Sunday, 28 August 2005

I-912: Washington State's Trojan Horse

The opportunistic anti-tax "starve the beast" gang is at it again, with yet another initiative appealing to the short-sighted "save a buck today" mentality. Already suffering from budget woes exacerbated by previous initiatives launched by proven scofflaw and liar Tim Eyman, my state of Washington now is facing an assault from a different collection of demagogues who are appealing to anti-tax sentiment to overturn the legistlature's emergency funding measure for the transportation system. Never mind that this measure funds specific improvements to the infrastructure that will save lives, and that the gas tax implemented to fund it is to be gradually introduced at a fraction of the rise in gas prices over which government has no control.

No these anti-tax minions want to "send a message" to our legislature about government waste. It really is exasperating to attempt to talk sense into people who allow an emotive response to govern their attitudes toward public policy. I've talked to people who really should know better, who are buying the "send a message" theme, and will point to examples of bureaucracy run amok, to justify this ill-considered initiative. Of course there is government waste and there are bureaucrats who protect their turf to the detriment of the public good. But there are also plenty of fine working projects and decent public servants who serve us honorably.

Here is a case where a desperate need for patching up our failing infrastructure is funded in the only reasonable way that it can be, given the constraints of previously passed anti-tax initiatives, and where the projects thus funded are concrete improvements long sought across the whole of the state. It has bipartisan support, and the support of business as well as progressive leaders. The naysayers say "hehe, they're all bums; this'll show 'em!" But sometimes bipartisan support might actually mean that the plan is sensible.

I-912 is yet another initiative which is penny-wise and pound-foolish. It's like trying to treat lung cancer by amputating one's feet. If you live in Washington State, or know someone who does, please educate your friends, neighbors, and relatives about the transportation package which this initiative would eliminate. It's high time we stop accepting these Trojan Horses!

Many of Washington's progressive bloggers have been sounding off on this, and you can read their comments by linking to the I-912 "Hot Topic" in the sidebar of this and other local blogs. Perhaps by taking the lead on this topic, and pressuring our public officials who don't want this initiative to pass but are too timid to make public statements against an anti-tax measure, someone like Governor Gregoire will finally be emboldened to take a public stance against it.


Anonymous said...

Jeez man, what a whole bunch of propaganda crap, this blog entry sounds and smells like communist propaganda crap. You know people are not stupid and they will decide who's the liar here without your unfound accusations. Get a life, or better yet get a real job.

John Mclaren said...

Yes- 912 sounds like typical suburban minded crap. The accusations of "propaganda" are the real moronic propaganda. Like those SUV driving hicks with American flags and 'W' stickers on their gas hogs. That is not American. I am sick and tired of the noise, pollution and accidents caused by these morons who live and work only so they can drive bigger cars further and faster. Up theirs. To hell with them and their oil wars and policies (like intimidation of Venezuela). I WANT super high gas tax. $6 a gallon is fine for me and my Honda. Bring it on.

And as long as people from all over Washington keep coming to Seattle for every little vacation and shopping spree, and send their mal-adjusted kids there looking for mischief to screw up the city, we can and will tax them to pay for Seattle programs. Maybe if we build enough schools and universities they will get real educations and develop a clue.