Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Elections, especially WA

So a lot of elections results are in. Dems made gains in several areas. They took the House, and the Senate may fall to them, too. What will this mean? It's hard to say at this point. Some of them may demand immediate withdrawal from Iraq, which could destroy the country. They might raise taxes. They will probably not permanently repeal the death tax, which will be back in full force sooner than anyone would like. In 2011, anything over $675,000 will be subject to a 55% tax, which will crush many family businesses. It's not a tax on inheritance, since it taxes the estate, rather than the inheritors. It's already been taxed as income.
There are those who say we need that revenue. It brings in less than 1.1% of federal revenues, and it costs 65 cents in enforcement and compliance costs for every dollar it brings in. But the Dems will allow it to remain.
WA allowed ours to remain, as well. 60% of our state voted to keep the estate tax. Not that many of us thought it would really go away. Our state government has a tendency to bypass the will of the people. Remember $30 car tabs? How many times did that have to pass? And is the whole state paying just $30? Nope. All sorts of fees and local taxes may still be added for some reason.
We also, it seems, passed a renewable energy initiative. What people weren't told, for the most part, is that our hydroelectric power is not counted. Never mind the clean, renewable nature of power produced by water, we need solar and wind power, according to some. As if electric bills weren't already high enough.
And we kept Cantwell in office. McGavick laid off lots of workers as CEO of Safeco, you say. What was the end result? He saved the company. He saved far more jobs by making the tough decisions. He wants to see the war through, you say. Yeah, because allowing the region to destroy itself will not help anyone. He wants to privatize social security. Again, not a bad thing. Privatizing it would allow the money you put in to earn more money, rather than stagnate.
And what has Cantwell actually done? She chased oil tankers out of the Sound. This, of course, was a bit of a blow to our state's economy. She voted for the Iraq war and for staying the course. She doesn't tell many people, since that's exactly what she's saying McGavick would do. She fought to keep our state's sales tax exemption. Fair enough, but why not fight for a system that's even fairer. A FairTax or flat tax sort of thing would make taxes easier for everyone, but she wants to make income taxes more "progressive." This makes the system more complex and more difficult. It makes it hard to exempt state sales tax. It makes it more intimidating for the poor to do their taxes and get back some of the money the government has kept out of their paychecks throughout the year.
I suppose this election hasn't been all bad. Two years of Dems in the House might let the American people see why a Dem president wouldn't be great.