Comments

1

"Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will step down at the end of his term."

This term, not his term. God, you guys suck at proofreading.

2

@1 is right. The Supreme Court has terms, the justices don't have terms.

3

So Schumer is going to need to get Breyer’s replacement pushed through in October just before the midterms.

Gee thanks a lot Stephen.

We’re screwed. If Biden appoints a capable centrist the progressives will throw a huge hissy fit and help throw both the Senate and the House to the GOP.
In the other hand if Biden appoints a capable progressive the right will explode and their mega church led GOTV will carry the GOP to a Senate and House Majority.

4

@3 Oh please. If Biden appointed anyone to the left of Jefferson Davis, the GOP will scream that "XXXXX is the most liberal judge ever, and it will be the end of the world if they get appointed!!1!" These are the same people who claimed that Kamala Harris was the most liberal Senator during the 2020 election. These are the same people who wouldn't give Merrick Garland a hearing when he was the most centrist judge one could hope a Democrat would appoint.

Breyer had two choices: Retire now and get a replacement confirmed by Chuck Schumer or Wait until next term and if the GOP retakes the Senate, have Biden's nomination meet the same fate as Merrick Garland's. I'm glad he chose the former path. I wish RBG had done the same.

5

The photo of that guy holding the old bowl made me too nervous.

6

@1, 2,

No shit, idiots. She's well aware that SC justices serve lifetime appointments. It's a typo. In a daily news roundup posted to a critically understaffed alt-weekly's blog by an arts writer. If you're so put off by obvious and easily overlooked errors, why not find some other news outlet to read?

https://www.theonion.com/factual-error-found-on-internet-1819566445

7

@6 cheers

8

6 Not just a typo, but a factual error that any journalist would want to correct. Jas does post corrections, she probably will for this one.

11

@10 why does spending need to be cut or taxes raised? The state is already looking at an $8B surplus over the next four years and I've seen a few articles that suggest it could be north of $10B.

https://www.opb.org/article/2022/01/17/5-things-to-know-about-washingtons-2022-legislative-session/

This of course also makes the whole capital gains / income tax discussion even more ludicrous than it is now.

12

Washington has the most regressive taxation policy in the entire country. As long as the tax burden is inversely proportional to one's socioeconomic status you will have to endure this discussion, no matter how silly you personally find it.

13

@1, 2, 6, 8: Typo fixed. I'm a they/them just as a reminder.

14

13 - so noted! thank you

17

@11:

Remember this thing called the "global COVID pandemic"?

Remember what a huge dent it put in the state's revenue forecast about a year and a-half ago (https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/washington-budget-deficit-covid-jay-inslee-taxes-rolfes-braun-special-session/281-59b6b320-a448-49f9-8918-6e14bea883af)?

Remember how the state's Budget Stabilization (AKA "the rainy day") Fund plummeted to almost nothing last year (https://tre.wa.gov/portfolio-item/23437/)?

Remember how, under the Washington State Constitution, Article VII, Section 12, subsection (b)2 (https://leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/Pages/WAConstitution.aspx), spells out how the State is required to maintain this Fund, and transfer "extraordinary revenue growth" into it, EXCEPT that "no transfer of extraordinary revenue growth under this subsection (b)(2) shall occur in a fiscal biennium following a fiscal biennium in which annual average state employment growth averaged less than one percent per fiscal year."

Remember how the state employment rate plummeted during the above-mentioned pandemic (https://www.seattletimes.com/business/economy/a-tale-of-two-recessions-covids-economic-toll-fell-unevenly-may-take-years-to-heal/)?

Does any of this ring a bell?

18

Obviously we all need to compromise and have Biden appoint 8 new justices to the Supreme Court.

19

@18: Looks like you're missing an adjective between "new" and "justices".

20

@12 the problem is the tax conversation is continually conflated between the need for additional revenue and the need for fairness. The legislators and proponents of income taxes always discuss our regressive tax structure and the need to rebalance it but every proposal is net new revenue to the state, including the capital gains tax. There is no lowering of the sales tax or property tax to provide relief to those paying regressive taxes which is why no one believes the legislature actually cares. They just want more money.

@17 Yes I remember all those dire predictions and I also remember that none of the worse case scenarios came to pass

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/as-tax-collections-rebound-washington-states-projected-9-billion-budget-shortfall-is-cut-in-half/

https://crosscut.com/politics/2021/03/budget-crisis-averted-wa-lawmakers-consider-more-pandemic-relief

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washington-state-projects-tax-revenues-to-rise-by-2-6-billion-through-2023-as-economy-recovers-from-covid-19/

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/washington-gets-another-positive-state-revenue-forecast/

Thanks to Uncle Joe and the fact that many WA residents were able to work remotely and continue keeping the economy humming the impact of Covid was much less than what was predicted. Now the state is sitting on a mountain of money even after making the rainy day fund whole.

21

Smokin' Joe Biden'll
get no USSC pick
M. KkKonnell'll
brook Zero
Kommies
on HIS
Court.

besides
Elections have
CONSEQUENCES

have y'all
forgotten
already?

22

in FasciLand
anyone to the
left of the neut
Grinsrich's a gott
damn Commieness

23

@20:

"Thanks to Uncle Joe and the fact that many WA residents were able to work remotely and continue keeping the economy humming the impact of Covid was much less than what was predicted."

I'm sure the families, friends, colleagues and co-workers of the 871,000 - and counting - dead U.S. citizens and 10,543 - and counting - dead Washington State residents would beg to differ with you.

24

It's my understanding that it would require a constitutional amendment to pass a state income tax in WA , which seems like the most apparent hurdle to a more fair tax code than whatever anyone else is proposing. You're never going to get to the point where you can repeal your more regressive taxes without some form of earnings-based taxation to replace it.

25

@23

What’s there to differ with D13R is correct the impact of COVID was much less than predicted.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t terrible but the predictions, especially the economic ones, were much more dire than happened. A year ago it was looking like we could be in for years of recession, thousands more closed businesses, and large unemployment for years.

So D13R’s statement is factual.

26

@25 Thanks. Comte just gets upset when people use facts to refute his incorrect talking points. It's sad he feels the need to use people's personal tragedies instead of staying on topic.

@24 This is not entirely correct and this is the core of what the Dems are up too with the capital gains tax and why I find it even more contemptuous than some of their other ill brained schemes like the WA Care tax. The WA state constitution allows for an income tax but because income is considered property per the Supreme Court it must be uniform. Meaning you could have a tax but it must be the same rate for everyone. The Dems think (and I would tend to agree) that if they can get a case to the current Supreme Court they would overrule that earlier decision and say income is not property. If that were the case the legislature could immediately invoke a progressive income tax much like other states. Would they in turn lower sales/property tax? Prob a little bit but I'd wager it would not be revenue neutral and of course would be subject to creep back up over time.

If they had any courage of their convictions they would pass a constitutional amendment instead of hoping the court will do their dirty work but they won't because they are cowards and know that WA citizens overwhelming hate the idea of an income tax (mostly because they don't trust the government) and would immediately create an referendum and vote those who did this out of office except in hard core areas like Seattle. The capital gains tax is currently winding its way through the courts so we'll see. The Supremes should kick this back to the legislature and make them do the right thing but I suspect we'll all be paying an income tax in the next 5 years on top of our high property and sales taxes just like IL and NJ and other great states that have done so well.. that last sentence should be read with a lot of sarcasm.

27

@26,

I think the reason dems aren't focused on a revenue neutral solution is b/c there's some pretty overwhelming evidence that current revenues aren't meeting the communities needs.

Take the hot button issue, homelessness. Dems obviously want to build a fuck-ton of housing, while GOP's want to sweep and imprison or institutionalize anyone that can't/won't find a place off the streets. And so even IF we were to go the latter route, there's not anywhere remotely near enough prison and in-patient hospital beds to meet the needs that would entail. Mountains of revenue would be needed to bring such an idea to fruition. Current funding sources are woefully inadequate to meet the needs of our society.

28

@27 C'mon. First, what makes you think Dems want to build housing? I've never heard that. They want to change zoning so more housing can get built but I have never seen anyone of them propose the government start actually getting into the housing business. Second, are you saying the only way housing is going to get build is through tax collection? That's not remotely true. It reminds me of the line from the movie Contact "First rule of government spending. Why build one when you can have two at twice the price". Whatever your issue is be it housing, homelessness, addiction, income inequality using tax collection as a tool to correct that is the most inefficient process possible. You insert thousands of bureaucrats with their own bias and agendas into the process. Rather than do that the state could just as easily provide tax incentives for builders to create more housing. That would be a much easier solution and would allow more actual dollars to be invested into the product.

I also think you'll find that is more than the GOP that is tired of homeless vagrants. Last time I checked Seattle is hardly a GOP stronghold and yet we have this debate almost daily. No one wants to criminalize homelessness but you do need to criminalize crime. Just because you are homeless does not give you a right to steal, assault people, destroy the community and public spaces and otherwise act like an anti social asshole. Many of these people have addiction and mental illness and are not capable of independent living. You can give them a mansion in Medina and in a month the place will be strewn with garbage and destroyed and they'll be back on the street looking for their next fix. Again the government could just as easily incentivize care facilities through policy but it must also come with a compulsion for people to go there if they continually demonstrate an inability to act in their own best interest or what's the point?

29

@28,

There's building happening all over Seattle! But nowhere near enough of it is of the low/no income subsidized variety. Because there's not even close to enough public revenue to make such building anywhere near as attractive to developers as putting up market rate units that cater to the wealthy tech execs and programmers.

I don't necessarily disagree that the bureaucratic logjam that is public financing can be woefully inefficient, but the private sector is still gonna need public funds beyond tax incentives, and current budget/revenue streams aren't gonna get it done.

30

@27 you aren't going to change the regressive tax policies in Washington State without repealing the regressive taxes. Just layering on a thin layer of capital gains taxes, or a scaled income tax won't do it.

The legislature should scale back a property tax, B&O fee, or sales tax equal to the amount the Capital Gains tax will generate.

Ideally they would overhaul the entire tax code in Washington from the bottom up, but that would probably require working longer than 60 measly days.

31

@29 I agree with you there is no where near revenue for what you describe but who in the legislature is proposing a massive public housing project? There is no one advocating for that except maybe Kshama but even then it’s Marxist platitudes and not anything of substance. So why collect more revenue if there isn’t even a plan for it? The urbanists driving the zoning conversation seem to adhere to some trickle down housing theory whereby new housing will appeal to upper end consumers making older housing stock more affordable to lower income residents. We can debate if that is an effective strategy but until someone actually proposes building publically subsidized housing there is no need to increase tax collections.

33

@20:

Nice try, but using articles that in one case is 16 months old, another 10 months old, a third five months old (all written prior to the Delta and Omicron variant waves), and a fourth (pre-Omicron) making "predictions" about potential economic activity projecting more than a year and up to three years into the future, as "proof" makes about as much sense as saying, "hey, we thought everyone was going to have to eat a shit sandwich with three pounds of shit in it, but it turns out maybe you'll only have to eat one with two and a-half pounds of shit - uh, depending on the breaks - so see, things are definitely getting better!"

What's next? An increase of chocolate rations to 20 grams per week from the previous 25?

34

@33 that was a quick Google search so I'm sorry I didn't do detailed research and present a thesis for you. It doesn't change the fact that the economic outlook for the state is very positive and there have not been any draconian cuts to the budget. The state is flush with cash and trying to say otherwise is either gaslighting or ignorance.

35

@18 Will in Seattle for the WIN!

@18 Will in Seattle and @21 & @22 kristofarian: We need to also be rid of Mitch McConnell and his GOP sock puppets, Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema before legitimately elected President of the United States Joe Biden can appoint those new SCOTUS justices for the people.

36

Hooray for supporting the arts! Here's hoping both House Bill 1647 and Senate Bill 5530 pass with flying colors.

And HOORAYYYYYY for additional sunshine coming back our way!
It really is nice to be outside in daylight past 5 pm.

37

Why is it so easy for me to envision Seattle as the 21st Century Gotham City?
The reports of skyrocketing crime are depressing.


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