Jay Inslee vs. Obama


I'm with you that Inslee shouldn't have made that pledge and will need to show leadership on new revenue. But he is not the only person culpable for this failure. The electorate is not yet in the position it needs to be to support new taxes. I-1098's failure was a warning sign. So too was the failure of transit taxes in Pierce and Clark Counties. So too was the non-binding rejection of the two tax advisory votes on the statewide ballot last week.

Inslee needs to step up, absolutely. But Washington's utterly incompetent progressive infrastructure, particularly its failing advocacy organizations, have been AWOL on these issues too. They need to be out there identifying their base, organizing them into activists, and getting them to help deploy a drumbeat message that says "Washington voters demand new taxes."

No politician is going to storm the barricades of the anti-tax movement unless they are convinced there's a horde behind them. And right now there's no assurance that there is a horde. We can and should browbeat Inslee on this. But nothing will change without some dramatically better organizing from progressives on this issue. It's Olympia we have to worry about. It's Issaquah, Lynnwood, Puyallup, and similar places where the battle for new revenue will be won or lost.
This reminds me of the state dem convention when the powers that be didn't want to admit the drug war is a failure and shut down amendments of the party platform.
I think it was unfortunate for inslee to swear off raising taxes, though like you i can see why he may have thought he had no choice but to make that promise. Problem is, breaking it will likely destroy his political future, unless he can come up with a voter-supported initiative to raise taxes that he can bow to support.

It does strike me that these two positions on pot and taxes are convenient, though, in that no one will hold it against him to implement stiff taxes on everything related to pot... Too bad that isnt likly to yeild enough revenue on its own.
The Liquor Control Board is supposed to have guidelines in place to license sellers by December 2013, if that happens on time we'll have 11 months to show the rest of the country how it goes before the 2014 elections, if any other states are able to put decriminalization on their ballot.
One of the arguments for legalizing recreational marijuana was that it could be taxed. There is no way to really know how much revenue this means yet, but the Olympian reports:

"The state budget office thinks Initiative 502 could bring in as much as $800 million in extra state revenue in the next budget period, but says there are too many uncertainties to count on the money."


That doesn't cover all the shortfall, but sure does make up a big chunk of it.