Don’t think twice; vote ‘no’ on I-1033
October 14, 2009
Initiative 1033 is a ballot question that voters will struggle with in these lean economic times. On the one hand, they worry about the spending practices of government, but on the other hand, they like the services government provides.While we certainly support cleaning up wasteful government spending practices, I-1033 is too blunt an option and won’t fix the problem.
Audits, such as the one done on King County government this year, point out the ineptitude of some government-run agencies and programs. It’s just the kind of pause that makes taxpayers want their money back, believing government will be quick to get their house in order if we take the money away.
I-1033 would certainly take the money away — from local cities, fire departments, the county and state, with trickle-down impacts to our schools, roads, state parks, children’s health care, Medicaid for the disabled, our prison programs and more. Could government give us the service we’ve come to expect with less money?
With the huge loss of tax revenues at all levels in 2010, we’ll soon find out.
The idea behind I-1033 is that politicians spend money unwisely and wastefully. I-1033 won’t ensure that they spend it any better, but only that they have less of it to spend. What that means for taxpayers is that government services they depend on to fix potholes and pay teachers’ salaries will simply have less money. When was the last time you heard someone complain that a pothole was fixed too quickly or that there are too many teachers in the local school?
I-1033 puts many of those services – big and small – in jeopardy, especially when government is already making deep cuts from the effect of the recession. I-1033 is a bad idea in this economy for sure, and will still be a bad idea – at least until this state overhauls its entire tax system.
The tax initiative would limit tax revenues to the rate of inflation and a population growth. That leaves no excess for building a reserve fund for budget years like the one coming up. North Bend and Snoqualmie will likely be calling on those very reserves, in spite of deep staff reductions. Firemen and women have already taken a pay cut.
Your ballot comes this week. Make your first vote a resounding ‘no’ on I-1033.
If voters want to fix government spending, they need to elect better, wiser, more fiscally-responsible politicians.