Guest Editorial: Fix the Tax Code


It is not the Federal Government's job to fund our schools or health care.
@1) It will be when we enact new laws. You might as well kill yerself now.
City Council is complicit in creating the regressive tax system for Seattle residents - yes there are state limitations, but Council is truly exacerbating affordability for its residents. You see the Seattle Times headline today, yes? Most regressive in the state. You can’t tax your way to affordability.
She;s preaching to the choir. The GOP herp-derps gotta get elected out of office for any of this to happen.

Perhaps we should inform the wingnut GOP rubes that the GOP is a deep state conspiracy who actually run "abortion clinics", but they do not abort... they sell the fetuses to Muslims for use in cow food.
Will someone please think of the wealthy? We've been coddling them for generations. If we were to suddenly make them pay their fair share of societal costs, it might be quite traumatic for them. They might even have to do something horrible, like economize: have one last car or even one less house! Their children might have to fend for themselves or even attend public school!

No. It's simply unthinkable. We cannot do this to the wealthy.
I wish I could remember who said this, because it is true: "The rich should be taxed because they exist."
By amassing wealth, the rich create and maintain poverty and suck resources out of the society that permits them to prosper. They no more 'earned' it than someone born on third base hit a triple. The truth is that the wealthy, the undeserving at the financial top, are the ones who create societies greatest ills, and they should be forced to subsidize the conditions they create.
The "Rich" are such an easy target.
Go ahead, tax them.
But the health of the economy, the society, and the tax digest depend on the Middle Class,
a robust Middle Class is the heart of society, and that is where our society is in trouble.
Too few functional functioning reasonably self-suffecient 'able to take care of themselves and help out their neighbors as well' families.
Everybody expecting and whining for the government to help them.
Go ahead, tax the Rich.
But they aren't rich enough to fund your socialist-wannabe Nanny State to the level of services you are whining for.
Repeating a lie does not make it true, and ITEP numbers cited over and over are lies. They aren't massaged numbers or partisan interpretations. They are lies.

According to ITEP figures math challenged idiots like Mosquito here keep citing, income under $22,000 is taxed at 17% in our state, 12% of which comes from sales tax.

No. Impossible. That number requires consumer purchases of taxable goods and services of $25,000 a year. On a $22,000 income. Before paying rent, transportation, food and all the other things that in fact do make being that poor suck. Tell me how that works, ITEP liars, because it'd be a neat trick.

This doesn't even delve into what someone at that income likely is given by the state in various forms of assistance. Or by the federal government. These are usually far more than in real value, never mind administrative costs, than the paltry state taxes (and no taxes at all at the federal level) anyone in that bracket actually pays. (Hint: at most a few hundred dollars on sales and other state and local taxes.)

Leave aside also the ludicrous notion that housing citiizens is a federal, state or local obligation at all. Or that offsetting increased housing costs is for that matter. It is my job to house, feed, clothe and otherwise care for myself and my family. Not that of the state or federal government.

But assume the absurd, that we do owe each other housing. Mosquito, your council already spends $7000 a year or more per homeless person in Seattle. You house nearly none of them on that figure. How about you spend that money on, you know, the homeless before asking for more?
Nobody can be housed in Seattle in 2018 on $7000 a year, dipshit. That’s her entire point.

As long as we can afford the worlds largest, oldest, most expensive and successful socialist institution called the US military we can afford to socialize healthcare and, to some capacity, housing for our most impoverished citizens.

Yeah. That's what lazy ineffectual people tell themselves. Rather than actually do a blind thing to alleviate your own problems, blame them on others! That'll work! Or not.

I pay 47% of my income in various taxes, and I keep my income at cost of living by re-investing in my retirement and my business, so that isn't on some 6 figure income.. 47%. Half my god damn working year props your life up, pal. I work hard and save and plan for misfortune. Then I pay my taxes so people like you who refuse to do any of that can welch off my hard earned money.

Having a point would imply she knows that much. Mosquito here can't even parse lies like ITEPs before stupidly repeating them.

8 or 10 bunks with a communal bathroom could be done for that money. It's not luxury but it's a roof and bed.

Want an apartment in Seattle? Gee. Better make enough money and qualify for the place. Otherwise you get to live where your income and credit history allow it. Like every other adult.

You do realize Seattle has no military? (Which given their mismanagement of everything else is hugely reliwving.) And that the military is actually one of the few things the federal government is constitutionally required to provide?

No? Hmm.
A New Tax! Hooray! And all when City, County and State tax revenue is at record levels. I guess they can't spend it fast enough. Talk about the wealthy sucking the life out of the working poor, just look at our local government.

An Income Tax will not make the other "regressive" taxes disappear, but what will happen is the income level on this New Tax will slowly drop until it encompasses all of the middle class and lower.

Your just feeding the beast.
I'll say it one more time (this must make, what, the millionth time?) -- as soon as the city council proposes a progressive tax plan that ALSO rolls back regressive taxes, they will have my support. Until then, it just seems like another grab at my pocketbook.
Councilmember Mosqueda is correct when she says "I know our taxes invest in public health to create healthy communities, fund critical infrastructure like roads and bridges, and make sure all kiddos have access to public schools." Those taxes are levied by state and local jurisdictions. I agree with her that our state tax code is regressive and needs to be reformed to be more equitable.

However, that is not true of our federal taxes the purpose of which largely is to control inflation. The federal government i.e. Congress has the power of fiat currency mandated in the Constitution. In fact it has the power to fund projects such as CM Mosqueda mentions by simply exercising its "power of the purse" and spending into the economy funds for necessary projects as long as there are people to do the work and resources to draw from. Congress recently did this by passing a bill for an additional $700 billion to fund the military. For how that works see:
In The Stranger July, 10th 2017 on how the City Council will spend the $140 million a year from their proposed Income Tax.

"Under the law the council will vote on today, all money raised by the tax must be used for:

• lowering property taxes and other regressive taxes
• homelessness services or affordable housing
• education
• transit
• "green jobs" and reducing carbon emissions
• backfilling federal funding losses, including funding for mental health services
• implementing the tax"

You can just imagine the bundle of money we will save on "Lowering property taxes and other regressive taxes" after they get done spreading this windfall around their pet projects .

To get the real numbers we would need to know who worked as an LLC yet filed personally with 0 income.

I think the council members’s oft-repeated catchphrase would go out of the window, and I’d hope the baby would go out as well, but at least she’d still have her constituency with their white power fists in the air behind her in her campaign photos.
Fine, I’ll finally tell you guys.

Incognito windows get around their cookie-based paywalls.

Small business owners love to jump up and freak out about taxing the rich, as if they're even on the radar. We're talking about the people with tens of millions hoarded offshore, not the million a year you need to operate.

Who's "we?"

A senator opposed to federal income taxes way back when they were first proposed made a speech on the Senate floor. He could see a day, he said, when people were taxed at 10% or more. The proponents scoffed and called him an alarmist, said he was crazy. Never happen.

What's your marginal tax rate now, a century later?

Put another way Twain once answered a critic of a wealthy friend of his. Asked if the friend's money was tainted he answered "sure, t'ain't mine, t'ain't yours."
There is no way that a household earning $25,000 a year pays $1390 a month on rent. That's two-thirds of their income. Seattle most certainly has regressive taxation, but the methodology of this report is all out of whack.
@2- you first. You're obviously poor and miserable.
The best part is that if you tax the rich our taxes become less “regressive”, and the poor can still pay the same exact amount!

This is what happens when no one has any fucking idea what they are saying.
@23 That's two-thirds of their income [on rent.]

That's what poor people do. When I was broke, I think we paid more like 3/4. Think about it. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, barely able to make rent, what else are you paying for? Food? Food isn't that expensive, especially if you never eat out, and eat the cheapest, store brand food. Clothes? Goodwill works when your kids outgrow their old digs (and you only have to buy clothes for the oldest). You also have utilities, but Seattle has a relatively temperate climate, and our electric rates are relatively low. For a small apartment, you can get by without much heat. There is also bus fare, but even that is discounted (and you end up walking a lot).

So that basically just leaves housing. Of course if you can't afford to pay rent, then like so many in this town, you end up without a home (otherwise known as homeless). I'm not saying the report is right or not, but families spending 2/3 of their income on rent is fairly common, especially in a town with very expensive rent (like ours).
@26, Ross, I believe you. I'm also sure it's going on more than studies tell us. The extremes of of a city would floor anyone. Regressive Taxes increasing and new ones down the pike only rub salt in the wounds.

I have a controversial idea, lower all taxes by 25-50% and don't impose new taxes, it helps everyone. Let the Government agonizingly cut fat and live within their means, like we do. Who knows, it might help the rent.
I hope this means Councilmember Mosqueta will vote for the Employee Hours Tax. Or is she all talk but not willing to tax powerful campaign contributors? Tax Amazon!
@28, Don't worry, I'm sure Council Member Mosqueta has never seen a Tax/Tax Increase see didn't like.
Back in Iowa, when I was growing up, we had a 4% sales tax (with clothing, groceries, and thrift store items exempt!). We had a progressive income tax - most of which you could write off on your federal taxes, and we had somewhat high property taxes, with the farms taxed lower.

It worked well. The K-12 schools were good, the three state universities were well funded and affordable, and there was a strong community college network.

Of course, Iowa has been in the clutches of the GOP for some time now, so I'm sure they've screwed it up, but it really was a good example of how to run a government. I wish we could move beyond the stupid reactionary mindset we have here.