Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

"Change comes through education, not tax"

Brilliant Town Crier column in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News from our very own Scotty Anderson. Very classy, Scotty, mentioning Don Pelton. I'd love to see some kind of memorial to him on Bishop Blvd. He did as much as anybody to see the growth there happen.

Stay tuned for my response to Mr. Civil Discourse's ludicrous attempt at recreating East Berlin on the Palouse.
Though I am thankful the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the right to keep and bear arms, I am disappointed that it even had to go to the Supreme Court.

There have been many laws that have assaulted the right to keep and bear arms. Many of the laws are advocated by people exercising their First Amendment rights to trample on Second Amendment rights, when it is because of the Second Amendment rights we have been able to secure the First Amendment rights.

When someone thinks back to the time when America was getting organized and people were fighting and dying to make this country work, you can't help but realize some of the issues we face today pale in comparison.

One such issue is a Seattle-like mandatory 20-cent tax added to each and every plastic bag someone uses when shopping at a Pullman-area store. To think that people have enough time on their hands to petition the government to tax its citizens even more is embarrassing when compared to the founding of a nation.

On the other hand, there is a group of individuals who wear a pager day and night ready to drop what they're doing to help someone in need. Sometimes at 3 a.m. these volunteer firefighters are needed to clean up somebody else's tragedy.

Several times a year I see people standing outside of local grocery stores volunteering their time to collect food for the food bank. Others volunteer hundreds of man-hours to put together the Fourth of July celebration at Sunnyside Park.

In their own way all these people are giving up something of their own in order to make our community a better place. In all cases what they give up is time. In some cases these volunteers also give up their own money to help pay for materials or gas to get around. They give up a good night's sleep, and when asked to do it again, they do.

In their own way each of the volunteers is helping to make our community safer, more comfortable, and more fun. Our community is a better place because of these people.

Those petitioning the Pullman City Council to make grocers charge 20 cents per plastic bag used at the store probably think they're helping to make our community a better place.

A recent article in the Daily News mentioned someone seeing 22 plastic bags on College Hill, but there was no mention of an effort to clean them up.

It was suggested that residents start to carry reusable bags and use those instead of plastic bags. No one, however, has volunteered to hand out these shopping bags.

It is argued that we shouldn't view the proposal as elitist, instead we are showing respect and care for our community. But no one is standing in front of the stores to educate people.

It is suggested that we can use the new tax to donate the money to the local food bank or help pay for community improvements.

I would like to see this group of people go to the community and try to change their habits through education. Educating people is better than forcing the government to tax its citizens.

Some people see a need and they volunteer their time, their sleep, and their money to the cause. Others see a need and they want to use the strong arm of government regulation to further the cause.

Why stop at charging for plastic bags? Maybe there should be a tax on glass bottles, aluminum cans, and even "keg" cups. That tax could be used to clean up the broken glass, empty aluminum cans, and keg cups that litter some of the streets in Pullman. This may seem far-fetched, but I would wager targeting plastic bottles is the next item on the list.

Is this group of citizens using Seattle as inspiration? If so, the city of Seattle is no longer buying plastic water bottles. How long until that is proposed in Pullman?

Final thoughts: Don Pelton - the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development is done holding Pullman hostage and Wal-Mart's coming. I wish you were here to see it.

T-85 goes the countdown.

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

Great column Scotty. Thank goodness for American's who remember the freedoms that this great country was founded. Sadly, too many view the American government as a weapon to whip the people back into line. Their defined line, of course.