Washington State Dems Go Bonkers
Hurry, Before Governor Gregoire Gets Booted
With Washington state Democrats at least temporarily in charge of the governor's mansion and both legislative chambers in Olympia, the race is on to raise taxes, fast.
Dems aren't wasting any of that precious time, as they know unfavorable gubernatorial election contest rulings could remove their friendly governor, even on short notice.
But in the rush, they've gone further than Gregoire herself, pushing for higher taxes and more spending than even she wants. Seattle liberals are in the driver's seat, talking about a "duty" to jack them up.
The latest atrocity is another attempt to gut Initiative 601, which capped government spending and made a two-thirds supermajority necessary for the legislature to raise taxes. With this bill, more money could be spent and taxes could be upped, without Republicans having the power to stop it.
It's a great way to get what Dems want in a short time frame, but what about long-term? They're giving Washington state Republicans a great issue for the next election: look what happens when they're in charge, even for a short while, the result is disastrous for taxpayers.
The news goes from depressing to comical when considering what happened to Rep. Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup: she says she mistakenly voted "no" on this measure the first time (when it failed by one vote) and "fixed" the mistake the second time.
Was that really the case, or did ultra-liberal legislators from Seattle's Democrat machine lecture her about this "mistake"? Since when are conservative Puyallup residents on board with Seattle's fringe Democrats, anyway?
(Seattle Times Olympia Bureau- Andrew Garber- 16 April 2005)
OLYMPIA — House Democrats yesterday cleared the way for tax increases by passing a bill that would let lawmakers raise taxes with a majority vote instead of the two-thirds vote now required.
Senate Bill 6078 would suspend part of Initiative 601, the spending-limit measure Washington voters approved in 1993, and make it possible for Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate to raise taxes without Republicans going along. It passed 50-43, with four Democrats siding with Republicans and voting against it.
The bill fell one vote short on its initial vote in the House but passed on reconsideration after Rep. Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup, said she had mistakenly voted "no" the first time.
The measure, which also would make several changes to the state's spending limit, was amended in the House and now returns to the Senate. Senate Democratic leaders have indicated they will accept the House version.
Democrats argue the bill would improve I-601 and is needed to pass a "responsible" budget. "It's the responsibility of the majority to govern," said Rep. Jim McIntire, D-Seattle.
Republicans say the move is not needed and essentially would gut the initiative. "This is the most fiscally irresponsible bill," said Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia.
Democrats in both the House and Senate have proposed $26 billion budgets that represent about a 12 percent increase in spending over the current two-year budget.
And both chambers have proposed tax-increase packages that would bring in around $480 million over the next two years. They include taxes on cigarettes and liquor and bring back an estate tax. Gov. Christine Gregoire's $25.8 billion budget proposal had a smaller tax package.