Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Fleeting Burst of Sanity from the Washington State Supreme Court

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had it up to HERE with 34% of the voters — or legislators — being able to shoot down every proposed tax increase and prevent every tax loophole from being closed.  It’s impossible to calculate how many school, library and mass transit projects have been derailed, and how many police officers and firefighters have been laid off, just because not quite 67% of the voters were willing to increase their own taxes to fund these projects.

And on that note, three cheers for the Washington State Supreme Court.

The Court has ruled that requiring a two thirds vote of the legislature in order to raise taxes — or even close a tax loophole — violates the Washington State Constitution.  I don’t know whether this ruling effects local tax initiatives, where one third of the voters can thwart the will of the other two thirds.  But it’s a start.

According to Article II, section 22 of the State Constitution:  “…no bill shall become a law unless …a majority of the members elected to each house” vote in its favor.

The anti-tax brigade’s only recourse now is to try to amend the Washington State Constitution.  In order to do this, they’ll need a two thirds vote in both houses of the state legislature AND the approval of two thirds of the state’s voters.  Good luck with that.  Poetic, no?  The shoe’s on the other foot now.

I’ve always thought this two-thirds/super-majority rule was just plain wrong, whether it regards taxes or any other issue.  It must be nice to be on the side that only needs to win 34% of the vote.

Tim Eyman — the twisted love child of Howard Jarvis and Grover Norquist — is Washington State’s favorite anti-tax hero.  Tim Eyman won’t sleep a wink until the last of these commie libraries has been slammed and shuttered.

If you live in or near Washington State, that funny noise you’re hearing is the sound of Tim Eyman pounding the bed and screaming into his pillow.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Washington - wish we could do that in California


February 28, 2013 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Sure would be nice if we could get some of those billions upon billions of revenues sitting in tropical shell corporations back, too.

March 1, 2013 at 7:49 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Erik we just voted to raise our taxes last year and now we don't need the republicans for anything here legislative wise, for the most part. We have enough dems that if they choose, that 2/3 crap will be gone.

March 1, 2013 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Something turns out right for a change. I too was happy and relieved to see the court's decision.

Don't worry about Eyman, though. He's made a career out of trying to cut state government off at the knees. (It would be interesting to know who's paying his way.) This court decision is a setback, but ultimately preserves his career. After all, if the SOB ever succeeds in bankrupting state government, he'll be out of a job.

March 1, 2013 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Maybe this will start a trend; make Howard Jarvis turn in his grave.

Randal: Dream on.

Jess: I remember reading that, that the Democrats in the California legislature have a 2/3 majority. Time to git 'er done.

SW: Good point about Eyman being out of a job if he ever succeeds at bankrupting the government. I think there are a few local Koch types who finance Eyman's little gimmicks. His fiasco last November -- which thankfully got defeated -- was financed almost entirely by one of Seattle's wealthiest developers.

March 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM  

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