Bold Colors Blog

Stickin’ it to the libs, one day at a time

Archive for the ‘Washington State’ Category

Some good investigative work on “green” schools in Washington State

Posted by Liberty on April 8, 2009

I heard an interview with Todd Myers [Director of WPC’s Center for the Environment] on the radio the other afternoon.  He’s been conducting an investigation into the efficacy of Washington State’s “green schools” mandate and has concluded that supporters of the mandate have made exaggerated the cost savings of green schools.

“Lawmakers passed the mandate for one-size-fits-all “green” government building construction standards in 2005 based on numerous promises, including that it would reduce energy costs for state buildings and increase test scores. WPC looked at the data and discovered the top-down mandate has failed to live up to its proponents’ promises and in some cases is actually using more energy and costing more than non-green buildings. After reviewing WPC’s research, KING 5’s Susannah Frame decided to investigate school district claims, resulting in at least one official confirming there are no actual cost savings from these mandates.”

And a link to the KING 5 story:

Investigators: Green school claims oversold

There’s video of the report available at that link as well. 

“It [Gray Middle School, Tacoma] has impressive environmentally friendly features everywhere you look. Some of them include banks of windows for lots of natural light, recycled beams from an old high school, rubber flooring that doesn’t require chemicals, drought tolerant landscaping, and a filtration system that circulates fresh air all day long.”

There’s a video on the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website that promotes the benefits of these green schools.  In the video, the SPI and Department of Ecology claim that in exchange for an approximate 2% increase in design and building cost, green schools cost 10-15% less in operating costs.  Kudos to Susannah Frame at KING 5 and Todd Myers at WPC for digging for the truth on this one. 

“Large districts in the state tell us it’s [green school construction] between 3 and 7 percent more expensive. That adds up.

Half a billion dollars will be spent on school construction in the state this year.

If green mandates cost 5 percent more, that’s $25,000,000 additional dollars. All that money comes from local school district tax dollars.

After the first year, the legislature pulled all funding for the green schools mandate.”

That last sentence made me wonder:  if the very people [the Legislature] who imposed this green school mandate don’t believe in it enough to fund it, why is it still in effect?

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Posted in Environlunacy, Liberalism, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

They really are turning over every rock to find more revenue…

Posted by Liberty on April 8, 2009

Senate passes bill hoping to lure ‘Twilight’ vampires

“The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill designed to make the area more attractive for television and film productions, like the teen vampire thriller ‘Twilight,’ which was shot in Kalama – though the popular book series actually takes place in the Olympic Peninsula town of Forks.

Speaking in favor of House Bill 2042, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, said she was disturbed that the ‘Twilight’ sequel is supposedly going to film in British Columbia to take advantage of the better deals producers can get there.

‘This has to do with making our state more competitive in motion picture production,’ Kohl-Welles said.”

Senator Kohl-Welles, our state could be more competitive in so many ways–not just motion picture production.  You could focus less on giving sweetheart deals to selected sectors of the economy and more on enabling Washington’s native industries.  Just a thought.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Budget cuts are coming…so why are we paying for artists’ lofts and performing arts facilities?

Posted by Liberty on April 6, 2009

House capital budget priorities

From the Washington Policy Center’s blog, here’s a list of some expenditures listed in the Washington State Legislature’s capital budget.  I highlighted a couple that I found particularly ridiculous.  Does anyone else find it ironic that our lawmakers are threatening draconian cuts to public safety, public health, education and transportation [some may refer to these things as “priorities”] while throwing around millions for theaters, museum expansions and artists’ lofts?  [Speaking of those artists’ lofts, here’s a link to Artspace Everett.]

•    Apple Awards (for schools) – $250,000
•    Washington State Historical Society – $12,250,000
•    Eastern Washington State Historical Society – $1,939,000
•    Admiral Theatre-No Theatre Left Behind – $140,000
•    Artspace Everett Lofts – $1,000,000
•    Building a Foundation for Discovery – $250,000
•    Campus Consolidation (Cornish) – $375,000
•    Convert Key Bank To Everett’s Plaza Theatre – $500,000
•    Cottage Renovation (Hedgebrook) – $20,000
•    Downstairs at the 5th – $800,000
•    Federal Way Performing Arts Center – $325,000
•    Gateway Center (Lummi) – $150,000
•    James Ctr for the Performing Arts (Sequim) – $150,000
•    Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center – $475,000
•    Legacy Project (Imagine) – $200,000
•    Modular Classrooms for Dance (Gladish) – $30,000
•    Museum Expansion (Maryhill) – $1,500,000
•    New Hands On Children’s Museum  – $1,000,000
•    Phase II Renovation (Mt. Baker Theatre) – $1,000,000
•    Reconstruction of First Stage, Issaquah – $400,000
•    Seattle Opera Center – Phase I Design – $650,000
•    Stage Two (Whidbey) – $450,000
•    Vashon Arts Center – $1,115,000
•    Visual Arts Education Center (Sno Co.) – $1,000,000
•    Viva Vera Capital Campaign – $70,000
•    WA Hall Acquisition and Rehab – $400,000
•    A Home for Opportunity – $325,000
•    Building the new Eastside Clinic – $1,900,000
•    Community Center for Sand Point Housing – $350,000
•    Donald G. Topping HOPE Center – $1,934,250
•    Dove House – $240,000
•    Duvall Multi-Service Center – $617,985
•    East Central Community Facilities Expansion Project – $231,500
•    El Centro de la Raza Safety & Systems Improvements -$250,031
•    Emmanuel Family Life Center – $400,594
•    Eritrean Community Center Expansion – $300,000
•    Family Services Center – $1,265,000
•    Ferndale Boys & Girls Club – $752,847
•    Giant Step – $520,761
•    Greenbridge Early Learning Center – $1,419,281
•    High Point Neighborhood Center – $2,000,000
•    Highline YMCA – $2,000,000
•    Milgard Work Opportunity Center – $1,850,000
•    Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood Education and Training Center – $881,847
•    Northeast Community Center Expansion – $1,800,000
•    Pierce County Therapy Center – $128,000
•    Rainier Vista & Rainier Valley Teen Center – $3,906,000
•    Repurposing Daybreak Star – $87,500
•    Riverwalk Point Community Building – $79,253
•    Rotary Support Center for Families – $3,500,000
•    Technology Access Foundation Community Learning Space – $1,500,000
•    The Keller House Services Center – $600,000
•    YMCA/YWCA Central Spokane Facility – $3,500,000

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Innate hypocrisy, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Land of the free…

Posted by Liberty on March 23, 2009

Lead poisoning law has side effect

“In all his years of riding motorcycles, 63-year-old Ted Micone of Yakima County has yet to see a child get lead poisoning from one.

That’s why he’s baffled by a new federal law that took effect Feb. 10. It came about after a deluge of China-made products were recalled starting in 2006, prompting outcries from parents and consumer groups.

Included in the law are revised lead limits for off-road and recreational vehicles designed for kids – effectively halting the sale of such machines across the country.”

Honestly, I’m speechless.  Just since February, this lead law has restricted individual freedom and negatively affected businesses of all kinds, from toy stores to consignment stores and now ATV dealerships.  The federal government is also usurping parental authority–as a parent, I view it as my right and responsibility to make decisions about my child’s safety.

Posted in Liberalism, Social engineering, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Enough gravy for Greg

Posted by Liberty on March 21, 2009

A runaway gravy train

Not many people take Greg Nickels seriously.  And that number could be diminishing.  I found this article by Nicole Brodeur in the Seattle Times fairly entertaining, even though I don’t necessarily agree with her analysis of the AIG situation. 

“Mayor Greg Nickels announced the other day that he was falling on his checkbook by decreasing his own pay and the salaries of about 100 other top executives in city government.

Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis made much of the fact that salaries will be frozen at 2008 levels, as if this is a huge sacrifice. He makes $187,317 a year, poor thing.

I appreciate putting the brakes on payroll, but frankly, gentlemen, I’m confused.

Just 90 days ago, Nickels was fighting for the right to give big raises to the city’s highest-paid employees — some by as much as 37 percent.”

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Have a drink on me

Posted by Liberty on March 11, 2009

Found this on Seattle talk radio host Dori Monson’s blog.  [He’s on 97.3 KIRO.]  How would you like to have a vanload of beer delivered right to your apartment?  And what if you didn’t have to pay for the beer?  Jackpot!  And if you didn’t have to pay for the apartment either?  Double jackpot!  Chronic boozers in Seattle don’t have to go out to the bar or the convenience store these days…they’re drinking and living on the taxpayer’s dime.  1811 Eastlake is a housing project especially for alcoholics funded by various government entities such as HUD and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.  Rehabilitation is not a high priority at 1811 Eastlake–the residents [all of whom have alcohol issues, to put it mildly] are allowed to drink in their apartments.

Seattle drunk house project gets beer delivery

According to the Downtown Emergency Service Center’s website, the drunks in this housing project are offered social services including mental health and substance abuse counseling, on-site health care and meals plus field trips to local food banks.  This facility can’t be cheap to keep running.  In this era of hard times for the taxpayers, could we at least cut off the free beer?

Posted in Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stimulating the Washington DOT

Posted by Liberty on March 8, 2009

Where’s that federal “stimulus” money going?

Great post from Sound Politics…just in case you’re curious how stimulus money is going to be spent in Washington State.  I especially like the part about how stimulus money is being used to fund projects that Washingtonians have already been funding with our gigantic gas tax.  So…technically, we’re paying twice.

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Innate hypocrisy, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The legislature just doesn’t get it!

Posted by Liberty on March 7, 2009

From Joe Turner’s Political Buzz, here’s a nice list of the tax increases that the Washington State Legislature is considering. 

Here are tax hike options for lawmakers (and voters?)

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What will Washington’s living wage be if all the businesses leave?

Posted by Liberty on March 2, 2009

Update 12:18 pm:
For those of you who don’t read the comments, I received a comment from Representative Miloscia regarding this post. I’d like to take the opportunity to make a correction to my earlier post. My statement that Representative Miloscia lacks private sector experience was inaccurate. He does, in fact, have quite a bit of private sector experience. He has run or managed a variety of companies and has served as a business consultant as well.
The last thing that I want to do here is base my arguments on false information. I’d like to thank Representative Miloscia for bringing this error to my attention and I’d like to apologize for mischaracterizing his work experience.
Liberty

A ‘living’ wage apparently is between $9.70 and $11.55 an hour

Great blog post by Joe Turner from the Tacoma News Tribune.  State Representative Mark Miloscia [that’s the porn tax guy] has put another bill on the table.

“Miloscia has introduced House Bill 1716, which would require ‘living wages’ be paid after Jan. 1, 2010 to anyone being paid under a contract let by the state Community, Trade and Economic Development Department.”

And:

“If the employee gets health coverage, those wages would be $9.70 an hour. Without health coverage, the pay would be $11.55 an hour.”

Washington State’s minimum wage just recently went up to $8.55 an hour.  While I’m sure Representative Miloscia has nothing but the best intentions for the workers of Washington State, a “living wage” dictated by state government is the last thing we need.  It doesn’t do much good to be perpetually legislating in favor of the workers if the same legislation discourages companies from doing business here in Washington.

I looked into Miloscia’s background [from his campaign website] and discovered that he appears to have no private sector job experience.  He was an Air Force pilot [and thank you for your service, Representative Miloscia], a substitute teacher, director or executive director for a couple of non-profits and a utility district commissioner.  Perhaps if Representative Miloscia had run his own small business and had to meet a payroll, he would have a better understanding of the burdens employers already face.


Posted in Liberalism, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Seattle Tea Party Pictures

Posted by Liberty on February 28, 2009

Seattle Tea Party Protest

Yesterday was a day of tea parties.  While I wasn’t able to attend one in person, believe me, I was there in spirit.  And, I was delighted to find these pictures on Byron Dazey’s blog this morning.  You’ll see that Conservatives are great at protesting, despite the fact that most Conservatives don’t smoke dope, have never been arrested for “the cause” and are gainfully employed.  The photos are awesome and the signs are so clever!  Here’s just one teaser–you’ll have to check out www.myownside.com for the rest!

Posted in Conservatism, Constitutional Rights, Freedom of Speech, Future of the GOP, Liberalism, Obama, Positive News, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Sticking to their guns, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Landowners: want to make an impression on Olympia?

Posted by Liberty on February 25, 2009

http://www.mylandnotyours.com/

There is a property rights rally on Monday, March 2, 2009. 

Meet at noon on the North steps of the Capitol.

Join Evergreen Freedom Foundation, The Christian Coalition, Cattle Producers of Washington and Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights in taking a stand against Olympia’s intrusion on your private property rights!

Posted in Conservatism, Constitutional Rights, Freedom of Speech, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Glad to know I’m not the only suspicious one…

Posted by Liberty on February 24, 2009

From the Seattle P-I this morning:

Why voters are suspicious of a state income tax

“Here is the conversation starter a state senator suggested in a recent Op-Ed piece distributed around Washington: It’s time to start a discussion about this state’s tax structure and add an income tax.

Here is the conversation finisher Washington voters, consumers and taxpayers have had in the past about diddling with the state’s tax system:

No.

Washington state’s antipathy to an income tax has been so long-established and deeply ingrained in its political tradition that the passage of one was considered as improbable as the adoption of a sales tax in Oregon.

Yet the proponents keep trying.

An income tax, they have argued, would be more progressive, or fairer, or promote social justice (or whatever the euphemism of the moment happens to be for redistributive economics). Or it would provide more balance to revenue collection for state government. Or it would be better for the state’s economic and business climate.

The proponents haven’t abandoned those philosophical arguments, but in the meantime they’ve seized on a much more basic, practical and straightforward justification.

We want more money because we need more money.”

Good on the P-I and Bill Virgin for running this column.  But, to paraphrase one person who commented on this story on the P-I’s site, “where the hell were you guys in November?”

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Main Stream Media, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Leave a Comment »

State House approves ban on campaign lies

Posted by Liberty on February 24, 2009

State House approves ban on campaign lies

If this bill makes it through the Senate and is signed by the Governor, it will be illegal in Washington State to lie in the course of a campaign for public office.  My first thought was, “Couldn’t they make this retroactive and nail Queen Christine for the lies she told about the state budget?”  But the real focus of this law appears to be lies about a candidate’s opponent.

“The bill, passed out of the House on a 92-2 vote, seeks to reinstate an old law that was thrown out on free speech grounds by the state Supreme Court in 2007. The court said the state’s former ban on lying in campaigns violated the First Amendment because it did not require proof that campaign falsehoods were defamatory.

Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, said this year’s attempt at reinstating the ban on campaign lies addresses the court’s problems with the old law. Specifically, the bill approved Monday would prohibit false statements that are libelous or defamatory, and committed with actual malice – a key legal test in free speech case law.”

Darn.

Posted in Liberalism, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

On transparency and Olympia

Posted by Liberty on February 22, 2009

Stiffing the public on the big budget issues in Olympia

“As a reporter, I always try to imagine what questions my audience might have. In the case of the state budget crisis, the two obvious questions seem to be: what are lawmakers going to cut and what might a tax hike package look like? Good luck getting a straight answer to either question.

Now, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. I know that politics dictates that politicians not reveal their strategic plans to the opposition party, voters or, God forbid, reporters. Nonetheless, the state is in a crisis and there’s a big lack of straight-talking going on in Olympia.”

I found this article on Crosscut this morning.  For some reason, it’s a little comforting to know that Conservatives aren’t the only ones feeling stymied by the closed door processes of our state Capitol.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Conservatism, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Powerful forces at work to increase your taxes–public employee unions

Posted by Liberty on February 19, 2009

About that Looming Tax Hike

Posted in Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Union Thuggery, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

State income tax analysis from EFF

Posted by Liberty on February 18, 2009

Will state income tax appear on November 2009 ballot?

We know that state senator Rosa Franklin [a Democrat…who else?] has again introduced her perennial bill that would impose a state income tax.  Anybody who would believe that a state income tax would be a straight across trade for the way we pay into the state coffers now is deceiving themselves.  Any alteration in taxes proposed by our dear Washington State Democrats will result in a raw deal for the taxpayers and more revenue for state government. 

It is my understanding that this measure would be have to be voted upon by us little people but sometimes, I have my doubts that my fellow Washingtonians could choose right.  At any rate, the better informed Conservatives are, the better we will be able to articulate our opposition to any more taxes.

“The bill has three major fiscal reform elements that would drastically change the state’s revenue structure. First, it proposes a graduated state income tax on individuals and businesses (except corporations). Second, it eliminates the state portion of the property tax. Third, it reduces the state portion of the sales tax from 6.5 percent to 3.5 percent.”

And a few points against it from the EFF blog:

“Legislators add the income tax as another category, thus allowing tax-creep in every category. 

The proposed income tax adds another layer of complexity and cost for citizens.

It would dramatically increase taxes for people who do not own a home or have children.

It would punish those who succeed financially by taking larger portions of their income as it increases.”

The EFF blog [www.libertylive.org] has details about the proposed income tax rates and also a few scenarios that help illustrate how an income tax would impact people.  Here’s a thought I’d like to throw out there.  Will this finally be the year?  Has the time finally come?  Are we here in Washington going to finally hit the breaking point as far as taxes are concerned?  I propose a Boston Tea Party-esque tax revolt.  Anybody in?

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Conservatism, Educate yourself, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s time to dispel the notion that only liberals protest!

Posted by Liberty on February 14, 2009

IT’S ON!! PRESIDENT’S DAY PROTEST AT WESTLAKE PARK IN SEATTLE!

“The protest against the porkulus is on for President’s Day!

Date: Monday, February 16th
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where: Westlake Park in downtown Seattle, 401 Pine St., in the open area by the big arch.”

Be a part of the active, loyal Conservative opposition!  Bring your signs to Westlake Park in downtown Seattle to participate in a protest of the stimulus bill!

Posted in Conservatism, Constitutional Rights, Freedom of Speech, Sticking to their guns, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Democrat Rosa Franklin has introduced a state income tax bill…what’s different about this year?

Posted by Liberty on February 14, 2009

Washington state income tax could raise $6.67 billion in 2012

“Is the income tax proposal for real this year? Every year, state Sen. Rosa Franklin, D-Tacoma, introduces a bill calling for a state income tax. Hers often is the only name listed as a sponsor. Such is the case this year. She dropped the bill Jan. 13.

The real interesting thing is that a fiscal note was completed on Feb. 11 and it is really elaborate! I mean, state agency and legislative committee staff put one heckuva lot of work into something that in years past has been a non-starter of a bill.

Has something changed? Is this what Democratic majorities in the House and Senate really have been waiting for? (Next week, we also get word from Congress on how much money Washington will get in bailout money, and how bad the financial situation is. Is it a $7.5 billion shortfall?)

Here is a link to the full text of Senate Bill 5104. But just even more interesting are the numbers in the fiscal note.

One thing that’s worth noting.  On a lot of the bills that have been introduced, the fiscal impact information is not complete–especially the spending bills.  Isn’t it interesting that they have completed the fiscal impact statement on this bill–a REVENUE bill? 

Call your legislator at 1-800-562-6000! 

Tell them NO MORE TAXES!

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Innate hypocrisy, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The porno tax–why you ought not support it

Posted by Liberty on February 11, 2009

Washington lawmaker wants huge porn tax to restore GAU cuts

Have you heard about the proposed 18.5% tax on “adult”entertainment? 

“State Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, is prime sponsor of House Bill 2103, which would levy an 18.5 percent tax on all visual or audio pornographic materials.

But he’s not the only one.

House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, has signed on. So have Reps. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, John McCoy, D-Tulalip, and Marilyn Chase, D-Shoreline.”

The tax would apply to all forms of pornographic material–magazines, movies, phone services, photos, cable tv services, etc.  It would be used to restore funding to General Assistance Unemployable (GAU) and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Support Act (ADATSA) programs that have been cut [or failed to grow, which equals a cut in bureaucrat speak] under Queen Christine’s budget.  So, why am I opposed to this?  Why am I calling 1-800-562-6000 later today to let my legislators know that this is a bad idea?

Trust me, it’s not because I like porn.  It’s not because I think that porn is a good influence upon our society; it certainly is not.  It’s not because I think the people who create and distribute porn are worthy of being defended; they aren’t.  I oppose this on principle.  I don’t believe the State of Washington should be taking another penny from any of us, even filthy porn users.   They confiscate enough and they redistribute enough already.  Government has a seemingly insatiable appetite for our money.  Maybe filthy porn users aren’t the most sympathetic group to choose to defend but here I am, making my case because I am so fed up with the taxes.

I also think it is potentially dangerous to have government trying to influence and control our behaviors.  So they’re targeting pornography today.  Who’s to say they won’t take this concept [an exhorbitant tax on a behavior they don’t like] and apply it to other target groups.  Are we going to see higher ammunition taxes because some politician doesn’t want you shooting your guns?  A lot of kids get hurt on trampolines…maybe there should be a tax on trampolines.  They want your kids signed up on SCHIP anyway.  A trampoline tax will just pay to fix all those broken arms and bonked heads.  An extra tax on auto parts to make you re-think repairing your car instead of opting for mass transit?  Maybe I’m extrapolating too far but you never know when government is involved.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Guns, Health care, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Washington State legislature and out of control taxation: will the family farms survive?

Posted by Liberty on February 8, 2009

Ag legislator sends out alert about proposed B&O tax

“A bill that would require Washington state farmers to pay the business-and-occupation tax if their gross income is more than $200,000 was sent to the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Friday, Feb. 6.”

You read that right–gross income.  I don’t know how many of my readers know much about agriculture but I know a little.  You would certainly not get the full picture by looking only at a farm’s gross income.  Farmers face a lot of variables–the cost of inputs like seed, fuel and fertilizer; labor costs; the cost to upgrade and replace machinery.  [For those of you not familiar with how expensive that can be, here’s a little comparison.  For the cost of a new John Deere combine, which a good sized wheat farm may use for a month out of the year, you could buy a decent house.  And you could use it all year long.] 

For a lot of farms, gross income probably looks pretty good.  And then the farmer gets to pay the bills.  There’s no guarantee that those bills won’t be as much or more than the gross income.  And that’s without the state of Washington with their hand out for B&O tax. 

“The bill completely or partially repeals seven deductions or exemptions, according to a recent tax alert sent out by Rep. Mark Schoesler, R- Ritzville, ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and also a member of the Ways & Means Committee.

”This is such a step backwards from what we’ve been trying to do,’ Schoessler said in an interview Friday, Feb. 6, with the Capital Press. ‘We knew people would be looking for money under every rock but we didn’t expect this shot across the bow so soon.’

Schoessler refers to the tax as the ‘most mean regressive tax’ that can be put on agriculture.

Pointing to the $200,000 threshold, Schoesler said that it wouldn’t even take a circle of potatoes in the Columbia Basin to hit that threshold.

‘And yet there’s no guarantee about profits,’ Schoesler said. Farmers also face high levels of expenses to plant, care for and harvest their crops.

Schoesler, an Eastern Washington farmer and rancher, aid that a gross income of $200,000 is right about where many farming operations become commercial and full-time.

‘This tax could spell trouble for farms that have been struggling and discourage smaller farms from expanding,’ he said.

Schoesler said is that a farmer grossing more than $200,000 could, because of expenses, earn barely enough to avoid qualifying for food stamps, free school lunches, or subsidized children’s health care. Yet that same farmer would have to pay the business-and-occupation tax if the bill becomes law.

The bill number is SB 5911.  The toll free phone number for the Washington State Legislature is 1-800-562-6000.  If you’re so inclined, give your legislator a call and let them know that spending is the problem.  Not revenue.  And give the farmers a break.  Whether or not those liberal Democrats from big city districts in Western Washington understand this or not, agriculture is a vital part of our economy.  Farmers have plenty of economic factors working against them.  Our state government needs to help facilitate the growth of all kinds of businesses, not kill them through punitive taxes.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The nanny state gone awry–Washington State is poised to regulate interior designers!

Posted by Liberty on February 8, 2009

Take a peek at Tami Michaels’ blog post from Saturday.  Is there any part of life that our esteemed Washington State Legislature will not attempt to stifle, control, restrict or regulate?  [For those of you not familiar with Tami, she has a Saturday morning radio show about home improvement and interior design on 770 KTTH Seattle.  It’s a lot of fun to listen to if you’re interested in improving the appearance and functionality of your living environment–always a learning experience.  Find out more at mynorthwest.com]  Tami has issued a call to action because apparently, the Washington State Legislature is going to be considering a bill that would create licensing requirements for interior designers.  From Washington Votes.org:

2009 Senate Bill 5514 (Concerning the practice of interior design)

“Introduced by Sen. Rosa Franklin, (D-Tacoma) (D) on January 26, 2009, creates a state board for registered interior designers and sets forth registration procedures and standards of professional practice for registered interior designers. (See also Companion HB 1608).”

Tami’s reasoning for opposing SB 5514 is this:

  • “There is no threat to public health and safety from interior design. In 2005, the Washington State Department of Licensing did a sunrise review of interior design legislation and found that no threat existed and that no licensing of interior designers was necessary.
  • The state, the economy, homeowners and small businesses can’t afford this legislation. This legislation is a direct threat to the survival of many small businesses, putting jobs at risk – something Washington cannot afford. Customers of interior design services will see costs go up as competition decreases and designers will have to pay unnecessary fees if they actually do qualify. Established firms will go out of business, not because they do poor work or have done something wrong – but simply because they do not meet a very specific set of criteria.
  • There is no gap in protection. An umbrella of governmental oversight already protects the public and ensures that those involved in design projects follow the appropriate building codes and laws. Plan reviews, building inspectors, code enforcement officials and licensed professionals (architects, engineers, plumbers, contractors, electricians and others) all verify that any work specified by interior design professionals meets the code and safety requirements enacted to protect the public.”

Do you really need the State of Washington to protect you from interior designers?  Honestly!  There’s a hearing on this bill scheduled for February 12, 2009.  Tami’s blog has all the info you need.

Posted in Conservatism, Constitutional Rights, Educate yourself, Liberalism, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Washington Senators Cantwell and Murray: check your voicemail, will ya?

Posted by Liberty on February 5, 2009

I intended to post this reminder earlier this morning but I wanted to make sure that I practiced what I preach first.  Whether it’s a futile gesture or not, you need to call your Senators [for Washington, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray] to let them know your opinion of the Capitalism-killing pork plan that they’re currently debating. 

You can reach the main Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Find your Senator’s direct line here.

Maria Cantwell’s direct phone number is 202-224-3441.

Patty Murray’s direct phone number is 202-224-2621.

As of about an hour ago, nobody answered either of those numbers.  My call went to voicemail for both Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.  And both voicemail boxes were completely full.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Once again, Queen Christine needs your help

Posted by Liberty on February 5, 2009

The Governor apparently either really cares what the public thinks about the budget or wants you to think that she really cares what the public thinks about the budget.

Go to:

http://www.governor.wa.gov/priorities/budget/default.asp

There’s a budget calculator where you can adjust levels of state government spending to get rid of the budget gap.  This brings me to one thing that needs to be made clear about Washington’s budget problem.  According to the Governor’s budget calculator webpage, under the current budget, the projected revenue for the 2009-2011 budget cycle is $31,573 million.  The proposed spending is $35,274 million.  We aren’t in debt yet but if we continue spending as proposed, we will be.  The spending is the problem!

The Governor’s proposed budget has spending dropped down to $32,079 million and she adds in $122 million from “Other Fund Transfers and Budget Driven Revenue.”  [Not really sure where that came from?!]  She also includes $609 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.  Note that the Rainy Day Fund starts out at $709 million and she wants to use almost all of that in this 2009-2011 budget cycle.  If the economic downturn is prolonged and if the State of Washington does not gain a better understanding of what functions actually are the legitimate responsibility of state government, we could get into serious trouble.  Can you say, California?

Do you understand what I’m saying here, though?  Much has been made of Washington’s Budget crisis and I’ve posted several times about it before, too.  The point I’m trying to make is that we don’t have to have a budget crisis.  It is not a foregone conclusion.  All that the Governor and the Legislature have to do is cut spending.  There is plenty of waste, fraud and abuse hidden in that budget.  Will anyone tackle that?  There is a lot of spending for things that are not really the responsibility of state government.  Are we going to see some of it reversed?  With Democrats in control, it isn’t likely.  Instead, they’ll make visible, painful cuts to essential services.  And then, they’ll use those cuts to sell the public on a tax hike.

Unfortunately, I think that the Governor’s budget calculator page is designed to make you more sympathetic towards Queen Christine.  It lets you play with the numbers but ultimately, I think you’re supposed to walk away with a new appreciation for how tough it is for the Governor to make everyone happy.  The budget calculator doesn’t let you adjust specific programs–only general areas like “student achievement,” public safety,” “human services for vulnerable children & adults,” and “health of Washingtonians.”  Like her earlier request for your e-mailed budget suggestions, I think this budget calculator is just a public relations stunt.

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t like pork? Have you contacted your Senators yet?

Posted by Liberty on February 2, 2009

I just sent a quick e-mail to Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to ask them not to support the pork-laden stimulus plan.  Your senators need to hear from you, too!  It only takes a minute to tap out a brief, polite message to let them know what you think about their plans for your tax dollars.  [But not Tom Daschle’s or Tim Geithner’s.] 

Contact your senator!

Even if you’re stuck with total liberal Democrats for senators like us in Washington State, it’s still important to speak out.  Don’t think that I don’t know that it’s probably futile to ask Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray for a tax cut but Conservatives have a responsibility to be the voice of the loyal opposition.  Even when we’re down and out, we can not fall silent.

Posted in Conservatism, Constitutional Rights, Freedom of Speech, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Sticking to their guns, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your resistance to tax increases is under attack

Posted by Liberty on January 27, 2009

Here are just three examples of the news stories I’ve been noticing lately about the “victims” of state budget cuts.  We’re going to be innundated with sad stories about the necessary serices that are being slashed under Washington’s new scorched earth budget.  That way, when the legislature puts a tax increase on the ballot for the next election, it has a better chance of passing.  Nice.

Center gives runaways peace, but now finds itself in need

“Spruce Street and eight other facilities like it, called Secure Crisis Residential Centers, face elimination by state budget cuts, some of which are under way and others that have been proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire for the Department of Social and Health Services.”

Poison Center’s hot line in peril

“Parents could no longer call the Washington Poison Center’s hot line under Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget because it would cut critical funding for the service, the nonprofit said Monday.

Gregoire wants to slash the center’s funding from $4 million to $2 million a year — a move the 50-year-old group says would force it to close.”

Detox center loses in budget cuts

“The North Cascade Secure Detox is the first of what could become many social services programs to be shut down in the coming year while the Legislature and the Department of Social and Health Services trim their budgets.

The cuts will save the state money in the short term. One patient costs $275 a night at North Cascade, and the state pays out $2 million a year for the Skagit County branch. But it will cost individual counties more in the long run as the same patients seek help at emergency rooms and mental health treatment facilities, which can cost up to $565 a night.”

Posted in Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Washington State | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »