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.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gregoire calls Special session to deal with deficits

Rep. Cary Condotta filed this report

The governor has called a 30-day special session to begin Nov. 28 to address our state budget shortfall. When the Legislature convenes it is expected the shortfall will be close to $2 billion.


The Legislature continues to pass budgets that are unsustainable and not reflective of the economic situation in Washington state. It took 135 days before we could get a budget passed last May. Despite many of us claiming it was a short-term fix and felt it would not hold up given the sluggish recovery of our economy, the budget was passed into law.

In June, shortly after the governor signed the budget, the state revenue forecast showed our tax collections down significantly and the $700 million in reserves dropped to $163 million in about one month. Five months later we are being called back to address our budget situation.

We will have some difficult decisions. However, it is important to understand that while revenue projections are declining, we are still projected to bring in $2.1 billion more in this biennium.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Authoritarians

I received a thoughtful message recently -- The person asked why I describe the Washington State Senators as authoritarian. The person challenged me on the grounds that since the Senators were elected, he thought they couldn't be authoritarian.

This goes to the root of America's present political illness. Too many people believe that since we have elections, government will be responsive and we will be free. This is a self-deception. There is no guarantee of freedom, except to vigorously limit the power and realm of government.

Authoritarianism requires the individuals to submit to authority – specifically, individuals are required to submit to the social organization built by those in power. In a democracy, “those in power” is determined by a majority, even if the majority is only 51%.

You may find yourself in the majority -- so what? Do you think just being in the majority gives you the right to regulate the minority? It is precisely authoritarian to make everyone conform.

The clash is between freedom and authoritarianism. Authoritarianism requires force to compel obedience. The more decision latitude the leaders desire, the more often force will be applied. A more free society will not force conformity as often. Freedom and democracy are not the same.

What's at stake is personal freedom -- your right to choose where you can go, where you can stay, what you can do with your life. For a society to be free, the people have to decide to let each other be free. People have to trust each other. Automatic hate and distrust cannot be.

If majority is to rule, then it must do so with respect for the rights of the minority. A free society is a better society.

What other people read on this blog

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