Seattleites favor public financing of elections and more money for transportation while rejecting scofflaw Tim Eyman’s latest self-aggrandizing initiative to lower sales taxes. Snohomish county voters said “aye” to the latter, as did most other counties.
I think it always dangerous to the public realm to allow voters a say on their taxes. Who, given the option, can resist the temptation to have a pizza’s worth of extra change in their pocket each payday? Voters, via apathy or willful ignorance, have little appreciation for taxes being the price of society, choosing instead to swallow Margaret Thatcher’s pronouncement that there is no society, only individuals. Seattleites seem to understand the taxes-cum-society connection; Snohomish voters say “gimme my pizza.”
Should Eyman’s initiative win, it will be challenged. The state supreme court has tossed out Eyman’s previous attempts to tie legislators’ hands. It will surely do so again. But Eyman, win or lose, gets another day in the sun and more money to siphon for his personal use. What a gig.
UPDATE (November 4, 2015):
Knute Berger weighs in on Seattle’s uniqueness.