Joel Connelly has a good column in today's Post-Intelligencer, inveighing against Tim Eyman's Initiative 960, the latest legislative straightjacket from the populist tax-cutter. Connelly takes aim at the way I-960 would give one third of the Legislature an effective veto over any increase in taxes and a simple majority of the Legislature a say when any agency wants to raise fees. His point: Eastern Washington grumblers would get to veto increases in ferry fares on the Wet Side, and legislative sessions would degenerate into chaos and protracted stalemates, as in California. All too true. And it gets worse. One good local example of what happens when routine spending matters are put before the voters, rather than left to authorized officials, is Proposition 1, the roads and transit ballot measure this election. The roads portion is the kind of thing the state ordinarily does, using its best judgement about traffic flow and the dollars available in order to widen roads here, put in new off ramps there. But, thanks to Eyman's long shadow, neither party is now willing to raise taxes or back tough decisions. Instead they pass the hot potato to local voters. The result of passing the buck this way is a ballot measure that has to load up on goodies for each and every part of the voting district. The only way to get the vote is to "buy it" in this fashion. Prices go up, unneeded roads get built, powerful local tribal leaders get appeased. In the name of saving money by empowering taxpayers, you end up spending more: the Eyman Paradox. Ironically, Puget Sound legislators went along with this maneuver eight years ago because the old system of road building in the state was also getting out of hand. If you wanted to repair a bridge in Tacoma, for instance, you had to go shopping for enough statewide votes to get it passed the Legislature. That meant building a lot of grand highways in the great vastness of Eastern Washington, driving up the total price of any roads packages. Lawmakers thought they could get around the rural veto by devolving roads funding to an urban district. Not so. The iron law continues to hold: the more you vote, the more you pay.