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Monday, January 30th

The War on Growth

Rain has not stopped them. Exaggerating about how often it rains has not stopped them. Sadly, people keep moving here. It is a fact of life that once a person moves here they want to stop growth. They look to government for help. So our government fights this war on growth with one finger in the dike while water floods in from every direction.

This war on growth is being fought on two fronts, migration and procreation. Let us review the strategies our State Government has used to win this war.

Raising taxes is one method of slowing growth. Jobs bring population migration into the state. High taxes drive businesses and jobs away. Some politicians advocate raising taxes to slow growth. Others do it unintentionally not understanding the negative consequences of lost jobs and tax revenue. Either way it is not the answer.

I remember vividly watching a news conference with then Governor Gary Locke (D), Senators Murray (D) and Cantwell (D), standing with Boeing executives, and promising them a tax cut so they would stay in Washington. This group of politicians is not famous for cutting taxes, and yet they knew for a fact that tax cuts in this case would create revenue and jobs for our State. But it was too little too late. Now Boeing is the corporation from Chicago.

The moral of the story is that if you want people to keep their jobs and want to increase tax revenue, you should lower taxes, not raise them. Increasing taxes does not stop growth, but it does change who can afford to live and do business here.

The Growth Management Act (GMA) was the next weapon in the war on growth. Too many people were migrating to Washington. Rain did not dampen their spirits. So our government decided that these new people would live in urban areas. In this way politicians and the environmental interest groups that controlled them, thought they could slow growth and protect "rural character".

The main idea was to "cluster" people into "urban growth areas" to prevent "sprawl". We now have a population explosion in these areas that has overloaded the basic infrastructure and caused gridlock on the highways. We need more taxes now to rebuild systems that were never intended to accommodate so many people. GMA has not slowed the flood of growth. It has just shifted people around.

On the second front, procreation is causing too much growth. The government has unveiled new weapons to stop people from having kids. Apparently, abortion on demand, same sex marriage, and distribution of condoms in the grade schools, have not been effective enough weapons to slow population growth.

So a new Bill has been introduced in our State House of Representatives to lessen the occurrence of babies. I am not making this up. Legislation sponsored by Representative Maralyn Chase (D-Shoreline), is the latest "smart bomb" in the war on growth. Under this bill, your tax dollars would be used to fund outreach and education programs designed to convince your children not to have children. If they procreate they might contribute to the dreaded "sprawl". HB 3121 would require local jurisdictions to consider "population sustainability" under the Growth Management Act. This new GMA Element requires public education and outreach emphasizing the benefits of family planning within the context of land use decisions. How weird can it get?

I personally don't know anybody that wants more people to move here. I would like to return to the old days. That is a fantasy. Yet it seems like the majority of politicians in Olympia are living that fantasy and refusing to face reality. The silly "finger in the dike" solutions they offer only make things worse.

It is time to change out these well-intentioned but unrealistic ideologues and replace them with leaders with a clear and real vision. Growth is inevitable. We need leaders that understand this. We need leaders who know how to plan and budget for growth instead of wasting our resources fighting a ridiculous war against it.


Thursday, January 5th

Time For A Change

New people with freshly minted outrage must be put in charge of our National Security. In some covert scheme to protect the United States from terror attacks and uphold his oath of office, President Bush has gone too far. He is flagrantly violating the privacy rights of al-Qaida terrorists. After all, shouldn't they have the right to call their bosses in order to coordinate anthrax or dirty bomb attacks on U.S. cities without fear of some NSA spook listening in? It should be a basic right for every America to plan an operation to fly airplanes into buildings without big brother looking over your shoulder. Those people, who want to impeach Bush for listening in on terrorists without a warrant during a war, should now step up to the plate and take charge of National Security.

This all started because our troops captured some terrorist bosses and the CIA discovered their e-mail contact lists, Rolodex files, and address books. It should have stopped right there. Burn them. Those files were personal! It is none of our business! But no, the President decided we should be watching those people and find out if they are calling their leaders for instructions on how to vaporize an American city and kill all the citizens that live there. Who does he think he is anyway?

After all, the U.S. is so powerful compared to the poor terrorists that our leaders should be able to fight and win this war blindfolded with both hands tied behind their backs. That is the only way to level the playing field. We can always find and arrest the terrorists responsible for nuking Los Angeles and bring them to justice after a fair trial with all their rights protected. This is the true meaning of liberty and justice for all isn't it?

O.K. I'm just kidding. But I am serious about encouraging people who think this war should be a law enforcement exercise rather than an offensive battle, to step up and run for office. I would love to see the next field of candidates who have expressed righteous indignation over the fact that this President takes the war on terrorism and the safety of our citizens seriously, run on a platform of defending the right of terrorists to call Osama bin Laden for marching orders without the possibility of wiretaps. Are those the people you want in charge of your National Security?

John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Piet Visser
Stephen Robins
Bill Weissinger
Amy Wynn
Terra Tamai
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