Monday, January 28, 2013

But Why?

When my kids were little and discovering things as their world became larger, they often asked, "But why?" when given even an explanation of any sort. Being the patient father, I tried my best to answer every time, but there were times when it became too exasperating. So maybe that's why I haven't heard anything back. Who from? Let me explain.

Last week I noticed Senate Bill 5317, which had to do with "Ballots/tabulation & receipt". I checked out the text of the bill (PDF) and learned that the three senators sponsoring this bill want to change the law so that all mail-in ballots have to be received by the county auditor no later than 8:00 pm on the day of the election. There remains an exception for overseas voters or service members returning ballots by mail. For them the date of the declaration they attested must not be later than the date of the primary or election. 

And the end of the bill it states:

This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 2013.

The sponsors of this bill are Senators Randi Becker, Barbara Bailey, and Jim Honeyford. I wrote to each of them and asked each the same questions.

Why are you offering up this legislation? What problem are you trying to solve with this bill? I did not indicate I was for or against the legislation. I only asked what their reasoning was for offering it up. The image to the right is indicative of their lack of response. 

Last November, Jason Mercier, Washington Policy Center, wrote an op-ed piece in the Seattle Times in support of changing our mail-in ballot rules to be exactly as this proposed legislation. His main reason? Because Oregon does it. His next strongest reason? Because it's Election Day and we should know who won on Election Day.

I don't need to address the op-ed because Goldy over at The Stranger did an excellent job addressing Mercier's weak arguments.

So why am I hearing crickets chirping instead of answers to my questions? How does this legislation preserve the public peace, health, safety, or support of the state government and its institutions? Maybe other people are asking the senators "Why?" and they're exasperated. Or maybe they don't have an answer and can't come up with one that won't elicit a response like, "What am I? A two-year-old?"


Anonymous said...

Why did Obama raise the payroll tax by 47%?

Why won't any Democrats (or Republicans) answer?

Why won't any elites even admit that the payroll tax was hiked, or try to measure the rolling disaster that the massive hike is causing for the working classes?

OK, here's an irony. Robert Reich, the elite (anti)labor secretary under Clinton (NAFTA, WTO) has finally broken ranks and admitted what workers have been saying since their first January paychecks:

So, if even Robert Reich can tell the truth, when can other Democrats admit they lied to us?

I'd suggest not voting, early or late, for local, state or federal Democrats, until they pass a permanent payroll tax abolition, and roll entitlement support onto general revenues.

Enough with the petty fake partisan distractions. The people have bigger fish to fry.

Anonymous said...

The Reich article has disappeared--just in case it's in rewrite, here's the cached gist:

Personal income is in terrible shape. The median wage continues to drop, adjusted for inflation.

Most people can’t get readily-available loans...

And the payroll tax hike has reduced paychecks for the typical American by about $100 a month. That’s just about what the typical family spends to fill up their gas tanks per month. Or half what they spend for groceries each week.

Contrast the current pessimism with consumer sentiment last October. Then, a majority polled by the Conference Board expected their incomes to rise over the next six months.

Now just 14 percent expect their incomes to rise, and 23 percent expect them to fall.

That 9 percent gap of pessimists exceeding optimists is the largest since the spring of 2009 when the Great Recession was almost at its worst.

The stock market is bullish because corporate profits are up, costs are down, the “fiscal cliff” agreement has locked in low taxes for most of the upper middle class and wealthy, and there’s no sign of inflation as far as the eye can see.

But corporate profits can’t stay high when American consumers – whose spending is 70 percent of the U.S. economy – are this pessimistic about the future. They’re just not going to spend.


Little Miss Sunshine said...

This sucker could go down!

Even as a supporter of an immigration amnesty and overhaul, I have to question the President's decision to couple a massive tax increase targeted at US workers with an amnesty. It's as though Democrats and Republicans are trying to pit working class people against each other. Very cynical timing meant to divert the heat from themselves.

It's not dissimilar with the President's decision to couple new trade agreements with fake bank reforms.

Reich may describe the hazards of our tax structure, but his conclusion is illogical. If the tax structure is a danger to the economy, then demand changes to the structure. Instead he just demands more spending. Austerity may not be the answer, but spending from regressive funding sources may be no more stimulative. Obama's social, political, and economic triangulation is putting us in a box.

Sergeant Carter said...

But is the recession really over? Another "surprise" to elite economists and politicians who refused to talk about it, but not a surprise to workers:

"The United States economy unexpectedly reversed course in the final quarter of 2012 and contracted at a 0.1 percent rate, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, its worst performance since the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009." Times

Surprise, surprise, surprise. Next they'll be saying Jim Nabors unexpectedly married a man.