Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Question 3: Something v. Nothing

We're really trying to be nice this week. We swear. Here, we'll show you how nice we're trying to be. Let's consider Jon Ralston's commentary last night on The Education Initiative (TEI).

First off, let's point out what he got right. Yes, this initiative is not perfect. In fact, some progressives were originally concerned about TEI because it's not comprehensive and far-reaching enough. In an ideal world, we could consider something like California's Prop 30... No, scratch that. In an ideal world, our Legislature could pass a comprehensive tax package like California's Prop 30 without having to resort to "ballot box budgeting".

But as we've been saying here for some time, we don't live in an ideal world. Even Mr. Ralston himself seems to understand that now. We've waited forever for the Governor & Legislature to agree to any sort of major tax reform, only to be rewarded with bupkes. And because of that darned single subject rule for ballot initiatives, We the People are expressly forbidden from considering any kind of comprehensive tax reform (like California's Prop 30) as a ballot initiative.

So that leaves us with the choice of TEI... Or nothing. And here's where Ralston's onto something. For all the "We Believe Our Children Are Our Future!" talk TEI's ("TEA" fueled) opponents have been ramping up in recent weeks, they've provided no real alternative. And that's because their true preferred alternative is nothing. That's why they've prevented any real "conversations" on tax reform in Carson City. And that's why the only "alternatives" they can present when asked are dead horses, straw men, and a whole lot of meaningless hot air.

This is why Question 3 may actually be the most important item on our ballot this fall. And without a doubt, it provides a very compelling case to vote this fall. We may very well hold our state's future in our hands.

So what will we do with it? Sure, we can play semantics games. We can parse over imaginary bills and theoretical scenarios. We can discuss the philosophy of tax policy. Or we can actually do something for a change. We can actually do what our elected "leaders" have failed to do. We can say yes to Question 3 and stop failing our children & our communities.

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