Comment: All I want for Christmas is a political wish list for Santa Claus
By Jason Mercier
One of my favorite Christmas songs is “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. While her wishlist is pretty straightforward, my Christmas policy list for Santa Claus is a bit more ambitious. I recently had the opportunity to meet Saint Nick and told him that all I want for Christmas for the 2022 legislative session is:
• Emergency Powers Reform: Our system is not meant to be arbitrary rule behind closed doors. It is time to end press conference governance and get back to the normal public legislative process.
• A reduction in sales tax: With a balanced budget, billions in reserves and revenue projections that continue to exceed expectations, the case for sales tax relief is overwhelming.
• Washington will regain its income tax status: No one in the world outside of Washington State calls a capital gains tax an excise tax, and for good reason. It is clearly an unconstitutional income tax and the courts should get rid of it.
• Legislative reforms on transparency: lawmakers should ban title-only bills and not hold public hearings on strikers / substitutes until the text has been available to the public for a full 24 hours .
• Reform of the emergency clause: no bill should be able to rely on an emergency referendum clause if it does not obtain three-fifths of the votes.
• No more puns to play when taxes are on offer: Don’t follow Lisa Simpson’s bad example of using phrases to raise taxes like “temporary rebate adjustments”. Be honest about the type of tax being offered and don’t try to get around constitutional restrictions with puns (looking at your income excise tax).
In case you thought I’m a little too picky, I learned some wisdom from cousin Eddie and told Santa if it wasn’t too much I’d like to get something for him too. Something really cool.
Jason Mercier is the director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center.