Unbelievable as it may seem, given that we are in a severe economic downturn in Washington State, Clark County and yes, the entire nation, Democrat State Representative for the 49th Legislative District, Jim Moeller, wrote a letter to the editors at the Columbian actually requesting citizen input on where to raise taxes! Or, as he put it, “I believe citizen input is needed to help identify new revenue.”
Governor Gregoire is warning of “ugly cuts” ahead, acknowledging that raising taxes is the “wrong step in an economic downturn.”
Moeller wraps his plea for help in identifying where and who’s taxes to increase around a November 23, 2008 Opinion piece in the Columbian, “Cuts to public health funding could prove lethal.”
This of course begs the question, why is it during economic downturns, Public Services are the first thing to face the chopping block by Democrats?
State spending increased $8 Billion after Christine Gregoire became our governor, with Democrats controlling both houses of the State Congress along with the governors office. Moeller can’t see any wasteful spending in that?
State Expenditure History (pdf file)
Granted, much of the spending was increased due to voter-approved initiatives. But, how much money was thrown at those voters in efforts to convince them of dire consequences to them and their children if they didn’t approve such massive spending increases?
How much were those who opposed such large spending increases as too expensive and unnecessary ridiculed and shouted down by special interest groups and Democrats in Olympia? And now, we face a potential $5 Billion budget shortfall and all Moeller can think of is asking citizens to help identify who’s taxes can and should be increased?
Vitriolic Columbian Opinion Editor John Laird, in his weekly trashing of any and all not liberal, offers much the same dire words about the “ugly cuts” we face, but does extend some credit to Republican State Senator, Joseph Zarelli for, “several remedies that would be meaningful but not drastic.”
If Moeller is really serious about “identifying new revenue,” allow me to offer a few suggestions.
1. License and tax bicycles and their riders. Riders should have to pass a riding test to purchase a “bicycle endorsement” on their driver’s license, just as motorcycle riders and car drivers must. Bicycles should be licensed, just as cars and motorcycles are and renewed annually.
Underage riders could receive a special “restricted license” good only for bicycles, with parental approval and payment.
2. Since bicyclist don’t pay the current gasoline tax on riding their bicycles, a tax should be added to ‘Gatorade’ and other energy drinks they are so fond of.
3. The latte tax defeated in King County in 2003 needs to be immediately instituted on all caffeine users. Caffeine is an addictive substance much like tobacco and alcohol, so taxes equivalent should be imposed.
4. Oregon residents could to be required to pay Washington sales tax as well. Washington resident working in Oregon must pay Oregon’s Income. It would only be ‘fair’ that they pay our taxes over here as well.
5. Since education is one area facing those “ugly cuts,” how about an “ignorance tax?” The Washington Educator’s Association prohibits merit pay for teachers that excel, one thing that cost the state to lose a $13.2 million grant to some of our schools. So, why not tax parents who children aren’t performing to average standards?
Cutting the top-heavy administration costs in our school system could help balance the budget. But, we know the WEA will fight that tooth and nail and as much as the Democrats are beholding to the union, we can’t expect them to stand up to the teachers union, so we must hold the parents responsible.
6. Does the cost of ILLEGAL immigration ever enter into the Democrat mind? Do they not see that ILLEGALs working for lower wages, drives wages down across the board, resulting in even less revenue reaching Olympia?
Does Moeller consider the billions of dollars sent back to home countries by ILLEGALs, instead of being circulated in our economy? Surely an equivalent portion of those funds sent out of country comes from ILLEGALs in Washington State.
7. Why not impose a “poverty tax” as well? Since Democrats have told us several times over the years that tobacco and alcohol needed higher taxes to discourage the use of those items, why not tax those who earn less that $20,000 a year? Doesn’t it add up that if they must pay an extra tax they will strive harder to get out of poverty and earn higher wages?
8. While we are on tobacco, why not repeal I-901? That was one of those ‘fearmongering’ initiatives nanny staters scared voters into passing and ever since, not only have some private businesses gone under, revenues off of tobacco have decreased.
Let those that want to allow smoking in their private businesses allow it. Let those that wish to smoke, smoke. Let the state reap an increase in revenues from those taxes.
Don’t worry about increased medical costs, smokers die younger anyways, we are told, so they will use less medical care in the long run, right?
9. Why not charge Realtors a surtax on properties they sell? Homeowners must pay them exorbitant fees to sell their homes in a depressed market, so shouldn’t the Clark County Association of Realtors help out a little more than middle class tax payers? Or, do they receive a pass due to endorsements?
Well, Jim, you asked for input, so there you have it. Anyone else who has ideas to input may contact Rep. Moeller direct through his legislative web page, or add your ideas here for him and others to see.
Don’t be bashful. Speak up. Share your ideas. Let’s help Rep. Moeller increase taxes where they can be. We have nothing to fear but fear itself, right Jim?
Even though Rep. Moeller has a history of cynical replies to constituents, he may have mellowed out since he retained his seat against challenger Mike Bomar, who had ideas on the budget crisis without seeking citizen input on sticking it to other citizens.
62.44% of Clark County re-elected Moeller. You get what you vote for.