Jon Russell: “When the wealthy get soaked, we all take a bath.”
According to stories published in the past few days, Washington Senate Majority Leader, Lisa Brown, is in favor of a proposal for a State Income Tax “that would hit the wealthy and give everyone a sales-tax break.” This is the second year in a row that Brown has raised this proposal but, this year, there’s actual legislation – Senate Bill 6250 – to go along with it. Although reports are that this “measure’s future is uncertain”, since the legislature has less than a week left in the schedule for their current session and they’re still trying to come up with a solution for a $2.7 Billion budget shortfall, we would all be wise to keep our eyes on these guys … especially the ones who are pitching that a tax on high earners would “bring more fairness” and in return for getting more “fairness” from those evil-hearted “wealthy”, they say they will “give everyone a sales-tax break” in the amount of … are you ready?! … one penny!
When I heard this news, my immediate reaction was, “I can’t think of a better argument for continuing to replace these bozos with people who have a real-world perspective on dealing with life’s priorities. Thankfully, we have a Candidate for State Representative in my area who exemplifies the sort of replacement we need to be sending to Olympia to restore trustworthy representation. His name is Jon Russell. Almost immediately after I heard the news of Brown’s State Income Tax Proposal, State Representative Candidate Russell published a statement on this matter that I felt “hit the nail right on the head.” With that in mind, I’m offering the full-text of his statement, as follows:
It should come as no surprise that the state legislature is trying to pass an income tax referendum to tax the wealthy in our state. It is the old political game of class warfare, pitting the majority against a minority. The legislature is trying to close a 2.6 billion dollar deficit in the state budget, but instead of cuts in spending they are raising taxes left and right. Did you know that while Clark County’s unemployment is over 14% & Olympia’s (Thurston County) is only 7.8 %? This shows that while the rest of us suffer the effects of an abysmal job market, government employees are exempt from the rules of the real-world. I say the Washington State income tax should come as no surprise because it flies in the face of simple economics. Most of those in the legislature and in the administration have never worked in the private sector; they do not understand the sweat and tears that go into owning and growing a business; they do not understand the heart ache of employers who must lay off employees for the sake of the survival of that business. The wealthy create jobs by investing their money in companies that hire the rest of us. More taxes means less money to invest and that means even higher unemployment right around the corner.
Oregon voters recently passed an income tax on the so-called wealthy in their State and businesses are already scrambling to move out of state. It’s not that the increase was extraordinarily high, but rather the vote set a dangerous precedent that a simple majority of voters can use the ballot box to take money from one group and give it to another. And, you can bet that, if they can do it once, they will easily do it again.
While some people in our state may believe that taxing the income of the rich would be a good thing, it's important to keep in mind that once you allow the income tax to exist on the wealthy, eventually the politicians will run out of money and they will lower the income level to include taxing the rest of us. I believe the solution for the State's budget deficit lies in cutting State spending and living according to a balanced budget. We should also look at eliminating the Business and Operation tax on our small businesses. This would put more money into the economy, empowering small businesses to create jobs and hire more employees. Controlling state spending and freeing up money to invest in small businesses will go beyond meeting our State's current economic challenges to initiate a boom for employment in Washington State.