Just How Bad Was the Polling on the Head Tax? (Very Bad)



One should never set policy on the basis of polling. First off, polling, particularly these cell-phony days, is dramatically inaccurate. But even if one happened upon an accurate poll then one is abrogating one's responsibility as a policy maker in-lieu of an ad-hoc referendum. Policy ought to be set according to ethics and needs, not the current and ephemeral "democratically determined" point of view. Political leadership means that you're expected to lead and to justify that leadership with an appeal to correct logic and needs, and not butt-covering with public opinion.


@1 LOL


The system works by making sure that there are lots of people on the bottom. When people complain or protest the entrenched rich and powerful et al start a back lash and play the victim.
The only change they want is more money and power. Its all at others’ expense. They are addicted to money and power and we understand that addiction is a disease. Its called capitalism which thrives on exploitation no matter what.


So let me get this straight, a pro head tax organization did some polling, and that polling found the No Head Tax movement was real, and had a impact on Seattleites.

In order to spin it now the polling is wrong. We all know if the polling found a majority of Seattleites not in support of the No Head Tax repeal then you would be on here pontificating about the city council not listening to Seattleites, holding up the polling high in the air as proof.

The Stranger is in FOX "news" territory these days.


This poll should put Eli Sanders' concern that those crafty libertarians effected the repeal to rest. The idea was despised widely.


I've recounted in the comments here my own anecdotes of just how broadly loathed the head tax measure was. To add to those, last week I was at a bar. I started chatting with these two older guys, and for whatever reason, the head tax came up, and they both expressed their disdain for the measure and for the council for producing it. And then I overheard these two younger guys talking about the head tax, and the one said, "They're just driving away businesses that are keeping your economy going."

A similar sentiment to the one expressed in this letter to the editor not in The Seattle Times but to The New York Times on the head tax:

What's remarkable to me is that, when it comes to the head tax, the average Seattleite seems to have a more mature policy meter than the City Council and the mayor. And hey, the cluelessness of our own elected leaders is now national news.


The People are smarter than The Leftist Council and their stooges in the media give them credit for.


When you elect activists to public office you can't seriously expect good governance from any of them.


@9 Probably because Ben Hur is not a pretty boy.


The picture of an activist waving a “Sawant” sign in City Council chambers, advocating for a policy diametrically opposed to what real voters actually wanted — that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

Of the persons brought into chambers by “homeless advocates” to shout down opposition to the head tax — how many of them have ever paid a month’s rent on an apartment in Seattle?

Direct action isn’t democracy. If our democratically elected representatives forget that, we can elect some who won’t.


Forty-five-fucking-thousand signatures.


My view of the Seattle City council is that they are folks with good intentions and strong experience in community organizing with very little execution focus. Getting elected and governing are different skill sets unfortunately. If an entrenepeur with a fantastic housing idea came out, they would regulate her to death.


If only Kshama had printed a few thousand more posters on the taxpayer's dime this could have been turned around.


Liberal Seattle voters actually unhappy with the progressive paradise that the SCC has built? Nah, couldn't be, I mean didn't everyone see that there were like a dozen protestors blocking traffic downtown last week, who clearly must represent the views of the 600K+ voters in the City since the police just stood around and watched them. This polling must be part of that big right wing libertarian conspiracy to repeal the EHT. The article says EHT supporters did the poll, but I bet that Amazon and Starbucks actually ran it and had their paid signature gathering goons confuse respondent's with all sorts of lies about the City paying for some report that said it actually should already have enough money.

In all seriousness though the best thing about Democrats is that the majority of the party is still willing to call out the progressive fringe when they start going batty. Unlike the GOP moderates who have no spine to put the Tea Party fringe in its place.


@17 Spot. On.

Sawant has zero read on the pulse of this city. Her left-wing fringe “movement” sounds to the other left-wing extremists but the rest of us are willing to forego her socialist paradise.



But he sure is Proud...



Hoo boy, are you ever in for a letdown when you get to 8th grade and learn how American lawmakers attain their offices.

Brace yourself: it's not by winning essay contests in Ethics, Needs, and Correct Logic.


@19, @20: I’ve never lived on the Eastside; but in Seattle for the past quarter-century. I agree with everything @17 & @18 wrote.

And if name-calling is all you’ve got, I sincerely hope you’re not too terribly surprised at how badly you just lost.


There will be a reckoning for at least two of the SCC members. It may have been one thing to be an activist idealogue when the council was elected at-large but, a whole 'nother ball of wax when you are expected to represent an area, not preach to them, represent them.


@10, "hubris"? Have you noticed that the feds or the state has come forward with a plan to end homelessness? Along with gobs of cash to build housing (which is the only thing that will end homelessness)? No? Well, that's why Seattle has to do SOMETHING. But now, we won't be able to. Good job, everyone.


It's quite remarkable the baseless bashing of the council and the head-tax, even on the Stranger. Makes me think those paid signature gatherers are now being paid to do some more bad mouthing to foment the conservative backlash.
Even the very mainstream Puget Sound Business Journal said the head tax would have no impact on the economy which is not surprising since it would've amounted to 14 cents per hour per employee, a much smaller increase than the $15/hr minimum wage and only for the largest businesses. The planning for the EHT involved numerous stakeholders including the business community (large companies refused to participate). And, the chamber's own study concluded even more funding was needed for affordable housing than the EHT provided and that addressing inefficiencies in current programs would make little difference.
While certainly not perfect, there are really not any other viable alternatives on table (high earner income tax is blocked in courts; zoning changes have been shot down; property and sales taxes are about at their limits). Killing the head tax will literally end up killing more people experiencing homelessness. So, head-tax haters - what are you going to do about it?


Chunga, when the city starts investing in the hundreds of more cops that we obviously need, and when they invest in more navigation teams to start getting rid of these camps once and for all, then we can talk about jacking up our taxes even more. Why would I care about giving free and unconditional housing to 500 of them when a thousand more of them show up next year?

And by the way it's not "people experiencing homelessness." It's the "homeless." Just like it's not "people experiencing drug addiction." It's "drug addicts." And it's not "people experiencing criminality." It's "criminals." It's not "people experiencing assaulting tourists by the Space Needle." It's "scumbags," or "thugs," if you prefer.


@26:”Well, that's why Seattle has to do SOMETHING. But now, we won't be able to. Good job, everyone.”

Seattle is doing SOMETHING. We’re implementing the recommendations in the Poppe Report, and we’re starting to get results:


“Along with gobs of cash to build housing (which is the only thing that will end homelessness)”

Wrong. The Poppe Report shows how we can end homelessness now, with the money we have now. There was never any need for the EHT, or for waiting the many years it will take before more housing units will be built.

(BTW, it would be great if the people pushing the EHT would own their failure, but from both the posts and comments here, it appears you’ve all decided to repeat your failed talking points and blame everyone else. Not helpful.)


Why is no one asking the question of WHY a Workers advocacy union spent $70,000 on a campaign to push a tax that could negatively affect the workers they advocate for? WHY did Working Washington, another workers advocacy group, run by the SEIU, clock all the signature gathering sites and send there affiliates to harass citizens exercising their rights?
The groups behind this mess need to be investigated for fraud. The city council needs to understand that these groups do not represent workers, or the ideals of this city's citizenry. Let the council know that If they continue to align themselves with the SEIU agenda (let's throw Socialist Alternative in there for good measure), they will not be allowed to govern this city.


@27: If you want to tell us what part of the criticisms you see here are “baseless bashing,” go right ahead. Calling your opponents paid liars right after you lost doesn’t show much awareness of how you got defeated, which was by citizens turning out in droves to force a re-think of policy. Some of us believe that’s how our democracy should work.

And while you haven’t actually cited any PSBJ story, let’s note the minimum wage is totally different from the EHT. One puts money directly into the wallets of workers; the other could have put those same workers out of their jobs. Washington State has raised the minimum wage every year of this millennium, and seen great results; since then, Seattle once had a head tax, and repealed it because it wasn’t working.

“And, the chamber's own study concluded even more funding was needed for affordable housing...”

Amazing, isn’t it? The local Chamber Of Commerce detected a “need” for huge amounts of government spending to go directly into the pockets of businesses in the Chamber! What a surprise!

“Killing the head tax will literally end up killing more people experiencing homelessness.”

So will enabling heroin addicts, which is what we’re doing now.

“So, head-tax haters - what are you going to do about it?”

Again, calling your fellow citizens names doesn’t indicate you learned anything from the stunning defeat we just handed you. As for what to do, please see my comment @29, above.