When I look at our financial state of affairs in Olympia I don’t see a partisan gap issue as many in the news have said, I see a problem with the Democrats who have had too much control and for too long. The real problem is not that there is a gap between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, the real problem is that there is a large gap between the will of the people of Washington and the will of the party in power, the Democrats.
It’s no secret that many of our financial issues stem from government overspending and it takes only the average person to understand that to fix things we need to limit the taxes that are feeding our state’s spending addiction.
- 1993 – Voters pass Initiative 601 which demands that “state expenditures be limited by inflation rates and population growth, and taxes exceeding the limit be subject to referendum?”
- 1998 – Voters pass Referendum 49 which says that “motor vehicle excise taxes be reduced and state revenues reallocated; $1.9 billion in bonds for state and local highways approved; and spending limits modified?"
- 2007 – Voters pass Initiative 960 which “required that in order for the Washington State Legislature to raise taxes, the legislature would have to approve any tax increases with a two-thirds supermajority vote or submit tax increase proposals to a statewide vote of the electorate”
- 2010 – voters pass Initiative 1053 which requires that "legislative actions raising taxes must be approved by two-thirds legislative majorities or receive voter approval, and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval."
For two decades the average people of our state have been speaking to this issue and the Democrats we put in power have been ignoring us. It seems that each time we try to limit spending the Democrats try to limit our power over them by using whatever technicality they think they can get away with.
In the waning hours of the "budget focused" special session Democrats in the House and Senate both attempted to cue up votes on a tax bill not assumed in the budget that no one expected to pass. The strategy was to try to gain legal standing to sue the voters to overturn the 18 year old 2/3 vote requirement for tax increases. Washington Policy Center
Approved by 64 percent of voters last November, I-1053 prohibited unelected bureaucrats from unilaterally imposing taxes and fees. After it passed, Gov. Chris Gregoire said: "I’m not gonna let 1053 stand in the way of me moving forward for what I think is right." Seattle Times
A coalition of House Democrats and education advocates are asking the courts to void the supermajority required for tax increases in Washington, arguing that it’s an unconstitutional limit on legislative authority. The Spokesman-Review
I’m not a lawyer so I can’t speak to the technicalities of the various legislation, loopholes and lawsuits that the Democrats have used, but suffice to say that the Democrat legislation, loopholes and lawsuits were not implemented to properly enact the will of the people, but rather to oppose the will of those who elected them.
There’s a gap for sure, but it is not between political parties, it is between the average people of this state and the Democratic Party.