Jen mentioned this story in the morning news, but it's worth noting that we should do this in Washington:
Oregon voters bucked decades of anti-tax and anti-Salem sentiment Tuesday, raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to prevent further erosion of public schools and other state services.
The tax measures passed easily, with late returns showing a 54 percent to 46 percent ratio. Measure 66 raises taxes on households with taxable income above $250,000, and Measure 67 sets higher minimum taxes on corporations and increases the tax rate on upper-level profits.
The results triggered waves of relief from educators and legislative leaders, who were facing an estimated $727 million shortfall in the current two-year budget if the measures failed.
Conservative critics will claim that wealthy folks and businesses are the only tent pole holding up the economy. Raising taxes on their uppermost profits and earnings in Washington—even a smidgen—would drive them away forever and devastate the economy. The money trickles down, right? Uh huh. If education and public health continue to deteriorate (which they are without these taxes), both with expensive consequences, we're truly screwed. Oregon is right for making sure it can provide basic services that sustain its residents.
Our Oregon affiliate, The Mercury, has more details on the night. And in Olympia, Governor Christine Gregoire has issued a statement:
Oregon voters met the challenge of these difficult times and clearly said that schools, healthcare, public safety and other essential services cannot be forsaken. It is gratifying to see that the public understands the importance of preserving services to the most needy and providing education to the next generation—especially now when those efforts are most needed.
So here's what we need to do, Washington. Tim Eyman, one of our own, loves to run initiatives that bankrupt the state. Loves 'em. He also likes to make money off his initiatives. How much would it cost to buy him out—give him enough dough that he doesn't care which side of the tax debate he's on—and get him to run a couple initiatives like Measure 66 and Measure 67 in Washington? Call me a dreamer (call me worse, if you like) but maybe we could hatch two birds with one egg: Divert Eyman from his plot to destroy the state and pull the emergency brake on our careening-to-the-depths-of-hell budget shortfall.