NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

A progressive Legislature, not Eyman’s 1366, can fix Washington’s regressive tax system

With­in hours of Elec­tion Night 2015, after it had become appar­ent that Tim Eyman’s hostage-tak­ing I‑1366 had too much of a head start in ear­ly bal­lots to be defeat­ed, mul­ti­ple com­men­ta­tors with a thirst for pro­gres­sive tax reform began float­ing the idea of using I‑1366 as a spring­board to get the job start­ed, rea­son­ing that some­thing good might as well come out of some­thing bad.

First out of the gate was Don Smith, writ­ing at Wash­ing­ton Lib­er­als, who opined:

There’s a sim­ple way to beat Tim Eyman and his ini­tia­tive I‑1366. At the same time we’ll help the envi­ron­ment, and, option­al­ly, raise rev­enue to fund schools. And we can even do it in a rev­enue-neu­tral way, there­by mak­ing it palat­able to Repub­li­cans… Let’s go ahead and low­er the sales tax […] but at the same raise tax­es on car­bon, cap­i­tal gains, and/or income to make up the loss.

Two days lat­er, Jeff Reif­man made a sim­i­lar argu­ment on his per­son­al blog, though he chose to be more provoca­tive with his call to action:

Tim Eyman may have acci­den­tal­ly done us all a favor.

Leg­is­la­tors, please lis­ten to the vot­ers on I‑1366. It’s time to cut the state’s sales tax and col­lect rev­enue more even­ly from cor­po­ra­tions, prop­er­ty own­ers and res­i­dents. Pro­gres­sives, drop the law­suit against I‑1366 — it’s time to chal­lenge Olympia to rep­re­sent res­i­dents and stop sub­si­diz­ing cor­po­rate share­hold­er prof­its.

And yes­ter­day, Dan­ny West­neat echoed both of them, writ­ing:

That Eyman. He has us in anoth­er pick­le, doesn’t he? Maybe not. Maybe there’s a third way — one that could be “win-win-win” in that it pre­serves the state bud­get, makes tax­es fair­er and, most impor­tant, gives some relief to the poor and work­ing class of the state.

Eyman’s ini­tia­tive will slash the state sales-tax rate from 6.5 per­cent to 5.5 per­cent on April 15, 2016, unless the Leg­is­la­ture first pass­es a two-thirds tax-vote con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment. The intent, for him, is to coerce law­mak­ers to do the amend­ment. But there’s noth­ing in Eyman’s mea­sure that says they can’t go ahead and cut the sales tax, then replace that lost rev­enue with some­thing else.

While we at NPI cer­tain­ly applaud the yearn­ing to make lemon­ade out of one of the biggest lemons of an ini­tia­tive in Wash­ing­ton State his­to­ry, Smith, Reif­man, and West­neat are all engaged in wish­ful think­ing.

First, allow­ing I‑1366 to go unchal­lenged, as Jeff Reif­man has pro­posed, would set a ter­ri­ble prece­dent, con­sid­er­ing that I‑1366 is an out­ra­geous hostage-tak­ing scheme that is beyond the scope of the ini­tia­tive pow­er. Let­ting I‑1366 stand would invite fur­ther mis­chief in the future from oth­er enti­ties active in Wash­ing­ton pol­i­tics. Abuse of the ini­tia­tive (by Tim Eyman and by oth­er actors) has become a seri­ous prob­lem in our state, and it is a prob­lem that will get much worse if I‑1366 is not struck down by the Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court.

King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge Dean Lum has already ruled I‑1366 beyond the scope of the ini­tia­tive pow­er. I‑1366 is prob­a­bly also uncon­sti­tu­tion­al in its entire­ty in addi­tion­al respects (there’s a strong case that it vio­lates the sin­gle-sub­ject rule, for instance). I‑1366 will con­tin­ue to be fought in court, as it must be.

Sec­ond, the idea that the Leg­is­la­ture will respond cre­ative­ly to use I‑1366 as a spring­board for pro­gres­sive tax reform (in the event the Supreme Court does not act) is total­ly unre­al­is­tic. This isn’t 2007. The Leg­is­la­ture no longer has Demo­c­ra­t­ic super­ma­jori­ties. Mil­i­tant Repub­li­cans gained con­trol of the Sen­ate with Rod­ney Tom’s pow­er coup in 2012 and have whit­tled the Demo­c­ra­t­ic major­i­ty in the House down to a bare min­i­mum of fifty, fol­low­ing their vic­to­ry in the 30th LD.

Democ­rats no longer have the abil­i­ty to pass bills in the House on their own unless all of their mem­bers are present, and in agree­ment. In the Sen­ate, Democ­rats are the minor­i­ty; con­se­quent­ly, they have have very lit­tle pow­er.

Majori­ties mat­ter in leg­isla­tive bod­ies. When you’re in the major­i­ty, your par­ty sets the agen­da, decides when to work and sched­ule votes, con­trols the com­mit­tee struc­ture and the com­po­si­tion of com­mit­tees, and deter­mines what bills come to the floor and which ones do not. Right now, the Repub­li­cans have a major­i­ty of twen­ty-six in the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate. They decide what hap­pens there.

Now, this would­n’t be an issue if Repub­li­cans were inter­est­ed in pro­gres­sive tax reform, as the more rea­son­able wing of their par­ty was in the 1970s when Dan Evans was gov­er­nor. Sad­ly, they’re not. The days when the Evans Repub­li­cans were in charge are long gone. The Repub­li­can Par­ty has mor­phed into a rabid, rad­i­cal right wing anti-pub­lic ser­vices and anti-com­mon wealth par­ty… a par­ty in which Grover Norquist wannabe Tim Eyman wields tremen­dous influ­ence.

Read­ers not famil­iar with the inner work­ings of the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture may not be aware that Tim Eyman has a tight rela­tion­ship with many mem­bers of the Repub­li­can cau­cus­es. Spend enough time on the grounds of the Capi­tol dur­ing ses­sion, and you may catch a glimpse of Eyman walk­ing around with the likes of Don Ben­ton, or dis­ap­pear­ing into a con­fer­ence room to chat with Repub­li­cans on a key com­mit­tee. They con­sult with him reg­u­lar­ly, and take cues from him.

After the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion released the find­ings of its inves­ti­ga­tion into Eyman’s finan­cial machi­na­tions dur­ing the I‑517 and I‑1185 cam­paigns in 2012, Eyman turned to his friends in the House and Sen­ate Repub­li­can cau­cus­es to sub for him on the cam­paign trail. He deployed Ed Orcutt, Doug Erick­sen, and Pam Roach as sur­ro­gates to make appear­ances or sign ghost­writ­ten op-eds, and announced endorse­ments from still more Repub­li­can law­mak­ers.

The fol­low­ing Repub­li­cans are all known sup­port­ers of Tim Eyman’s I‑1366:

Matt Shea, Ed Orcutt, Chad Magendanz, Jeff Holy, Bob McCaslin, Matt Manweller, Elizabeth Scott, Pam Roach, Don Benton, Michael Baumgartner, Brian Dansel, Doug Ericksen

It is impor­tant to under­stand that Eyman devel­oped I‑1366 to give mil­i­tant Repub­li­can leg­is­la­tors like these more pow­er. I‑1366 is not aimed at the Leg­is­la­ture as a whole. I‑1366 is aimed specif­i­cal­ly at Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors. It is intend­ed to put them in a bind, giv­ing Repub­li­cans lever­age to push through an amend­ment to require a two-thirds vote to raise or recov­er rev­enue for­ev­er.

The notion that Eyman’s elect­ed Repub­li­can co-con­spir­a­tors would vol­un­tar­i­ly give up their lever­age so that Wash­ing­ton State can have pro­gres­sive tax reform is ludi­crous. These are not rea­son­able peo­ple. They’re mil­i­tant extrem­ists who are total­ly opposed to pro­gres­sive tax reform. Pro­gres­sive tax reform would reduce the appeal for Eyman ini­tia­tives in the future, result in the Repub­li­cans’ wealthy bene­fac­tors hav­ing to pay more in dues to the state, and pos­si­bly also increase pub­lic con­fi­dence in state gov­ern­ment. That’s about the last thing they want.

Their endgame is to sab­o­tage our state Con­sti­tu­tion, which requires a major­i­ty vote to pass bills. Repub­li­cans, again tak­ing their cues from Eyman, want to mess with Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 22 (the major­i­ty vote pro­vi­sion) to require their con­sent for any rev­enue bills to pass. They intend to achieve this by requir­ing a two-thirds vote for all such bills, in vio­la­tion of the prin­ci­ples our state was found­ed upon.

Keep in mind that when a two-thirds super­ma­jor­i­ty is required, it means a sub­ma­jor­i­ty is in charge of the out­come. The inverse of two-thirds is one-third. Nor­mal­ly, as stip­u­lat­ed by Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 22, it takes fifty votes in the House to pass a bill, and twen­ty-five in the Sen­ate. When the thresh­old is two-thirds, the num­ber changes to six­ty-sev­en in the House and thir­ty-three in the Sen­ate. As few as sev­en­teen sen­a­tors or thir­ty-three rep­re­sen­ta­tives can block majori­ties in both hous­es from tak­ing action when a two-thirds vote is required.

Don't mess with our Constitution

Click on the pic­togram above to under­stand how our founders intend­ed for our Leg­is­la­ture to work.

Repub­li­cans fig­ure they’ll always have at least sev­en­teen seats in the Sen­ate, and/or thir­ty-three in the House (which has his­tor­i­cal­ly been the case). Pas­sage of the amend­ment they’re demand­ing would give them the abil­i­ty to for­ev­er veto any rev­enue bill they did­n’t like. They’re very hun­gry to have that kind of pow­er.

But, iron­i­cal­ly, any pro­pos­al to change how our plan of gov­ern­ment works needs to get a two-thirds vote to pass. Our founders wise­ly believed in major­i­ty rule for pas­sage of leg­is­la­tion while obtain­ing minor­i­ty con­sent for any changes to our plan of gov­ern­ment. Or, to put it more sim­ply: Major­i­ty rule with minor­i­ty rights.

It would take a two-thirds vote to impose a two-thirds vote thresh­old and sab­o­tage Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 22. Eyman and the Repub­li­cans do not have the votes to do this. So Eyman devel­oped I‑1366 to coerce Demo­c­ra­t­ic law­mak­ers into vot­ing against their val­ues, and their will, by a cer­tain date (April 15th, 2016).

Judg­ing by his emails, it is Eyman’s expec­ta­tion that Democ­rats will capit­u­late and give him what he wants. After all, they have in the past. Gary Locke and Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors agreed to rein­state I‑695 in 2000 after the Supreme Court struck it down. Chris Gre­goire and Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors like­wise rein­stat­ed I‑747 in 2007, in a one-day spe­cial ses­sion, after the Supreme Court struck it down, even though we warned them that doing so was a ter­ri­ble, awful, no good idea.

But what Eyman does not seem to real­ize is that times have changed. Elect­ed Democ­rats nowa­days feel the same way about him that the par­ty’s grass­roots base does. Long-serv­ing Democ­rats have gained an appre­ci­a­tion of just how destruc­tive his ini­tia­tives are, hav­ing spent many, many years try­ing to mit­i­gate their harm, while Democ­rats elect­ed more recent­ly sim­ply think of Eyman’s ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry as a can­cer on the state that needs to be fought, no mat­ter what.

If both hous­es of the Leg­is­la­ture were con­trolled by pro­gres­sive Democ­rats, com­pre­hen­sive tax reform would have been on the table last ses­sion. All of Jay Inslee’s bold ideas from last Decem­ber would have got­ten at least a fair hear­ing, and many of them might have become law. But Democ­rats failed to win the Sen­ate in 2014 and lost cru­cial seats in the House. It was a bad midterm.

Elec­tions have con­se­quences, as the say­ing goes. The 2014 elec­tions pro­duced divid­ed gov­ern­ment. A con­se­quence of those elec­tions is that Repub­li­cans can kill Demo­c­ra­t­ic pol­i­cy pro­pos­als with rel­a­tive ease in the Sen­ate.

And they have been doing just that.

Any­one who thinks their atti­tude will be any dif­fer­ent next year needs a real­i­ty check. Repub­li­cans do not care that the Supreme Court is fed up with the Leg­is­la­ture’s reluc­tance to speed­i­ly com­ply with its Jan­u­ary 2012 McCleary deci­sion requir­ing the state to ful­ly fund K‑12 edu­ca­tion.

They have noth­ing but con­tempt for the Court right now. Con­sid­er their rhetoric.

When the Supreme Court began fin­ing the Leg­is­la­ture for not com­ply­ing with its orders back in August, the response of many Repub­li­cans was to once again attack the Court. State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and I‑1366 backer Matt Man­weller, for instance, declared it was time to start draft­ing arti­cles of impeach­ment against the jus­tices.

(And no, I’m not mak­ing this up… fol­low the link above.)

So, again… the notion that I‑1366 can be sal­vaged to pro­duce a “win-win-win” is wish­ful think­ing. I‑1366 was con­ceived to enable mil­i­tant Repub­li­cans in the Leg­is­la­ture to push through an amend­ment giv­ing them per­ma­nent veto pow­er over rev­enue bills. These mil­i­tant Repub­li­cans cam­paigned with Eyman to pass I‑1366; they are the intend­ed ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the black­mail scheme it con­tains. They are not going to give up their lever­age so we can all have pro­gres­sive tax reform.

We can cer­tain­ly dis­pense with the idea that the Leg­is­la­ture can use Car­bon­WA’s Ini­tia­tive 732 to avert the con­se­quences of Sce­nario 1 of Tim Eyman’s I‑1366. Smith, Reif­man, and West­neat all made this sug­ges­tion in their respec­tive com­men­taries. Here is how West­neat laid it out in his col­umn:

OK then, how about this: A group of cli­mate activists called Car­bon Wash­ing­ton has more than 300,000 sig­na­tures for their mea­sure that, by cos­mic coin­ci­dence, would cut the sales tax by the exact amount as Eyman does. Except it would replace that cut with a car­bon tax. The pur­pose of Ini­tia­tive 732 is to curb green­house gas­es while being rev­enue neu­tral.

By a fluke, the Eyman ini­tia­tive and this cli­mate change ini­tia­tive are com­ple­men­tary. The Leg­is­la­ture must deal with both, this spring. There are tim­ing issues to be worked out, but if law­mak­ers embraced the spir­it of both they could com­bat cli­mate change, make the tax code smarter and solve the Eyman prob­lem, all in one fell swoop.

The nice-sound­ing out­come West­neat describes above is utter­ly implau­si­ble.

To begin with, I‑1366 and I‑732 are not com­ple­men­tary ini­tia­tives. As I’ve already explained in this post, I‑1366 is a mali­cious hostage-tak­ing scheme con­ceived by Tim Eyman to help mil­i­tant Repub­li­cans in the Leg­is­la­ture push through a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment giv­ing them veto pow­er over rev­enue bills for­ev­er. It is nar­row­ly pass­ing now and due to become law next month.

If the Supreme Court this win­ter rules that I‑1366 is beyond the scope, or uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, or both, I‑1366 will become unen­force­able (null and void), and the Leg­is­la­ture will not need to deal with it in the spring.

I‑732, mean­while, is a well mean­ing but fatal­ly flawed ini­tia­tive to the Leg­is­la­ture to tax pol­lu­tion and use the pro­ceeds to low­er exist­ing tax­es like the sales tax. I‑732 is sup­posed to be rev­enue neu­tral, but we’re not con­vinced that it actu­al­ly is. Our assess­ment is that it is poor­ly writ­ten.

Con­trary to what Dan­ny West­neat says above, the Leg­is­la­ture does­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly have to deal with I‑732 in the spring either. The Leg­is­la­ture can sim­ply ignore I‑732 if it choos­es, and it will pro­ceed to the Novem­ber bal­lot for vot­ers’ con­sid­er­a­tion. This is what hap­pened with I‑594, I‑591, I‑517, and I‑522.

The Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion is very explic­it about what the Leg­is­la­ture may do with both ini­tia­tives to the Leg­is­la­ture (fol­low­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion) and ini­tia­tives to the peo­ple (fol­low­ing pas­sage). Ini­tia­tives to the Leg­is­la­ture may be adopt­ed as-is, passed on to the peo­ple, or passed on to the peo­ple with an alter­na­tive. Those are the only options. Ini­tia­tives to the Leg­is­la­ture can’t be amend­ed by the Leg­is­la­ture.

Ini­tia­tives passed by the peo­ple, mean­while, can­not be amend­ed or sus­pend­ed by the Leg­is­la­ture with­in two years of adop­tion — except by a two-thirds vote. Until and unless the Supreme Court does its job and strikes down I‑1366, I‑1366 will thus enjoy pro­tec­tion from the very Con­sti­tu­tion it seeks to under­mine.

For the sce­nario pro­posed above by West­neat to work, the Leg­is­la­ture would need to amend I‑732 to remove the lan­guage in I‑732 that low­ers the state sales tax. Oth­er­wise, the sales tax would get low­ered twice: Once by I‑1366, start­ing April 15th, 2016 and then again start­ing July 1st, 2017 by Sec­tion 14 of I‑732. The ini­tia­tive’s oth­er effec­tive dates, mean­while, would need to be moved up.

But, as I just explained, the Leg­is­la­ture can’t amend ini­tia­tives to the Leg­is­la­ture. The Con­sti­tu­tion does­n’t allow it. I‑732 could only be adopt­ed by the House and Sen­ate as writ­ten. Oth­er­wise, it goes to the bal­lot… with or with­out an alter­na­tive.

To sug­gest that the Leg­is­la­ture could use I‑732 to get around I‑1366, as Don, Jeff, and Dan­ny have, demon­strates a lack of under­stand­ing of how ini­tia­tives work in Wash­ing­ton State, and how the leg­isla­tive process works.

Now, we saw a few months ago that, despite their anti-tax rhetoric, not all Repub­li­cans are not opposed to rais­ing rev­enue in all cir­cum­stances. A num­ber of the Repub­li­cans in both hous­es vot­ed to raise the gas tax as well as vehi­cle fees to pay for high­way projects that some of them want­ed.

Our schools remain under­fund­ed, but noth­ing is too good for our cars, it seems.

(Iron­i­cal­ly, one of these Repub­li­cans was I‑1366 boost­er Michael Baum­gart­ner, who could eas­i­ly con­tend for the title of the Leg­is­la­ture’s biggest hyp­ocrite.)

How­ev­er, when Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee pro­posed levy­ing a cap­i­tal gains tax and insti­tut­ing a cap and trade sys­tem — both ideas that Wash­ing­ton vot­ers sup­port, as doc­u­ment­ed by NPI research from two months ago — Repub­li­cans react­ed with scorn and deri­sion. They would­n’t give either idea a fair hear­ing in the Sen­ate.

For Smith, Reif­man, and West­neat’s dream of 1366-cat­alyzed pro­gres­sive tax reform to come true, Sen­ate Repub­li­can lead­er­ship would need to do an an abrupt about-face in 2016 and agree to put a cap­i­tal gains tax, as well as a cap and trade sys­tem, on the Sen­ate floor for a vote. We just don’t see that hap­pen­ing.

Why cap­i­tal gains and cap and trade, you might ask? Because those are the most fea­si­ble options for replac­ing bil­lions in lost sales tax rev­enue. Cap­i­tal gains alone would not gen­er­ate enough fund­ing to address I‑1366 and McCleary.

Both ideas already have the sup­port of Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee and most House Democ­rats. House Democ­rats could prob­a­bly move the nec­es­sary leg­is­la­tion through the Leg­is­la­ture’s low­er cham­ber if Sen­ate Repub­li­cans would agree to allow the leg­is­la­tion through com­mit­tee and on the floor of the upper cham­ber for a vote, where Democ­rats would sup­ply the bulk of the votes need­ed for pas­sage, and Repub­li­cans would pro­vide the rest.

The cap­i­tal gains tax would need to go into effect very quick­ly, so it could start off­set­ting hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in lost sales tax rev­enue in 2016. Cap and trade would need to kick in not long after.

Amer­i­ca’s sup­posed to be a free coun­try and Wash­ing­ton is sup­posed to be a free state, so any pro­gres­sives who would like to are wel­come to mount a grass­roots lob­by­ing effort to try and per­suade Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Mark Schoesler and his deputies John Braun, Ann Rivers, Lin­da Evans Par­lette, Joe Fain, and Jim Hon­ey­ford to get on board. We rather doubt that any of them will respond favor­ably.

The few Repub­li­cans in the Leg­is­la­ture who are not in Eyman’s pock­et will prob­a­bly be pray­ing that the Supreme Court strikes down I‑1366 very soon, so they don’t have to get into a game of chick­en over the bud­get with Democ­rats.

Fail­ing that, if Democ­rats refuse to capit­u­late to Eyman and the Repub­li­cans, and Repub­li­cans refuse to give up their lever­age, the sales tax will be cut by default in a mat­ter of months, and the fall­out will be dis­as­trous. Every com­mu­ni­ty every­where in the state will feel the pain of dev­as­tat­ing cuts to pub­lic ser­vices.

The best out­come would be for the Supreme Court to do its job and tem­porar­i­ly restore the sta­tus quo by strik­ing down Tim Eyman’s I‑1366.

The Alliance for Jobs and Clean Ener­gy, to which NPI belongs, is prepar­ing an ini­tia­tive to the peo­ple for 2016 to cre­ate a cap and trade sys­tem. Assum­ing that ini­tia­tive is suc­cess­ful, it will solve one piece of the puz­zle. To address the rest, Wash­ing­ton vot­ers will need to elect a pro­gres­sive Leg­is­la­ture pre­pared to work coop­er­a­tive­ly with Gov­er­nor Inslee to ful­ly fund pub­lic edu­ca­tion.

There is no orga­ni­za­tion in this state that wants to see pro­gres­sive tax reform hap­pen more than NPI. It’s been the focus of our advo­ca­cy since NPI’s incep­tion. But to get any­where in the Leg­is­la­ture, we need pro­gres­sive majori­ties in both hous­es. And the soon­est we could have such majori­ties is Jan­u­ary 2017.

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One Comment

  1. Good analy­sis about the dif­fer­ences between ini­tia­tives to the peo­ple and ini­tia­tives to the leg­is­la­ture!

    The text of I‑732 says “There is levied and col­lect­ed a tax equal to six and five-tenths per­cent, decreas­ing to six per­cent begin­ning July 1, 2017, and to five and five-tenths per­cent begin­ning July 1, 2018,”

    If the leg­is­la­ture approves this ini­tia­tive I‑732, which sales tax would take prece­dence? I‑732 or I‑1366?

    Per­haps I‑1366 would apply from April 16, 2016 til I‑732 takes effect on July 1, 2017.

    But the two ini­tia­tives direct­ly con­tra­dict each oth­er on what and when sales tax­es will apply. So maybe the courts would have to decide.

    But the leg­is­la­ture could, effec­tive­ly, co-opt both ini­tia­tives by pass­ing its own bill that low­ers the sales tax by 1% (thus sat­is­fy­ing I‑1366) and mak­ing up for the lost rev­enue by rais­ing tax on car­bon, cap­i­tal gains, and/or income. You are cor­rect that Repub­li­cans are unlike­ly to go along with tax­es on cap­i­tal gains or income. They might agree on a rev­enue-neu­tral tax swap between sales and car­bon. But could that go into effect by April 16, 2016? Maybe some­what lat­er.

    You are appar­ent­ly cor­rect that the leg­is­la­ture can’t direct­ly use I‑732 to coun­ter­act I‑1366, because the start­ing dates don’t match. But because of the con­flict in start­ing dates and sales tax amounts, the courts could decide.

    As you say, the best solu­tion now is for the State Supreme Court to rule that I‑1366 is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al. If it fails to do that, or if the U.S. Supreme Court over-rules the State Supreme Court, then is our only alter­na­tive to wait til we have a pro­gres­sive leg­is­la­ture? That won’t hap­pen for 13 months at the ear­li­est.

    Some sort of swap between sales tax and, say, car­bon still seems fea­si­ble, if polit­i­cal­ly dif­fi­cult.

    # by Donald A. Smith :: November 12th, 2015 at 7:55 PM