Thursday, October 21, 2010

Diving In - Election Thoughts

Bearing in mind my post of yesterday, in which I preface my upcoming thoughts with a reminder of the freedom in Christ we are given to disagree on non-essential issues in our lives, I'm jumping in with thoughts on immediate politics. There are a few big-ticket items in my opinion on this upcoming ballot in the Seattle area, and I'm actually paying some attention this year, since I actually care about the outcome.

1) I-1098 - basically an income tax on the wealthy only, but rumor has it this could be expanded after two years without a vote of the people. Rumor also has it that this rumor is false. Regardless, I think it's a ridiculous idea. We already have a terribly high sales tax (almost 10%!) and rather than actually figuring out how to keep within a budget - like the REST of us have to do these days - the government just keeps looking to expand its income. I know cuts are uncomfortable for a lot of people, especially the poor, but the spending is out of control if we need a sales tax and an income tax. Now, if they were proposing to eliminate the sales tax in favor of just an income tax, I would probably be all for it, especially since it seems a little more equitable proportionately. But since there's even a slight chance (and more than a slight chance, if you ask me) this would eventually extend to more and more residents of the area, I'm uncomfortable with the idea. And in spite of being in the lower-middle class income bracket, I'm not entirely sure I like the idea of penalizing the wealthy with rules that don't apply to the rest of us. I don't know - maybe I'm okay with it from that angle, but I'm not sure.

2) I-1100 and I-1105: This is the bill that proposes privatizing liquor sales. Now seriously. Can this seem like a good idea to ANYONE other than drunks and those standing to make a direct profit from the sales? It's possible, but there are a few really strong and obvious objections to it in my book. I guess they claim that it will stimulate the economy somehow, but honestly. Hard liquor is already readily available for those of legal age. Do we really need to put it in gas station mini-marts and our grocery stores? Doesn't it seem obvious that we'd see an increase of crime at these stores in the early hours of the morning? Doesn't it also seem obvious that this would increase ease of access for minors? And in a time when the government is seeking additional funds (see above), couldn't this be one we leave alone in order to maintain a consistent source of income? This one makes me seriously uncomfortable, mostly because I don't want to have increased hard alcohol in the community.

I actually don't really care who wins the big-deal Senate race, probably because I don't like either option. I never really have much vested interest in candidates of either major party (even in a presidential race), probably because to win, I know they have to compromise just about everything they actually believe in. That's simply how power seems to work, and I just can't put much hope and stock in politicians. Now, maybe an independent candidate that made it further in a race would have a greater chance of my vote, but this whole Democrat-Republican division is ridiculous to me. I'm really happily neither of those.

So I'm counting down the hours until this election is over because I'm so very tired of the political television ads that have been running for what seems like at least six months now. One of the reasons I end up losing all respect for actual candidates are the negative campaign ads. In my book, negative ads are slander and maligning another person, and how can I vote for someone who participates so actively in slandering their opponent? I don't care that that's "just how the game is played" - someone who didn't play that game would gain my respect.

Thoughts? Care to disagree?

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