That’s not right: McCleary isn’t a menu to pick and choose from

Many cheered in 2012 when the state Supreme Court issued its K-12 funding ruling in the McCleary case. Today, some of the groups that hailed it at the time seem to be suffering from selective amnesia. The McCleary decision is a three-legged stool, but that message has been lost. The court ruled that K-12 funding […]

State teachers union’s radio ad is one big lie

We’re living in an era of extreme political voices, especially at the national level. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then our state teachers union, the WEA, must be blushing. Ratcheting up the pressure, truth be damned, has been its M.O. for some time now. The group is running newspaper ads and a […]

Seattle soda tax: Doing good or do-gooderism?

Seattle and taxes go together like peas and carrots. Just about every special tax levy to go before Seattle voters in recent years has passed: the low-income housing levy, a Seattle schools levy, the ST3 package, the Prop. 1 Metro bus levy, parks, city streets, and more. This year, Seattle is considering a city income […]

Senate GOP taxes Dems’ patience

When something hits a little too close to home, we say it struck a nerve. A recent parliamentary move by Senate Republicans in Olympia did just that with legislative Democrats. They’ve been buzzing about it louder than the “Operation” guy. It was a simple idea. Since House Democrats haven’t bothered to vote on the tax […]

Coming soon? Gas tax info, right at the pump

Paying taxes has been pretty low on people’s “fun” list for some time now, and paying them these days can give you a headache. Just ask the last-minute filers scrambling to finish their income tax returns this week. They re-learned an annual lesson: our federal tax system is immensely complicated. Giving over your hard-earned dollars […]

The lie that a capital gains income tax is really an excise tax

In their ongoing quest for “progressivity,” House Democrats in Olympia announced new taxes to pay for their budget proposal, which spends more than the Senate Republicans’ budget. Notably absent was any sort of carbon tax. Despite a Democrat-controlled House and a governor anxious to sign anything with the word “carbon” in it, the votes just […]

Constantine wants $469 million arts levy. What about homelessness, roads, crime?

Political candidates love to talk about priorities, but usually it’s only in a fuzzy “fight for what’s important” way. Talking about government’s priorities, after all, is sticky. It requires saying that A is more important than B, and that’s a pretty good way to get B’s fans mad at you. Keeping it all vague is […]

“Pure politics” charge against Rossi’s bill doesn’t make much sense

If you read Smarter Government Washington, you know I think the way state government bargains with state employees is terribly flawed. It concentrates too much power in the governor’s hands. It cuts legislators out of the process, even though employee salaries are one of the biggest items the state funds. After the package is negotiated […]

Mighty big assumptions that capital gains income tax would be offset

Ostensibly, lawmakers in Olympia are arguing over education funding. The debate over how to finally and fully fund the state’s McCleary obligations is seemingly about schools. In reality, education funding is where legislators have the most agreement, broadly speaking. They might be arguing about the how, but they’re not far apart about the how much. […]

Never-give-up income taxers hope Sup. Court grants their most cherished wish

Washington Democrats’ desire for a state income tax is relentless. The national party symbol is the donkey, but perhaps Rick Astley is a more suitable inspiration for local Dems – they’re never gonna give up on a state income tax. As long as Washington remains one of nine states without an income tax, state Democrats […]