Resolution Challenging the constitutionality of Initiative 1366

(drafted per request of King County Democrats’ Chair Rich Erwin, for presentation to KCDCC)

WHEREAS Washington voters, on November 3, 2015, narrowly adopted Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1366 (“I-1366”), a ballot measure containing serious flaws that have led to a substantive challenge of its validity under our State Constitution, and that challenge is now pending in King County Superior Court; and

WHEREAS the fundamental purpose of I-1366, as demonstrated by its text, its title (“2/3 Constitutional Amendment”), and its promotional advertising, was and is to initiate amendment of the State Constitution to require (1) either a two-thirds legislative supermajority or a public vote on any measure that “raises taxes,” and (2) legislative approval of any increase in state fees; and

WHEREAS use of an initiative to commence a constitutional amendment process is beyond the scope of the limited legislative power conferred upon the people by Article II, Sec. 1 of our State Constitution; and

WHEREAS Article XXIII of our State Constitution prescribes the sole method for its amendment; namely, by a proposal initiated by a two-thirds vote in each house of the State Legislature and subsequently ratified by a vote of the people; and

WHEREAS I-1366, taken as a whole, would turn that prescribed method on its head by impermissibly initiating a specific mandatory amendment by a vote of the people on I-1366 itself, and

WHEREAS I-1366, by providing for both a sales tax decrease and contingent referral of a constitutional amendment that would require both supermajority approval of any tax increase and legislative approval of any fee increase, violates the State Constitution’s Article II, Sec. 19 “single-subject” requirement in both respects; and

WHEREAS I-1366 is also unconstitutional in constraining the power of our Legislature to act, by requiring it to choose between an unsupportable reduction in taxes needed to support public education, and the unconstitutional submission of a supermajority amendment that would empower a 34% minority to exercise negative control over each and every proposed tax increase; and

WHEREAS our State has already been found in contempt of court for failing to adequately fund public education as required by Article IX of the State Constitution (McCleary v. State, Order dated 9/11/14), and remains in that contumacious status even today (see, e.g., McCleary Order dated 8/13/15); and

WHEREAS any action by the Legislature to reduce present tax collections, or to refer for voter approval a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds legislative supermajority for approval of any tax increase, would exacerbate the State’s present contempt-of-court status; and

WHEREAS a judicial failure to invalidate I-1366 would make our courts complicit in the State’s ongoing unconstitutional failure to adequately fund public education, and thereby undermine their ascription of responsibility to other entities of State government;

THERFEFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we urge our courts, at each and every level, to recognize the unconstitutionality of I-1366 and rule it forthwith null and void.

Originated by Dean Fournier, KCDCC Resolutions Committee

Eyman has it partly right: Lower the sales tax. The rest…needs some work.

The polls may tell us we’re divided on who to vote for, but in our hearts I think we all want similar things: to ensure kids can get a strong start in life, to have a college degree or a professional trade to be within everyone’s reach, to have clean and safe places to play; and to live in safe and vibrant neighborhoods.

A good public budget plans for today’s priorities, for future needs, and for the unexpected — and taxes allow a community to pay for the public goods and services for which it has planned.

The latest Eyman Initiative, I-1366 (which just squeaked by with a 51% yes vote) could threaten all of that — but only if we let it. I-1366 says the Legislature has to either reduce the sales tax rate by one penny — which would, over the next 6 years alone, cut $8 billion from K-12 and higher education, mental health services, foster care and more — or vote to put a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot that would give a super-super minority of 17 out of 147 legislators the power to effectively stop any future tax reform, including closing corporate tax loopholes.

There are four ways our elected leaders can respond. Only one really has any hope of helping:

  • The Legislature can do nothing and hope that the state Supreme Court finds I-1366 unconstitutional. That is a hope, not a certainty.
  • The Legislature could vote to repeal the initiative, but that takes a two-thirds vote of both houses, which is unlikely given the prolonged partisan showdown over the budget this past year.
  • The Legislature could vote to put the undemocratic constitutional amendment proposed by I-1366 on the ballot, but again, that takes two-thirds vote of both houses. Unlikely at best.
  • The fourth option is to do Eyman one better, and double the sales tax decrease proposed in I-1366. Here’s why — and how.

Washington’s sales tax hits low- and middle-income people much harder than the wealthy, because people with less money have to spend more of it on the basics. Low income families contribute $1 out of every $8 they make for sales and excise taxes. Middle class families contribute $1 for every $13. The top 1 percent of families, those receiving more than a half-million dollars a year, contribute $1 for every $63 they receive. Under this system, cutting the sales tax is a big help for middle class and working class family finances … if that money is replaced with new revenues to fund the public services on which we all depend.

WA taxes 2015 ITEP

On the other hand, if we reduce the sales tax without a new source of revenue we can forget about reducing tuition at our colleges or reducing class sizes in our elementary schools. The only way we can pay for shared priorities like education, health care, stamping out forest fires, and public parks is if that money is replaced … and more.

So, let’s take a lesson from our neighbors in Idaho and Oregon and forty-three other states where people who receive more, pay more in taxes toward our community priorities — so all of us can have access to these public goods now and in the future. That is called an income tax!

Here is a dead-simple way to do it: the Legislature entirely exempts the first $50,000 of income from taxation, then the tax steps up the income ladder, so the effective tax rate is zero for families at $50,000, 2 percent for families at $100,000 ($2,000 in taxes), 5 percent for $500,000 of income, and 10 percent for a million dollars or more of income.

Washington has a lot more wealthy people than most other states. They just don’t pay their fare share of taxes. This progressive income tax would fix that and bring in $7.5 billion a year. Combined with a 2-cent sales tax decrease, as opposed to Eyman’s 1 penny, and legislators will have lowered taxes on three out of four households in our state — and still meet our government’s duty to fund the foundations of economic opportunity and a prosperous economy.

A bold legislature would take advantage of Initiative 1366 to pass this tax reform to benefit all of our citizens. But will they be bold?

Originally published at EOIOnline

What's wrong with Washington State voters? And how can we educate them?

Washington State voters approved Tim Eyman’s latest initiative I-1366 by 51.5% to 48.5% (http://results.vote.wa.gov/results/current/State-Measures-Initiative-Measure-No-1366-concerns-state-taxes-and-fees.html).

How many of them realized that the initiative makes it very difficult to eliminate tax loopholes (“preferences”) for special interests?

How many of them realized that the state is under court order to find billions of additional dollars to fund education?

Even the Seattle Times recommended voting against I-1366.

There were four (non-binding) advisory votes on the ballot this year. These measures asked the voters whether they wanted to Maintain or Repeal fee increases and tax-preference repeals passed by the legislature. Voters advised maintaining two of the measures; they advised rejecting the other two.

Did the voters who voted to repeal Senate Bill 6138 know what they were voting about?

SB 6138 was sponsored by Republican Senator Andy Hill, the head budget negotiator for the Republicans. In the GOP-controlled Senate, SB 6138 passed with 35 yays, 10 nays, and 4 excused. In the state House 60 representatives voted for SB 6138; 38 representatives voted against it. But voters overwhelmingly voted to continue the tax preference.

According to the Seattle Times, HB 6138 repealed a tax break for Microsoft.

In the next two years, the change will boost Microsoft’s state tax bill by $57 million, the state estimates. Over four years, the company will pay an additional $128 million.

That’s pocket change for a company that reported revenue of nearly $87 billion and profit of $22 billion in fiscal year 2014. But it was among the largest tax exemptions closed by state lawmakers this year — and the only one that singled out one corporation.

While Microsoft executives have pushed the state to better fund its transportation and education systems, the company has at times been slammed by critics who point to its efforts to lower its tax burden — including by shifting its software-licensing unit to Nevada in the 1990s.

GeekWire confirms that SB 6138 repeals a Microsoft tax break.

So, why did a large majority of voters opine that the tax break should be re-instated?  Are they so eager to aid Microsoft and starve the state of money?

Part of the reason is probably the language that appeared on the ballot, due to Eyman’s I-960:

2015 WA Ballot Advisory votes

The language in the ballot suggests that the bills cost the citizens money. In fact, the bills  helped most citizens by eliminating special-interest tax breaks. Indeed, Tim Eyman’s “advisory votes” are really costly, deceptive, and unconstitutional push polls.

The voters are clearly voting against their own self-interest and need to be better educated about the issues.

Perhaps many voters hate or mistrust government and believe the right wing talking points about government being wasteful and harmful.

Yet the voters are correct to be angry about the high sales tax rate in Washington State. The sales tax would be lower if the tax system were fairer. But voters rejected an income tax in 2010 (I-1098), not understanding that the sales tax is worse for them.

Only seven states lack a state income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

California voters have given up their anti-tax mentality. Washington voters haven’t.

Of course, part of the problem is low voter turnout. But is there any evidence that the non-voting public would vote more reasonably than the voting public? Angry voters are more likely to vote, and since most citizens are uninformed about the unfairness of our tax system, most citizens aren’t angry enough — or are angry at the wrong institutions and people.

Republicans now control the state Senate. This year the Democrats lost another House seat (the 30th LD in Federal Way) and have just a 50 to 48 majority there.   Partly, this is a nationwide phenomenon. Republicans control a huge majority of legislatures and governorships.

Democrats will continue losing elections — and harmful initiatives like I-1366 will continue to pass — until the (Democratic) political establishment in Washington State stops wimping out and begins loudly educating the voters about how our regressive tax system unfairly favors the well-to-do and about why we need strong government.

Maybe Bernie Sanders will help educate the voters.

Neither Governor Gregoire nor Governor Inslee has spoken out loudly about the issue. It’s understandable that Inslee is silent on the issue, since he’s worried about next year’s election. But why don’t ex-governors Gregoire, Locke, and Lowry speak up about it, along with civic leaders such as Bill Gates, Senior? And what about the many other retired politicians?

Let's use I-732 (revenue-neutral carbon tax swap) to beat I-1366 (Eyman's 2/3 super-majority blackmail)

There’s a simple way to beat Tim Eyman and his initiative I-1366. At the same time we’ll help the environment, and, optionally, raise revenue to fund schools.  And we can even do it in a revenue-neutral way, thereby making it palatable to Republicans.

By way of background, recall that if I-1366 passes — and early returns suggest that it will — one of three things must happen.

  1. The legislature must put before Washington State voters a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 super-majority of legislators in both the state House and the state Senate (or a majority of voters) to approve any tax increase or reduction in tax breaks; or
  2. The state sales tax must be lowered from 6.5% to 5.5%; or
  3. The state Supreme Court will have to rule that I-1366 is unconstitutional.

But I say there’s a simple solution to this problem, even if the State Supreme Court fails to rule I-1366 to be unconstitutional.

Let’s go ahead and lower the sales tax 1% but at the same raise taxes on carbon, capital gains, and/or income to make up the loss.

The tax on carbon will be similar to the effect of I-732 being (successfully) pushed by CarbonWA. One difference is that I-732’s tax would be revenue-neutral, whereas the current proposal allows, but doesn’t necessitate, revenue neutrality.

Because I-732 apparently has enough signatures to succeed, and because I-732 is an initiative to the legislature, the legislature will need to decide next year whether to impose a revenue-neutral tax on carbon. If they fail to act, a measure will appear on the ballot in 2016 to raise tax on carbon and lower the sales tax and the B&O tax in a revenue-neutral way. My point is: the legislature can use I-732 (or something similar) to neutralize I-1366.

But in addition to raising tax on carbon, we should raise taxes on capital gains and/or on income (with the first, say, $50,000 of income exempt from tax). These taxes would make Washington State’s tax system more fair and progressive. They’d lower tax on most people. After all, our state is said to have the most regressive tax system in the nation.

The voters are correct to be angry about high taxes! Most people are over-paying. What most people don’t understand is the reason their taxes are too high: because our tax system is regressive.

The net result of this proposal is that we’d satisfy the words of I-1366 — we’d lower the sales tax by 1%. But what’s great is that we’d also lower taxes on most people, help save the environment, and make our tax system more progressive.

Even if the tax shift is revenue-neutral — and that would be easier to pass in the legislature — the change will be a big win.

So, there should be no need to be afraid of I-1366 — if the legislature has the guts to do the right thing and if the people of Washington can be educated about what’s in their own self-interest.

The key is just that: educating the public. Will our political leaders show some leadership and help educate the citizens? And will we activists build an effective movement to help this happen? Until we educate the public on this issue, we will continue losing elections and initiatives.

I admit that Republicans in the legislature are unlikely to be reasonable about raising an income tax or capital gains tax. Most of them would be OK with public education failing and with homeless and sick people languishing on the streets. Conservatives will argue that the legislature mustn’t dare go against the will of the voters, who say by their votes that they do not want additional revenue. I have two answers to this.

First, if we make the change revenue-neutral, then the Republicans may agree. As CarbonWA has shown, many conservatives will agree to a revenue-neutral tax shift (for example, More and more conservative thinkers want to tax carbon. Will politicians and activists follow? and Why We Support a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax). In fact, many lefty groups are opposed to I-732 because of its revenue-neutrality and because it was designed in consultation with people from the conservative Washington Policy Center. (See Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, Carbon-tax initiative divides environmentalists, and Why I decline to sign I-732).

Second, the voters are voting against their own self-interest and need to be educated as to why the current tax system is unfair and inadequate.

But we can beat I-1366 without raising revenue.

Stop voting against your own self-interest

Republicans raised taxes on the poor and the middle class

Governor Inslee on our unfair, regressive tax system

Note: This article was previously published under the name Hell, yeah! Let’s lower the sales tax 1% — and raise taxes on carbon, capital gains and/or income.

Hell, yeah! Let's lower the sales tax 1% — and raise taxes on carbon, capital gains and/or income

There’s a simple way to beat Tim Eyman and his initiative I-1366.  At the same time we’ll lower taxes on most people, help the environment, and, optionally, raise revenue to fund schools. We can even do it in a revenue-neutral way, thereby making it palatable to some Republicans.

In short,  Let’s use I-732 (revenue-neutral carbon tax swap) or something similar to beat I-1366 (Eyman’s 2/3 super-majority blackmail).

By way of background, recall that if I-1366 passes — and early returns suggest that it will — one of three things must happen.

  1. The legislature must put before Washington State voters a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 super-majority of legislators in both the state House and the state Senate (or a majority of voters) to approve any tax increase or reduction in tax breaks; or
  2. The state sales tax must be lowered from 6.5% to 5.5%; or
  3. The state Supreme Court will have to rule that I-1366 is unconstitutional.

But I say there’s a simple solution to this problem, even if the State Supreme Court fails to rule I-1366 to be unconstitutional.

Let’s go ahead and lower the sales tax 1% but at the same raise taxes on carbon, capital gains, and/or income to make up the loss.

The tax on carbon will be similar to the effect of I-732 being (successfully) pushed by CarbonWA. One difference is that I-732’s tax would be revenue-neutral, whereas the current proposal allows, but doesn’t necessitate, revenue neutrality.

Because I-732 apparently has enough signatures to succeed, and because I-732 is an initiative to the legislature, the legislature will need to decide next year whether to impose a revenue-neutral tax on carbon. If they fail to act, a measure will appear on the ballot in 2016 to raise tax on carbon and lower the sales tax and the B&O tax in a revenue-neutral way.  My point is:  the legislature can use a bill similar to I-732 to neutralize I-1366.

But in addition to raising tax on carbon, we should raise taxes on capital gains and/or on income (with the first, say, $50,000 of income exempt from tax).  These taxes would make Washington State’s tax system more fair and progressive.  They’d lower tax on most people.  After all, our state is said to have the most regressive tax system in the nation.

And we mustn’t forget all the special-interest tax breaks that should be eliminated as well.

The voters are correct to be angry about high taxes! Most people are over-paying. What most people don’t understand is the reason their taxes are too high: because our tax system is regressive.

The net result of this proposal is that we’d satisfy the words of I-1366 — we’d lower the sales tax by 1%.   But what’s great is that we’d also lower taxes on most people, help save the environment, and make our tax system more progressive.

Even if the tax shift is revenue-neutral — and that would be easier to pass in the legislature — the change will be a big win.

So, there should be no need to be afraid of I-1366 — if the legislature has the guts to do the right thing and if the people of Washington can be educated about what’s in their own self-interest.

The key is just that: educating the public.  Will our political leaders show some leadership and help educate the citizens?  And will we activists build an effective movement to help this happen? Until we educate the public on this issue, we will continue losing elections and initiatives.

I admit that Republicans in the legislature are unlikely to be reasonable about raising an income tax or capital gains tax. Most of them would be OK with public education failing and with homeless and sick people languishing on the streets. Conservatives will argue that the legislature mustn’t dare go against the will of the voters, who say by their votes that they do not want additional revenue. I have two answers to this.

First, if we make the change revenue-neutral, then the Republicans may agree. As CarbonWA has shown, many conservatives will agree to a revenue-neutral tax shift (for example, More and more conservative thinkers want to tax carbon. Will politicians and activists follow? and Why We Support a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax). In fact, many lefty groups are opposed to I-732 because of its revenue-neutrality and because it was designed in consultation with people from the conservative Washington Policy Center. (See Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, Carbon-tax initiative divides environmentalists, and Why I decline to sign I-732.)

Second, the voters are voting against their own self-interest and need to be educated as to why the current tax system is unfair and inadequate.

But we can beat I-1366 without raising revenue.

Stop voting against your own self-interest

I vote for Tim Eyman initiatives because I love preserving special interest tax breaks

Republicans raised taxes on the poor and the middle class

Governor Inslee on our unfair, regressive tax system

Tim Eyman is Half Correct

Tim Eyman is half correct: let’s lower the sales tax by 1%.  The sales tax is regressive and is too too high.

But in addition, let’s establish a progressive income tax, capital gains tax, and/or Wall Street transaction tax, to restore fairness to our regressive tax system.

After all, the Republicans raised taxes on the poor and the middle class when they raised the regressive gas tax. But they protected the unfairly low taxes that the rich enjoy. We have too much Socialism in America: Socialism for the rich.

In short, the Republican mantra about wanting to keep taxes low is a hypocritical lie. We progressives would lower taxes for most people and restore fairness to our tax system.

 

Eyman’s I-1366 is a Con Job on Most Washington State Taxpayers

Washington State has a tax problem but it is not one Eyman’s Initiative 1366 will help. Requiring a 2/3 vote by Legislators to raise taxes would make Washington’s tax situation worse and would put special interests, the wealthy and corporations in charge of  running Washington State by giving them the ability to dictate our tax structure by having to only control the votes from 1/3 of the members of either the House or the Senate.

No longer would a majority or even up to 66% of Washington Legislators be able to decide how we would fund state services like educating our children. Seventeen State Senators out of 49 or 33 House Member out of 98 would  be able to overrule a majority in both Houses.

The problem is that requiring a 2/3 vote to raise taxes is a con job by those benefiting most – corporations and the very wealthy. Those less well off are paying the greatest proportion of their income in taxes – the rich pay much less -that’s why we are labeled the most regressive tax state in the nation.

From Mother Jones

“The nation’s most regressive tax code belongs to Washington, a state that was ranked by The Hill last year as the bluest in the country based on its voting patterns and Democratic dominance. The poorest 20 percent of Washingtonians pay an effective state tax rate of 16.8 percent, while the wealthiest 1 percent effectively pay just 2.4 percent of their income in taxes.

There’s a clear explanation for that: Washington has no income tax and thus heavily relies on a sales tax that disproportionately affects the poor. What’s harder to grasp is why Washington’s liberals put up with it.”

The 2/3 vote prevents repealing tax loopholes that are giveaways to special interests like oil companies. It prevents even revenue neutral tax reform to make our taxes less regressive because any increase in a tax, even if revenue neutral, requires a 2/3 vote.

And ever since I-601 in 1993 the Legislature has, except for a few years, had the 2/3 requirement as state law. When it was ruled unconstitutional in 2013 by the Washington State Supreme Court, Republicans controlled the Senate preventing even a majority vote to make changes.

Big oil companies like BP and Conoco Phillips gave Eyman money to support the 2/3 vote in the past – not to help low income folks with their taxes but to prevent the legislature increasing a tax on cleaning up toxic substances like oil spills. The 2/3 vote requirement would allow 1/3 of the Legislators in one House to block any tax increase. That is why it is a con game. It would transfer the cleanup costs to taxpayers.

Do not sign I-1366.  If it gets on the ballot because Eyman is using paid signature gathers paid for by a few wealthy contributors like developer Clyde Holland and Kemper Freeman who owns Bellevue Square, vote NO!

Libertarian Eyman Continues Anti-Tax Rant with 2014 Initiative to Cut State Funding by $1 Billiion/yr

Eyman’s 2014 Initiative 1325 is a rehash of Eyman’s previous unconstitutional 2/3 voting requirement initiatives imposed on  the Washington State Legislature to try to prevent them from raising revenue.  The Washington State Supreme Court in 2013  ruled that his previous initiatives requiring a 2/3 vote were unconstitutional.  The Court said the only way they would be valid would be if the 2/3 requirement were passed as a Constitutional Amendment.

His latest proposal, I-1325, asks voters to agree to cutting the state component of the sales tax, from 6.5 cents to 5.5 cents, if the state legislature does not put a constitutional amendment for a 2/3 vote requirement on the ballot for people to vote on. The 6.5 cents to 5.5 cents is equal to a 15.4% reduction in sales tax revenue to the state.  This would reduce the state revenue from the sales tax by 1 billion dollars a year!

This would completely wipe out the State Legislature’s Budget increase of $1 billion as a down payment on meeting the mandate of the Washington State Supreme Court under the McCleary decision to fulfill the requirements of the Washington State Constitution to fully fund public k-12 education.  The current estimate is that by 2017 the Washington State Legislature will have to come up with over $4 billion dollars to do this.

Fortunately in Washington State you can not pass a constitutional amendment by initiative as some states can. To place a constitutional amendment on the ballot you need to get 2/3 of the Legislators in both houses to vote to do so.  And that is almost impossible to do as you only need 1/3 of the Legislators to oppose it to stop it being placed on the ballot. Note the irony here that the very system Eyman is proposing to require to raise taxes – namely a 2/3 vote of the legislators, is the same thing he is not able to get 2/3 of the Legislators to do   – to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

So Eyman, who seems to be channeling Ted Cruz and the Tea Party, has decided to repeat the same failed coercive, extortionist style tactics that failed so miserably for the Republicans last year in the US Congress when they decided to shut down the Government until they got what they wanted. They failed and are still suffering the public backlash.

Tim Eyman makes his living promoting anti-tax, anti government initiatives in Washington State. For over 10 years he has been filing numerous initiatives, usually getting one on the ballot every year.  In 2014 he has again already filed five measures and has said he is going to collect signatures on  Initiative 1325. Whether he has a sugar daddy this year to pay for the signatures remains to be seen but regardless it is not too early to discuss why I-1325 would be bad for Washington State.

Eyman’s initiatives are never about really solving problems, but are driven by the libertarian philosophy that the lower taxes are the better and the smaller the government is the better.Unfortunately this is not going to provide the funding needed to run our state. It’s like your car needs repair and rather than fixing it, you say your not going to spend any money because you don’t like paying car repair people to fix your car.So you just keep driving it until it breaks down or you get in an accident.  No one like paying taxes but they are the price to have public services, like roads and schools and libraries and police and fire. We can either have a society where we all work together for the common good or we can vote for Tim Eyman’s measures where it’s everyone for himself or herself and tough luck if you can’t make it.

Two thirds votes run counter to basic democracy and working for the common good.  Rather than have a majority of legislators decide an issue like raising taxes instead it lets one third of the Legislators in one House make the decision.  If they oppose raising revenue it takes only 17 Senators out of 49 Senators and 98 Representatives to vote no and their side prevails.  It allows a minority vote to decide.  The minority vote overrules the majority vote.

Who would support a constitutional amendment to allow a third of Legislators to pass legislation?. Yet Eyman’s proposal would allow a third of Legislators in one House to prevent legislation being passed, even if a majority of Legislators support it..

And it would allow a third of Legislators in one House to prevent repeal of tax exemptions that no longer work or are just tax loopholes not providing benefit to the state. Yet it only  took a simple majority vote to enact them.  This 2/3 constitutional amendment proposal is basically a tax loophole protection amendment – benefiting special interests like big corporations and BP Oil and Conoco Phillips and the Beer Institute who supported Eyman in the past who have a loophole but making it impossible to repeal them in the future. That’s because Eyman defines repealing a tax loophole as a tax increase.

This is a bad policy proposal and Washington State voters need to not sign I-1325 or support it in any other way.