A challenge to the private ferry monopoly on Lake Chelan, James Courtney v. Jeffrey Goltz, was heard Monday, May 6, in federal appeals court in Seattle. Courtney, whose family owns the Stehekin Valley Ranch, has been trying to start a ferry service between Chelan and Stehekin since the late 1990s, and the state won’t let him. [...]
Banking & Financial Services Issues
Friday night was incredible! As the Legislature in Washington State was winding down its last few days of session, it looked like Republicans and Democrats were stalemated. The Democrats in majority in the House and Senate had finally released their budgets, but passing a responsible budget seemed out of reach. The special session late last year failed to fix the budget deficit, accomplishing little other than taking some easy, popular steps, the low hanging fruit. Despite a modest improvement in the latest estimate of spending and revenue, there was still a shortfall, which both Democratic budgets resolved by using a 25th month scheme, delaying over $400 million in payments from the last month of the 2011-2013 budget to the first month of the next.
When negotiations on the budget reached an impasse in Congress this summer, they came up with a bright idea: a Super Committee. They picked 3 members from each party and each chamber and tasked them with finding a solution to the federal deficit that Congress as a whole could not. As a motivation to find another $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, unpopular cuts to the military and Medicare will kick in if the Super Committee doesnt find agreement. So far, at least, it doesnt appear that the new format has changed the old divide; The Republicans (led by Rep. Jeb Hensarling) are still pushing for all cuts, while the Democrats (led by Sen. Patty Murray) want a mixture of cuts, increased taxes and more stimulus spending.
-Grassroots visit representatives district office urging spending cuts-
SEAVIEWThe Washington State chapter of the free market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity will join a huge coalition of conservative and tea party organizations in a nationwide effort to visit U.S. House Members district offices. The grassroots message this coalition will carry is that representatives must support a balanced budget amendment to U.S. Constitution that has spending caps and a requirement for a supermajority vote to raise taxes.
Even after over 200 years, our Constitution is still a thing of wondrous beauty. The proof of the Constitutions success is, like those truths in the Declaration of Independence, self-evident: America is the wealthiest, most powerful nation on the face of the Earth. Our Founding Fathers constructed a marvelous governing machine, complete with checks and balances, firm prescribed limits, and divergent interests offsetting each other. They realized that this government was to be administered by men, not angels, and planned accordingly. They also realized that over time everything changes, and so incorporated a means to modify the nations guiding document, to amend the Constitution as the need arose.