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.

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.

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“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