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Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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Cities balancing budgets with fees

Have you carefully checked your utility bills lately? Most people don’t unless they are monsters like the ones for garbage in Scranton, PA, and Los Angeles. In Vancouver, WA, our garbage and recycling bill now has an added 3.6-percent refuse tax....


North Korean guest workers booted

It’s not good to be a North Korean guest worker these days. As part of stepped-up sanctions against the rogue nation’s accelerated nuclear and ballistic missile development programs, countries around the world are expelling North Koreans. They...


China's Sword Policy cutting deep into recycling

Earlier this month, China launched its “national sword” policy which bans many recyclable materials it traditionally imported. Meanwhile, its upcoming March edict imposing a lower limit on contaminants is having global reverberations. Since the... Full story


Million wreaths across America

Christmas is an especially difficult time for anyone grieving for lost loved ones. It is especially painful for America’s military families whose son, daughter, spouse or parent was killed while serving in uniform. Normally, the fallen are remember...


Washington would benefit from ANWR leasing

For the last two decades, federal legislation allowing oil and gas exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been stymied. Now, it is part of federal tax reform which Congress is likely to approve. Allowing new oil and gas leases...


Rural prosperity essential to Washington

While Seattle is growing rapidly, our rural areas continue to struggle. They don’t have the corporate giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing creating jobs and economic opportunities. Farms are predominantly family-owned. Today, there is a...


Amazon's plan reminiscent of Boeing's Chicago move

Last year, Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates wrote about the similarities and differences between Boeing’s corporate office move to Chicago and Amazon’s plan for a second headquarters. Boeing wanted to leave Seattle in an effort to...


Impact of Hirst Decision must be addressed

In Washington, the legislative stalemate over permitting new household wells and the state’s construction budget has not only delayed needed funding for public projects, but triggered yet another salvo in the wider conflict over future supplies of...


Tax policy changes must be carefully crafted and coordinated

Key tax policies emanating from the east and west coasts are like passenger trains passing one another heading in opposite directions. One train is loaded with elected officials proposing changes to reduce taxes while the other is packed with those...


People coming together is silver lining to Hurricane Harvey

All of the things that went wrong in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 appear to have been corrected with Houston’s recent Hurricane Harvey. Chalk it up to a series of important lessons learned. By now everyone knows that Harvey came...


Taxing robots to slow down worker displacement

Last February, the European Parliament rejected a tax on robots, but took the first steps to regulate their development and deployment. The legislation also aims to establish liability for the actions of robots including self-driving vehicles....


Guinness caught in Brexit border cross-fire

When the Economist Magazine reported the price of a Guinness pint could increase because of Brexit, it grabbed readers’ attention. Brexit is the process whereby Great Britain, including Northern Ireland and Scotland, is withdrawing from the Europea... Full story

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 31, 2017

Texas flush with transportation cash

In the last decade, there has been a highway construction boom in Texas. On the other hand, lawmakers in Olympia still scramble to fund road maintenance. Texas, a state with a population of 27 million, is flush with cash thanks partly to a 10-year... Full story

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 24, 2017

They were proof that cooperation works

Recently, Washington state’s largest environmental, wildlife and natural resources agencies recognized 43 large forest landowners for their “exemplary efforts” to upgrade forest roads and stream crossings which improved salmon habitat and water... Full story

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 17, 2017

America needs more welders, fewer philosophers

“America needs more welders and fewer philosophers,” proclaimed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio during the 2016 presidential campaign. He hit the nail on the head without disrespecting philosophers. Industry News reported in 1988 that there were... Full story


Distractive driving goes beyond the law

Distractive driving goes beyond the law While state lawmakers work to bridge major differences in the budget, they agreed our distractive driving laws need stiffening. Companion bills sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers (R-LaCenter) and Rep. Jessyn Farrell... Full story


Entrepreneurs remain key to America's success

American entrepreneurs’ ability to invent, create and bring products and services to market makes our nation great. Their success generates the tax revenue that fund our schools and puts people to work. Many “big businesses” started in the... Full story


State carbon tax would be harmful

A major hurdle for lawmakers in Olympia working to finish the next two-year state budget and adjourn is the so-called “carbon tax.” However, Gov. Jay Inslee wants a first-ever levy on CO2 emissions. While it targets coal and natural gas power pla... Full story


Washington has lots riding on NAFTA

In 1993, President Bill Clinton was pictured holding a Washington state apple while promoting the virtues of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). That photo only underscored the importance of the agreement and our trade with Mexico and... Full story


Avoiding déjà vu all over again

The late Yogi Berra coined the phrase, “It’s déjà vu all over again!” It is used extensively to describe political miscues. Case in point: ObamaCare. Recently, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel wrote a column describing... Full story


A million Wreaths Across America

Christmas is a difficult time for anyone grieving for lost loved ones. It is especially painful for America’s military families whose son, daughter, spouse or parent was killed while serving in uniform. Normally, the fallen are remembered on Memori... Full story


Cheap gas fueling petrochemical expansion

In Washington, an abundance of low cost, reliable hydropower spurs economic growth. It is a key reason why energy intensive industries locate here. Today, our nation has a profusion of carbon-based energy. Unlike a decade ago when we relied upon... Full story


Take a page from Gerald Ford's playbook

It’s D-Day for American voters. With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump carrying unusually low approval ratings and having a deep antipathy for one another, no matter which one ultimately is elected, the nation will be bitterly polarized. Hopefully,... Full story

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