelius’s cheerleading, but there’s a good chance we may witness the beginnings of a structural realignment on her watch. Former Republican strongholds in the East King County suburbs have been trending Democratic for years, and a new class of socially progressive, fiscally moderate Democratic legislators could go a long way towards pushing many voters to redefine their party identification.

The fact is that King County — a government larger than that of 13 states — has been remarkably well managed under the leadership of Ron Sims and a Democratic council, boasting one of the highest bond ratings in the nation. Compare that to the fiscal incompetence of national Republicans who are running up the largest budget deficits in our nation’s history. Our local “Dan Evans Republicans” must wonder, which party is it that more closely represents their values?

For years, state and local Republicans have benefited from extraordinary feats of party discipline, but this strategy will not work in the face of the political disaster that is unfolding under the GOP’s one-party rule in the other Washington. Local Republican candidates who refuse to openly and honestly criticize their President and their Congress, will be viewed by voters for what they are: Republicans.

And that’s simply not an attractive brand to run on in 2006.

Comments

  1. 2

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Harry & LeftTurd—
    I never got sucked in to blaming Clinton.
    I am a Conservative. Clinton did some conservative things…especially in the area of government spending.
    However Clinton was asleep while Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations grew in strength. I blame him for that….as well as NAFTA, GATT and China. Clinton road the Dot.Com false economy bubble…just like Bush is riding the Real Estate Bubble.
    Bush is NOT a Conservative. I am not a fan of his for many reasons and I have never, ever said I am.

    However, you FRINGE LUNATIC LEFTIST PINHEADED KLOWNS are also not the answer. You play on emotion, fear and junk science. You are “trendy” with the ignorant Hollywood types jumping on every half-baked cause imaginable. You KLOWNS show it repeatedly….right here @ good old HA.org!!!

    I enjoy making fun of you KLOWNS because you are oh so serious and oh so self-righteous. Some of you actually have some good ideas and I have no reason to believe that many of you are hard-working, decent people.

    However Harry & LeftTurd, YOU are obviously not two of them. Your HATE has choked your ability to see thru the smoke-and-mirrors of your fellow KLOWNS. And I find you IGNORANT as well. But I don’t hate you.

    A sense of humor is something either you have….or you don’t. Roger Rabbit, dj & Goldy do have a sense of humor….they enjoy the give & take…..and could easily sit with folks that disagree with them, have a beer and talk about stuff other than politics.

    Most of the rest of the KLOWNS are serious DumbAsses…like you two!
    Have a great Memorial Day!

  2. 3

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Harry–
    The HATE you and the other KLOWNheads spew causes more POLLUTION than fossil fuels ever will!!! The air around your pointy little head is thick with the dark, dank poison of HATE!

  3. 4

    Harry Tuttle aka Voter Advocate spews:

    57.
    Actually, it is conservatives who are the destructive rent seekers in our economy.

    Amen to that!

    They steal the nations natural resources and utilize them in the most irresponsible ways possible, poisoning workers at and neighbors to their industrial complexes. They poison the atmosphere, then claim they have no responsibility for it.

    Then they present the bill to the populace. We have to deal with the loss of our forests, minerals, oil, fish, and rivers as well as clean up after the rape of our environment.

    Then assholes like cyn, mtr, hcybptbaa, and the rest come here and blame their taxes on liberals.

  4. 5

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “Progressive” means one person pays more than his neighbor for the same government services????
    That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it!???
    Not really.”

    No, cyn. Really. It makes perfect sense. Actually, it is conservatives who are the destructive rent seekers in our economy. Greed is the pig that no amount of lipstick can make pretty. Break any mirrors lately?

  5. 6

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    “Progressive” means one person pays more than his neighbor for the same government services????
    That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it!???
    Not really.
    The cost of government services should be shared be all users based on usage.
    The cost of Government services and their funding has absolutely nothing to do with someones income.
    Please explain how it does??????
    Robin Hood died century’s ago…..in fact, he is a figment of your vivid imagination.
    Anyone who does not pay their fair share for the services they receive and consume is RECEIVING WELFARE!!!!!!!!!!
    Put all the lipstick you want on the “freeloader” pig……but it’s still a pig that merely redistributes wealth and creates a welfare mentality where folks want somethin’ fer nothin’!!

  6. 7

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Instead, he went on a truly reckless spending spree.

    Iraq and the medicade drug benefit aside–not so much. What really threw things off balance was the reckless tax cuts to the rich creating a structural deficit that cannot be sustained.

  7. 8

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Proud you are wasting time.

    Damn the bad luck. But you know what they say….practice, practice, practice :)

  8. 9

    Curious George spews:

    Mr. Pope @ 47

    Sales tax is increased annually by the increase in the prices of goods and services – the higher the price, the greater the tax paid.

    Property tax income is artificially limited by state law to 1% – unless an increse is approved by the voters of a given district.

  9. 10

    LeftTurn spews:

    Proud you are wasting time. First, Wright, Cynical and Pope are the same person proving that whichever one of them is the real person has a serious mental illness. Second. these inbred fuckers don’t want to engage in honest debate. Goldy called it. They want to spout talking points. After we pull their covers, which we do regularly, I can just hear their keyboards light up as they email their stoner hero Lush Flimbaugh and ask him what they should say next.

    Note how they ignore any part of the discussion that shows they are wrong or that they are hypocrites? If they were serious about debate, they’d own up to the parts of their argument that are weak and try to illustrate how they can overcome that weakness. But instead, they bullshit, bully, bluster and when beaten, usually just stop participating or they repeat the right wing Taliban montra, it’s Clinton’s fault.

  10. 11

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Dear Mr. Wright,

    Assume a local government entitity whose budget each year is dedicated 100% to building 1 mile of road each year. Call this budget $100. Are you saying that if the local real incomes grow by 20% and inflation is 5% that the government budget should realistically be expected to be restrained to $105?

    In a ceterus paribus world, this may be correct. We don’t live in such a world. Now analyze the above scenario assuming population went up by 20%, c.p.

    Does that make a difference?

  11. 12

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Dickie, your hypothesized: “The property taxes rates are about the same they were 19 years ago, but the value of real property has increased at least six fold. So government takes in a helluva lot more in property tax revenue.”

    Aided and abetted by the Alan Greenspan housing bubble, property tax revenue would then be an absolute “flood” of revenue, right? But that is not the case, is it? Property taxes/$1,000 of income were flat in the decade 1989-2000. How do you explain this?

  12. 13

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Dickie @ 47: Perhaps then you can explain how WA State taxes as a percentage of personal income in this state went down from 1991 to 2000?

  13. 14

    David Wright spews:

    Goldy @ 32 says: You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. None at all. You’re nothing but a walking, talking point.

    One who happens to have a degree in economics, if you want to get personal about it.

    And one who is still kind enough to clarify and debate any point you’d like to address, in case you’d prefer that to personal attacks.

  14. 15

    Richard Pope spews:

    And by what percentage does the sales tax rate have to increase each year to keep up with inflation?

    And what percentage to keep up with the Democrat demand for spending?

  15. 16

    Green Thumb spews:

    That’s Frank Smegma, heir to the Smegma fortune. An upstanding young man, that Frank. He needs better bathing practices, though.

  16. 17

    Richard Pope spews:

    Then come back and have a serious discussion instead of spouting this uninformed bullshit.

    You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. None at all. You’re nothing but a walking, talking point.

    Commentby Goldy— 5/27/06@ 10:04 pm

    Goldy —

    If we raise the sales tax from 8.8% in 2006 to 9.5% in 2007, does that mean that state and local government will be taking a smaller percentage of personal income in 2007, than it did in 2006?

  17. 18

    sgmmac spews:

    Where in the world is Roger Rabbit, I hope he is well and Stefan didn’t dust him off for eating all the carrots….

    SMEGMAC…… don’t know who or what that is or is supposed to be! What is a SMEG?

  18. 20

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 35: You are correct, SMEGMAC. And the first income we need to zap is Mr. Cynical’s. I want green bile in the back of that bastards mouth every waking moment of the day!

    What a wanker he is!

  19. 21

    Green Thumb spews:

    I don’t think you’re Roger Rabbit. You sound more like Mr. Ed. After all, we’ve never seen you in the same room together.

  20. 22

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    So, Cynical, you think I’m Roger Rabbit? Thanks for the compliment. Rogeris one smart cookie… er…carrot…

  21. 23

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 30: On the one hand people like you try to make the case that gas-gouging is not a zero sum game where wealth is unfairly distributed upwards, but when we try to apply windfall taxes to these unfair profits, you call it wealth “redistribution”. So when the oil companies steal it is a thing that benefits all, but a windfall tax where the money is applied to social services is “Wealth Redistribution.”

    Well, fine. Call it what you will and start getting used to it — because that’s where we are going when we get rid of you Republican nincompoops.

  22. 24

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Mr. Wright at 29. That was some of the most specious arguing I’ve read in some time, but you do get kudos for being polite.

    However, the real howler was the part about how an income tax would somehow imply a growth of government spending that is greater than income and\or economic growth.

    Richard Pope whines that gov. revenue growth over the last 25 years is “greater than inflation” and you try to prove exactly the opposite. Too funny. You guys need to get together for a lot of drinks and get your stories straight.

  23. 25

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    The OECD collects data on 30 member countries and annually calculates what it calls the tax “wedge” for each – the combined effects of personal income tax, employee and employer social security contributions, payroll taxes and cash benefits.

    These are the % (first # is % for SINGLE people…second % is the % for married with 2 kids)
    Australia 28.3% 16.0% Korea 17.3% 16.2%
    Austria 47.4% 35.5% Luxembourg 35.3% 12.2%
    Belgium 55.4% 40.3% Mexico 18.2% 18.2%
    Canada 31.6% 21.5% Netherlands 38.6% 29.1%
    Czech Republic 43.8% 27.1% New Zealand 20.5% 14.5%
    Denmark 41.4% 29.6% Norway 37.3% 29.6%
    Finland 44.6% 38.4% Poland 43.6% 42.1%
    France 50.1% 41.7% Portugal 36.2% 26.6%
    Germany 51.8% 35.7% Slovak Republic 38.3% 23.2%
    Greece 38.8% 39.2% Spain 39.0% 33.4%
    Hungary 50.5% 39.9% Sweden 47.9% 42.4%
    Iceland 29.0% 11.0% Switzerland 29.5% 18.6%
    Ireland 25.7% 8.1% Turkey 42.7% 42.7%
    Italy 45.4% 35.2% United Kingdom 33.5% 27.1%
    Japan 27.7% 24.9% United States 29.1% 11.9%

    Let’s be like SWEDEN!!
    Green Thumb up his Ass would love that…as long as HE doesn’t have to pay!!
    Green Thumb is your typical suck on the guv’mint teat and bitch about rich people!! Loooooooooooooooooooooooser!

  24. 26

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Yeah. Loved the end of the article where Rep. Armstrong muses that anytime one party controls all branches of government “there doesn’t seem to be the balance that our founding fathers were looking for in our government.”

    Hilarious. My irony meter is pegged, and this lout apparently has no consciousness of the lunacy he spouts. Just further proof that IOKIYAR.

  25. 27

    sgmmac spews:

    This state needs an income tax. The sales tax places an enormous burden on the poor and the working poor. They can never escape poverty in this damn state. Thousands of people all over Washington are doing without right now just trying to put gas in their cars to go to work. The so called “sin” taxes also hurts them a lot more.

    It is past time to make those silly dot com gazillion-aires in Seattle pay some real taxes, and you can throw in the Gates family and his sidekick too!

    Why the fuck are the taxpayers being forced to pay 5 million bucks for a Seattle streetcar in south union whatever up there?

    I am hoping Democrats take every stupid election in this state, then who will you blame?

  26. 28

    LeftTurn spews:

    I love it – walking talking point. That describes 98% of the moronic, Lush Flimbaugh educated, chickenshit, chickenhawk republicans I have ever met!

  27. 30

    Goldy spews:

    David Wrong @29, Richard Dope @everwhere,

    Follow this link: http://dor.wa.gov/content/stat.....xstudy.htm

    Read it. Read all of it. While you’re at it, read some of the studies it references. Then come back and have a serious discussion instead of spouting this uninformed bullshit.

    You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. None at all. You’re nothing but a walking, talking point.

  28. 31

    Green Thumb spews:

    See, LeftTurn @ 28, Richard Pope won’t complain about the Bush deficit because that would violate his consulting contract with the Republicans. So instead he stoops to inane sophistry.

    Bush had an unprecedented opportunity to bring down the federal debt level. He could have accomplished what generations of tight-fisted Republicans have long sought. Instead, he went on a truly reckless spending spree.

    Another dirty little secret that Richard would never admit is that if Gore had been president with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress he wouldn’t have run up a deficit anywhere near as high even with the same economic and political dynamics (e.g., 9/11). Why? Because the Republicans have trained the DLC-dominated Democratic Party quite well.

    The Democrats are now the party of fiscal responsibility. A historic reallignment is occurring.

  29. 32

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Rog Rabbit sez:
    “re 11: How about a progressive income tax, Senor Cynicola. Then we could lower the tax on gasoline!
    Commentby GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO— 5/27/06@ 5:40 pm”

    Rog–
    “Progressive” means one person pays more than his neighbor for the same government services????
    That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it!???
    Not really.
    The cost of government services should be shared be all users based on usage.
    The cost of Government services and their funding has absolutely nothing to do with someones income.
    Please explain how it does??????
    Robin Hood died century’s ago…..in fact, he is a fignment of your vivid imagination.
    Anyone who does not pay their fair share for the services they receive and consume is RECEIVING WELFARE!!!!!!!!!!
    Put all the lipstick you want on the “freeloader” pig……but it’s still a pig that merely redistributes wealth and creates a welfare mentality where folks want somethin’ fer nothin’!!

  30. 33

    David Wright spews:

    Goldy @5,

    You are welcome to hold the opinion that taxes should grow faster than inflation, so that the government can buy more stuff each year. But Richard is still correct that a sales tax tracks inflation, and that the per capita tax revenue of Washington state has grown faster than inflation over the last 25 years.

    Inflation is a well-defined measurement meaning how much the nominal cost to buy the same stuff has increased from last year. That a fixed-percentage sales tax with no exemptions tracks inflation follows immediately from this definition.

    A fixed-percentage income tax with no exemptions does not track inflation, it tracks income growth. And real income growth, over and above inflation, has been about 3%/year for the last 25 years. So a fixed-percentage income tax would allow the government to buy more stuff per person year year.

    To try to make your personal preference for taxes that grow like income sound like some sort of economic fact, you invent something you call “the demand for public services”, which no economist has ever talked about. “Demand” in economics is a function (how much is purchased as a function of the price), not a quantity. If what you call “demand” means “how much of a good I would like”, the anwser is almost always infinite.

    It is true that economic activity in Washington has been shifting into sectors that are exempted from the sales tax, but at the same time the state government has been thinking up new and higher taxes. The net effect is that, despite getting most revenue from sales tax, per capita state government revenues over the last 25 years have tracked income, not inflation.

    So, Goldy, you have got what you wanted. But don’t try to make out that some sort of economic science proves that is what you should have got. That is a political question for whom Richard’s anwser is every bit as scientifically valid as your own.

  31. 34

    LeftTurn spews:

    Well Pope got me. I mistyped and he tried to take advantage of it but as usual, and as a republican, he couldn’t do anything right.

    Yes Pope-A-Dope thanks for reminding us that President Clinton left a surplus for “W” to turn into a deficit. That must really make you proud.

    I intended to say Baby Bush raised SPENDING 42% and of course, the point is still valid that the Pope’s of the world don’t seem to mind government spending and taxes when they are done by republicans – proving they are hypocrites who practice situational ethics.

  32. 35

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    I will be very surprised if Richard Pope reads this review. He thinks too highly of his own intellectual prowess. But I know better.

  33. 37

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 24: There seems to be no shortage of tax breaks that cities and states will give to large corporations that are already ubsidized by defense contracts. A stop/loss clause must be at6tached to these tax breaks and the promises corporations make to cities and states must be honored by these corporations or we will just take the back taxes from them.

    This is not just crackpot stuff I made up. It’s real and happening in the US as we speak. You can find out about it in William Greider’s Book, The Soul of Capitalism.

  34. 38

    Richard Pope spews:

    Sales taxes most definitely do not track growth in demand for public services – growth in personal income is the figure that comes closest to the mark.

    Commentby Goldy— 5/27/06@ 2:32 pm

    It all depends on how growth in taxable sales match up with growth in personal income.

    Of course, if government spending grows faster than the applicable tax base, you will have to increase the tax rate to balance the budget — whether you are taxing sales, income or property.

  35. 39

    Bartelby spews:

    Pope at 21: Precisely the point — the deficit DIDN’T EXIST.

    In Autumn 2000 the economic forecasts projected surpluses “as far as the eye could see.”

    Then a REPUBLICAN got elected, and the budget went into the tank.

  36. 41

    Richard Pope spews:

    And you don’t hear Pope and his ilk complaining that the Chief Chickenhawk GW Bush raised our deficit 42% since taking office. That’s okay I guess because it’s a republican.

    Commentby LeftTurn— 5/27/06@ 2:58 pm

    We didn’t have a deficit when GW Bush took office. We had a surplus. It is impossible to raise something 42% when it doesn’t exist.

  37. 42

    LeftTurn spews:

    Faux News is looking for gay male escorts to work on Karl Rove now that GOP plant Gannon has been discovered. But hey, all they require is that you spin the news hard right and they’ll let you suck dick on their behalf.

  38. 43

    Dan Rather spews:

    Hey I have inside connections to a certain TV news magazine looking for a couple good people. No college degree required but knowledge on how to rig explosives to trucks is a plus. Any of you lefties interested let me know.

  39. 44

    Dan Rather spews:

    16

    I hear you GT. I am glad my pension is fully funded and I got out of the news business when I did. It is rough now a days to make a honest living in the MSM.

  40. 45

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 16: …and x-pensive Cigarette Boats like Nixon and Bebe Rebozo used to race around in. Even as a Hispanic I find something a little ridiculous in the name, “Rebozo”. The senor must have bozoed once and then decided to re-bozo! Ja! Ja! Ja!

  41. 46

    Green Thumb spews:

    Here’s the rub: If Mr. Cynical were in charge, Washington state would be well on its way toward becoming Alabama by the Strait. His wet dream is low taxes, minimal regulations, and government of, by and for corporate interests.

    Mr. Cynical isn’t concerned about fully funding Washington’s pension system; he’d rather see it dismembered like Arnold tried to do in California. That’s because Mr. Cynical is one of those neanderthal Republicans who believes in trickle down economics.

    Just give the rich guys a free ride and everything will be peachy. Who cares if there is no middle class left to buy all of the private sector’s goods and services. The economy will be kept afloat via the sale of McMansons, private jets and limos!

  42. 49

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 11: How about a progressive income tax, Senor Cynicola. Then we could lower the tax on gasoline!

  43. 50

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 11:I was not aware that the Federal Government was responsible for funding General Motors pension package. Wouldn’t that be corporate welfare?

  44. 51

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    “But even if you weren’t wrong about high taxes (and you are… our state and local tax burden as a percentage of personal income has been steadily shrinking for about a decade), let’s compare apples to apples: our state government vs our federal government. You tell me which one is in better fiscal shape?
    Commentby Goldy— 5/27/06@ 2:32 pm”

    Goldy—TALK ABOUT BEING IN DENIAL!!!! State Governments are not allowed to spend beyond reserves….thus no deficits. You LEFTIST FUCKERS have have found a clever way around that in Washington by UNDERFUNDING PENSIONS (ala General Motors) by BILLIONS OF DOLLARS!!! You KLOWNS also pissed away a TEMPORARY SURPLUS and Washington is now headed for deep finanical trouble that will require higher & higher taxes.
    Frankly, I hope you KLOWNS stay in power 1 more term until all the chickens come home to roost.
    Major tax increases, businesses leaving Washington, crazy real estate prices and high cost of living, eroding tax base and GRIDLOCK!! Great legacy Goldy!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. 52

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    Goldy’s sober and balanced evaluation of the facts confirms an opinion that me and my habanero nibbling and Modelo quaffing crowd have long suspected: It is becoming common knowledge that Republicans are the $2 sausage-sucking whores of the corporatist money changers in the temple of democracy! And as such these rapscallions and repossessed Chevy Impalas of the Super Sport variety are all vroom and no zoom.

  46. 53

    Kyle Broflovski spews:

    Green Thumb:“There are plenty of fissures that may be too small for outsiders to see, but they can nevertheless be dangerous if left unattended.”

    Well, two that aren’t too small to see: the underfunding of the state pensions. If this governor and legislature don’t get it serious about it very soon, it will be ‘dangerous’. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the state hauled into court (again) and forced to spend more money on K-12 education. Both these issues will take money, and the question, as always, will be ‘where from’?

    Goldy: “King County … has been remarkably well managed under the leadership of Ron Sims and a Democratic council, boasting one of the highest bond ratings in the nation. Compare that to the fiscal incompetence of national Republicans who are running up the largest budget deficits in our nation’s history.”

    Simple: The federal government can run deficits; the state and counties can’t.

  47. 54

    Green Thumb spews:

    Goldy, thanks for providing some basic background on state and local taxes. People really do get confused about it — and thus fall prey to winger propaganda.

    I don’t expect that anything you say will be “heard” by the likes of Richard Pope, because he seems to see his prime role as mindlessly attacking on crassly partisan grounds. Since reducing taxes is a central foundation stone of the modern Republican policy agenda, it really doesn’t matter whether what you say is factually correct — it deviates from the playbook, and thus must be downplayed, ignored or denied in some fashion. By the way, didn’t you murder your mother?

    I pretty much agree with your analysis except for one point: What goes up does eventually come down. I work in state government, and I don’t see uniform praise for the governor and Democratic legislative majority even among more “liberal” state workers. There are plenty of fissures that may be too small for outsiders to see, but they can nevertheless be dangerous if left unattended.

    All movements have lifespans. We’ve had Democratic governors for quite some time. If you look closely you can see signs of old age. The weakness of the Republican Party is a double-edged sword, because it can lead to a certain amount of complacency among Democrats when, in fact, internal reforms are needed to revitalize the party.

    We need informed dialogue about where the party should be going. That’s hard to do in the comments section of this blog because of all the partisan flaming.

  48. 55

    wrog spews:

    note BTW that any bemoaning the increase in the sales tax rate that doesn’t take into account the pretty-much-complete elimination of the car tax is more than a little disingenuous

  49. 56

    LeftTurn spews:

    Don’t expect the truth from Pope-A-Dope Goldy, you’ll always be disappointed.

    Washington doesn’t have an income tax like most states. We have to have money to build prisons for all those abortionists, pot smokers and homosexuals that Pope wants locked up forever. How do we pay for that?

    And you don’t hear Pope and his ilk complaining that the Chief Chickenhawk GW Bush raised our deficit 42% since taking office. That’s okay I guess because it’s a republican.

    Bottom line is Washington comes in around the middle of the pack in terms of total taxes collected from its citizens. Considering the quality of life we lead, that’s pretty reasonable. Could taxes be lower? Sure they could. If we didn’t have to give churches tax breaks, if we didn’t have to lock people up for victimless crimes to appease the right wing Taliban wing of the GOP, if we didn’t have to spend money on frivolous referendums like the GOP attack on the gas tax last year, then yes, we could have lower taxes. I’m all for it.

  50. 57

    Goldy spews:

    Richard, you are so amazingly wrong on sales and excise taxes. Why don’t you go read the Gates Commission Report, and then come back.

    Sales taxes most definitely do not track growth in demand for public services — growth in personal income is the figure that comes closest to the mark. Thus the only tax that comes close to growing with inflation, population, and demand, is an income tax.

    Read the report and you’ll understand that sales tax rates must be gradually raised over time to meet growth in demand. You’ll also understand that as our economy has shifted from a manufacturing economy to a service based economy, a sales tax that exempts the service sector relies on an ever shrinking tax base as a proportion of the entire economy.

    As for the gas tax, it is an excise tax, that is eaten away by inflation over time. The reason we have needed to raise it in such big chunks recently is because we allowed it to stagnate for over a decade, leaving us with a backlog of unfunded maintenance and improvements. As a percentage of the total price of gasoline, it is actually well below historical averages.

    But even if you weren’t wrong about high taxes (and you are… our state and local tax burden as a percentage of personal income has been steadily shrinking for about a decade), let’s compare apples to apples: our state government vs our federal government. You tell me which one is in better fiscal shape?

  51. 58

    rujax206 spews:

    The right wing hatemongers in Washington have been “confused” ever since Bruce Craswell died.

  52. 59

    Bruce Taylor spews:

    A friend of mine worked on Rob McKenna’s first campaign. McKenna seemed like a great guy when he worked in UW student government. I asked my Republican friend whether McKenna was a Dan Evans Republican. He dismissively answered “Dan Evans was the last Dan Evans Republican.”

  53. 60

    Richard Pope spews:

    We have a lot of “fiscal incompetence” at the state and local level in this state too. We are paying higher and higher taxes on account of this.

    Our gasoline taxes are already among the highest in the country, and scheduled to increase another three cents a gallon on July 1. Okay, the voters may feel that gasoline taxes, at least, are reasonable. After all, it is a constant amount per gallon, which doesn’t adjust for inflation in any way. So the nominal rate has to be increased over time.

    But sales taxes? When I moved here in 1987, they were 7.9% in King County. Now they are 8.8%, and there will be ballot measures this fall to increase them up to 9.5%.

    Sales taxes do adjust for inflation. And in the 19 years of Democrat leadership that I am personally familiar with, this will represent a 20% increase in the percentage rate of sales taxes — from 7.9% to 9.5%. Keep in mind that sales tax is by far the largest source of revenue for state and local governments.

    The property taxes rates are about the same they were 19 years ago, but the value of real property has increased at least six fold. So government takes in a helluva lot more in property tax revenue.

    And all we have to show for this is a greedy government that always claims it is broke and is always demanding tax increases.

  54. 61

    LeftTurn spews:

    Yes Goldy and at the end of the article, the rethug is quoted as saying Washington state voters should vote to restore balance to the Legislature. Does the Washington state GOP think that’s a good policy at the federal level too :)

    Probably not!