Some people mistook last week’s musings about Initiative 1366 as a defense of the current tax system. Not quite.
So, about this tax thing.
Some people apparently confused Mr. Wrap’s musings last week about the irony of the passage of Initiative 1366 — in which a handful of state residents endorsed yet again a legislative supermajority for tax increases — as some sort of defense of the current state tax system.
Hoo boy. Well, you asked: Our sales-tax-dominated scheme is ill-devised, unfair, outrageous, immoral, obscene, distasteful, anachronistic, predatory, dysfunctional and borderline criminal (clear enough?). If it gets any more regressive, it’ll be picked as a running mate by Sen. Ted Cruz.
It should be a source of broad embarrassment. In a state harboring a burgeoning cache of insanely rich people, the system places an unconscionable burden on lower and middle-class citizens to maintain the state infrastructure — such as it is — that at least partially enables that wealth.
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Our distaste over the faux populist supermajority nonsense is simple frustration that people can’t see the logic in blowing up the entire system in favor of a scheme in which most people would actually pay less, with a level of state services at least as “good” as today.
Tim Eyman is probably already hard at work on that, yes?
Seriously, Folks: The solution is not to waste time and energy playing Whack-A-Mole with the most regressive tax scheme in the known universe. It is to blow it up and start over, replacing some or all of the sales tax with a blend that includes progressive taxes on capital gains and personal and corporate income, with more of the load carried by top 1-percenters.
Then Again: Granted, pushing the Legislature to do the same here would require getting people to engage in the unimaginably burdensome tasks of conducting minor research, picking a like-minded candidate and bothering to vote. So all of this might be a waste of breath.
Now That We Think About It: It’s clearly easier to just stick with the for-profit Eyman Inc. lather-rinse-repeat cycle of stringing additional trip wires across the wreckage of the antiquated status quo. Bang, bang, bang goes your head against the constitutional wall. How’s that working so far?
Meanwhile, In the Real World: All of this stuff has distracted the world from the truly important News Question of the Week, which is: What the hell has happened to the Nazi Gold Train?
Hey, KUOW: Good luck nagging your listeners for donations during your next pledge drive, with memories still fresh of your plunking down $4.5 million from “cash reserves” to consume and consolidate neighboring public-radio station KPLU, along with its notable news operation. (Will ex-staffers there at least get a free mug?)
About This KeyArena Makeover Proposal: We have to support the wisdom of Mayor Ed Murray, D-Velopment, on this one: In a legal sense, it’s probably best to finish dealing with one duplicitous, conniving arena developer (thanks, Mike McGinn!) before moving on to the next one.
And Finally, A Social-Media Thought: Some years ago, huge numbers of the world’s people began abandoning their work, studies, relationships, and other troubling annoyances to stare, glassy-eyed, for hours at a time at cat videos on a digital bathroom wall known as Facebook. You won’t believe what happened next!