All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Government Lobbies Government

There is a horrible cancer growing in Washington State government. Can you imagine anything worse than government lobbying government? The American system of government is becoming so inbred that government self-lobbying is becoming rampant. Government is only talking to government. The people are getting completely shut out.
Evergreen Freedom Foundation formally filed complaints with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) against sixty-eight public agencies for failing to disclose the hiring of lobbyists with taxpayer dollars. You can view the video showing delivery of the complaints to the PDC by clicking on the image to the right.
When people think of lobbyists, they usually imagine big businesses buying off corrupt politicians. They probably don’t imagine government agencies hiring lobbyists to buy votes at the capitol. It sounds absurd—and it is—but here in Washington public agencies spend millions of our dollars every year hiring lobbyists.

Unfortunately, the flagrant use of tax dollars to lobby for bigger government is a growing problem. While conducting research for the Freedom Foundation’s just-released report detailing taxpayer-funded lobbying in Washington, Preston Mui of EFF found that public agencies spent over $42 million on lobbying in the last decade. And with unreported lobbying, hidden administrative costs, employee benefits, and lobbying at the federal level, the true cost of government lobbying is much, much higher.

Not only do city governments, county governments, public utility districts, and other public agencies spend millions of dollars every year lobbying the state, sometimes they don’t even tell us about it.

View the EFF reports (in pdf)
View the PDC complaints (in pdf)
Similar things happen in other states. Local government lobbies the state government, or state governments lobby the federal government. Then the "little" governments get some project to spend money on. Never mind the project is something the people never wanted, the government officials crow they are "doing something" for the people at no expense.

Yeah, right. All we lose is our freedom and we still pay the taxes in the end.

We the People must require smaller, less controlling, government.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gregoire goes dictator

Last year, in May, Governor Christine Gregoire issued Executive Order 09-05. Ostensibly, the subject of the order was to care for the environment. In fact the order allowed the governor to regulate and tax industry in the state by personal fiat. This is an intolerable abuse of power.

The legislature had already considered and rejected Gregoire's proposed extension of gubernatorial power. The fact is the Washington State Constitution prohibits the governor from sole determination of taxation and spending. The legislature determined they would not authorize the governor to have this power, so Gregoire just took it.

Wait a second.... "Democratic" governor Gregoire overturned the decision of the democratically elected legislature to suit her own personal whim. That's insurrection, isn't it? Don't we hang traitors anymore?

Not this chicken legislature. The "Democratic" Party controlled legislature could not muster enough courage to repudiate what the governor did. So its up to us, the people. I hope we can do this with ballots rather than force.

Evergreen Freedom Foundation finished drafting their lawsuit against this governor and announced filing the lawsuit July 21, 2010. Given Gregoire's indifference to the legislature and the state's Constitution, she may deem to ignore a court decision too. If Gregoire does, there is no alternative but criminal process; she would need to be tried and punished.

You can donate to support freedom in Washington State at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation's donation page. No taxation without representation!

Restore Rule by the People in Washington State!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The People's Initiatives – Summary

Washington State's Constitution explicitly states, “SECTION 4 RIGHT OF PETITION AND ASSEMBLAGE. The right of petition and of the people peaceably to assemble for the common good shall never be abridged.”

Several petitions appear headed for the ballot this autumn.

I-1053 would reinstate a requirement for two-thirds majorities in the Legislature to approve any tax increase. (The Legislature modified the similar requirement in the I-960 so the 2/3rds rule could be suspended when convenient for the legislature, i.e. permanently.) We the People must enact I-1053 or we are lost to big government. A vote for I-1053 is a vote for better government.

I-1082 would let private insurance companies sell workers’ compensation insurance, which at present is a state-run system. (Private insurance companies typically offer lower cost for the same coverage. Matching coverage is required from the private sector by the petition's language.)

I-1098 would create an income tax – individuals making more than $200,000 or couples making more than $400,000 – while cutting property taxes 20% and business and occupation taxes by varying amounts. (The initiative's language requires wage income be defined as not property, but as a taxable sale. Under the State Constitution, the only property tax and excise tax are permissible taxes.) Despite what the initiatives backers say about their tax increase being "more fair," the initiative sets a dangerous precedent in defining wages as not the wage earner's property (Who owns the income if the wage earner does not?).

I-1100 would eliminate the State Liquor Control Board and allow retailers to bypass them and buy directly from the manufacturers. The initiative establishes a uniform, free-market for retail sale of distilled spirits. State monopoly power would be eliminated, but state taxes on liquor would continue.

I-1105 would eliminate the State Liquor Control Board retail function, but does not eliminate state regulatory functions. There would be a major role for liquor distributors, who would be closely regulated. State monopoly power and taxes would continue.

I-1107 would roll back taxes the Legislature approved this year on soda pop, bottled water, food processing businesses, candy and gum. Candies which contain flour were not affected by the legislature's weird tax increase and would remain untaxed. Before the legislature's tax action this year, foodstuffs had not been taxed in Washington since the 1970's.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Abortion, Rossi and Murray

Washington Life Coalition is being disingenuous in their Little Emily video. The pure emotion appeal plays right into the Leftists' hands.

They present their complaint about Republican Dino Rossi, with no comparison to Democrat Patty Murray's staunchly pro-abortion stance. Ms. Murray's appalling indifference to the life of the unborn is certainly anathema to the pro life position.

According to dontknowdino.com, Mr Rossi "wants to take away a woman's right to choose...."

So the Leftists would have Mr Rossi twist in the wind, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. Ms Murray gets a pass because she is a Democrat.

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Does Mr Rossi have a perfectly pro-life position? That is, would Mr Rossi absolutely defend the right of the unborn to life. I doubt it. But he is a vast improvement over Ms Murray's murderous ways. In this world, it is not sound strategy to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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Every life is sacred, by authorization of the Almighty.

In 1973, abortion became legal in Washington State by Initiative 120. The legislature has cheerfully overturned one after another of the petitions of the people when it suited them. For some reason, this same delight in anti-democratic legislation has not extended to an initiative which kills the people.

Pause and reflect on this for a moment: Persons who were not born as a result of the enactment of I-120 would now be as old as 36 years.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Harder Times in Washington State.

Taxes went up this morning in Washington State. Did you feel it? Thanks, Olympia Democrats.

Not all increases were exactly a tax, but an increase in fees. Either way, the government is still fishing around in your pocket.

2 liters of of your favorite carbonated beverage went up 6¢. Safeway didn't raise the price, Gregoire did.

Sales of bottled water are subject to the retail sales tax. Seems bottles bug the Democrats in Olympia.

Candy and gum sales tax exemption is repealed. To make matters more complicated, the legislature made a distinction between certain types of candies.
Olympia's new definition of candy:

Candy is a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners combined with chocolate, fruits, nuts, or other ingredients or flavorings and formed into bars, drops, or pieces. Candy does not require refrigeration. Candy does not include any preparation containing flour.

Flour is made from grain such as wheat, rice, corn, rye, oats, and barley. Flour does not include flour substitutes, such as starch. Any product that lists flour as an ingredient on the nutritional facts label is not taxable as candy.


Whew.
If a city located within an Regional Transportation Authority (tax district) annexes unincorporated territory, the annexed territory is simultaneously included within the RTA and subject to all RTA taxes, liabilities, and obligations applicable to the city.

Natural gas sold by a brokered agreement is subject to a use tax in effect where the gas is burned or stored. Storage of a consumable is treated as the end use of the consumable. It makes no sense at all.

Food production will be taxed. The following use of sales taxes are imposed for materials used in dairy production.
  • licensed dairies with a certified dairy nutrient plan,
  • animal feeding operations that have a waste disposal permit issued under RCW 90.48, and
  • animal feeding operations that have a nutrient management plan approved by a conservation district meeting certain requirements.
This is an indirect tax on food. I have yet to sort out what the increase will mean to food prices, but they will go up.

The Legislature holds the chief executive and the chief financial officer strictly liable for collected but unremitted sales tax regardless of fault or whether those individuals were aware of the unpaid tax liability (2ESSB 6143 Section 801). I work with a store whose trusted employee took all the money in the sales tax payment account. The first the rest of us found out about it was when the state finally notified us our account was delinquent. Under the new law, the store owner would be held accountable despite the fact he was a victim of the crime. That's wrong.

The bad debt credit or deduction is limited to the original retail seller. That ought to kill the loan market.

Businesses with reportable Business and Occupancy income of over $50,000 per year will see increases of B&O tax 0.3 % bringing the rate up to as much as 1.93 %

A business "nexus" tax imposed. If you do any business in Washington State, you will be taxed for it. The laws here are very murky, but seem to be pointed at Boeing and similar businesses.

Direct sellers B&O tax exemption is repealed.
Property management salary B&O tax exemption repealed. That ought to catch a bunch of old folks by surprise.

High risk mortgage deductions for banks are now limited. This will hit the loan market for first time home buyers.

Compensation paid to members of corporate boards of directors is taxed as a service.

Private purchasers of privately owned timber must report the purchase to the Revenue Department, presumably for taxation.

For you tobacco users:
  • The cigarette tax increased $1.00 to $3.025 on a package of 20 cigarettes.
  • The tax on Other Tobacco Products (except little cigars and moist snuff) increases from 75 to 95 percent of taxable sales price (equivalent to a 95% tax rate), with the cap per cigar increasing from 50 to 65 cents.
  • Little cigars become a separate category of OTP, taxed at the same rate as cigarettes.
  • Moist snuff also becomes a separate category of OTP but continues to be taxed at 75 percent until October 1,2010, when it will be taxed at the greater of $2.526 or 83.5 percent of the cigarette tax on each single unit of 1.2 ounces or less and proportionately on larger units.
RCW Ch 82.02 to allow local government to impose impact fees for high density urban development.
VOiP is taxed under the Enhanced 911 tax. 25¢ per line (per month).

Increased the tax on beer.
A tax increase on beer! Olympia is getting greedy.

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This information is abstracted from http://dor.wa.gov/Docs/Reports/2010/Summary_2010_Tax_Leg/2010LegSummary.pdf

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Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin