Washington Post lauds Ron Sims

In the heat of last year’s King County executive race, somebody asked me what it was about Republican challenger David Irons that made me come down on him so hard, and I answered without hesitation, simply… that he wasn’t Ron Sims.

Sims is without a doubt my favorite politician in the state for any number of reasons, but mostly for a rare willingness to expend political capital. What some critics decry as arrogance, I applaud as leadership, even when I occasionally disagree with him on policy. Ron Sims clearly believes in what he is doing as county executive, and I believe in Ron Sims.

Apparently, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. has become a bit of a believer as well.

Ron Sims, the county executive in Washington state’s King County, believes government’s job is “to help create wealth more efficiently.” That view comes naturally to a leader of the entrepreneurial Seattle region, which has improved the nation’s experience of everything from technology to coffee.

I can’t say that Dionne is one of my favorite writers, but he’s certainly one of the most experienced and best respected political columnists in the nation. In this capacity Dionne meets an awful lot of politicians, and for a local elected to draw such glowing coverage is truly a feather in Sims’ cap… though not surprising. Most people who have the opportunity to meet with Sims come away as impressed as Dionne by his passion and dedication.

Meeting Sims and reading the Urban Institute manuscript provided a bracing reminder that there is an authentic search going on outside of conventional politics for the new ideas to animate a new political era — precisely what Democrats are supposed to be seeking.

Sims is a bluff, warm man who gets excited about problem-solving. A Democrat, he will talk your ear off about the King County government’s effort to work with local employers in creating a new heath care delivery system. The idea is that government can be a catalyst for negotiation, research and reform and save both public and private employers money while producing better health outcomes for consumers.

It fits with Sims’s larger idea that government, far from being a drain on the nation’s wealth, ought to “provide the social infrastructure and the physical infrastructure to help wealth be created.” He said during lunch here the other day that Democrats should run under the slogan: “Rebuild America.”

Sims notes that after World War II, the federal government helped unleash an era of exceptional growth through investments in schools, interstate highways and higher education. Both India and China are “making intelligent moves for economic growth” and the United States cannot stand by and watch. “You need people and brains to create an economy,” he says. “You need transportation to move an economy. And you need an environmental policy to create clean air and clean water.”

Sims’s idea reminds Democrats that a commitment to active government is not simply about redistributing wealth. It is also rooted in the historically sound insight that effective government has always been essential to robust economic growth. Government, in the Sims formulation, should be a dynamic player in our nation’s economic life.

What Dionne describes — what Ron Sims embodies — is the very essence of American liberalism… a profound belief in the power of government to improve the lives of all its citizens. It is an optimistic political philosophy grounded in the American experience

While it has become fashionable for neo-conservative cynics to simply dismissively ridicule us liberals, I find their nearly blind, deterministic faith in the power of unfettered markets to be sad, simplistic, and willfully ignorant of history. It was under the sway of liberalism that America climbed out of the Great Depression, defeated the Axis powers, and grew into the greatest economic, military and political power in the history of the world. It is under the neo-con policies of the Bush administration and our Republican congress that America risks collapsing into a debtor nation and a failed empire.

Dionne concludes that Sims’ “practical focus on government’s role in wealth creation” is both “good public policy” and “good politics.” It also happens to be backed up by history.

Comments

  1. 1

    Daddy Love spews:

    That doesn’t even take into account the OTHER advantages to being born into wealth such as private schools, social and business connections, legacy access to elite colleges, Daddy pulling strings to keep you out of the draft, and so on. No one born poor will ever have those advantages handed to them like the children of wealth.

    Ever hear the line “It takes money to make money?”

  2. 2

    Daddy Love spews:

    MTR @ http://www.horsesass.org/my-co.....ent-365225

    most rich people got that way by being smart, working hard and investing wisely

    Of course, it might depend on your defintions of “rich,” “working,” “hard,” “investing,” and “wisely,” but it seems that for most of the richest of us all, that just plain ain’t true. Mark, you may disagree, but I think that turning a $500 million inheritance into a few billion is EASIER than trying to turn $36,000 a year into enough to buy a decent funeral.

    An analysis of the 1997 Forbes 400 list called “Born on Third Base” showed that:
    42% were Born on Home Plate — inherited sufficient wealth to rank among the Forbes 400. This percentage is higher than that listed by Forbes for inheritors. The reason: Forbes listed as “self-made” people who actually inherited substantial sums or property and then later built that stake into a greater fortune. One example is Philip Anschutz (1997 net worth: $5.2 billion) who is listed as “self-made” even though he inherited a $500-million oil and gas field.

    6% were Born on Third Base — inherited substantial wealth in excess of $50 million or a large and prosperous company and grew this initial fortune into membership in the Forbes 400.

    7% were Born on Second Base — inherited a medium-sized business or wealth of more than $1 million or received substantial start-up capital for a business from a family member.

    14% were Born on First Base — biography indicates wealthy or upper-class background that was to our knowledge less than $1 million, or received some start-up capital from a family member. Due to the study team’s conservative coding rule, it is likely that some of those listed as born on first base actually belong on second or third base.

    31% were Born in the Batter’s Box — individuals and families whose parents did not have great wealth or own a business with more than a few employees.

    Keeping with the baseball rule that “the tie goes to the runner,” the study team gave list members the benefit of the doubt. For example, if researchers couldn’t be sure whether a member belonged on second or third base, they assigned him to second base.

    View the data

  3. 3

    For the Clueless spews:

    Redneck is the fascist apologist for murder and plunder – his favorite form of “wealth creation”. Look at Africa. Planes fly in to deliver food to starving people and guns to then kill them.

    The objective is simple: give us your resources at cost, bribes and murder included.

  4. 4

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    Mark the Redneck is really a communist. Do roads and infrastructure build wealth? Do “private” concerns use infrastucture? You bet! Is Mark the Redneck a fascist commie? No doubt.

  5. 5

    righton spews:

    Is it April Fools day?

    This was a gem..
    “Ron Sims, the county executive in Washington state’s King County, believes government’s job is “to help create wealth more efficiently.” That view comes naturally to a leader of the entrepreneurial Seattle region, which has improved the nation’s experience of everything from technology to coffee”

    HA…like Sims didn’t stumble into his crummy job and only by coincidence even knows who Gates, Bezos et al are..

  6. 6

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    timman – One thing about moonbats… they have NFI how wealth is actually created. I’ve come to the conclusion that they really and truly think that all rich people inherited money like The Swimmer or married it like Lurch. It doesn’t even occurs to them that most rich people got that way by being smart, working hard and investing wisely.

    We’ll never break them of this belief. Because for them to admit the truth, they also have to admit that the real reason their own lives are so miserable is through their own stupid choices. And they just don’t have the character to confront that.

  7. 7

    timman spews:

    anonymous – do you have citations for your assumptions and contentions that ‘the profits of big business have been based in large part by their illegal suppression of wages by knowingly disobeying rhe law, they therefore owe us the difference.’?

  8. 8

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Daddy 47 – The last fucking thing I need is a “friend” like you. Go fuck yourself.

  9. 10

    Danno spews:

    Daddy Love, what is that handle, a reference to NAMBLA? ‘Elected’ to do the people’s work? You mean in the Peoples Socialist Republic of Seattle? Riiiiiigghhtttt….. He is a fat leech.

  10. 11

    YO spews:

    DADDY LOVE IS THIS THE SAME RON SIMMS WHO SPENT 2 BILLION OF THE PEOPLES MONEY ON A TRANSIT SYSTEM THATS OVERFUNDED NOW HE WANTS MORE BUSES.IM FOR BUSES ONE THAT TAKES HIS FAT ASS TO NEW ORLEANS.OH THATS RIGHT THEY DONT HAVE ANY MONEY TO SPEND.YOU ASSHOLES ELECTED HIM THATS NOT SAYING MUCH FOR YOUR SIDE.HE IS A FAT ASS LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSER.

  11. 12

    Daddy Love spews:

    Oh, Danno
    I think that Ron Sims is rather the twice-elected King County Executive, doing the people’s work as he was elected (did I say twice?) to do.

  12. 13

    Danno spews:

    @52 What hogwash, unassailable, my ass. Big business does’t owe you or anyone else. You sound like a closet socialist with the door wide open.

  13. 14

    Danno spews:

    Goly: Sims’ ass-kisser, bootlicker, brownnose, fawner, flatterer, flunky, groveler, lackey, lickspittle, sycophant, toady, truckler, I really like that one, “lickspittle.”

    Sims is nothing more than a fat leech sucking his living from everyone else’s wealth which has been created despite Sims and his ilk.

  14. 15

    Anonymous spews:

    re 31: Mark the Redneck: You need to find out about the labor laws passed in 1937 which enabled the labor movement to move forward and succeed. These laws covered fair bargaining, labor organizing, and illegal union busting. These laws exist to this day. They have just not been enforced since the days of Ronald Reagan in the early 1980′s.

    A good primer for you on some actual factual details on this issue would be Dick Meister’s article, “Ronald Reagan’s War on Labor”, which is available on line.

    The crux of my unassailable argument is this: Your contention, MTR, is that the money taxeed from rich people is their money and should not be taxed.

    Fine. That’s a stupid argument , but I’ll accept it for the sake of argument. Since the profits of big business have been based in large part by their illegal suppression of wages by knowingly disobeying rhe law, they therefore owe us the difference.

  15. 16

    LiberalRedneck spews:

    -Do you even know what “endothermic” means? Without googling, tell me. Remember who yer talking to.-

    Wow, MTR. Way to prove how smart you think you are. Your endless supply of vicious bigotry proves you’re actually just a bottom feeder with a big ego. At least you think highly of yourself.

  16. 17

    LiberalRedneck spews:

    -It is under the neo-con policies of the Bush administration and our Republican congress that America risks collapsing into a debtor nation and a failed empire.-

    Movement Conservatives won’t be happy until we spend 25 cents of every tax dollar to pay debt service (to foreign banks and countries) and the other 75 cents on the military.

  17. 18

    vancouversucks spews:

    #48. Uh-oh…that puts him in the creepy category. I am so bleeding sick of sports teams getting their corporate welfare while our schools and universities go begging.

  18. 19

    Mr. X spews:

    Notwithstanding the right-wing dumbbasses posting here on Sims, I’ve gotta say he’s just a little too corporate welfare (and stadium) friendly for him to rank as one of my favorite politicians. His op-ed in the paper today about Seattle Center is a thinly-disguised attempt to grease the wheels for the Sonics’ demands to get bailed out on their 10-year old remodel.

    Nick Licata is a better progressive pol by far in my book.

  19. 21

    vancouversucks spews:

    Careful Sigmund,anything even suggesting or remotely presumptive of the anus will summon JCH. It is known to be his expertise.

  20. 22

    Daddy Love spews:

    MTR
    Your mental powers are apparently incredible, making it possible for you to read people’s minds and intentions. Question: How many times have you used them on Mike McGavick? Did you look him in the eye and get a sense of his soul? I heard that works really well. How about Dino Rossi? The Shark?

    But when you agrue against what you claim people think instead of marshaling some reason in opposition to what they actually say or do, you make yourself look like either a self-deluding idiot or a weeny who can only knock down his own straw men. I tell you this as a friend.

  21. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    What wealth do YOU create, MTR? You have “blood sucking parasite” written all over you. You don’t even pay your gambling debts.

  22. 25

    vancouversucks spews:

    Daddy Love, sadly MTR refuses to grasp the obvious difference between the infastructure that supports multiple paths to wealth for multiple types of people vs the devastation created by the concentration of wealth into the hands of a few psychopathic individuals…

  23. 26

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    What the fuck does Ron Sims know about creating wealth? He’s been a tax consuming parasite his entire life. He has NEVER even attempted to make money by creating it. He doesn’t know the first fucking thing about it. What arrogance…. that he thinks he can be some kind of leader to do something on a grand scale that he’s never done on even a small scale. Typical elitist asshole arrogant jerk democrat…

  24. 27

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Daddy – One of my many gifts is the ability to translate democrat doublespeak into what they really mean. Anytime a guy like Sims talks about “creating wealth” it always always always means taking money from “rich” people either for some grand fucking scheme or to redistribute. There are NO exceptions to this rule. So it’s no straw man… it’s the reality lurking beneath the slick facade.

  25. 29

    vancouversucks spews:

    36 Mark, no disrespect or anything, but is your spelling an attempt at wit or a genuine disability?

  26. 30

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Libertarian – Whaddya mean gummint doesn’t create wealth. They print the fucking money don’t they !

    Heard moonbat woman on radio a while ago suggesting that poverty could be eliminated if gummint printed more 20 dollar bills and fewer one dollar bills. She couldn’t understand why those mean spirited publicans insisted on printing all those one dollar bills. She was serious…

  27. 31

    Daddy Love spews:

    MTR
    You ask in one breath for a discussion of the ethics of tax policy and in the next for a practical examination of how some tax policy or other “generates wealth.”

    I’ll leave the ethical discussion to the philosophers here. As for “Sims idea to screw the rich by taxing success,” that seems to be your own creation. Ron Sims is an executiove, not a legislator. He creates a budget for how revenues should be spent, and advocates for those budget proposals when the legislators approve a budget of their own. In Goldy’s post, he talks about how government should spend its money, not how it shoudl obtain it.

    As for telling you how that some particular plan or other “generates wealth,” you again have invented a statement that ho one has made and then ask someone to defend it as if Sims said it. Rons Sims said that government should “provide the social infrastructure and the physical infrastructure to help wealth be created.” I think that’s pretty defensible, which it probably why you shy away from asking to someone to defned THAT, and instead set up yet another poor quivering GOP straw man.

  28. 34

    Puddybud spews:

    On second thought, you wouldn’t be pissed. The UN is the latest Democratic Refuge Organization! Didn’t John “Ketchup-Man” Kerry say he would go to the UN for approval of wiping his ass… err… American Foreign Policy approvals when he was running for prez?

  29. 35

    BOB from BOEING spews:

    Yes, Sims is good – a bit to wedded to Sound Transit. Need other solutions as well.

    But how about candidates in this year’s election? I think he is in for a couple more years.

    What say you all A B O U T the Emirs setting up business in the Ports?

    Sems to have exploded in the Bush cabals’ faces. There is a reason they like things in secret.

  30. 36

    Goldy spews:

    Cynical Oink @28,

    See, you know what annoys me about bullshit like yours, is that you are so grounded in fiction that you can’t make a contribution to the debate… even when there is a legitimate ideological difference to debate.

    It’s a shame, because the guy you said can’t turn on his own computer probably already read your comment. You had a chance to speak directly to him, and instead, you just chose to toss insults. Too bad.

  31. 37

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    Since Ronald Reagan stopped enforcing the labor laws of this country big business has been breaking those laws and making illegal profits off the backs of workers.

    When we get power again we are going to want REPARATIONS for thar illegal theft.

    The wheels of justice grind slowly…

  32. 38

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    “illegal profits off backs of workers”??? WTF does that mean?
    What laws? Are you delerious?

  33. 40

    Oink spews:

    Mr. Goldstein says
    “Ron Sims, the county executive in Washington state’s King County, believes government’s job is “to help create wealth more efficiently.” That view comes naturally to a leader of the entrepreneurial Seattle region, which has improved the nation’s experience of everything from technology to coffee.”

    Ron Sims doesn’t even know how to turn on his own computer!
    And he doesn’t even know what is in a latte.
    If this fool was so adapt at creating wealth, don’t you think Sims would have taken a hiatus and created some of his own…..as to being firmly attached to the taxpayers tit his whole career???????

  34. 41

    Puddybud spews:

    EJ Dionne is a liberal pinhead who has been bitch slapped many a time for is wacky lefty positions. That’s why you like him Goldy!

  35. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    15

    “I think MTR is a little pissed that he came inside some little girl when he was 19, and now he doesn’t want to pay for his “mistake”. Please, please, please discover condoms. Comment by Belltowner— 2/22/06 @ 12:06 am”

    I like the Saudis’ solution better.

  36. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    1 (continued)

    If you don’t like our child support laws, try Saudi Arabia. They don’t make you pay child support. If you don’t support your kids, they just cut off your fucking head.

  37. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    4

    What’s wrong with the idea of everybody paying the same percentage of their income to support the government that benefits us all more or less equally?*

    * Actually, people who businesses, own a lot of property, or have a lot of money generally get more benefit from government that wage earners do.

  38. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    4 (continued)

    Or do you like a system better where a household making $25,000 a year pays 17% of their income in state and local taxes, while a household making $200,000 a year pays 4% of their income in state and local taxes? The latter is what we have now.

  39. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    10

    “Make the ethical case for Sims idea to screw the rich by taxing success. Tell me how that “generates wealth”.”

    Let’s see you make an ethical case for low-income households paying four times the percentage of their income in state and local taxes as high-income households pay.

  40. 48

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey Mark, didn’t you know that Washington’s child support schedule only goes up to $7,000 a month? Income above that is effectively exempt from child support, unless you misbehave in court and piss off the judge.

  41. 49

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Is Ann Coulter still licensed to practice law in any state? She should be disbarred for advocating genocide. She lacks the integrity and character expected of a lawyer. Oh well, if she’s convicted of felony voting fraud in Florida, they can disbar her for that. I wonder if she’s double-voting in New York? I wouldn’t put it past her.

  42. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    1

    “The article mentions reforming child support laws. I wonder if Ron will suggest reducing the crushing burden of child support to the girlz who run the Feminist Utopia of Washington. I’m holding my fucking breath… Comment by Mark The Redneck— 2/21/06 @ 10:16 pm”

    Are you the same Mark the Redneck who brags about making tons of money and driving a gas-guzzling SUV, or are there two Mark the Rednecks posting here?

  43. 51

    LeftTurn spews:

    This will no doubt put the racist republicans into a tizzy. Nothing they hate more than seeing a black man get national praise. Bush, Cheney, Frist and the rest of the cabal will probably put their white hoods on tonight and go riding’ looking for Sims. Hopefully they put WHAT A DICK Cheney in charge of the firearms during the ride!

  44. 52

    spews:

    Very nice write-up.

    I think MTR is a little pissed that he came inside some little girl when he was 19, and now he doesn’t want to pay for his “mistake”. Please, please, please discover condoms.

  45. 53

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Opened him up like a cheap suitcase.

    Come on vagina lips, get with the program. We are still waiting for your “theory”, or are you to busy holding your breath?

  46. 55

    Rev. A.A. Tappman: Anababtist spews:

    Any political philosophy that questions the legitimacy of the 1% of plutocrats who run this country to rule it will run inro much opposition in the media and the political arena. Finding a way to succeed despite these challenges is the progressive task.

  47. 56

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Remember who yer talking to.

    As I write these words in reply for you to READ, remembering who you are, vagina lips, is the least of my worries.

  48. 57

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Fucking moron..

    The elevated nature of your discourse is well, “endothermic”, vagina lips. The pleasure of trading insults with you is all mine.

  49. 59

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Ass – Since you failed my first test, here’s another. Make the ethical case for Sims idea to screw the rich by taxing success. Tell me how that “generates wealth”.

    I’m waiting…

    Fucking moron…

  50. 61

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Ass@2 – I agree. Sims is a real leader when it comes to tax reform. Screwing the rich by stealing more of their money shows the kind of “out of the box” thinking that’s really needed around here, and also illustrates his razor sharp political instincts.

  51. 62

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Do you even know what “endothermic” means? Without googling, tell me. Remember who yer talking to.

    I didn’t think so…

    Moron…

  52. 64

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    I’m holding my fucking breath…..

    One could hope it would be for too long, vagina lips, but that would not be very charitable. Still waiting for that “endothermic theory” you postulated on vaginas.

    What? Cat got your tongue? Or is the theory still in the experimental stage of development?

  53. 65

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Sims is great in person, and gives speeches that are real barn burners. His bravery in getting out in front on tax reform in this state is to be commended.

    And Goldy, for a center-left national columnist, E.J. is pretty good. We should be thankful in these times of corporate plutocracy that folks such as he get any space at all in the “trying to not be left wing at all costs” national media.

  54. 66

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    The article mentions reforming child support laws. I wonder if Ron will suggest reducing the crushing burden of child support to the girlz who run the Feminist Utopia of Washington. I’m holding my fucking breath…