Re: We've Come So Far ...

Mark Crisp>> All due sympathies. Now that Washington State has become a one-party

>> state, I'm sure that our costs and taxes will rise to Northeast standards. > Isn't this just typical of Crispin to politicize any comment he sends > to the digest.

Pat, if you are going to approve messages that contain nothing but personal attacks, you should post this response.

Singer sent me a private email in which he made a bigoted remark about Utah and the Mormon church. Sadly, such behavior is typical of young liberals. [Why he thinks that I have anything in common with Mormons escapes me, other than perhaps a general category of "people that Joseph Singer does not like."]

Washington State effectively has a one-party government. Not only does one party have majority control of the governor's mansion and both houses of the legislature, they have a supermajority. In a few short months, substantial new taxes (and spending) were passed, and voter initiatives to limit taxes and union power (such as being able to spend non-members' representation fees for political causes) were overturned.

More is coming. Although Washington State does not have a personal income tax (yet), its other levies add up. Washington is the 8th highest taxing state in the union (after CT, NY, NJ, VT, RI, NV, and CA; rounding up the top 10 are MA and MN). The liberals have a point in that most of Washington's taxes are highly regressive (the sales tax is one of the heftiest in the nation); but there's also a stiff business income tax that also hits the self-employed.

It is surprising that it is still possible to get a non-frills local-only POTS line here for so much cheaper than other states, but that cost differential isn't likely to last.

Between Republican filibusters and voter initiatives, state spending was severely limited for many years (but not so much that Seattle couldn't build two new sports stadia). This led to a pent-up demand that our current legislature seeks to satisfy now that it is filibuster-proof.

The point of all this is to pre-emptively debunk the myth of Washington being a land of cheap telecom and low taxes. That may have been once been the case, but not any longer.

Another point is the one-party governments are not a good thing no matter which party you support. A viable opposition keeps you honest; more importantly, it saves you from yourself when you go too far off the deep end. Ultimately, the pendulum swings the other way, and the more corrupt and extreme it had been on one side, the more corrupt and extreme it will go on the other side.

-- Mark --

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does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate. Si vis pacem, para bellum.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I'll leave these two gentlemen -- Mark Crispin and Joseph Singer -- to continue their discussions in email with my thanks to both of them for participating and sharing with the rest of us here. PAT]
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Mark Crispin
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