The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

GOP law makers post anti-tax documents


Lou Marzeles

OLYMPIA SNAPSHOTS: The "Tax-a-Palooza" sign put by Republicans in the hallway of the state capitol senate section.

There are demilitarized zones in Olympia. They consist of aisles that run between rows of desks in the Senate and House of Representatives. There's an uneasy truce that more or less keeps the peace along the DMZs, but it doesn't take much for confrontation to erupt. The most damaging may be the ignominy hurled upon Republicans, as they see it, by the ruling Democrats who saw no reason to permit their party opponents to join in discussions on the state budget.

"They don't feel we need to be there," said one Republican observer Wednesday in the capitol who preferred to remain unnamed. "They control the statehouse and both houses of the Legislature. We're irrelevant as far as they're concerned."

But a band of Republican ninjas swooped in to exact at least mild retribution. In one of the hallways of the Senate side of the ornate and enormous capitol building stood a sign that read "Democrat Tax-a-Palooza," looking like an old carnival bill for a really bad show. Below the sign were posted different tax bills that Democrats have inflicted (according to Republicans) on the unwitting citizens of Washington.

"We already had perfectly reasonable ways of paying for the state's bills," the anonymous observer continued. "They decided to go after an additional $4 billion that we just didn't need." Whether or not that figure holds remains to be seen, and Democrats won't run out of reasons they can come up with for why the state needs the extra money. Republicans see the Democrat bills as needless monetary froufrou, especially the one that edges dangerously close to income tax in the form of capital gains tax.

"This isn't a democracy anymore," said another stalwart Republican also choosing to remain nameless, "not when one party controls everything and act with impunity as they choose. Then they're just politicians, not public servants."

Along the top of the Tax-a-Palooza sign were subheads entitled "Property Tax Day," "Income Tax Day," "Transportation Tax Day," "Energy Tax Day," "Job Tax Day," "Wild Card Tax Day," and "Tax Everything Day." Under those were documents by Republicans detailing the folly of bills proposed by a party that has a jackass as its symbol.

Out on the Democratic reservation on the west side of Klickitat County came words of support for the Democrats' bills. "They saw a need, and they acted on it," cried one voice in the wilderness where identities, at least for the time being, remain undisclosed. "Of course the Republicans are going to whine about it. They're sore losers."

But who will be the real losers and winners? In the reality show called the state Legislature and its impact on residents of Washington, that remains to be seen.


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