Finally a Tax Increase Republicans Want

Is it on large corporations? Is it on private jets? On cosmetic surgery? No, silly. The Republican Senate Whip and House floor leader have put out a press release demanding that the tribes pay more taxes. Now ignore tribal sovereignty and the other logical reasons why this is not the right place to start.

We’re in a terrible budget hole and fixing it can take on a logic of its own. So according to the press release, if you force tribes to pay more state taxes on cigarettes, gas and tribal property on non-trust land, the state could make $110 Million extra. And in this budget hole, that’s real money. But compare that to the $142 Million we’d get back if we closed just the loophole for software developers. Seriously, as long as private jets and out of town banks have loopholes, we shouldn’t try to balance the budget on the backs of the tribes.


  1. 1

    Randroid spews:

    Yes, yes we should. Who cares about treaties? Rule of law is inconvenient in this case, just like upholding union contracts so it must be broken.
    We are Teabagger Republicans. This is our country now. Get used to it.

  2. 2

    What do you expect spews:

    The “reservation system” has to end. Enough with this silly white guilt. Yes, New York, Chicago and Seattle were “taken” from the natives, the whole country was. Giving them little tiny tracks of land here or there and kind of occasionally pretending they’re still “separate” nations is a joke.

    Look, you can KEEP ALL of your culture, and still be simply living in “America” and not on a reservation. Look how the Amish live, or Orthodox Jews, etc. I’m not saying you have to give up your language, culture and heritage, but let’s stop pretending we didn’t just take this country from the native Americans because we gave them back 0.01% of the land in little reservation tracks here or there. Time to stop this silliness.

    As far as the main point…I think the Republicans are TRYING to lose the next couple elections. They’re ONLY raising taxes on the poorest folks (increasing their taxes or decreasing their benefits) while NOT asking the richest 5% to ‘sacrifice’ at all…the opposite in fact, they want to lower/drop corporate taxes, lower/drop inheritance tax, etc. The rich get a tax cut, the poor get a tax increase. THAT is going to be hard to sell in a general election.

  3. 3

    John425 spews:

    Taxes for thee but not for me? Typical Dumbocrat plan. Tribes want it both ways. Federal assistance is demanded when it comes to money being handed out and then they invoke “tribal sovereignty” when it comes to paying something into the kitty.

  4. 4

    Upton spews:

    If the tribes don’t want to be taxed and they expect old treaties to be honored, let them live like their ancestors did..

    Oh, but they can’t do that..Instead they’re building casinos all over the place, when they are not too busy killing whales that is..

    Tax them to high heaven or their happy hunting grounds..

  5. 5


    Yeah…boy, those Indians. MAAAAAAANNNNN…the greedy white guys shovel them onto the worst land possible and 150 years later the tribes are fleecing these rubes out of their retirement money. Money the greedy white guys thought THEY were gonna get.

    This is what “stuck pigs” sound like.

    PS…If ANY of you right-wing assclowns could ever put forward a good, reasoned, fact-based reason why it’s a good idea to destroy the middle class and punish innocent women and children so the richest 1% in this country and multi-national MEGA corporations can pay less…or NOTHING in taxes and ship American jobs out of the country (and get TAX BREAKS for it)…if any of you can do that….I will try to take you seriously.

    …but you can’t so you are only deserving of scorn and ridicule.

    OH…and why does your fearless leader Eric Cantor want to kill Medicare and Social Security? Answer me THAT?

  6. 6

    slingshot spews:

    Yeah, those Indians are all a bunch of filthy rich red guys. Just drive through your nearest reservation and check out the mansions the Maseratis and the manicured lawns.

  7. 7

    Michael spews:

    Looks like the Republicans are really after is increasing gambling in the state. Hmm… Wonder how much cash they get from the card rooms?

  8. 9

    proud leftist spews:

    Treaties are the law of the land. Treaty tribes have special status under the law as dependent sovereign nations. Revoking treaties, or failing to fulfill treaty obligations, at would give tribes a plausible claim to not being subject to federal or state law. Why is it that wingnuts do not feel responsible for meeting lawful obligations?

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    That’s not the only tax increase Republicans want. They want this one, too:

    “House Republicans are trying to use the tax code to curb abortions by limiting tax breaks for insurance policies that cover the procedure.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: So much for the argument that Republicans are against raising taxes, or using tax codes for “social engineerig.”

  10. 11

    Dick Caveat (I'll be the judge of that!) spews:

    re 2: I’ll bet that you are not against the legal fiction that corporations are just like people.

    Face it: You are a twisted little ideological maggot who will say and do anything to promote your point of view — even though it’s insane.

  11. 12

    Dick Caveat (I'll be the judge of that!) spews:

    re 3: “Taxes for thee but not for me? Typical Dumbocrat Republicon
    plan. Tribes Large corporations want it both ways. Federal assistance is demanded when it comes to money being handed out and then they invoke “tribal sovereignty” ‘we’ll relocate if you don’t give us what we want’ when it comes to paying something into the kitty.”

  12. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 Tribes are not sovereign nations as that concept is generally understood. Native American tribes like to think and talk in terms of tribal “sovereignty,” but in fact what they enjoy is a certain degree of autonomy, not actual sovereignty. Treaties and other agreements with the tribes legally have the same status as federal statutes; i.e., they can be changed or rescinded at will by Congress. But the autonomy conferred on tribes by Congress pre-empts state authority and state laws; this is one of those areas of law where federal pre-emption is more or less absolute, but then the federal government delegates some authority, implementation, regulation, and enforcement to the states. But even in those instances, the federal government nevertheless retains a supervising authority over the states. So it is with tribal gambling (and other tribal enterprises, such as selling cigarets). States can regulate or limit tribal gambling only to the extent the federal government and the federal tribal gaming statute permits them to do so, and delegates authority to the states.

    There actually is some scope for Washington to tax tribal gambling. The state could have collected some taxes that it voluntarily agreed to forego in return for certain concessions from the tribes, including the very important concession that they would not expand the number of slot machines they operate beyond certain agreed-upon limits. This agreement was hotly disputed by Republicans, who fiercely criticized Gov. Gregoire for signing that agreement. Now, it appears, Republicans want to revisit that political battle and use the state budget crisis as a pretext for reversing that policy. Doing so would, of course, cost Washington citizens the benefits of reduced tribal gaming and the other benefits they obtained by agreeing not to collect those taxes.

    The Repbublican position on tribal gaming is utterly hypocritical. Republicans aren’t against gambling (and the evils it brings into our communities). In fact, Republicans want to vastly expand legalized gambling in Washington. They simply want to profits to go to non-Indian operators. So, it’s not gambling that Republicans are against; they’re against Indians.

    It has always been so. Republicans were against the Indians’ treaty fishing rights, to the point of resorting to violence and gunfire, even though federal courts eventually upheld and enforced those rights. And I have no doubt Republicans would take away voting rights from Native Americans if they could; they’re still pissed that Maria Cantwell got her 2,200-vote victory margin in her first Senate race from tribal voters. Republicans have long claimed that Indians shouldn’t have the right to vote because they’re exempt from taxes and the draft and aren’t citizens; never mind that they were made citizens in 1924 (or something like that) and get drafted and pay individual income taxes just like the rest of us. They have to obey the same traffic laws we do, too. Indian-owned vehicles aren’t exempt from parking fines in downtown Seattle, either.

    But … all this being said … tribes are not sovereign nations in the usual sense; states can be given greater regulatory and taxing authority over tribal activities; and Washington’s gambling compact with the tribes can be altered or rescinded at the state’s instance. Whether any of those things should be done is a philosophical (or, perhaps, a political) question. I won’t attempt to answer that question, but I will toss in an observation that what Republicans want rarely has anything to do with logic, fairness, or practicality. Republicans are zombie ideologues who have no use for reason or fair play.

  13. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    And let’s add another observation here: Not infrequently, what Republicans want is motivated by flat-ass racism.

  14. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 Just for further clarification, the tribes didn’t have a plausible claim of not being subject to federal or state laws back in “termination” days, and they don’t now, either, under any circumstances.

  15. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Historically, the federal government waged war against the tribes; and then when the Indians were subjugated, the federal government assumed the role of being their protectors.

    Who was the federal government protecting the Indians from? State governments and local citizens, who often were unremittingly hostile to the Indians even after they submitted to white authority and became peaceful, that’s who.

    Understanding this history, and the protective role of the federal government toward tribes and Native Americans, is critical to comprehending the interplay of federal, state, and tribal relations today. The federal role of protecting tribes from hostile state actions is still very much in play. But there’s also an element in play here that Congress doesn’t want states messing around in a subject area that Congress has long claimed as its own turf.

  16. 18

    YellowPup spews:

    Have to agree with Mr. Caveat @12. As Maddow keeps pointing out about the states, “It’s not about the budget.” The bottom line always shows increased spending and more debt, in return for greater inequality and reduction in basic services.

    At the national level, cuts are just symbolic and political, when set against the budgetary gorilla hemorrhaging of three wars, debt servicing, and the various “small government” programs that simply turn over taxpayers’ money to the rich and corporate.

    When Republicans talk cuts, they’re talking about punishing average people. When they talk about small government, they mean big and intrusive on social issues, but mostly kickbacks to corporate pals and general reckless irresponsibility to everyone else.

    It’s not about the budget.

  17. 19

    NPR keeps getting PWN3D spews:

    how much cash do the tribes get in federal money?

    seems to me if arent paying into the federal govt, then they shouldnt be receiving cash money from the feds.

  18. 20

    uptown spews:


    Well since they do pay Federal Income taxes, what was your point?

    Google, it’s your friend (Bing, too).

  19. 21

    NPR keeps getting PWN3D spews:


    you are partly right…and partly wrong.

    Per the IRS:
    An Indian tribe, and any unincorporated business owned by the tribe, are not entities subject to federal income tax. They are not included in IRC section 1 (individuals, trusts, or estates), or IRC section 11 (corporations).

  20. 22

    NPR keeps getting PWN3D spews:

    and why is this important?

    because all those casinos bringing in hundreds of billions of dollars are expempt from paying federal, and state, taxes…because they are a tribal business.

  21. 23

    John425 spews:

    @12-Dick head says: “…(sic) corporations will relocate if they don’t get what they want.”

    Like GE/NBC head Immelt who steers away from paying any US taxes and then that shithead Obama puts him in charge of a Commission on American Competitiveness. Great role model!

  22. 25


    21. NPR keeps getting PWN3D spews:


    you are partly right…and partly wrong.

    Per the IRS:
    An Indian tribe, and any unincorporated business owned by the tribe, are not entities subject to federal income tax. They are not included in IRC section 1 (individuals, trusts, or estates), or IRC section 11 (corporations).

    03/31/2011 at 3:40 pm

    GE and Boeing are domestic corporations and paid no taxes in 2010.

    GE and Boeing probably made more money than all tribal casinos combined.

    You’re just a blatant know-nothing racist aren’t you?

  23. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 “It’s not about the budget.”

    Of course it’s not. It’s always been about a handful of self-appointed tyrant-wannabes taking all the money for themselves and arrogating to themselves the power to run everyone else’s lives.

  24. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 Do you really wanna know? The feds, through the Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs, have stolen billions of natural resources from tribal lands. They are able to do so because of their statutory authority to manage tribal lands and enterprises for the “benefit” of the tribes. The federal government owes tribes money (tons of it), not the other way around.

  25. 29

    NPR keeps getting PWN3D spews:



    I see you went back to the Progressive Game Plan 101…when you cant win an arguement – play the TEH RAZITS card.

    oh please – that dog dont hunt no more.

    GE and Boeing have as much to do with Indian Casinos as my johnson does with the space shuttle program.


  26. 30

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “let them live like their ancestors did..”

    Well, their ancestors pretty much had the run of the place…the WHOLE PLACE. So tell us: When are you moving out?

  27. 31




    I see you went back to the Progressive Game Plan 101…when you cant win an arguement – play the TEH RAZITS card.

    oh please – that dog dont hunt no more.

    GE and Boeing have as much to do with Indian Casinos as my johnson does with the space shuttle program.


    04/01/2011 at 11:31 am

    REALLY dipshit!

    Look it up.