Back in 2007, Washington state voters approved Initiative 960, which barred any state tax increase from being OK’d without a two-thirds vote of their state Legislature.
Liberal lawmakers complained that was a hard standard to meet. Democratic lawmakers plan to increase taxes, you see, “to balance the state’s $2.6 billion budget deficit, but they don’t have enough members to get a two-thirds vote in either the Senate or House,” The Associated Press reports.
But get this: Washington state allows its Legislature to amend or override such voter-enacted restrictions after two years, by a simple majority vote. So that’s precisely what Washington’s Democrat-dominated Legislature did Tuesday, suspending Initiative 960 by a 26-23 vote. And majority Democrats now say they’ll go back and get rid of I-960’s additional requirement that the public be allowed to cast “advisory” votes on tax increases that are deemed an emergency by lawmakers, as well.
“Suspending the entire initiative allows for prompt action now, avoiding the added delay and additional cost to the state that a November public advisory vote would require,” explains Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Margarita Prentice, a Democrat.
Well. We certainly wouldn’t want to “delay” the efforts of lawmakers to keep their pet state employee unions waddling up to the gravy train, raising taxes and bankrupting the state’s private sector as quickly as possible.
Minority Republican senators have been objecting loudly, though there’s not much they can do.
Setting aside I-960’s tax hurdle is necessary to sustain “critical” public education, health care and social service programs, Democrats contend. Why, “The depth of the crisis we have here is the worst since the Great Depression,” said Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam.
And the causes, coincidentally, are the same — excessive government spending and regulatory meddling in the economy, leading to massive malinvestment, followed by further interventions to prevent that malinvestment from being liquidated and corrected.
So let’s do it some more, guys!
What are those who protest these stinking cesspits of legislative corruption always told? “If you don’t like the law, then change it. Just pass a petition and see if the majority of voters will adopt your solution.”
Which is what conservative activist Tim Eyman, sponsor of Initiative 960, did, of course. Fat lot of good that did.
If it is demonstrated to the majority who have tried to “play by the rules” and patiently wait their turn at the polls to correct the errors of these corrupt legislative thieves, that said course of action does no good, what alternative do the arrogant tax-and-spenders now expect the common people to adopt?