Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033: Let's make sure things never get better!

I think we can all agree that this has not been a good year, economically speaking, for our state. The worst recession in three decades forced our Legislature to craft a horrible, horrible budget with horrible, horrible cuts to some really basic public services. And Governor Gregoire refused to pursue any creative alternative.

Horrible though it was, I don't see how they could have done much better. There's just no money right now. We don't like it, but we get it.

We're all sucking it up, tightening out belts, holding bake sales so our schools can buy basic supplies, and trying to hold on until better times.

In that context, Initiative 1033 seems really... strange. Basically, Tim Eyman is saying "Here we are in the most dire economic situation most of us have ever faced. Woo hoo! Isn't that great? Let's make it permanent! Let's make sure the state can never help us out any better than the meager, watered-down offerings available this year. I know things are rough right now, folks, but let's make sure they never get any better!"

Seriously. I-1033 would set force all future budgets to be based on the current budget, created in the worst fiscal year in living memory.

Eyman's message is "Yeah, I know we had a lot of cuts this year, and they were pretty hard to swallow, but let's lock those cuts in, baby! Hold on all you want, but I'm making sure those better times never come!"

Who is this guy, the Grinch that Stole Washington?

When hard times hit, people turn to the government for help. That costs money. When the housing market collapsed (thanks, Wall Street!) the whole nation turned to the federal government for help, and thank God the government was able to do something. Otherwise we'd be in the midst of another depression.

I want that here, too. It's not like there's never a state-level crisis, and when the next one comes we should all want the Legislature and the Governor to be able to do something. Yet I-1033 would make less money available during hard times. Initiative 1033 says When Washington State needs to help out its citizens, let's make sure it can't. Let's starve government because we think it's bad and force it to lay off front line public servants so it gets smaller.

We call Initiative 1033 a jobs killer for a reason.

The Seattle P-I's Joel Connelly, a pretty sober-minded fellow, summed it up pretty well, writing "Bluntly put, I-1033 jerks away the ladder by which this state would climb out of recession."

How, for the love of all that is holy, does I-1033 make any sense outside of the right wing worldview that we know is completely disconnected from reality?

In a reality based world, I'd have to conclude that Tim Eyman is simply insane. Off his nut. Just plain cuckoo.

Perhaps neither I-1033 nor any of his previous initiatives have made a lick of sense to me because I don't inhabit Eyman's bizarre alternate reality. That alternate reality apparently has been very appetizing to voters in the past, and they've followed Eyman there like children running after a Pied Piper.

We can't make the mistake of following Eyman there again. Our very economic recovery hangs in the balance. Vote NO on Initiative 1033.


Blogger Alice said...

Tim Eyeman really doesn't give a crap whether it helps or hinders. He wants it simplistic sounding enough that on the outset it sounds good to get simple minded people behind it, but enough bad that people who actually think about his initiative realize they suck and oppose it. he wants people to oppose it so he can encourage the ones who like it to donate to the cause of getting it passed. He keeps some of that money and has admitted he makes a profit off of these things.

October 1, 2009 2:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home