Seattle Super Cynics


In yesterday's election, Seattle voters turned down the dreaded "latte tax" and apparently told police that going after pot smokers should be the fuzz's "lowest priority."

Details here.


NEXT: Food Fight

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Looks like the good guys won a second time. First in Alabama where they rejected a $1.2 billion tax increase by a two-to-one margin and now in Seattle.

    Supporters of any of the Ten Pin Presidential Wannabes who are thinking about raising taxes rather than cutting federal spending take notice.

  2. I voted no on the latte tax and yes on the pot priority. However, I was a bit conflicted on the pot priority initiative. I am all in favor of the message, but the initiative calls for the creation of an 11 member oversight panel to both ensure that a pot bust was indeed a low priority bust and to study pots roll in law enforcement overall. The initiative fails to address how this panel will be paid for and it certainly doesn’t plan on taxing espresso as a resource!

    As a side note, I was overwhelmingly convinced to vote for the pot initiative once John Walters came to town. His scathing words describing both the campaign creators, supporters and the city overall was very insultive. Our city might have its issues, may seem wacky at times to many hardcore conservatives, but its our city with our problems and we don’t need some chump coming from Washington DC and offensively criticizing what we do and how we do it. Seattle is no different from any other metropolitan area and many of our problems are shared in those areas, too.

  3. PLC:
    We have had tax increases “for the children.” Unfortunately, those resources always get reallocated to another need. If the latte tax passed, how long before its reallocated and another tax increase proposal go’s forward “for the children?” And we don’t hate children, just other peoples children!

  4. JSM – I used to live in Seattle (Queen Anne) and I still own some property on Capital Hill and in the U. District, so I’m not speaking out of ignorance. I left Seattle when my wife and I decided to have children.

    I’ve travelled to every state in the US and I’ve never seen any place as hostile to children as the city of Seattle. There are many people living in the city who simply hate children and hate those that produce them…

    In most of the conversations I heard regarding the latte tax, the position espoused by the extreme liberal side was that there were too many children in the world and that we shouldn’t have to subsidize an immoral decision to produce more children.

  5. Not to get personal, but maybe it’s just your kids they don’t like.

  6. We have had tax increases “for the children.” Unfortunately, those resources always get reallocated to another need. If the latte tax passed, how long before its reallocated and another tax increase proposal go’s forward “for the children?”

    I agree and moreover most ?education? spending is spent on the people who most benefit from government education programs ? the people who work for and in the education industry. This tax would probably be nothing more than a transfer of wealth from *some* coffee drinkers to the teacher?s union. All in the name of ?the children? of course.

  7. Between the WA state constitution and various “tax protest” iniatives – there are very few ways left in Seattle to raise public funds.

    The people who got this on the ballot were well-meaning but they came off in the public debates like total doofuses. They never really stood up and proved that there was a need.

    LA pities Seattle?

    Excuse me, who still has the personal liberty to get a lap dance?

  8. You know, a dime is a measly amount of money. Although I would fight like hell to keep the latte tax from being imposed, I would certainly drop a dime in a donation collection slot at the Starbucks, as long as I knew the money would go to the right people and do some good.

    Perhaps Seattle people should take the libertarian momentum and run with it: now that the city has upheld principle, give the people the opportunity to honor their hearts. Why don’t the coffee shop owners establish something I’ll call “The Latte League,” a foundation dedicated to helping children in the same ways as the latte tax would have (but hopefully, more effectively than it would have)? Every shop could put out a poster-card attached to a transparent latte travel mug that has a slot in the top for coins. They could send a check for the proceeds to The Latte League, which could in turn disburse funds to the needy and worthy based on the accumulation of donations.

    How hard could that be? And wouldn’t it be that much more demonstrative of Seattle’s regard for kids, not to mention its disdain for out-of-control government?

    The kids could win through the good work of the League, the coffee shop owners could show themselves to be good guys, Seattle residents could show themselves to be concerned for kids, and the credibility of government involvement in this area of activity would suffer another well-deserved rebuke. What more could a libertarian want?

    Just a thought.

  9. Money is fungible. There is no such thing as a tax “for the children.” Every tax is “for the general fund.”

  10. Maybe this is the beginning of the Amsterdamizing of Seattle with joints and pot-brownies available at the coffee houses.

    Starbucks could become StarBuzz.

  11. Maybe this is the beginning of the Amsterdamizing of Seattle with joints and pot-brownies available at the coffee houses.

    Starbucks could become StarBuzz.

  12. James Merrit:

    You’re almost there, dude.

    Here’s what they SHOULD do. Allow coffee-houses to sell weed. Tax the weed. Solve all Seattle’s social problems in under a year and use the rest of the money to civilize barren, deserted eastern Washinton state.

  13. I live in eastern WA and I want it left uncivilized and deserted. As for being barren, the parts that are irrigated are very productive.

    But I’ll go along with the rest of what you propose.

  14. C – how is taxing weed going to solve Seattle’s social problems? Seattle doesn’t exactly lack financial resources right now, after all, we are building the most expensive train in the world and we just built the most expensive stadium. There’s plenty of money in Seattle, but plenty more incompetence, graft, and corruption.

  15. Hey, I thought Tom Skerrit told that guy Campbell Scott that they weren’t going to build commuter rail in Seattle?

    Oh well.

  16. Donut,

    They aren’t builing a “commuter rail.” At an open meeting 2 years ago, the city council was forced to admit that the train would do nothing to ease commuter congestion. It’s really just a “kickback rail.”

  17. PLC,

    I salute you for realizing that raising children in an environment that seems child-friendly (i.e., un-Seattlish) is a liberty you enjoy…and elected to exercise.

    What exactly is wrong with disliking children, and what precisely does that have to do with the initiative? I’m trying to find the reason in your position, but as a thirstysomething man who doesn’t have children and doesn’t want to have children, I take personal pleasure from being able to volunteer my time or monies to children’s causes without society requiring me to do so.

    Even if we grant, per Charles Murray, that education is a public good and therefore requires government involvement [said with great caution], how, by even the most liberal standards, does that extend to “high-quality pre-kindergarten,” to quote John Burbank?

  18. I’m surprised you didn’t pat us on the back for having our priorities in order. Maybe it’s the proximity to Canada?

  19. Way to go Seattle!


  20. What cheek! First they shirk their responsibility to the children by refusing to accept a need tax, then these scofflaws tell the state they should protect them from themselves? What is this world coming to?

  21. Congratulations to Seattle. This vote helps confirm one of my own personal rules: “Don’t mess with creature comforts,” such as coffee (even to promote a “good cause”!). Talk about your third rails of politics!

    I am also encouraged by pot priority vote. I wonder if this will start a habit of asking law enforcement officers in court, “didn’t you have anything more important to do?” Somebody could probably compile a fairly entertaining and popular book out of the answers to THAT one.

  22. the ugly right wing as stuck again!

    millions of children will starve!

  23. From a Seattle-PI article on the last census:

    “Equally striking is where babies are not. Seattle has the lowest percentage of children of any large city in the nation except San Francisco. Just 2 percent of its residents are babies. And in some parts of Belltown, Pioneer Square, the University District and Capitol Hill, there are virtually no children.”

    The reason is simple. Seattle is as far left as any city in the country, after San Fransisco. Leftists HATE children. As each of us is supposed to guiltily slink through life as a net negative, those with children are doubly to blame for the world’s evils.

  24. “Solve all Seattle’s social problems in under a year ”

    If it’s my job to stamp out illiteracy, and I do just that, then I’ve just put myself out of business.

    When are people going to realize there’s no money in solving social problems. The money is in making it look like you’re solving them but not really doing anything about them. Take the money (read: salaries, purchases, etc.) out of the equations, and I’ll bet social problems shrink pretty quickly.

    There’s a taxpayer born every minute.

  25. i’m not saying i don’t believe anyone, but i find it a little hard to swallow that there are cities one could describe as child-hostile and not be referring to violence or danger.

  26. JDM: Then how is that the majority of teachers are labeled as liberal? I see it suggested on Reason quite often, as well as other sources.

    Futhermore, Arnold Schwarznegger (SP?) gets heat for his after school proposition when he is trying to appease his republican base.

    In addition, could it be that many liberals might seem upset when their liberal activities get restricted or prohibited “for the children?”

    And what about all these liberal universities our children head off to each fall?

    I think liberals have done more for children in raising taxes to support their needs. Bush likes to take credit for his “no child left behind” program but likes it kept hush hush about not putting the money into it like he said he would loud in clear in the first place. Maybe Bush and Neocons are equally hostile to children.

  27. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/20/2004 12:22:39
    Truth is not determined by majority vote

  28. EMAIL:
    DATE: 05/20/2004 07:01:33
    The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.