The Olympian has come out with an editorial strongly opposing Initiative 1053. It’s title “Initiative would give undemocratic veto power over budget” sums up one of the main arguments against Initiative 1053. Initiative 1053 would give 1/3 of the members of either House of the Washington State Legislature veto power over the state budget. What Eyman and special interests like Big Oil and Out of State Banks haven’t been able to achieve by electing a majority of legislators that support their position, they are trying to achieve by changing the rules by which Legislators can operate.
The Olympian’s editorial board recommends a vote against this Eyman initiative.
Why? We elect lawmakers to balance the budget. If we don’t like the way they do it, we can send them packing. But it’s unfair to take away one of their tools — tax increases. This initiative essentially gives a narrow minority — 17 senators or 34 House members, the difference of a simple majority and supermajority — veto authority on budget matters.
That’s not right nor is it democratic.
The Olympian continues with pointing out that the public expects the government to provide services yet doesn’t want to be taxed. People like Tim Eyman drone on endlessly and erroneously about the tax and spend Legislators. Yet as the Olympian notes:
Contrary to popular opinion tax increases are not the first solution for budget writers. In the past three years, lawmakers have dealt with a $12 billion shortfall. They’ve made $5.1 billion in program and service cuts; taken $3.6 billion in stimulus funds, transferred $1.7 billion from other funds; drawn down the ending fund balance and used money from the rainy day fund.
They’ve raised taxes by $800 million.
That’s a measured approach — certainly not “raise taxes as a first option.”
This nation and this state are on a financial precipice. We can tip in either direction. That economic uncertainty has consumers hunkered down and frightened.
This is no time to let a fraction of lawmakers dictate how this state’s budget is balanced.
Budget writing is a complex business with huge risks and people’s very lives at stake.
Tim Eyman’s “legislate by initiative” philosophy is an unwarranted intrusion into that complex decision-making process.
Vote “no” on Initiative 1053.
What the Olympian neglects to mention is that over a million dollars was spent to collect signatures using paid signature gatherers to put I-1053 on the ballot. The big spenders as noted by Danny Westneat in the Seattle Times were not average citizens but special interests.
Why is Big Oil helping bankroll I-1053? It’s because they oppose Legislative efforts to slightly increase toxic waste taxes to help cleanup storm water runoff. They would rather citizens bear the brunt of toxic waste problems including cleanup while they deposit bank record profits as they have in recent years.
“…Tim Eyman went more corporate than usual this year.
His Initiative 1053, to limit the Legislature’s tax-raising ability, has the type of stick-it-to-the-man appeal that you might think would get Joe Six-Pack to the ramparts.
Yet it’s on the ballot due to big cash from out-of-state oil companies such as BP, Tesoro and Conoco, which want to block any new oil taxes. Only about 12 percent of his more than $1 million came from individuals, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.
I-1053 is an example of greed in action. Citizens need to vote NO on 1053 so polluters rather than citizens have to pay for cleanup or in it’s absence suffer continued polluting of Puget Sound and the environment.
For a list of other companies involved in greedy actions this years promoting special interest initiatives that pass the burden of taxes and/or lack of funding for public services onto Washington taxpayers see http://www.stopgreed.org/