On The Road To 2008 - Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

Monday, October 17, 2005

Misguided Support For I-912

While the majority of progressive voters recognize the realities of the transportation package that was passed last spring, there are a few car hating liberals out there who believe that I-912 could be a way for them to make a statement against transportation solutions that include more roads.

Oh, the irony.

Right wing I-912 proponents are constantly accusing the Washington legislature for coming up with a plan that doesn't add enough additional road capacity, yet the car hating liberals are against I-912 because it does.

Then the right wing I-912 supporters claim that they don't trust the legislature or the WSDOT, but defend their initiative by stating that it will force the legislature and WSDOT to try again and come up with a "better" plan (read, one that doesn't require a tax increase).

Meanwhile, car hating liberals who would normally never find themselves voting on an anti-tax initiative concocted by rabid right wingnuts, have decided to get in bed with them, thinking they actually will benefit from the result of I-912 passing.

How sadly wrong they are to think so.

The problem is that they are all working from misguided beliefs.

The gas tax can only be used for highways and ferries. On many of the highway projects bike lanes would be added. On the 520 bridge project, additional capacity would probably include HOV lanes and bike lanes, and perhaps plans to accommodate a rail transit system. These are things the car hating liberals should be supporting.

The $5.5 billion the gas tax would raise is not guaranteed to exist in another form should I-912 strike the gas tax down. If people cannot vote for the minor user fee that a gas tax is, they will never support an alternative tax to raise the same amount of money.

Seattleites and Eastsiders that believe a vote for I-912 will be a good thing for them are delusional. Without the gas tax, the Alaskan Way Viaduct will lose $2 billion in funding that could have paid for most of the cost of a replacement roadway. Without the gas tax, the 520 floating bridge will lose $500 million that would have been supplemented by tolls to cover the cost for a replacement with greater capacity. Without the tax almost $1 billion more for I-405 projects will go poof. Without the tax, these project won't happen and we all run the risk of structures failing before anything gets done to replace and improve them. Without the tax we all have to deal with worse traffic.

But the needs won't have been eliminated. The Viaduct will still need to be replaced. The 520 bridge will still need to be replaced. Yet, the probable balkanization of transportation infrastructure spending will likely mean that the cost for Seattleites and Eastsiders will double as they find they will be burdened by the entire bill.

Simple put: a vote for I-912 for people in King County will be a vote for higher taxes down the road - pun intended.

I-912 passing will not save this area any money so that it could be spent on transit projects that don't involve cars. That's just wrongheaded thinking. The best choice for people who support projects like Sound Transit or the Monorail would be to vote against I-912 so that the fund raising needed for our crumbling transportation infrastructure can occur without raiding the options available to pay for transit projects. Seattleites faced with an either/or proposition would never support a Monorail project over improved roads and bridges. That's just not a feasibility. However, if given the chance for both, they will, and have supported such transit projects.

If you're inclined to argue that King County is a big winner in I-912, that's to some extent true, but not for the reason you're probably thinking. As the Seattle Times again reminded us this weekend, the area only receives back $1.09 for every $1 put in this time around. Many other counties receive much more in return, including Kittitas County, which gets $4.20 back for each $1 put in, and Garfield County, which gets $4.91 for each $1 put in.

Statewide, the construction projects are expected to create thousands of new jobs.

Dan Swecker, Republican legislator from Rochester, explained things back last April during a live chat with The Olympian:

Right now we have a $1 billion-plus deficit in the general fund and those resources are badly needed elsewhere.

Our goal is to not raise general taxes for those programs. Instead we want to concentrate any increase on the part of the state infrastructure that will most benefit the economy. The accompanying legislation has over 200 projects throughout the state. During the 16 years that it takes to complete those projects it's estimated that we will generate 35,000 to 40,000 new jobs, construction jobs, family wage jobs, $120,000,000 in sales tax revenue alone that will enhance the general fund budget. So my feeling is, if we're going to spend public money on anything, this is the exact right time to do it.

That doesn't even speak to the issue of needs. The first thing we addressed in the Legislature was the failing structures in the Seattle metro area, the Alaskan Way Viaduct and 520 Bridge. If either of those were to fail it would have a devastating effect on the economy. We decided to fund a little less than half of those projects and have the region come up with the rest. Even with that, the tax will only come up with a portion of those projects, so to pay for the rest of the projects around the state, this incremental tax will help us finish these projects.

...

About half of proposed gas tax revenue will come from the King County area. Not only will they pay their share of the gas tax but will add additional revenue to finish those projects, probably more than is projected by the gas tax, so we're getting double bang for our buck.
So if I-912 passes, King County will lose billions and will have to come up with that other half, plus the billions it lost. Not doing anything about the Viaduct and 520 floating bridge is simply not an option whether I-912 passes or fail, and should it pass due to the misguided support of car hating liberals, it will be similar to when their fateful votes for Ralph Nader in 2000 helped put George W. Bush in the White House. And we all know how big a disaster that has been.

Will they make a similar mistake again, or will they wake up and see the reality of the world we live in and the problems we are facing? We'll find out November 8th.

10 Comment(s):

Comment by: Blogger Roy Smith

>>>Meanwhile, car hating liberals who would normally never find themselves voting on an anti-tax initiative concocted by rabid right wingnuts, have decided to get in bed with them, thinking they actually will benefit from the result of I-912 passing.<<<

No, I won't benefit if I-912 passes, but a lot of harm will be prevented, such as creating Seattle's own version of Boston's Big Dig on the waterfront.

>>>The gas tax can only be used for highways and ferries. On many of the highway projects bike lanes would be added. On the 520 bridge project, additional capacity would probably include HOV lanes and bike lanes, and perhaps plans to accommodate a rail transit system. These are things the car hating liberals should be supporting.<<<

The state Constitution can be changed so that gas taxes aren't required to fund sprawl. That is a goal that liberals should be working for.

Regarding SR 520, plans have not been finalized, and there is a vocal constituency that does want to add general purpose lanes to the exclusion of transit. I am not voting for rebuilding SR 520 until that possibility is killed.

>>>Without the gas tax, the Alaskan Way Viaduct will lose $2 billion in funding that could have paid for most of the cost of a replacement roadway.<<<

Exactly the right goal. Remove the Viaduct.

>>>Without the gas tax, the 520 floating bridge will lose $500 million that would have been supplemented by tolls to cover the cost for a replacement with greater capacity.<<<

But nobody can guarantee this greater capacity isn't going to end up being in the form of 4 general purpose lanes in each direction.

>>>Without the tax we all have to deal with worse traffic.<<<

Not those of us who have the sense to live close to our jobs, another principle that liberals should be supporting.

>>>But the needs won't have been eliminated. The Viaduct will still need to be replaced.<<<

It can be removed for a lot cheaper, and that will be an improvement for the entire city.

>>>The best choice for people who support projects like Sound Transit or the Monorail would be to vote against I-912 so that the fund raising needed for our crumbling transportation infrastructure can occur without raiding the options available to pay for transit projects.<<<

No, the best choice would be to continue to vote for the monorail and Sound Transit, continue to vote against massive wastes of money on expanded SOV capacity for long-distance commuters, and support a gas tax increase that is actually aimed at safety, not roadway expansion.

>>>Seattleites faced with an either/or proposition would never support a Monorail project over improved roads and bridges.<<<

Says who? Depends a lot on what you mean by "improved roads." I would definitely support the monorail over the vast majority of the projects funded by the gas tax increase.

>>>If you're inclined to argue that King County is a big winner in I-912, that's to some extent true, but not for the reason you're probably thinking. As the Seattle Times again reminded us this weekend, the area only receives back $1.09 for every $1 put in this time around. Many other counties receive much more in return, including Kittitas County, which gets $4.20 back for each $1 put in, and Garfield County, which gets $4.91 for each $1 put in.<<<

Why does this matter either way in this debate?

>>>Statewide, the construction projects are expected to create thousands of new jobs.<<<

Also irrelevant. That's called pork, and doesn't stop a waste of money from being a waste of money.

>>>The first thing we addressed in the Legislature was the failing structures in the Seattle metro area, the Alaskan Way Viaduct and 520 Bridge. If either of those were to fail it would have a devastating effect on the economy.<<<

True. So we need a plan that removes the Alaska Way Viaduct and improves circulation in the urban core, and which replaces SR 520 without adding general purpose capacity, which would encourage long-distance commuting.

>>>will they [car hating liberals] wake up and see the reality of the world we live in and the problems we are facing?<<<

I already did that. I'm trying to get the liberal establishment to wake up and face reality, and act accordingly.

10/18/2005 12:52 PM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Patrick

Nice try. You forget to mention that two of the greatest things we have on this earth are freedom and personal property.

Politicians (both R/D) have promised to "fix" our transportation problems for years. Gridlock Gary thought he had it mastered many times, and even bragged that solving gridlock was going to be a critcal part of his time in office.

Today, our roads are still congested--notably worse than before.

And now--after all of those "promises" Olympia suddenly has the "fix", the big "band-aid" to solve it all.

I would hazzard to guess that many liberals voting for 912 have finally gained what many thought impossible: a fiscal conscience.

They understand that contrary to what they've been told, tax dollars belong to us, and we have a right to choose how and when they are spent.

If you like what Olympia has been doing-- and believe that NOW just "poof" the transportation problems facing our state will be solved by the gas-tax, then you have succumb to a power far superior to logic: stupidity.

Of course, if you have a fiscal conscience, you'll realize that the anti-912 camp is using economic "scare tactics" akin to Chicken Little tactics.

As for the bike-lanes, everyone knows Greens don't give a damn about them anymore. They have a much bigger transportation agenda in mind, one liberals to the right of them should take a gander at.

10/23/2005 1:24 AM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Daniel Kirkdorffer

Patrick,

This is not Gary Locke's bill. It actually has the stamp of Republicans all over it, from Finkbiner and Swecker, to people like Joyce Mullikin.

No one is saying that this bill fixes all the problems. Indeed, the price tag to do that is 4 to 5 times the amount the bill raises.

However, when faced with such a large undertaking, you have to focus on the most needy projects, which is why this bill has so many safety related projects in it.

You rail against Olympia, but you offer no alternative to the system we have in place, whereby the people elect representatives who have the fulltime responsibility to tackle the tough problems of the state. We all know it is not feasible for every project, every spending act, every tax to be individually approved or rejected by a popular vote. People don't have the time, the understanding of all the variables, or the desire for such a system.

Do I like what Olympia has been doing? More often than not I think they've made appropriate choices. The transportation bill is one such choice, and it came after considerable deliberation about the options we have as a state.

Do I generally believe initiatives make for good law? No. Most initiatives are hatchet jobs that seek cheap votes from people unaware of the deeper issues.

People who would vote against the bill (by voting for I-912) because they want legislation that gets people out of their cars are not considering those that don't live in urban areas, or far enough away from transit centers, or make commutes that deviate from transit routes. What do they expect - a regular bus route between every town, suburb, city in the state?

People who would vote against the bill (by voting for I-912) because they don't like being taxed, or because they believe they know better how to solve traffic problems, offer no alternative as to how money should be found, or what those projects should be (not to mention the fact few have the expertise to even make such judgements).

Then they argue "vote for I-912 because we don't trust Olympia", so that Olympia can create a new package. If you don't trust Olympia then why should anyone believe you'd support a new package created in Olympia?

Face it - this initiative is the work of people like Carlson, and the sycophantic crowd at Sound Politics pissed that Rossi lost last year. It represents the worst greed of a populace that is always wanting something for nothing. I-912 is just their way to shirk a responsibility we all have for safe roads and functional roads, and for them to try to stick it to Gregoire for beating their guy, at the polls and in the court room.

This is a sour grapes initiative at the expense of Washington state. It stabs the state in the back and it stabs the business community in the back.

Whatever the outcome, Republican I-912 supporters are going to face a backlash. If I-912 passes, they will have lost the support of the business community and set the state on the path of balkanized funding that will hurt the poorer "red" counties in Eastern Washington. If I-912 fails, we will have dodged a bullet regarding this absurd initiative doing damage to the state and setting us back years on solving any of these problems, but Republicans will still have shown their true side - one that puts politics before safety, is willing to gamble with the economic strength of the state, says "screw you" to the business community they claim they support, and is so out of touch with the pulse of the nation and the state, and the priorities of responsible citizens who's values they clearly don't share.

10/23/2005 2:18 AM PT  
Comment by: Anonymous Steve

Even the PI admits that 912 will inevitably pass. They used words like defeat and crusades to describe what they plan to do about it.

Think about it. War words, reflections of true believers going out and casting the heretics and blasphemers into the pits of hell.

They, and others like them, know what is being said, and at least subconciously, agree to the nth degree.

The most telling thing said this morning was a reference to the popularity of 912. It would seem that the PI really doesn't want the citizens to have a voice, and takes the position that things should be inflicted upon the voters against their will. If our elected 'representatives' are that far out of line with the thinking of their constituents, it would be reasonable to presume statesmen would go back and remove the delta.

A couple of Facts for you to consider:

The money is already there in the current budget without the gas tax to fund these programs. Our legislature doesn't want to put that on the table because they KNOW the citizens would place a higher priority for that dedicated money.

This is all about preserving the PI/Liberals hold on 'representative government' where they only have to appeal to a small minority to force their agenda down the throats of the citizens. For citizens to take action, or to have input, well, that's anethema to the liberal philosophy. The citizens are there to pay for the agenda of the elected class and are expected to shut up and comply.

I live with a 44% tax burden on every dollar I earn, and am frankly not going to support increasing that ratio. Not about the paltry 9 cents, as others attempt to portray me. It's about government out of line with the priorities, thinking, and desires of the citizens.

With that, enjoy your day

10/23/2005 9:37 AM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Daniel Kirkdorffer

Steve said: Even the PI admits that 912 will inevitably pass.

So there's nothing to argue about then. What are you worried about?

Steve said: The most telling thing said this morning was a reference to the popularity of 912.

All anti-tax measures are popular by nature. Before anyone knows why a tax is needed their first reaction is by nature against the tax. No surprise there, and it doesn't invalidate the fact this anti-tax measure is a bad one.

Steve said: A couple of Facts for you to consider:

The money is already there in the current budget without the gas tax to fund these programs. Our legislature doesn't want to put that on the table because they KNOW the citizens would place a higher priority for that dedicated money.


There is money, but it is not enough to make a dent in an estimated $40 billion of transportation infrastruction needs. The current gas tax has fallen behind inflationary growth so that today the increase merely brings us back to the rate things were 10 to 20 years ago. The projects the increase would pay for do not have the funding without that increase.

Here's what Republican Dan Swecker said about this issue, in response to a question about using other options, such as toll roads, fees for single drivers using the carpool lanes, and reallocating budget funds, to pay for the projects:

"All of the options [suggested] except the last are things currently either being implemented or being studied so we can implement them. As for the latter, we take money out of general fund and shift it into transport budget, but right now we have a $1 billion-plus deficit in the general fund and those resources are badly needed elsewhere.

"Our goal is to not raise general taxes for those programs. Instead we want to concentrate any increase on the part of the state infrastructure that will most benefit the economy. The accompanying legislation has over 200 projects throughout the state. During the 16 years that it takes to complete those projects it's estimated that we will generate 35,000 to 40,000 new jobs, construction jobs, family wage jobs, $120,000,000 in sales tax revenue alone that will enhance the general fund budget. So my feeling is, if we're going to spend public money on anything, this is the exact right time to do it.

"That doesn't even speak to the issue of needs. The first thing we addressed in the Legislature was the failing structures in the Seattle metro area, the Alsaskan Way Viaduct and 520 Bridge. If either of those were to fail it would have a devastating effect on the economy. We decided to fund a little less than half of those projects and have the region come up with the rest. Even with that, the tax will only come up with a portion of those projects, so to pay for the rest of the projects around the state, this incremental tax will help us finish these projects."


Steve said: This is all about preserving the PI/Liberals hold on 'representative government' where they only have to appeal to a small minority to force their agenda down the throats of the citizens. For citizens to take action, or to have input, well, that's anethema to the liberal philosophy. The citizens are there to pay for the agenda of the elected class and are expected to shut up and comply.

Do you need a civics lesson? We live under a representative government system. I-912 isn't about creating a vote on the transportation package - it is a hatchet job on hard fought legislation that weighed as many of the concerns of each constituency as possible. Left to our own devices the citizenry, whether you like the fact or not, is not well enough informed about all the issues to be called in to vote on each of them. Government would come to a grinding halt if everything required a popula vote. No, we elect representatives and ask them to spend 100% of their time on these issues. If we don't like what they do we vote for new representatives. Your Republican President never offered the nation a chance to vote for or against his Iraq war, which has already cost us $500 billion and thousands of lives, so get off your high horse of political posturing about the voice of the people. This is the system we've had in place for over 200 years and that we're all proud to live under - there is nothing liberal about that.

Steve said: I live with a 44% tax burden on every dollar I earn

Then you've got a problem. The average tax burden is around 30%, and the state tax burden in Washington state at 10% is right in the middle of the pack at 24th.

10/23/2005 1:04 PM PT  
Comment by: Anonymous Steve

Please be careful when lecturing me on representative government. On one hand, you have clear evidence that the citizens being represented disagree with the manner in which they are represented, i.e. I-912. Can we both agree on that?

I men, honestly, don't you see the disconnect here when the majority of the populace supports an initiative that goes against the agenda that their elected folks came up with? Wouldn't a reasonable person take from that the fact that those who represent missed the mark on this one? That perhaps the representatives might go back and do the people's business in a manner acceptable to the people?

And this whole 'Republicans supported the tax' deal is old. Firstly, I hold the Republicans as cupable as the Democrats. And the Dems should THANK the Republicans that the taxes exist in the first place! Am I the only one who paid attention and recalls the adamant statements on the part of Berendt and company that they would not pass those measures unless the R's came on board? They Dems wanted political cover and made enough deals to make it happen. The R's went on board in a fit of moral abdication. I've had it with both of them, their continual collusion, and the nonsense. Throw them ALL out!

And, another caution. There's a line of thought around that states that gas taxes can ONLY be used for 'highway purposes.' True enough, but the implication that is further made (that gas taxes are the ONLY funds that can be used for highways) is false. If you throw this $40B dent thing at me, I ask what, over 16 years, will $8B do for this? Not a damned thing, my friend. Heck, reprioritize 1B per year out of the general fund, and you have doubled the effectiveness of this tax, without raising a dime in taxes. Consequently, it's a false premise then, that this gas tax is the end of it, for we then have the regional tax plan, another Sound Transit tax plan, another State gas incease plan, more excise taxes, yet another Sound Transit tax run, and at least one more Regional tax plan in the works to deal with. Give me a bottom line cost, and I'll make decisions. Give me another 15 years of this Chicken Little scare scenario, and I'll fight it each and every time.

Personally, I am not worried about the passing of this. I am sad that the real lessons of this fight are being missed in the acrimonious and smarmy 'debate.' I have not had to convince anyone to vote for 912. A far cry from those who speak of religion-like crusades, enlightenment, and such. Gues the question gets tossed to you. What are YOU going to do when this passes? Count on a friendly court in Thurston County to overturn? Sit back and pray for an earthquake and lots of death so you can tell us how much smarter you are than I? Condemn YOUR friends and neighbors for being boorish and lacking in compassion?

Or, is it possible, that you might rethink your position and work with folks like me to help our elected officials understand that when we elect representatives, we expect to be represented?

Personally, I hope it would be the latter, for I would like a better state in which to live, where we do things together to build a better life and more opportunities to pursue happiness together. Without me jamming my agenda down your throat, and without you jamming yours down mine.

That would be a wonderful world, wouldn't it?

And yes, I do have a problem with taxes. Because I am a single non-homeowner, with no kids, and make a moderate income for the area, I have no federal or state tax breaks that come into play. A flat tax that treated all citizens fairly? Oh yeah, count me in!

10/23/2005 3:53 PM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Daniel Kirkdorffer

Steve said: Please be careful when lecturing me on representative government. On one hand, you have clear evidence that the citizens being represented disagree with the manner in which they are represented, i.e. I-912. Can we both agree on that?

On evidence of an anti-tax initiative? Or do we actually look at the fact that representative X, who was voted into office by a majority of citizens in his/her constituency, was given the responsibility to represent their views, while also having to make the tough decisions that lead to legislation.

Steve said: I men, honestly, don't you see the disconnect here when the majority of the populace supports an initiative that goes against the agenda that their elected folks came up with? Wouldn't a reasonable person take from that the fact that those who represent missed the mark on this one? That perhaps the representatives might go back and do the people's business in a manner acceptable to the people?

We don't know yet if a majority of the populace does in fact support this initiative. We'll find out in November. Problem is a huge number of people will see an anti-tax initiative on the ballot and blindly vote for it without understanding the pros and cons. These are the people that are the problem, not those that have educated themselves on the pros and cons and come to a decision, one way or another. Because of that, such an anti-tax measure cannot be gauged as a true understanding of the populations understanding of the issues, but rather simply what we already know: that if offered the choice most people will gladly choose less taxes.

Furthermore, this initiative does not spell out what an "acceptable" manner is for addressing these problems.

Steve said: And this whole 'Republicans supported the tax' deal is old. Firstly, I hold the Republicans as cupable as the Democrats. And the Dems should THANK the Republicans that the taxes exist in the first place! Am I the only one who paid attention and recalls the adamant statements on the part of Berendt and company that they would not pass those measures unless the R's came on board? They Dems wanted political cover and made enough deals to make it happen. The R's went on board in a fit of moral abdication. I've had it with both of them, their continual collusion, and the nonsense. Throw them ALL out!

Very constructive and illuminating of you. So why were these people deemed worthy of voting in in the first place then? Did they all just lose their mind when they got into office? Did a Republican like Joyce Mullikin, who NEVER voted for a tax increase in her 10 years in Olympia, just suddenly go crazy? Or could it be that she recognized that you know what, sometimes a tax increase is necessary, is important, voting record be damned?

Steve said: And, another caution. There's a line of thought around that states that gas taxes can ONLY be used for 'highway purposes.' True enough, but the implication that is further made (that gas taxes are the ONLY funds that can be used for highways) is false. If you throw this $40B dent thing at me, I ask what, over 16 years, will $8B do for this? Not a damned thing, my friend. Heck, reprioritize 1B per year out of the general fund, and you have doubled the effectiveness of this tax, without raising a dime in taxes. Consequently, it's a false premise then, that this gas tax is the end of it, for we then have the regional tax plan, another Sound Transit tax plan, another State gas incease plan, more excise taxes, yet another Sound Transit tax run, and at least one more Regional tax plan in the works to deal with. Give me a bottom line cost, and I'll make decisions. Give me another 15 years of this Chicken Little scare scenario, and I'll fight it each and every time.

No one has ever said that the $8.5 billion will solve all the problems. It was deemed to be as much as the state could handle at this time. Obviously, given the reaction, we may not be able to handle even that much. There have been a number of other past anti-tax initiatives that have limited the number of other funding sources available. The general fund is running a $1 billion deficit. You're right, this tax will not be the last, unless we are content to let all existing infrastructure crumble and fall into ruin. The reality is that this state population continues to grow, our transportation infrastructure needs continue to grow, and we need to address that reality of we want the state's economy to continue to grow.

Steve said: Personally, I am not worried about the passing of this. I am sad that the real lessons of this fight are being missed in the acrimonious and smarmy 'debate.' I have not had to convince anyone to vote for 912. A far cry from those who speak of religion-like crusades, enlightenment, and such. Gues the question gets tossed to you. What are YOU going to do when this passes? Count on a friendly court in Thurston County to overturn? Sit back and pray for an earthquake and lots of death so you can tell us how much smarter you are than I? Condemn YOUR friends and neighbors for being boorish and lacking in compassion?

For someone not concerned about I-912 not passing you seem to be spending a considerable amount of time debating your case. If I-912 passes, I will support legislation that calls for a re-definition of how we pay for transportation infrastructure costs, so that they are paid for more locally. Let the folks in Whitman county finance their own road projects if that's what they want. The Puget Sound region predominently supports the transportation bill, and I expect they will support replacement legislation that services this area. If that becomes the only way for these projects to get funded, then that's what I will support.

10/23/2005 4:58 PM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Patrick

Kirkdorffer,

You miss the mark almost completely with your reply to my comment.

Here's why: I-912 is a populist alternative to the bill passed by the legislature. Remember that emergency clause added to the bill, that states a referendum cannot be used to overturn it?

Something like 400,000 signatures were collected in the shortest stretch of initiative history. This is an unprecedented number, especially when one compares the 900 and 912 campaigns. I-900 paid people to collect signatures and received nearly 100,000 less signatures than I-912. (figures are approximate)

Greens and Libertarians are also voting against I-912, and for many reasons you haven't even begun to addrss. My hypothesis is because the liberal solution to the transportation problem is always the same: more taxes.

That's why I'm overjoyed that I-900 and I-912 are likely to pass together this November. They address the same root problem: ineffective, inefficient, and dangerously uneconomical government.

Your "chicken little" scare tactics won't work to convince anyone, and neither will Microsoft's or any other megopolies.

As for your interesting statment that I-912 supporters are "stabbing [Big Business] in the back", WOW.

You lack any real sense of who really controls Big Business. Boeing, et al. has trodden on local taxpayers for too long, unduly benefiting from our investments. If they took their own social responsibilities seriously, they'd have teams working hand-in-hand with local and state governments to solve our traffic problems. That would be truly heroic and charactheristic of healthy free-enterprise.

I cannot stress enough that you are making a COLOSSAL mistake by painting Republicans as the "only supporters" of I-912. This issue transcends partisan loyalty- but that's not something you've (thus far) been able to get your mind around.

10/23/2005 10:08 PM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Daniel Kirkdorffer

Bell,

I-912 offers no alternative to the transportation bill. It offers no solutions. It ignores the state of our roads and bridges. It ignores the realities of this state's finances and the serious safety issues the transportation bill seeks to address.

I am not impressed at the 400,000 signatures. What matters is what the votes are in November. There is a big difference with signature obtained from someone walking down the street, and an informed voter casting a ballot at the polls.

10/23/2005 10:25 PM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Patrick

FYI:

Greens think that we should press corporations to pay their proper share of taxes.

They also want to reduce
"corporate welfare" tax exemptions.

Greens support transferring control of transportation into the hands of local governments. Query, why would this be?

They also oppose investments that serve the single-occupancy automobile, in addition to RAILING AGAINST any further expansion of highways that could increase the volume of car traffic entering Seattle.

Query: Dems are losing support from their own left flanks, why?

10/23/2005 10:29 PM PT  

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