“The two-thirds rule offers these interests the protection of a rigid supermajority barrier by making it impossible to reform our overly complex tax code through the elimination of underperforming tax exemptions”
Let me be clear: I support well thought out limits on taxes. Our general sales tax is already high enough to encourage day trips to Oregon to avoid it and our B&O tax system is an archaic burden to struggling small businesses that can’t afford lobbyists to protect their interest. But over the years, I’ve come to revile Tim Eyman’s ham-fisted efforts to limit taxes because of how poorly thought out they are and the array of unintended consequences. The key problem with 1185 is that it hands an effective veto against ANY revenue measure, no matter how well thought out and broadly supported, to a mere 17 out of 147 legislators. That has been a recipe for special interest control or our state’s tax code. Want a tax loophole to “create jobs”? You only need convince a simple majority of legislators in both houses. Want to get rid of that tax loophole after it’s shown to be ineffective? The bar has been raised to 2/3.
Eyman cites new taxes on candy and bottled water imposed by the legislature as an example of the need for I-1185. This is ironic since those taxes were repealed by the voters through a simple majority vote. (A campaign coincidentally funded by, you guessed it, the candy and beverage manufacturers) Another Irony: Tim Eyman claims to support “Joe Six Pack” and yet the majority of his funding comes from large corporate interests such as BP, Conoco Philips, and the Beer Institute.
By all means, make your views about limited taxes clear to your legislators and demand limits on taxes. Yes there will be unpopular taxes imposed from time to time, but they can be repealed and legislators can be voted out of office. Vote NO on I-1185.
Great timing, Apple. Just when I’ve decided to give up my car, along comes this news story. In short, Apple has tired of relying on Google’s rather lame mapping app for the iPhone and has chosen to go it alone. Here’s what concerns me:
Maps itself will not feature information on public transit or alternative methods of transport like biking, as Google’s app does now. Instead, Apple will release APIs for Maps and allow developers to build their own transit apps that will be featured, integrated, and promoted from within Maps.
Let me be blunt: I could not care less about turn-by-turn driving directions (Frankly, I don’t trust them). Despite its relative lameness, I use Google Maps heavily on my iPhone for walking and transit directions. I *crave* biking directions and integrated real-time arrival times for public transportation. Those two items have been my motivation for looking at Android phones but, for now, I’ve been content to wait. If Apple pushes out a new mapping app without lining up quality developers to produce walking and transit directions at least as good as Google’s, that will push me over the edge.
The generation currently entering the workforce and buying cell phones like candy is driving less and using public transportation and bikes more than my generation. Does Apple really want to risk losing them? I assume the answer is no and that Apple will get this all sorted out. That said, you know what happens when you assume, right?
I stumbled across a post from Flintland titled “Hey, Fat Girl…” shared by a Facebook friend. Reading through that post reminds me of thoughts I have when I see overweight cyclists out on the road. I won’t expand on Flint’s post other than to say: If you are overweight, are trying to get into shape, and feel self-conscious about what others are thinking, try not to worry about it. Keep doing what you are doing. Who knows? You might be surprised if you could read our minds.
Do take the time to read Flint’s post, it’s a short read and well worth your time.