How Washington Will Work in 2014 (Or, Why Washington Is Becoming a Super-Pac)

After Tim Eyman’s latest ballot measure passes this year – which I’m all but certain the voters will pass if it reaches the ballot unscathed by legal formalities – here’s what a Washingtonian's civic duties will look like:

EVERY YEAR, he’ll be asked whether he thinks the legislature should send to the voters a measure the amend the state constitution to require a 2/3 legislative vote to raise taxes. He’ll think he’s actually voting on a constitutional amendment, probably, but he’s not. Just opining on whether one would be nice.

EVERY YEAR, he’ll watch his elected officials make public policy that is next to futile: under Eyman’s initiative, any tax passed starting this year would expire in 12 months, making the political capital and energy it takes to pass tax increases wasted effort, since it won’t achieve anything resembling real policy.

EVERY YEAR, he’ll receive taxpayer-funded packets describing how his lawmakers voted on tax increases, with seemingly little-to-no context included on how the new revenue was spent or why it was needed in the first place. If it sounds like the kind of thing a Super Pac would send out, that’s because it is.

Of course, as I explain here, I think Seattle will be all for the new initiative, regardless of what pointy-headed newspaper reporters say.

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