Posts tagged ‘Taxes’

October 31, 2016

Clark County Budget

by lewwaters

How we got where we’re at and where we are headed with County Councilor Julie Olson (District 2) and Bob Stevens, Deputy County Manager.

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September 1, 2013

Rise Up, America

by lewwaters

June 25, 2013

When Did Public Union Teachers Become So Sacrosanct?

by lewwaters

Teacher 1Whether we realize it or not, we all teach. Be it our children, our friends and acquaintances, co-workers or just people we meet in our day to day dealings, in some manner or another, we teach them.

But, that does not make us “teachers,” those who have chosen to enter the profession to impart knowledge in any one of our schools where we must send our children to learn reading, writing, arithmetic, history and other relevant subjects in hopes that when they grow up, they will have the knowledge to become functional adults ready to contribute to society, raise families of their own and pass along their own teaching with who they interact with.

Teaching sounds like a very lofty and important profession, which it is. But, does that make being a teacher any more special or privileged than other professions we enter into? Does that make them exempt from the day to day struggles and budgeting we must perform in order to care for our families, especially in these difficult economic times we have seen over the past years?

April 30, 2013

Making Clark County Government Better

by lewwaters

CCBGClark County Washington sits in an awkward position at the southern most point of Washington State where the Columbia River separates the state from its Southern Neighbor, Oregon.

Positioned where we are, Washington State often ignores us, except of course when the time comes to want taxes, and Oregon treats us as their bedroom, the hicks to north they like to poke fun at.

All too often our elected officials, seeing Portland, Oregon as that “economic powerhouse” south of us, cater to the whims of Oregon over the desires of Clark County citizens.

January 11, 2013

Where Does the 14th Amendment Grant Dictatorial Power?

by lewwaters

Obama, DictatorThe latest effort to impose dictatorial control over the American people comes from Democrat Senate Leader out of Nevada, Harry Reid as he lends his voice to those from last year in calling on Obama to simply bypass congress and raise the nation’s debt as he sees fit, claiming he is granted that authority under the 14th amendment, passed shortly after the Civil War.

One of three ‘Reconstruction Amendments,’ the 14th is comprised of 5 sections primarily stating freed slaves were citizens of America with the full legal rights of any other citizen in the first three section and the 4th section basically laying out that the U.S. was not responsible for nor would pay any debts incurred by the Confederacy during the war.

Section 5 grants congress the power to enforce the amendment.

Section 4 is where Democrats now claim to have the authority for Obama to bypass congress on raising our public debt, claiming it says, “the validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.”

In total, Section 4 says,

December 8, 2012

Stoners Stumble Across the ‘Law of Unintended Consequences’

by lewwaters

HuhThe enlightened people in the states of Washington and Colorado pushed through their measures to legalize marijuana smoking in the last election, many euphoric over the electoral win and believing their choice of drug, once legalized, will be broadly accepted and they will no longer face consequences for smoking a joint when they so choose.

Since marijuana use is sill illegal under federal law, the question left unanswered for the time being is what will the feds do in the two states, now that they have decided to not follow federal law?

As of this posting, there is only speculation on what the feds may or may not do.

The states have one year to work our regulations concerning the use of marijuana, such detection standards if caught driving under the influence as well as standards to be used should such a case draw a user a citation and they appear in court.

June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Decides for Socialism and Against the American People

by lewwaters

Ruth Bader Ginsberg was right just days ago when she said the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare would come as a big surprise to many people. Today’s announcement that the government is free to mandate private citizens purchase health insurance or be fined by the government totally shocked well over half of the American people who have consistently called for this ‘Obamanation’ to be repealed.

Even more surprising was seeing that Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in the 5 to 4 decision that just handed the government total power to just mandate whatever they desire the people to do and we must comply? Isn’t that something more along the lines of Cuba, Venezuela or the former Soviet Union?

Most telling in the decision is Justice Roberts reasoning he wrote in the majority decision of the “individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance is valid as a tax, even though it is impermissible under the Constitution’s commerce clause.”

Yes, requiring us to buy health insurance is unconstitutional, but since it is a tax, it is now constitutional to tax us if we do not comply and buy health insurance.

June 24, 2012

“Call Me A Cab.” Here’s Another Fine Mess We’re Getting Into

by lewwaters

The 1930 Laurel & Hardy film, “Another Fine Mess” contains a funny scene where Oliver Hardy, posing as the Lord of the Manor of a mansion they have entered illegally calls to a slightly tipsy Stan Laurel, dressed in drag as the manor’s maid and says to Stan, “Call me a cab.” Stan looks him square in the eye and says, “Okay, you’re a cab.”

One of many funny moments in the film, but also shows how we have long taken for granted that if we need transportation somewhere, we just pick up the phone, call the local Taxi Cab company and very soon, a Taxi is waiting at our door to take us where requested for a small fee.

Those days are in danger of ending soon, if some in our city and the bully to our south, Portland, Oregon get their way. On June 19, 2012 I was copied the following email to some of our elected officials,

June 19, 2012

Moveon.org Applauded For Burning Books and Blaming Tea Party

by lewwaters

In what can only be equated to Hitler’s Reichstag Fire in 1933, where Hitler had the German Parliament building set on fire and made to appear as if the Communist opposition party was responsible, Moveon.org is now boasting of an “Award-Winning” video produced to defeat Tea Party members over a tax increase they title “Book Burning Party.”

That is was actually Moveon.org and leftists who burned books seem to slip right passed many as the ends justify the means in their nothing is off limits attitudes.

That it is a total lie also slides right passed them, just as Hitler’s many antics early on slide right passed an unsuspecting German citizenry until it was too late to stop him.

April 27, 2012

Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

by lewwaters

Anyone who has served in the U.S. Army in days past heard the command, “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em” numerous times. It was acknowledgement from Squad Leaders or Platoon Sergeants that it was time for a break, take a rest from whatever the Troops were doing and if you were a smoker, like most were way back when, enjoy a smoke.

I don’t know whether or not the Army still uses the phrase, but the phrase and smoking of a cigarette or cigar is definitely out of favor around the country, given that we now know the dangers of tobacco use.

We saw it not too long ago as the Vancouver, Washington city council unanimously approved a smoking ban in all city parks, after chasing smokers out of nearly every building in existence in the state when Initiative 901 passed in 2005.

In the meantime, taxes were added to a pack of cigarettes amounting to $3.025 a pack, placing Washington State in the top 5 states for high tobacco taxes.

The taxes were sold as needed to fund certain health programs, predominately “for the children” and to encourage smokers to quit smoking, which means the state would receive less revenue “for the children.” Currently, the state is looking into adding the same exorbitant taxes on “roll your own” cigarettes.

It’s apparent the act of lighting up and smoking, even outdoors now is strongly frowned upon while the revenue from their sale is looked for.

I don’t know of anybody that questions the harmful effects of tobacco use, but these bans are not directed at forcing smokers to quit. No, they are intended to protect non-smokers from the evils of “second-hand smoke” which much like global warming, the anti-smoking crowd declares the “debate is over,” regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

December 30, 2011

SJR 8218: A Misguided Approach On Citizen Initiatives & Spending?

by lewwaters

For some time now I have sensed that our legislators in Olympia don’t care too much for our constitutional right to citizen initiatives that is independent from the legislature and grants us the right to place limits upon their actions. It is written in our constitution,

“the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature. (Article II Section 1)”

We have seen several times now where unions and legislators, disagreeing with a citizen initiative voted in by large majorities of the voters end up challenged in court or cast aside by decree of the governor after a specified period.

We also see ourselves mired in this ongoing “Great Recession” with no end in sight and some citizen initiatives voted in that require funding that the legislators are unable to find funds for, given their propensity to spend tax dollars unwisely.

November 28, 2011

Now That The Election Is Over, They’re Coming For Our Money

by lewwaters

From her November 22, 2011 TownHall, Rep. Sharon Wylie (D. Wa. 49th) in reply to a question from an SEIU member, announces she will propose more taxes on a struggling middle class before laying off any state workers. Her claims of “Thinned the soup enough” fall flat with the recent revelation from Fact Check that many spending cuts were actually little more than reductions in proposed spending increases.

See also: As state makes cuts, lawsuits are flying and Fact check: Has state cut budget by $10.5 billion? Hardly

You may view the entire TownHall, if you can sit through the droning on at CVTV

January 2, 2011

Does Vancouver Know There is Still a “Great Recession?”

by lewwaters

We need to engage the community … and ultimately, we will need to talk to them about ways they can invest in their community,” said City Manager Eric Holmes.

The above quote, lifted from the January 2, 2011 Sunday Columbian article, A Peek Ahead Points to Issues of ’11 show me an almost total disconnect between city officials and taxpayers in Vancouver and Clark County.

“Invest” is nothing more than a catch word used to soften potential tax increases to be heaped on the backs of a community already struggling with the highest unemployment in the state, 13.1%

This particular “investment” is in regards to a proposal of Vancouver to form a “Transportation Benefit District that would increase car license fees in the city by $20,” supposedly to pay for road maintenance and repairs, on top of the taxes we already pay, through gasoline tax and property taxes, sales taxes and you name it.

Also, should we choose to use one of the several parks in the area, to relax or picnic, we read that we could also be facing paying yet another fee to enter.

April 15, 2010

Shouldn’t We Have Gotten Dinner and a Movie?

by lewwaters

April 15 is passing again and if you are like me, it hurt this year. With the increased taxes given us and passage of even more by our ruling party in Olympia, more money was taken out of me, even though my wages are down. I’m left feeling screwed.

Unemployment here in Clark County remains well over 14% and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, just more taxes coming at us and potentially more lay-offs and more bankruptcies. Democrats answer? Raise taxes, the exact opposite of what we really need to spur job growth and recover from this economic downward spiral we have been in for well over a year now.

Unable to agree on just how to stick it to us during regular session, Governor Gregoire ordered the legislature into special session where the arguing amongst Democrats over what to tax continued until they adjourned the session Monday night, April 12.

Particularly troubling to me was seeing not only so many new taxes, on candy & gum, bottled water, mass produced beer (leaving micro breweries beer that liberals and the wealthy often consume alone), a 20% increase in the Business and Occupation tax, but as Senator Joe Zarelli said, the majority Democrats

“included some familiar majority accounting gimmicks, such as sweeping $461 million from accounts intended for environmental cleanup, public works projects and other specific activities into the general fund and drained the $229 million remaining in the rainy-day.”

Saddest was seeing a handful of Republicans in the House join with Democrats in draining what was left in the rainy day fund that included 18th District Representative Jaime Herrera, who was taken to task for her vote on the Victoria Taft program in March.

Ed Orcutt, also from the 18th, released a statement addressing the session that included,

“This is an $800 million-a-year financial hit that our families, our employers and our economy cannot afford. If Democrat budget writers had put half as much effort into balancing the budget through true government reforms and efficiencies as they put into arguing with each other over which taxes to raise, we’d have a balanced budget, no tax increases and no special session.

Instead of spending 30 days sharpening our pencils, applying the priorities of government process and implementing meaningful government reforms, budget writers from the majority party haggled over who would be the ‘winners and losers’ while resorting to tax increases.

This is a sad day for struggling families and employers. This tax increase represents the largest tax increase in state history and it will have a negative impact on our chances for economic recovery.”

Senator Don Benton released a statement also saying in part,

“It’s unconscionable to dump 1.7 billion dollars in new taxes on the people of Washington during the worst recession since the Great Depression. With hundreds of thousands of people out of work already, this will hit the economy like an earthquake. The 20 percent increase in the business and occupation tax on service businesses, which is about 80 percent of Washington’s small businesses, will put more people out of work. This is flat-out wrong. We have already lost more than 190,000 jobs.”

Benton also said that not one of the 55 reform ideas put forth by Republicans over the past 5 years has even been considered.

While we are told of harsh cuts by the governor just last year, left unexplained is how spending increased with those harsh cuts until we realize that to a Democrat, a “cut” is actually a reduction in the amount of expected increase.

We would never get away with balancing our own checkbooks in such a manner or paying our bills. If we tried we would see our homes in foreclosure.

For this massive screwing we just received, Governor Gregoire says,

“the budget passed by lawmakers is ‘fair and reasonable’ and will not significantly impact the average Washington family or penalize local businesses.”

With our ever increasing unemployment, I fail to see anything “fair” or “reasonable” in this continued raping of Washington State and Clark County citizens. All I see is more troubles ahead as once again the problem is just kicked downstream to await the next legislature.

Listening to Senator Lisa Brown and her anticipations, we can once again expect to see a proposal to change our constitution to hit us with an income tax that will offer a reduction in the sales tax of a minor amount.

We cannot continue in such a manner and thrive. Taxes must be returned to a reasonable rate and state spending must be critically scrutinized across the board. Pie in the sky spending sprees in hopes of temporary jobs for some will not pull us out of this severe slump.

Relying on receipt of federal money is equally as ludicrous. It may not come, might not be enough and where does it come from in the first place? You and I. It was our money first before taken by income taxes.

Adding taxes on every item imaginable in hopes of closing loopholes is self defeating as time and again it has been shown doing so results in less consumption of those products. Less consumption means less revenue collected. It’s that simple.

The Democrat majority that controls our state legislature continues to show us they have no idea of what to do. They just argue back and forth about what to tax next and by how much. Then, regardless of how much worse it becomes, they tell us what a great deal we are getting and how “fair and reasonable” it is.

It is time we took control of the state back and initiated a new approach. As we see, Democrats continue in that status quo they blame on others and their “hope and change” is in reality just more of the same borrow, tax and spend we have seen for years.

There is no fiscal responsibility or true leadership, just more of the same. Surely, of those 55 reform proposals put forth by Republicans over the past 5 years, some should have been considered.

It is time to give someone else a chance and that someone else is in the form of candidates offered by the Republican Party.

Several Republican candidates are hoping to gain your trust and are offering true reform and ideas for creating jobs and prosperity in Washington State.

Even those Democrats such as Tim Probst, who campaigned on opposing tax increases and has voted against obvious tax increases, knowing there is a large enough Democrat majority for it to pass anyways, are suspect and deserve scrutiny.

Did Probst support any of the Republican proposals or amendments to reduce taxes? Did any of his votes actually help with bills that gave us backdoor tax increases?

Jim Moeller and Jim Jacks of the 49th are as tax happy as any Democrat I have seen.

Deb Wallace is stepping down but what of the Democrat candidates vying to take over the seat she occupied? Will they support bi-partisan measures to regrow the economy? Or will they just follow along lock-step with other Democrats in raping the blue collar workers in the state?

Do we even want to vote them in and see? Not me, I’d much rather see a party with a different philosophy in the majority and implementing a different approach. I’d rather see the governor in her final two years in office, barring a recall effort, not have the rubber stamp of her party that she currently enjoys.

It’s time for real hope and change and that will only come from new leadership. Leadership that actually has people in mind, not special interests or pet entitlement programs to those who shouldn’t be entitled.

February 4, 2010

Democrats Continue Jim Jack’s Claim, “I Don’t Know How To Solve It”

by lewwaters

During the 2008 campaign, now elected Representative for the 49th Legislative District, Jim Jacks, made a startling admission in the August 2008 debate against Debbie Peterson concerning the growing tax structure problem when at the end of his comment he stated, I don’t know how to solve it, I’m not a tax expert, I’m not a revenue expert.”

A little over two years later and he, along with his fellow Democrats, continue to prove that they haven’t a clue of how to lift our state out of this fiscal morass they have plunged us into.

Washington State Democrats continue to thumb their noses at the voting public as they work to amend I-960 the 2007 voter driven initiative that placed restrictions upon Olympia concerning their freely raising taxes on us as they saw fit, and impose higher taxes on us, even though we are suffering some of the highest unemployment in the country, especially in hard hit Clark County with a 14.3% unemployment.

Completely ignoring the will of Washington voters, Democrat State Senator Lisa Brown calls the measure a “straightjacket” as they struggle to find more ways to stick it to taxpayers in the state as the spend happy history of Democrats in Olympia is coming back to bite all of us.

I guess Ms. Brown misses that a “straightjacket” placed on the legislature is what exactly I-960 was designed to do.

State Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt sees how out of touch Democrats remain as he states,

I am incredulous that Democrats are setting the stage for raising taxes in this economy. People are terrified right now. Everybody knows someone who’s lost a job. Working people and employers are just trying to survive in this economy. They should not be asked to bail out poor state spending decisions through higher taxes.”

Democrat House Speaker Frank Chopp says,

the I-960 changes are needed to allow passage of bills that close tax loopholes and raise other revenue to avoid cuts to health care, education and college student aid.”

Isn’t it odd that when Democrats are being pushed into living within their means, as does every family in the state, that is where they always claim cuts will have to be made, nowhere else?

Our governor has stated that she has “made drastic cuts” and there is nothing left to cut.

Fine, how about eliminating then? Why not begin with doing away with the state owned and operated liquor sales industry? Sell it off to private interest and just collect the taxes, end the massive overhead we must pay in storage, distribution and Union wages to state employees whose only job is retailing liquor.

Surely there are other areas that could be eliminated as well, like maybe some Public Employee Union Contracts?

Perhaps stop public assistance to ILLEGAL immigrants here in violation of our laws? Why do they deserve public assistance and jobs when taxpaying citizens must do without?

Republican State Senator Don Benton spoke before the senate just today, telling them,

I implore you, ladies and gentlemen. Do not follow the example at the federal level that has done so very much to alienate the people from their government, causing such widespread dissatisfaction and consternation among the people we would govern.”

He added,

Why do we fear the will of the people. Does I-960 make raising taxes more difficult? Of course it does, but whoever said that the job of governing should be easy? The will of the people means to me that the people of this state have spoken and as their elected representatives we must listen.”

Isn’t it strange that in Washington State, the will of the people only matters if it is a Democrat left-leaning matter?

We also hear today that a King County judge ruledThe state of Washington isn’t fully paying for basic public education, a violation of its constitutional duty.”

Isn’t that a convenient ruling just when Democrats are working so hard to rape the taxpayers with higher taxes while our incomes are decreasing?

Then, students at the Salmon Creek campus of WSU stage a lunchtime rally crying education is their right!

I suppose working their way through college is out of the question? It’s their right, but you and I have to pay for it?

Over the years, Democrats have pushed for higher mileage vehicles and now, they complain because gas tax revenues are down.

They pushed for and won tobacco tax increases, ostensibly to force people to stop using tobacco and to also fund pet projects. As people continue to stop smoking, they cry tobacco revenues are down. Duh!

Back in August 2008, Jim Jacks was speaking for himself. February 2010, he and the full Democrat Party in Olympia keep proving his words true, “[We] don’t know how to solve it.”

September 7, 2009

Tim Hawkins – The Government Can

by lewwaters

Wake up, everybody

February 15, 2009

Good Thing They Didn’t Say, “Read My Lips”

by lewwaters

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Now that dust is settling from the elongated campaign and election season we just endured and Democrats pretty much made a clean sweep in obtaining offices, it’s time to get back to caring for the nation and state.

Of particular concern to all is the pitiful state of our economy as citizens lose their jobs, wages fall, property values plummet and tax receipts dry up.

Democrats love affair with increased taxes is well known as was addressed in Recession, Depression, Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Unemployment: Let’s Raise Taxes last year.

We have now been strapped with the most massive spending bill we have ever seen with Governor Gregoire, Senators Murray and Cantwell eagerly looking forward to Washington receiving monies from that pork laden edict, ignoring that any money received was taken from us in the first place.

Patty Murray tells us,

the package could have nearly $500 million for improvements to Washington roads, highways and bridges – work that’s intended to spur jobs.”

Any bets on how much of that money would go to King County’s Viaduct compared to improvements in the I-5 Corridor here in Clark County?

Governor Gregoire ran for reelection on promises of not raising taxes to cure our massive budget deficit the state is facing. Other Democrats quietly ran saying nothing about raising taxes on citizens, leading us to believe we might see some relief as we rapidly head off to the poorhouse.

Since the election, several bills have been introduced proposing what else, tax increases! Even the much-hated income tax is up for a vote again. An engine displacement size tax was proposed last year and no doubt will be introduced again this year.

As if we aren’t over taxed enough, now word is out that we expect to Look for property taxes to increase in Clark County, in spite of property values decreasing and home sales drying up.

Clark County Assessor, Linda Franklin and Clark County Treasurer Doug Lasher, both Democrats explain it away as “some districts have begun charging higher tax rates,” with the Columbian’s Cami Joner telling us, “Residential property owners will pay an average of $2,832 in property taxes this year, $488 more than in 2008,” after telling us this past Friday January home sales off 21.8%

As usual, our Democrat elected officials seem to talk out of both sides of their mouth’s, promising no increase in taxes or insinuating such, but then sticking it to us once elected.

In 1988, former President Bush (41) made a famous pledge of “Read my lips, No New taxes” and when Congressional Democrats brought a massive tax increase to him, he signed it. By 1992, that pledge and subsequent tax increase was used against him to defeat him and elect Democrat, B. J. Clinton, who went on to give us 2 of the largest tax increases we ever saw.

In Washington State and Clark County, we didn’t hear a “read my lips” pledge but are seeing the massive increases in our taxes just the same. Our wages go down, our property values decrease, but the one thing we can always count on is for Democrats to take more of our hard earned money away from us, waste it, then demand more.

I don’t know about you, but I work and struggle hard to pay my mortgage and even though I have no massive credit card bills outstanding, still have very little left over to live on.

I go to Wal-Mart, Fred Meyers, Winco and elsewhere and see several “underprivileged” packing goods into fairly new SUV’s. I have seen school children walk by my house and destroy campaign signs in my yard, throw trash over my back yard fence, joined all too often by the few riders C-Trans has waiting a few feet outside of my kitchen window at the bus stop and who seem to think my Rose bushes are for their taking.

I visit local restaurants and struggle to express my order in English to a counter person who speaks mainly Spanish.

I see kids with their pants down around their asses aimlessly wandering about the Mall or local streets seeking some trouble to get into and who can’t phrase a simple sentence properly, much less make change properly should they find a job and the computer not tell them exactly how much to give back.

Then, I hear the Teachers Union and Democrats demanding I give up even more of my money so they “can continue this fine education” given these kids, when it reality most of it goes to increased wages and little makes it to the kids, even as they used agreements between the legislature and Teachers Union to lose a $13.2 Million Grant to some schools in Math & Science last year.

This is what I pay out all my hard earned money for? This is considered good return?

It really is too bad our elected officials didn’t also claim, “read my lips.” Perhaps we could have used it against them in the last election and install better representation for us in government.