Washington State's flat (and fair) taxes must also explain our low unemployment and high growth too then.


1 - And Texas too. Tennessee is one of, if not the healthiest state (financially - yes they're fat) in the country. They have so much money they instituted free cc tuition years ago. Just got back from there last week. Roads were basically all new. Chattanooga wasn't as nice as I had hoped, but Knoxville was great.


Sounds like WA needs some tax cuts for everyone.


Lovin' that Katie Herzog tweet. I went to that Slate piece she linked to, by one Tori Truscheit (rhymes with bull-shite), and wow, that is such an inflammatory, prejudiced, "identitarian" piece, it's like someone deliberately tried to satirize what it would be like if #MeToo jumped the shark. I immediately had to ask, is Tori Truscheit a real person who sincerely holds those opinions? Cursory evidence says yes.

If I were Brad Parscale, the manager of the Trump 2020 reelection campaign, I make sure every American voter reads that piece. That's sheer gold. It's hard to have a rational debate about economic policy when you've just been distracted by the coming gender war against white males.


“Washington has the most unfair state and local tax system in the country.” The poorest residents in Washington pay 17.8 percent of their income in taxes, whereas the wealthiest pay 3 percent.

And does The Stranger take ANY responsibility for pushing for every single regressive tax proposed by the city or sate? You have NEVER opposed any regressive tax increase. You are the problem.


It's a damn shame those hunters weren't pulverized into the ground.


@6 It was part of a legal cull necessary to keep elephant populations from overpopulating and destroying themselves.

Standard conservation practice, paid for in part through hunting licenses, unless you think they should hug the elephants first and then put them to sleep like your sick puppy.

Pretty to watch? No, but enjoy your burger tonight anyway.


@5 I recall them pushing pretty hard for every income and wealth tax that's been proposed. Sadly those are few and far between, and have not been terribly popular state-wide.



Also against state constitution.


@8 Shame the income tax is both hugely unpopular in Washington State (I1098 went down faster and harder than the Titanic) and been repeatedly ruled unconstitutional. For 80 years the WA state Supreme Court has ruled that income is property and that a graduated income tax is unconstitutional. Local governments only have taxing authority by grant of legislative approval. Finally, state law prohibits a local government from imposing a tax on net income. These three facts demonstrate that without a constitutional amendment and express legislative approval, a graduated income tax is illegal at the local level.

"Not only has the Legislature not granted municipalities the authority to impose an income tax, lawmakers have passed a law expressly forbidding this type of tax. Per RCW 36.65.030: “Tax on net income prohibited. A county, city, or city-county shall not levy a tax on net income." Though the phrase “net income” is used, the legislative history of this law makes it clear the Legislature was focused on prohibiting any type of local income tax."

"According to the Washington State Supreme Court (1951): “It is no longer subject to question in this court that income is property.” This common-sense finding that income is property is important because this means an income tax would need to follow the constitutional restrictions for property taxes. This means, as the state Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled, that a graduated income tax is unconstitutional since property must be taxed uniformly and at no more than one percent of its value."

So go back and rewrite the constitution then come back to us with your idea.


People who get a boner from killing an animal should probably be put down themselves. It's one thing to kill an animal out of mercy or for population control, but to get a hard on from doing so is creepy.


@11 How is that different from getting pleasure from eating a good steak?


okay #1 wait a second. What you wrote is awesome in a bumper-sticlery sort of way, but what is "too then" to which you refer? All that little news item reported was that WA is thhe most tax regressive state in the US. Also, all the links said only that as well.

So literally you are saying: WA's regressive taxation explains WA's regressive taxation, and so also must explain unemployment and economic growth being better than average. That's some silly logic! I could put anything in the second half of your figure and it would be equally flawed as a logical construct.

Also WA State's unemployment rate is by a sincerely conservative estimate 1/2 point higher than the national average. One could credibly argue 3/4's. So you're flat wrong there.

We have the nations highest economic growth yes. But relatively high unemployment compared to the national average. Which probably means that our type of economy leaves the people at the bottom behind. Which vibes with the sentiment of the articles outlining our regressive tax system, the poorer you are the less proportional benefit in our economy, and the highest proportional tax rate. That doesn's seem to me like something to be celebrated, but hey, maybe I just don't know how to party.

Also in the category of flat wrong, "Washington State's flat taxes"? Look, I know you aren't illiterate, because you appear to have written something. But supposedly you just read two perfectly credible sources citing perfectly credible neutral data that shows that our tax system is the most regressive in the US? How the fuck do you get from there to "flat taxes." Neither of those are squishy terms - flat and regressive mean precise and very easy to understand things. Here's a helpful analogy. You've got your finger up your nose right now. Is your fat dog seeing a whole finger poised at the entrance of your nostril? Of course not. In the same spirit, when poorer people are paying a HIGHER proportion of their income to taxes than people who are better off, this does not mean that they're paying the SAME proportion. Higher is not same. Finger INSIDE nose is not finger NOT INSIDE nose. Easy!

Anyway though that's still a tight bumpersticker you wrote up there bro-him! Keep fakin' that news and barfin' up the pseudo-sense. Seems to work pretty well, I'll give you that ....


"The poorest residents in Washington pay 17.8 percent of their income in taxes, whereas the wealthiest pay 3 percent."

Makes sense. Poor people make less money than the wealthiest people. I take it the wealthiest are defined as being roughly 6X more wealthy than the poorest. Yet another nothing burger.

It makes sense that a person who makes more money will put less of their income toward taxes than someone who makes less money. And your point is: Resentment, nihilism, that is the alt-left way.


@12: did they eat the elephants? how about that jackhole who shot a troop of baboons to impress his wife? did he eat them? what about the buffalo that leave YNP and get shot because welfare ranchers are afraid they "might" have brucellosis? do they get eaten? the bears that dare to damage firs on WA's tree farms when they come out of hibernation and get shot by pro hunters? do they get eaten?

if they do, then fine. trophies are murder.



If you can’t get a job in this economy, you are one of three things: lazy, unemployable, or you have enough money saved up that you don’t need to work at present.

Companies are begging for people, at all skill levels


@15 Silly unemployable people! They should just cull themselves already!



You may have read the article, but I don't think you really understood it; which is precisely why it needed to be written in the first place. Also, I'm going to go out on a limb and posit that Ms. Truscheit doesn't give two shites - bull or otherwise - over what you think about either her or her article, which was in fact the point of it.


Too bad nobody bothered to ask the elephants if they prefer being shot or becoming overpopulated. Funny thing is: in most untrammeled ecosystems species tend to find the balance point that allows them to remain at healthy numbers without overwhelming available resources. If there's any reason to have to "cull" a herd of elephants, or any other species for that matter, it's most likely because humans have decided the animal's natural, self-regulating population controls compete against our own desire to extract resources from those same systems.


does that really bear out though @12? Is it that somehow Washington State has thousands and thousands of more unemployable than the country on average? Nah. You already know that though - you don't seem dumb - just bitter about the micro-penis or whatever has you so wound up


My thought on taxes has always been that each subsequent dollar somebody earns should be taxed at at least the same rate as the one before. The reason being that the state and the strength of public institutions is what protects somebody's wealth. Somebody with 1 million dollars is receiving more benefits through protection of that 1 million dollars, than somebody making half that. You only get to keep that money because the state protects you. No state, no protection. No state, and we are back to tribalism where whoever can beat you up gets what you have. Taxes are a way of paying for the privilege of getting to live in a society that protects you. That is why the PROPORTION of income that wealthy people should be at least as high, if not higher, than poor folks. Examples: if you got $ you can own a house. The state has many protections for your house (fire department, enforcement of laws around property ownership, compensation after disasters, complicated financial advantages which exist because of the strength of laws.) Another example: you can be excluded, lawfully, from certain types of investments based on your income and wealth (to be an accredited investor which gives access to certain types of investments, you need to make $200K/year or have $1mil in wealth.)


I'm not sure how you describe our system as a Flat Tax? A flat tax works on a percentage of income, not on a percentage of spending. The reason a Flat tax is technically 'fair' (although inequitable), is that everyone is paying in according to their ability. A goods-service flat rate (like sales tax) in inherently unfair and wildly inequitable because those who make less are taxed at a disproportionately high rate, relative to their income. Goods cost the same, whether you are a tech billionaire or a single mom working at McDonalds. And decades of research shows that the top end of the earning spectrum does not flood the market with cash for trickling down. Our growth is fueled


@5 Imagine for a moment you had a truly down on his luck friend, with whom paid halves on an extra-large pizza, and after a slice or two each, he took the rest home for later.

Perhaps there are situations where something is a good deal for the poor, but still difficult for them to afford or even unreasonable in terms of absolute resources?


COMTE @17, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Tori Truscheit does not give two true-shites what I think.


Places of low/regressive taxation often grow early and fast, but they also often crash early and fast. Troll @1 only looks at the expansion part of the economic cycle, and want us to forget what happens to consumption based state revenue when the economy contracts. Anyhow, what's the extra growth" worth to us when we still do not fund adequately education, transit, healthcare, etc. and working people move out of Seattle because they can't afford it.?


@23 We survived the last crash fine. Just trim your sails, live within your means. Why does the state need to continually expand in size and scope?

Seems to me you have two choices.

1 Convene a state constitutional assembly, rewrite the state constitution, submit it to voters and the legislature and have a governor sign it.

Or 2 Whine and stamp you feet on the internet and blow wind up our asses.

Since one is easy and one is hard, and you come from the entitlement school of living, I suspect I know what will happen.


@4 may be it's because you haven't experienced rape culture?

Did you see that Jurgen Klopp said that Neymar flopped to protect himself?


I'll have to assume that Slog cannot prevent trolls from manipulating the registration system. Pretty lame really.


Here comes the Libertarian wingnuts and their flat rate tax.


Politicians say nothing, but US farmers are increasingly terrified by it – climate change

Everyone knows it has been getting wetter and weirder, especially Dr Gene Takle, a Nobel prize-winning climate scientist at Iowa State University. Takle predicted 20 years ago the floods we see today, already linking it to climate change back then. Farmers just saw ponding and called the tiling company to install more. We’re on our way to doubling the size of the northern Iowa drainage system in the past 30 years as the upper midwest has grown more humid and extreme.

This drainage system is delivering runoff rich in farm fertilizer to the Mississippi river complex and the Gulf of Mexico, where the nitrate from Iowa and Illinois corn fields is growing a dead zone the size of New Jersey. The shrimping industry is being deprived of oxygen so Iowa farmers can chase 200 bushels of corn per acre – and hope against hope that corn will somehow increase in price as we plow up every last acre.


anon1256 @26: "@4 may be it's because you haven't experienced rape culture?"

No, I haven't. Good point. I'm sure I'm also complicit in rape culture. Don't ask me how. I don't know, although allow me to allow it's unwitting.

Also, is it too much to ask we both book Neymar for simulation and throw out red cards and suspensions for dangerous tackles on him, and well anyone? VAR would help.


Clarification @31: HAND out red cards and suspensions...


@10 That's what I'm talking about. There will be no progressive tax in our state without an income or wealth tax (except maybe at the fringes - luxury handbag sin tax?), and an income tax would take a constitutional change. So that's what we go for, however hard the fight. I feel we're shifting a bit left state-wide, so maybe it's time.


The Truscheit piece is an awesome article. It's actually scary that people feel threatened by it. But the fact that people are threatened and angry pretty much proves her point: some people believe that men should be pleased at all costs.


A local church full of people sustains a fire bomb attack, and people in the discussion thread are all hot and bothered by taxes,


The Democrats need to focus on a ‘Stop Trump’ message, not ‘kitchen table issues’ as Sen. Elizabeth Warren suggests, to win. We learned in 2016 that Dems don’t do kitchen table issues well.



In Uber leftist seattle, nobody gives a damn about churches or people that go to them. I’m fact, some may even try to justify the attack, especially if a predominately white church.


Legalese parsing to prevent an income tax in Washington state is largely an attempt at a judicial coup. We don't need constitutional reform. We need a simple absolute majority vote of the electorate for an income tax.


@40 Not true Churches have been part of the Seattle left for a long time. Bigoted churches are evil for sure.



You can eat a steak and still dislike killing. But to be turned on by it? To get a thrill from murder? That's creepy. Even being indifferent to killing is creepy.


@41 then go ahead and put it on the ballot, last time you lost by 30% This time maybe you’ll get crushed by 28% if @33 is correct and the state has shifted slightly leftward although don’t think high income, socially liberal tech workers are that keen on an income tax.


" Slog cannot prevent trolls"

AKA people who I won't debate with.


@44 it's only a matter of time before progress takes over your 19th century model of taxation and income taxes come to Washington Sate. Get used to it.


@46 as if debating with pathological liars and shit-for-brains was an option


"Legalese parsing to prevent an income tax in Washington state is largely an attempt at a judicial coup"

Funny way to describe 80 years of legal precedent and actual law, but ok, go with that angle if getting bitch slapped at the polls is getting tiring.


"it's only a matter of time"

Enjoy your geological timeline.


Shorter anon:

I don’t give a fuck about Wa State Constitution or previous Supreme Court rulings! I want my god damned income tax and I want it now!

Sad face.



"Why does the state need to continually expand in size and scope?"

Let me answer your question with another question: Have you checked the state population growth figures for the past several years?


@25 What, you mention population growth but don't share with us Washington State's booming growth tax collections?

But be honest, you don't want tax collections to keep up with population growth, you want the state to take a greater and greater share of private wealth to piss away.


@50 The previous Golden Age resulted in a winning movement for an income tax in Washington state before it was vetoed so it could be a lot shorter than you think.


@52 Population growth in Seattle-Metro Area 2009-2016 = +11%
Government Spending 2009-2016 = +43.5%



Hashtag winning!

You understand we have three branches of government right?



So why did the last income tax on the ballot lose by 30%. I mean, losing by 5% is considered a blowout but the good people of Washington State bitch slapped you by 30-fucking-percent.


What is with all the new trolls? Has to be the midterms. UGH! Has the RepubliKKKans ever won anything without cheating?


@27- That is 100% not the definition of a progressive tax (which is not to be confused w/ the political ideology of progressiveness). A progressive tax means a rate of taxation that increases as we move up the income ladder. Our current federal income tax structure is a theoretically progressive system, with tax brackets. Those tax brackets mean that no one pays any tax on the first $9325, 15% on $9325-37,950, etc- up to the top bracket of 39.6% on the income you earn above $418,401 (for a single filer).

But most people in the higher-earning brackets don't actually 'Earn' their money, they instead have income described as Capital Gains, which is derived from investments- and that is taxed at a flat rate of 15%.

So at the federal level we effectively have a very low flat tax for the very wealthy, a progressive system for the low to middle class, and a state tax structure that is 'regressive'. This means the less income you have, the higher the effective rate you pay, because a larger portion of your income is spent on taxable things, rather than saved or invested or spent on things that are tax deductible (eg. Interest on your mortgage is deductible, while no part of rent is deductible).

'Effective Tax Rate' is the actual percentage of your income that you end up spending on taxes. 'Marginal Tax Rate' is what might be called for in law, or by your tax bracket. Tax-whiners often foist this idea that they actually pay in 39.6% on their income, whereas they only pay that amount on the very top portion, and that only on earned income.

Setting aside the absurdity of huge, profitable corporations paying little to nothing, it is very often the case that high earners, even in states with very progressive income taxes of their own, pay much less than their low/middle class fellow citizens. As a personal example, a few years back, as a successful middle-income contractor, I was paying an effective rate of 21%, whereas a good friend who earned about 4 times what I did paid only about 16.5%. This did not factor in that as a self-employed person I also owed 12.5% for SS, and had to buy my health insurance with post-tax money, while employment based health insurance costs are not taxed, even though they are part of overall compensation.


@59 -- Great, informative, FOX-/myth-busting comment, Kennesaw. Thanks!

Also: re: 'war on Men': "... now I want to throw my phone in the Caribbean and go straight."
Whoa -- and to think, I was just about to swap Teams...


@59 How do you consider capital gains unearned income?


"Has the RepubliKKKans ever won anything without cheating?"

Dude I voted for Governor Meh, sorry Governor Inslee but only because he promised no income tax and balanced budgets. Turns out he's the socially liberal, economically conservative politician I can live with.

Luckily the carbon tax will go down in flames, but Governor Meh will just be like, "meh".

But I do love you ladies chasing your state income tax windmills, the most unpopular policy idea in the state, one that got slaughtered at the ballot box last term around.

May I suggest you put all your energy and resources into it?


@59 Nvm I was thinking of something else.



"May I suggest you put all your energy and resources into
it [seemingly-perpetually-doomed-to-fail legislation]?"
--Governor Milquetoast

Jesus. That's just cruel.


"The 3,000-strong migrant caravan tore through a border crossing gate on the Guatemala side of the Mexico-Guatemala border Friday and rushed through toward Mexico. They were halted by Mexican police."

Trumpfy and his fellow fascists'll be more than Happy / know exactly how to welcome those three thousand charging UNARMED human beings at our southern border -- he'll meet them with body-armor-clad* soldiers and military-industrial strength weaponry. Will he go all Nutnyahoo vs. Palestine on his fellow human beings?

Great question -- there's few things fascists love more than a nice, lovely Blood Bath -- especially of Wrongly-Colored human beings, or political opponents, so we'll just hafta see if Humanity gets its day...

*what if they have knives?!
and forks?!


@64 Cruel to whom?

Governor Milquetoast?



Nice attempt to move the goalposts, but we're talking about the entire state, not metro Seattle.

But, even given that, I'm still not sure where you got your figures, so you may want to re-check your math. According to several sites I just visited population growth in the City of Seattle has increased by some 14.3% between 2009 and 2016 (from approximately 616,000 to around 704,000), while according to the City of Seattle web site, the adopted annual budget has increased by a little more than 17.7% during that same period (from $4.29B in 2009 to $5.05B in 2016). But those dollars aren't adjusted for inflation. If we make that calculation, $4.29B in 2009 dollars would equal about $4.83B in 2016 dollars, in which case the actual adjusted-for-inflation increase would be about 4.55% growth for that period.

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