Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Watching Sausage Being Made

I was checking out the status of all the bills being presented in the Washington State Legislature this session. The count is up to 226 so far.

There's one to loosen the law concerning the offering of beer and wine samples. Let's give college students their own DUI courts. One to optionally add a yellow dot on your car's back window and a yellow-dot envelope containing personal medical information in the glove box. Let's inform separating or divorcing parents about the dangers of parental abduction of children. The state needs money. How about allowing the highest bidder to rename the North-South Corridor? Or renaming the I-90 rest stop at Schrag after the Hollywood Erotic Boutique? Let's not have to guess what the total cost of each bottle of liquor is any more. Life is no longer a riot. If the first try to amend the state constitution to balance the budget doesn't take, maybe the second one will. Properly label that seafood unless, for some reason, it's salmon that is minced, pulverized, coated with batter, or breaded. And let's quit replacing our license plates so often.

Fun stuff? No, much of it is boring.


Barb Chamberlain said...

Well, SOME of them are good, like this one The Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill would let cities lower the speed limit without expensive and unnecessary studies, which will make our neighborhoods more livable and make it safer for all of us to walk or bike, whether we're 8 or 88.

It has a hearing in House Transportation Committee Tues. 1/22/13. Since it passed the House unanimously in both 2011 and 2012 it should keep moving. This is the year to get it all the way through!

Hank Greer said...

Nice. I hope it does.

Thanks, Barb

Anonymous said...

If legislators are wholesale sausage producers, are they taxable wholesale sausage producers under the meaning of RCW 82.04?

I think I just solved the state's budget crisis!

The Taxman said...

Unfortunately, taxing legislative sausage producers is an impractical method to raise state revenue.

While the product is plentiful, the largest part is completely unpalatable and would have negligible assessed value. Legislators may even be able to claim a deductible loss.

It's true that some of the product has high market valuation, but the very nature of kickbacks effectively hides that value for taxation purposes.

In the end, the only legislative sausage producers who would face taxation would be those able to create socially valuable legislation, such as reduced neighborhood speed limits.

There may be some hope for net revenue if waste disposal fees and pollution emission penalties were assessed on legislation and legislators respectively. Consult the WAC.

Kielbasa said...

Meanwhile, in DC, the twin twits Boehner and Obama agreed on a bipartisan, massive, historically unprecedented increase in taxes on workers. Payroll taxes increased by 47%! Talk about plump sausages!

The elite media dutifully reported that the tax increase was actually a tax cut, though no one's taxes decreased! Sweet chorizo!

Coinincidently, workers wages had fallen to the lowest percentage of GDP since such records have been kept! Holy salami, Batman!

So now the media is shocked to discover consumer confidence has fallen, rather than risen:


Confidence among American households unexpectedly fell to a one-year low in January, as higher payroll taxes create a risk that the biggest part of the economy will slow in early 2013.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment dropped to 71.3, the lowest since December 2011, from 72.9 the prior month. The gauge was projected to rise to 75, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

On the eve of the inaugural, we have an enormous credibility gap between Americans and their political, business, and media elites. They are baldface lying to us.

We suspect the economy is going twits up.

Anonymous said...

One year until the personal mandate further lowers discretionary income, at least in the short term.

Since the Supreme Court placed a (vague) limit on the penalty (in order to call it a "tax"), Obamacare funding in the long term looks precarious if the penalty is lower than premiums (which are skyrocketing in cost).

The payroll tax and the penalty are both regressive, and funding for social security, medicare and obamacare are based on questionable assumptions: workers getting a larger piece of GDP, absolute wage increases, wage increases comparable to medical inflation, employed young healthy people without school debt.

I'm not sure we're talking sausages, but blood from turnips. It's hard to imagine how workers can both fund these programs and have a stimulative impact through consumer spending. It is particularly troubling that five years after workers bailed out the wealthy, the only legislative "reform" have been increased reliance on regressive funding mechanisms. OK, so the elites hate us. But can they run an economy by dictating how we spend our shrinking paychecks? Politically, keeping workers in debt peonage seems unstable policy for the longterm, no matter the efficacy in scripted elections to blow off steam, censorsip (go Lupe!), surveillance, or suppression.