In an Election Year Everybody's Got a Touch of Republican

Read his lips: no new taxes. Probably.
Despite making a big deal about Susan Hutchison's secret Republicanness, Dow Constantine and the rest of the King County Executive candidates aren't exactly champing at the bit to hike taxes to pay for beloved social programs either.

Yesterday King County Executive Kurt Triplett (Sims' replacement, in case you somehow missed that) floated the idea of upping property or sales taxes, most likely the latter. His proposal comes at a time when the county is considering slashing budgets for public health and safety departments on the heels of last years' painful cuts.

But Triplett's getting no support from the people running for his job.

According to the Seattle Times, Larry Phillips flat rejected the idea and Dow Constantine (who has been the most actively pushing Hutchisons' party affiliation to the fore) gave it a more tepid, but skeptical, response. Today Ross Hunter issued a release saying that Triplett's proposal just goes to show how badly the whole budget situation has been managed by the County and everyone involved therein (i.e. Phillips and Constantine). "Both the Executive's office and the Council have been asleep at the wheel," he says in the release.

No word from Fred Jarrett, but as a former Republican who's been talking up the importance of making government more efficient, it's hard to see him supporting a tax increase. Technically this isn't a straight Democrat or Republican issue. Raising the sales tax in particular places a much higher burden as a percentage of income on people at the low end of the pay scale.

It's a little bit comparing apples and oranges, but Constantine in particular finds himself in an interesting position after he attacked Hutchison's call for lower business taxes (a tax the county doesn't control anyway) as obviously Republican. In this tough economy, turns out he's not exactly excited about doing something traditionally Democratic like raising anybody's taxes to pay for public health.

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