Submitted by Jim Bisceglia, Tacoma.
The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21, 1787.
This option is clearly not available to the people in “one party rule Washington state.” For years leaders in state government have been increasing the tax burden and imposing ever-tighter regulations that limit personal opportunity, lower household incomes, and fall hardest on working people, middle-class families and small business owners.
Additionally, Washington has experienced deadly political violence in its largest cities, accompanied by rising crime, reduced enforcement of laws, public camping, public drug use, streets and side walks being used as sewers, breakdowns of civic order and widespread lawlessness. The result is small and large businesses closing permanently and larger companies vacating office buildings hollowing out the core of these cities, never to return.
Washington’s governor has steadfastly held tight to his “so called” emergency orders issued in March that remain to this day with little concern for their destructive effect on the people, businesses and children, all without serious scientific support or passing actual laws enforcing these rules. Our public schools are an especially glaring example of being out of touch with both the science and wide spread examples of public schools in other states and private schools in our state operating safely with social distancing.
The result is an economic and emotional strain that feels worse every passing week. While other states and even whole countries are opening their economies with health guidelines, Washington, remained in lock-down long after most of America has begun reopening.
We all recognize that bad government makes people want to leave, and there are a number of ways to measure the exodus. One method is to use U.S. Census estimates. Another is to track income tax filings with the IRS. As people reach the breaking point we hear reports from Realtors, friends, neighbors and family recounting the frustration of those who have given up and moved to another state to escape the abuse.
Recently we have discovered that U-Haul is providing data reflecting the out migration. Those leaving are fleeing high taxes, poor public services, purposeful increasing of traffic congestion, disregard for fiscal accountability, constricted freedoms and a sharp decline in personal safety.
U-Haul knows exactly where its customers are moving to, and just as importantly, from what states they are fleeing. The latest annual report from U-Haul on some two million, one-way household moves in 2020 shows Washington dropping precipitously from the number five spot as most desired place to live all the way down to number 36. That position of unpopularity is not as bad as California, at number 50, but it is a long way from top-ranked Tennessee, Texas and Florida as the most-sought destinations for one-way U-Haul movers. The only reason Washington hasn’t dropped to Californians level is Washington lacks an income tax, for now. If Washingtonians were to lose their collective minds and allow an income tax the exodus would become a flood.
Twenty-twenty was tough on everyone but, Washington’s governor managed to make it tougher than most. Washington has faced far more restrictive and long-lasting restrictions than the rest of the country along with tighter economic closures, more restrictive social restrictions and permitted schools to avoid their responsibilities to teach. Meanwhile, children suffered from lack of education and socializing. Children who were unable to attend classes have lost from one half to a full year’s education and socialization, suffered greater depression, suicidal thoughts and greater numbers of suicides nationally.
How do, so called, leaders close their eyes to the suffering of their citizens and act like dictators from third world countries? The unfortunate and tragic answer is they are both incompetent and beholden to factions that support and fund them politically. An example is the teacher’s unions. While citizens suffered the loss of income, the disruption of their children not being educated properly, the need for one breadwinner to remain with children and attempt to educate them, all public employees, including school teachers were paid during this painful period. Does this sound fair to you?
As a large portion of the public get vaccinated and metrics improve we should expect relaxing of restrictions and hopefully a return to normalcy. The only thing standing in the way is the autocratic nature of our states governor who has demonstrated a complete ignorance of science and an unwillingness to listen to citizens during this pandemic.
Even after a return to something closer to normal, Washington state will exhibit a multitude of negative factors that will continue to cause our citizens to leave for states with far better governance. The current political leadership has shown no understanding or respect for the states’ citizens as they indulge their appetite for spending without regard to their fiscal responsibility or stewardship of other people’s money.
After COVID Washington State will continue be burdened with incompetent governance, high taxes, restrictive regulations and wild ideological policy priorities. The first and most expensive policy is so-called climate change, otherwise known for eons as weather. We all remember global cooling, followed by a flurry of the end of the world predictions due to global warming a term used to claim that Earth’s average surface temperature was increasing quickly. We now have the more palatable and politically easier to swallow term Climate Change.
In order to convince the pubic that Climate Change was real, politicians gave cash grants to their favored so-called scientists for confirmation. The politicians got what they paid for, as those who received grants obliged, so the public would accept taxes and radical changes to their way of life. This has been happening without “real” scientific proof or political debate.
Welcome to Washington continuing to pick your pocket and enforce life choices on you in the name of an unproven and disputed theory that man has the power to change the course of nature. This is the hubris that only an ignorant, blind politician can embrace, and remember with crisis comes greater power for politicians as we have learned the hard way over the past eleven months.
Are you packing yet?
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.