Goldy apologizes to Frank Blethen

Mr. Frank Blethen
Publisher & CEO
The Seattle Times
Fairview Building
1120 John Street
Seattle, WA 98109

Dear Frank,

I don’t know if you read the blogs (you know, those upstart, news-oriented websites that are forcing the newspaper industry to adapt or die,) but if you’ve read mine then you know that I’ve been rather critical of the way you use your power as the publisher of the state’s largest newspaper to selfishly shill for repealing an estate tax levied on only a couple hundred of Washington’s wealthiest families each year. In fact, if you had asked me this morning, I probably would have said that when it comes to the issue of estate tax repeal, you are the most ethically challenged newspaper publisher in the state.

But I’m writing to apologize, and admit that I was wrong, for apparently, that honor should go to Scott Campbell, Publisher of The Columbian.

While it is true that you continue to use your op/ed pages as a platform for spreading blatantly dishonest — and at times, laughable — misinformation about our state and federal estate tax (um, like the time you unfavorably compared Washington’s tax structure to that of Sweden… oh man, that was a knee-slapper,) at least you have stood by your pledge not to make any financial contributions to Initiative 920, a potential conflict of interest that even you had the sense to avoid.

But the same cannot be said for Mr. Campbell, whose newspaper, according to the latest PDC reports, has donated $5,000 to the Yes on 920 campaign.

Columbian donation to I-920

It makes one wonder how readers could ever possibly believe anything about the estate tax published in a paper that has contributed money towards its repeal, and I congratulate you for refusing to diminish the credibility of The Seattle Times in such a coarse and inappropriate manner. Though, I suppose to be fair to Mr. Campbell and The Columbian, they really didn’t have all that much credibility to diminish in the first place, so what the hey?

So again, I apologize if I cast aspersions; you are most definitely not the most ethically challenged newspaper publisher in the state, and I sincerely regret having at any time implied otherwise. If you are ever looking for a job, and require written references, I would be happy to oblige.

Sincerely,

David Goldstein

http://www.horsesass.org/

PS: Those fundraising ads I-920’s Dennis Falk is running in The Seattle Times — the ads every political consultant I ask insist are a total waste of money — he’s paying full price for those, right?

CC: Scott Campbell, Publisher, The Columbian

UPDATE:
Hey… it turns out Frank may not even be the second least ethical newspaper publisher in the state of Washington. Pioneer Newspapers, publisher of 20 newspapers in the Northwest, has already contributed at least $25,000 to the Yes on 920 campaign. So much for an objective, fair and balanced press.

Comments

  1. 1

    Libertarian spews:

    John Barelli,

    I agree with you: no state income tax in Washington! Now if we could just get rid of the federal income tax!

  2. 2

    Daddy Love spews:

    I hate to be he one to break it to y’all, but estate tax or no estate tax, businesses will still structure their assets to avoid existing taxes, rich people will still shelter their wealth, the children of the wealthy will still do just fine from Mom and Dad’s living wealth, connections, privileged education, and so on, tax accountants and lawyers will all still have just as many clients, and Republicans will still cry, whine, and bitch just as much about how unfair it is that we tax them to provide public services.

  3. 3

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    I support the repeal of the estate tax. I think America should be like Feudal England where a few rich families have all the wealth, and the other 300,000,000 Americans can be peasants, and live in squalor. Kinda like Mexico…..

  4. 4

    sgmmac spews:

    Lucy is a school teacher………… very dangerous profession these days, but it does provide a platform to mold the minds of the innocent.

  5. 5

    Libertarian spews:

    Exactly,taxing consumption rather than income is easier to enforce and has less adverse consequences to the economy. Of course libs prefer class warfare via the income tax; it’s much easier to demagogue.

    Commentby americafirst— 9/27/06@ 8:59 pm

    ============

    But it puts accountants and lawyers out of business!! Oh my!!

  6. 6

    Anonymous spews:

    Where did you go Klake?

    I know, I handed your ass to you. I am sorry. I just love my country, and want a better future, for me, and you too.

    Come into the light.

    Shed the hypocrisy of the right wing liars, and come into the light.

    It will be great taking positions on issues that all facts support.

    Comment by Facts Support My Positions — 9/27/06 @ 11:26 am

    Right now three glasses of great wine and two shots of vodka you got me!!!!!!!! But at a later date we can carry on this discussion about this subject. We as a Nation have to support each other in order to win this War. Facts do not win wars, but supporting people who known how to win conflicts is more important than winning arguments. There are no right or left wing liars but the lack of communication to deal with this conflict. The best point I can make is it will take a nation that is united to win this war, where do you stand on that point of view. Loving your country does not enter the equation and winning this war is more important that any political party, but requires good leadership to make that happen. Please do not play into the enemy hands by playing silly games just to win power for personal gains. I want is a PLAN that works in winning this War not arguments on why we are losing this conflict. The Democrats have not presented a Plan on how they would make that happen today. My last statement is that anyone who does not post with their name brings nothing to the table. There are risks in life that everyone has to deal with, but you make a statement be willing to take that risk, or remain silent about the subject matter. YOU HAVE A NAME YOUR FATHER OR MOTHER GAVE YOU AT BIRTH, NOW POST BY IT, AND PLEASE DO NOT HIDE BEHIND SOME FONTY NAME. That shows that you will take the same risks that I do when I’m in the battle field defending your right to make those statements. FACTS SUPPORT MY POSITIONS MEANS NOTHING. Do not hide under your mother skirt or behind the skirt either, stand up and support those who are making the greatest sacrifices to keep this Country Free today even if you cannot contribute yourself to this cause.

  7. 7

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    I am for the fair tax (Federal consumption tax) and getting rid of the income and estate tax all together. That way everyone has a stake and the rich pay their fair share. I am also for paying a reasonable capital gains tax only when the assets are sold or transferred. Capital gains should be indexed and inflationary gains should not be taxed.
    Commentby RUFUS Fitzgerald Kennedy— 9/27/06@ 8:48 pm
    ============================================================
    Exactly,taxing consumption rather than income is easier to enforce and has less adverse consequences to the economy. Of course libs prefer class warfare via the income tax; it’s much easier to demagogue.

    Commentby americafirst [.....Totally agree. Great posts RUFUS and americafirst. Best regrads, JCH]

  8. 8

    John Barelli spews:

    Commentby sgmmac— 9/28/06@ 12:11 am

    “If the death tax has been in Washington State for 90 years, what has changed? The super wealthly are still super wealthly because they are all sheltering their money. It’s the damn little guy in Seattle whose house, car and modest investments put him just over the limit. It’s the farm owner and the small business owner who are getting murdered with the estate tax. The wealthy who can easily afford it – are NOT paying it.”

    Perhaps I didn’t answer this well enough last time. I was in a bit of a hurry.

    Even assuming that the house doesn’t go tax-free to the spouse, there is a two million dollar exclusion. The first $2,000,000 is not taxed. We’re not talking about some working stiff that scrimped and saved, living in his 3 bedroom, 2 bath split level in the suburbs. (Any life insurance is not counted in that amount, as the premiums were taxed, so the payout is not considered part of the estate.) If that “little guy” is just over the limit, (say he’s worth $2.5 million) then only that part over $2 million is taxed. It isn’t a situation where $1.9 million has no tax, but $2.1 million is hit with a huge bill.

    We’re talking about people that would otherwise be paying significant capital gains, but because the assets haven’t been sold, no tax has been paid, nor will it be paid as the heirs receive a “stepped up” basis for their own capital gains tax.

    Heirs that have worked in a family business will normally already own a substantial part of the business. (If dear old dad just couldn’t let loose any of the stock, this might be a problem, but that family had other issues to deal with.)

    “It is way past time for this state to get a State Income Tax that is progressive and fair. The longer we keep consumption taxes – the worse off the poor and working families will be.

    Can’t really disagree here, except that most states that have a state income tax also keep their sales taxes. Our sales tax is not the highest in the country, even compared to states with an income tax. If we could somehow trade taxes, where we had a progressive income tax and no sales tax, it might fly here. Unfortunately, you would have to convince some rather sceptical people (yours truly included) that we wouldn’t be just adding an additional tax.

    “As far as the newspapers contributing to initiatives, they vote too! A survey was done after the 2000 and 2004 election and the biggest majority of reporters voted democratic………”

    Goldy may have been taking a cheap shot on this one. Still, it’s a political blog. I doubt very much if he would have had a major problem with a contribution to the Darcy Burner campaign (although the folks over at SP would have gone ballistic). As long as they manage to keep their editorial section separate from the news reporting, most of us will be satisfied. The Seattle Times does an “ok” job of keeping them separate, compared to other major papers.

    “Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.” – A.J. Liebling

  9. 9

    Yossarian spews:

    I think America should be like Feudal England where a few rich families have all the wealth, and the other 300,000,000 Americans can be peasants, and live in squalor. Kinda like Mexico…..

    Commentby Facts Support My Positions— 9/27/06@ 4:25 pm

    Do you think that will stop illegals from coming?

  10. 11

    Libertarian spews:

    If there HAS to be an estate tax, it should be easy to compute, have a high tax-free transfer amount, and be a very low percentage of the amount in excess of the tax-free amount. It should preserve wealth for the heirs’ use, which is what the decedent wants.

  11. 12

    Jim King spews:

    @59- Goldy- go read what I actually wrote, instead of your usual “put other words in people’s mouths” routine. I did NOT say that most newspaper editorial endorsements aree of liberals.

    You can apologize whwen you get your head out of Darcy’s ass.

    I said that you liberals laugh at conservatives when they question the ability of a newspaper’s reporters to be objective when the editorial board has endorsed a Democrat, but then go out on this crusade when the business side takes a stand- and that you are just as bad as the conservative conspiracy theorists, with all of you so fixated on the grassy knoll that you have no sense of reality.

    You know few reporters for the daily newspapers of this state if you think they bow down before their editorial boards, or their publisher. Outside of the Spokesman-Review, the news side of our dailies are notoriously independent- and the editorial voice is rarely controlled by the business side, either. But even where the publisher weighs in on issues on the editorial pages, that is his or her right- and opinion pages are not made for objectivity, either.

    We still have the standing challenge, which you obviously cannot meet, of citing any error by the news side of the Times- or the Columbian or Skagit Valley Herald for that matter- on this issue.

    as an aside- if you think the Columbian is “heavily invested” in the I-920 campaign, you really do not understand how little they put in. And Pioneer is several steps removed from the control of the little newspapers stillwell cited, and exercises no control over the Skagit Valley Herald.

    As for your second and third points- “we” in the sense you include yourself, did nothing twenty-five years ago. YOU were not here. I worked on that campaign, and if the federal estate tax could have been eliminated in Washington, the people would have done so. No difference between “inheritance tax” and “estate tax” except for clueless out-of-state bloggers who haven’t figured out the history of Washington State- yet.

    And the people have voted numerous times since 1932 to NOT have an income tax, just as Oregon voters have on the sales tax. Make sense? No. A political reality? Most definitely.

    But your liberal friends put up the challenge- what had changed? I filled the clueless wonders in. Do the people care today? We’ll find out November 7th- or 21st, or December 14th, or whenever King and snohomish counties figure out how to count ballots.

    I’m still waiting for you to explain why you are so pro-insurance company and their allies…

  12. 13

    JDB spews:

    Why suspend the habeas corpus in insurrections and rebellions? The parties who may be arrested may be charged instantly with a well defined crime; of course, the judge will remand them. If the public safety requires that the government should have a man imprisoned on less probable testimony in those than in other emergencies, let him be taken and tried, retaken and retried, while the necessity continues, only giving him redress against the government for damages. Examine the history of England. See how few of the cases of the suspension of the habeas corpus law have been worthy of that suspension. They have been either real treasons, wherein the parties might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots, where it was shameful they should ever have been suspected. Yet for the few cases wherein the suspension of the habeas corpus has done real good, that operation is now become habitual and the minds of the nation almost prepared to live under its constant suspension.

    JCH, Puddy, Loser Yellowback, proudtobeanass, Doofus, pjb, etc. etc. Do you agree or disagree?

  13. 14

    Libertarian spews:

    For all of you in love with the estate tax idea, when you pass on, please leave everything you own to the State of Washington.

  14. 15

    John Barelli spews:

    “You pay taxes all your life, why the fuck should the government run in and take it all when you die? What gives the government the moral right to dictate where your money goes when you die?”

    Commentby sgmmac— 9/27/06@ 6:13 pm

    While you have a point there, the deduction covers most or all of the money that has been taxed.

    When a person dies, real property and businesses are given a new “base value” for tax purposes. Essentially, any capital gains on that increase in value is not taxed.

    Example: You own an apartment building that you paid $200,000 for twenty years ago. If you sold it today, it would be worth $2 Million. You would owe capital gains tax on $1.8 Million.

    But, if you die, your heirs get a new tax basis of the full two million. They can sell tomorrow and no tax is due, except for the estate tax.

    Your standard working person would find it very difficult to save over a million dollars out of taxed income. The largest part of most estates (large enough trigger the estate tax) is capital gains, which is not taxed until the property changes hands.

    Perhaps it would be more “fair” to simply avoid the problem by keeping the original base value, transferring that to the heirs and having the heirs pay capital gains upon sale of the asset.

    Still, all the rhetoric about taxing you when you die is just that. The deceased is not taxed. The only people getting taxed are the heirs, who have not earned a dime of that money. Spouses are treated pretty well by the tax laws, and if an estate is big enough to trigger the estate tax, it’s big enough to have a good lawyer set up trusts that will avoid most taxes when it is transferred to an immediate family member.

    The folks really annoyed about the estate tax are those that want to keep total control of an asset and also take advantage of the new tax basis, avoiding capital gains taxes.

    You’ll note that the folks complaining about estate taxes are not suggesting that the rules regarding the stepped-up basis for capital gains be revoked. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

    A good case could be made for simply taxing any gains, rather than taxing the initial capital, and my belief is that this is the reason for a rather high deduction from estate taxes. The deduction is set high enough so that it would more than cover the amount of initial capital (that has been taxed, so should not be taxed again – we agree here).

    This explanation is far too long, and I would work on it to smooth out the “rough edges”, but I’m going to be late for choir practice (anyone that has heard me sing knows that I need all the practice I can get). Perhaps another poster could help here.

  15. 16

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Making social security cards impossible to duplicate, and easy to verify, and making it a felony to hire, or employ ANYONE without a social security card that the employer easily verified.

    That would stop illegal immigration. Far better than spending 50 billion on a useless wall that won’t stop anyone.

    If they can’t earn a buck, they will go home. Easy to figure this one out….

    Give them a little time to take care of their affairs and then after say Jan 1 2008 make it a felony to hire anyone without a verified Social Security card.

    EASY…..

  16. 18

    Jim King spews:

    As much as Ryan Blethen makes the case for a 100% estate tax, Frank Blethen and the Seattle Times have so much more credibility on the estate tax than Goldstein that his pathetic attempt at humor- especially given his constant fundraising efforts for liberal Democrats- actually does become humorous, in a sick sort of way. Oh, media corporations are not allowed to make political contributions? Since when, oh all high and mighty and hypocritical Goldstein?

    And when will one of you lefties make a cogent case for a tax that transfers more money into the pockets of insurance companies and their allies than it does the public treasurery?

    Or when will one of you lefties take on Gates Sr, Gates Jr, and Buffett for their abuses of the trust systems to avoid estate taxes (and other taxes) while providing their heirs with lavish incomes and lifestyles- all while saying small businesses should just take it in the shorts?

    But, Goldstein, a lot of allegations- but cite one bit of misinformation about the estate tax you can atrtribute to frank Blethen- or is this again a pile of rodent pellets that smells so bad you hope nobody will bother to actually look?

  17. 19

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    Any asshole dicksucker on this board can claim to be a veteran.
    What’s that sound? JCH running!

    Commentby RightEqualsStupid […..OK…….The question: “high, low, medium, “J” Band homer"………Are there any Navy types onboard HA. ORG that can identify?] A Hershey bar for the correct answer…………….[You too, Chief!! E-3 GBS, this is above your paygrade, but you can play.]

  18. 20

    spews:

    I like what Nader said. Tax wealth not worth. We all pay a flat tax of our net assets, not our wages. Figure out what the government needs, and we all pay the percentage to cover exactly that. Bingo. Add 1% to pay down the national debt, and then work on finding ways to make government more efficient by audits, and performance studies.

  19. 21

    americafirst spews:

    I am for the fair tax (Federal consumption tax) and getting rid of the income and estate tax all together. That way everyone has a stake and the rich pay their fair share. I am also for paying a reasonable capital gains tax only when the assets are sold or transferred. Capital gains should be indexed and inflationary gains should not be taxed.
    Commentby RUFUS Fitzgerald Kennedy— 9/27/06@ 8:48 pm
    ============================================================
    Exactly,taxing consumption rather than income is easier to enforce and has less adverse consequences to the economy. Of course libs prefer class warfare via the income tax; it’s much easier to demagogue.

  20. 22

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    Why suspend the habeas corpus in insurrections and rebellions? The parties who may be arrested may be charged instantly with a well defined crime; of course, the judge will remand them. If the public safety requires that the government should have a man imprisoned on less probable testimony in those than in other emergencies, let him be taken and tried, retaken and retried, while the necessity continues, only giving him redress against the government for damages. Examine the history of England. See how few of the cases of the suspension of the habeas corpus law have been worthy of that suspension. They have been either real treasons, wherein the parties might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots, where it was shameful they should ever have been suspected. Yet for the few cases wherein the suspension of the habeas corpus has done real good, that operation is now become habitual and the minds of the nation almost prepared to live under its constant suspension.

    JCH, Puddy, Loser Yellowback, proudtobeanass, Doofus, pjb, etc. etc. Do you agree or disagree?

    Commentby JDB [………..OK…….Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during early 1860’s [civil war]. FDR sure interns a lot of American citizens who were or had family in Japan. These raghead terrorists are not in uniform and do not deserve Geneva protection. Frankly, I don’t believe we need 18 year old Marines kicking in doors. Withdraw, and order Iran to close the nuclear plants, or we will finish their country. OneTrident: war is over.]

  21. 23

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    The Dems would never support a “national sales tax” in place of the income tax, as they would lose the “power to redistribute others wealth”.

  22. 24

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    On 9-12-2001 we were united with the world. Commentby Facts Support My Positions.

    Oh Really?

    How about all the democraps who made made fun of George Bush when he met with the firefighter Bob Beckwith?

    How about Hillary asking when did Geroge Bush know?

    Yes, your facts support no positions!

  23. 27

    spews:

    Jim King,

    HA doesn’t claim to be the paper of record, the Seattle Times does. I do not pretend to be impartial or objective, the Seattle Times does.

    As for the Times’ op/ed page’s misinformation on the estate tax, I have documented it numerous times. You want to argue that doesn’t go back to Frank Blethen? Well, that’s typical modern day Republicanism to argue that the buck doesn’t stop here.

  24. 28

    RUFUS Fitzgerald Kennedy spews:

    29

    That’s what the consumption tax does. It is the fairest way to tax. Tax all purchases as they happen. No consumption tax on basic staples (ie food or medicine) but the rest is fair game. No tax return at the end of the year. I am glad to see you are a supporter.

  25. 29

    Daddy Love spews:

    Those things (in the prev. post) have NOTHING TO DO with whether or not we have or do not have an estate tax.

    Hey, but people SUPPORT the estate tax!

    According to polling commissioned by the Coalition for America’s Priorities:

    – 57% of American voters do not want to see the estate tax repealed. Rather they would like to see it kept as is (33%) or reformed (24%)– but not repealed.
    – The more information voters learn about the estate tax, the more they oppose repeal. After learning more information, these numbers rise to as high as 44% leave as is, 28% reform, 22% repeal (72% leave as or reform, 22% repeal).
    – Voters think one of the two best ways to reduce the budget deficit is to keep the estate tax. The other is to raise income taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
    – Voters would much prefer to see Congress use funds for a variety of purposes other than repealing the estate tax. Strong majorities preferred (for example) spending the money on health care for veterans and the uninsured and shoring up Social Security.

  26. 30

    Puddybud Nagin Need Mo Money spews:

    Goldy: Notice I started spelling your name correctly again.

    Anyway I see you do a mea culpa. I am waiting for racist loocy to do the same. I would love to visit loocy’s work place.

  27. 31

    Daddy Love spews:

    There is no reason to let anyone leave anything to their heirs, and several good rasons not to. When you’re dead you’re dead, and you no longer have any legal right to your property. Hey, you’re dead, so shut up already.

    Because it would be unseemly and unfair to just let whoever happens along first to rummage through your goods and take what they want, in the interests of fairness the state should appropriate it under its powers of eminent domain and put the decedent’s estate toward the public good.

    Republicans are forever telling us of the corrosive effect on intiative of receiving what is not earned, and I for one could not agree more. Nothing could be more harmful to one’s character than to inherit funds for which one has done nothing rather than scraping together a few crumbs the hard, hard way, which is what the Walton kids SHOULD be doing instead of living on the Forbes 400 as billionaires. After all, if giving a single mother $10,000 a year in welfare stifles her incentive to work, just think how much worse it must be for someone who gets a windfall of 100 or a thousand or a million times that much.

    We all know that government help is the wrong way for poor people to receiev aid, it they ar to receive it at all. Personaly, I think they should be left on roadsides to starve, but if they MUST be helped, it would be far better for private charities to help and not the govenrment on our dime, because they are funded by voluntary contributions and not by public money. But a 1998 paper by Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis found that “There is overwhelming evidence that estate taxes stimulate charitable bequests.” After all, a $10 million bequest to charity generates the full $10 million in gratitude and recognition, while the same $10 million will leave heirs with as little as $4.5 million (after federal and state taxes). Absent estate confiscation, charities will go broke, and the middle class Republicans will be forced to put their money where their principles are claimed to be. And who wants that?

    In addition, forfeiting one’s goods to the state would make it possible for the taxes on the living to go down. Tax cuts for evedrone! Now you know that’s a good thing.

    I expect Republicans to sign on to this plan in droves. Forcing personal responsiblity, encouraging healthy, character-building work in stead of lazy sucking leech-like behavior, and tax cuts all around! Waht’s not to like?

    BTW, interestingly enough, all arguments in this post also apply to a progressive tax on a percentage of the estate of only the wealthiest few percent among us.

  28. 32

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    Libertarian @ 3:

    The estate tax doesn’t kick in at all until 1.5 million dollars.

    After that point, it’s…. well, not voluntary, but let me put it this way. If you have the sort of estate where there’s 1.5 million dollars floating around, you can kick 10 grand to an estate planning specialist to make sure that the good bits stay out of the hands of the tax man. A few choice examples:

    1) In your golden years, sell your house to an LLC. The LLC can be owned in shares by your beneficiaries. There’s a little footwork to avoid it being a “gift” but it’s not complicated.

    2) Fungible assets (cash, stocks, bonds, etc.) can be transferred to a holding company or account overseas. Why, you may ask? Well, according to US tax law, you may receive up to $10,000 per year as a gift without paying taxes on it. However, if the transfer is from out of country, the number shoots up to $100,000!

    3) Did I mention that assets held outside of treaty countries are not subject to taxation? Jersey, Bermuda, South Korea, and other jurdistictions provide ample opportunities to hide money.

    If you are just so wealthy that you can’t transfer and retransfer funds to your heirs using this process over 10 or 15 years, my sympathy for you is limited. One and a half million dollars to each of your children, plus your house! How much do kids need to get a good start in life these days anyhow?

    I’m not that smart, that connected, nor that rich, and I know how to do this. Smarter and better advised people can tell you more tricks.

    Blethen feels strongly about the estate tax because most of his net worth is tied up in a single corporation which has a high profile and would be difficult to bury. While I suspect as publisher of the Times, he takes in a fairly decent paycheck, he likes being the owner of a newspaper more than he likes the millions of dollars he would reap by selling the remainder of the Times to Knight-Ridder.

    Some part of me feels badly for him, but my sympathy for a guy whose grandchildren will never have to work for a living or live in a house with a mere six-digit value even if he was socked for the full value of the estate tax is pretty limited.

    For the rest of us, if your wildest dreams of riches and avarice have your net worth below about $10 million when you shuffle off this mortal coil, this is so not your problem.

  29. 33

    My Left Foot spews:

    41

    While I could never agree with the sentiment, this post is funny. I tried not to laugh, but I could not help it. I am still Liberal, Democrat and Proud, but Goddamn, sometimes JCH is funny.

  30. 34

    Cicero spews:

    So, ArtFart, are you saying it the moral obligation of the wealthy to support the less-wealthy by paying more taxes?

  31. 35

    americafirst spews:

    Blethen feels strongly about the estate tax because most of his net worth is tied up in a single corporation which has a high profile and would be difficult to bury. While I suspect as publisher of the Times, he takes in a fairly decent paycheck, he likes being the owner of a newspaper more than he likes the millions of dollars he would reap by selling the remainder of the Times to Knight-Ridder.
    Commentby jsa on commercial drive— 9/27/06@ 7:13 pm
    ================================================
    Right, he’ll have a tougher time trying to evade the estate tax. Another reason to favor a consumption tax instead of income and estate taxes.

  32. 36

    Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

    Here’s a perfect example of why that lying sack of shit Maria Cantwell is unfit to be a US Senator: http://www.cantwell.com/multimedia/video/40.aspx

    After her accomplices and cheerleaders in the unbiased, fair and balanced local media we have here in FUWA told her to get off “her oil shtick”
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ged25.html

    and the invisible hand forces gas prices to “plunge”
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ers14.html

    she decided she had to find a new industry to demonize. What better target than the pharmaceutical industry?

    In her ad, she claims that consumers are “overcharged” for prescription medicines. Really? Do tell. What evidence is there of overcharging? Is there even one AG investigation anywhere that proves even a shred of illegal corporate activity? How is “overcharging” defined then? As simply being more than some fucking loser wishes to pay? Yeah… apparently…

    And what does she propose to “do about” med prices? Price controls? Nationalize the industry? Make them a regulated industry? Or maybe some kind of Robin Hood program where guys like me are forced to pay for other’s self induced inability to pay for meds?

    She never quite gets around to proving there’s a problem. She never proposes a “solution” to this non existent problem. Nah.. none of that is required… all she has to do is make an emotional appeal to the gullible among you who will guzzle down any kool aid she pours…

  33. 37

    RUFUS Fitzgerald Kennedy spews:

    I am for the fair tax (Federal consumption tax) and getting rid of the income and estate tax all together. That way everyone has a stake and the rich pay their fair share. I am also for paying a reasonable capital gains tax only when the assets are sold or transferred. Capital gains should be indexed and inflationary gains should not be taxed.

  34. 38

    Libertarian spews:

    Every editor at the Times knows the publisher’s passion for estate tax repeal, and he can tell them not to be influenced, and they can try not to be influenced… but it simply isn’t humanly possible.

    Commentby Goldy— 9/28/06@ 9:03 am

    =====

    The same thing is happening down here in the hinterlands of Pierce County. A buddy of mine involved in a charitable activity ran into a writer for The News Tribune who related to him that the writing in that paper was directed to support liberal causes and viewpoints. This writer was a self-dscribed Liberttarian but wrote in accordance with the viewpoints of the TNT’s editors.

    The political convictions of the leading editors have always influenced how the news and viewpoints are written.

  35. 39

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    Should Bill Gates have 50,000,000,000 times as much influence in our government as a disabled vet with no $$?

    Commentby Facts Support My Positions [Er, What happened to “One man, one vote”………..Sorry, Jewish Democrats in New York. You can’t vote in the East Hamptons and then vote again in the same election in Palm Beach.

  36. 41

    Curious George spews:

    Goldy –

    Let Jim King have the last word on this until he gets back on his meds – or at least gets them balanced again.

  37. 42

    Reality Check spews:

    quick: get a copy of Brigitte Gabriel’s book “Because they Hate”, and get up to speed on the dangers we face. No more head in the sand!

  38. 43

    RUFUS Fitzgerald Kennedy spews:

    25

    If the fair tax was ever passed it would be to the doom of the democrat party. No more victims.

  39. 44

    Jim King spews:

    So a newspaper chooses to give cash to a conservative cause, nstead of ink to a liberal cause, and now they are unethical?

    It just gets deeper and deeper on this post. And I cannot take a one of you seriously.

    What has changed in this state in the last decade? What has changed is that the Democrats in the Legislature reinstituted the estate tax. The people repealed the state estate tax over twenty-five years ago, except that as long as the feds allowed the states to take a portion of the federal tax, that was allowed. When that “take” from the federal tax started to disappear, the legislative Democrats jumped at the chance to reinstitute an estate tax not tied to the federal tax.

    The State Supremes shot them down, so they did it again.

    That’s what changed, for those of you- almost all of the liberal posters here- who haven’t paid attention in recent years.

    But if you weren’t here these past twenty-five years, and haven’t bothered to do your research (again), you wouldn’t know these things. And getting together for drinks Tuesday nights in a lefty group-think session is not “research”.

    Now why do you see those particular papers contributing? A look at their ownership might give all you clueless liberals some insight. And Stilwell- if you can get their circulation into the hundreds of thousands, I’m sure they’d pay you well.

    The Anacortes American is a weekly with a circulation of 4,100. The two “real” dailies you’ve listed- the Skagit Valley Herald and the Columbian, have Sunday circulations of 18,000 and 58,000. All of the newspapers you listed, except the Columbian, are owned by Pioneer Newspaper Services- a Scripps famil business. Their website is http://pioneernewspapers.com/

    And not one of those newspapers listed by Stilwell, except the Columbian, gave a dime to the campaign. They are not owned by Pioneer, other than the ownership position that Pioneer has in the Ellensburg paper.

    And blithe comments that “newspapers can survive” are easily undercut by the reality that large newspapers are failing, and small newspapers- dailies and weeklies- barely get by. But of course, we would all rather have local community papers bought up by some corporate chain financed by warren Buffett, so they can pay their estate tax- or to get out of continuing to pay the insurance company extortion necessary to “prepare” for paying the estate tax.

    Goldstein- go back to Journalism 101- or did you ever take it- and learn the difference between the editorial voice and the news operations of a newspaper. You all laugh at the conservatives who question how a newspaper who endorsed a Democrat for President can be objective in news reporting, and snicker over the right-wing conspiracy theorists, then prove with these inane posts that you are just as fixated on the grassy knoll.

    Just as I easily choose Frank Blethen over you, I look at the corporate leadership and history of Pioneer, and they have it all over your pathetic posters. Go tell a member of the Associated Press board of directors- or an advisory board member for the UW School of Communications- that they don’t know journalistic ethics- they probably could use the laugh.

  40. 45

    sgmmac spews:

    Libertarian,

    I sincerely doubt that Gates is paying federal income tax on 300 grand a year. That may be his salary, but that is probably not even close to his yearly income.

    Stock options, capital gains, dividends, etc……..

  41. 46

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    Libertarian @ 75:

    I am glad you don’t hate Korean grocery owners. I didn’t think you did.

    While I am sorry that the state of Massachusets got so much of your late father-in-law’s estate, I will reiterate. If they got that much, your father-in-law was poorly advised. I have seen much more money than that disappear into thin air, as in the heirs got most of it and the tax man didn’t.

    If you are working on the basis that all taxation is theft, I don’t know what to say. Working from an absolutist point of view like that is good for winning arguments, but it’s kind of silly.

    If you work from a basis that “we are delivering these services, they cost this much, and therefore we need this much revenue” it gets a lot easier. You go for maximum revenue with minimum pain. Extracting a pound of flesh from the top 1% will cause both the top 1% being extracted and the politician doing the extracting a lot less pain than getting that same pound of flesh from the bottom 50% of the wage-earners.

    Now you can argue for a radical restructuring of the social contract to a fee-based system for everything, which would eliminate income and wealth taxes and put everything on use. This seems like a bad idea to me. When we start off in life, we usually produce little and consume a lot (largely in the form of education, and schooling for our little progeny once our own is done). You go through a process where you earn more, save more, and consume less. I think it will cause me a lot less financial pain (there’s that phrase again), if I pay property taxes now to put my kids through school and continue to pay them throughout my life than if I go heavily in debt now (or forego saving, which is one in the same) to pay for 20 years of fee-based schooling.

    In addition, it’s not politically realistic. We have so few real conservatives in office because politicans who cut programs get kicked out of office very quickly. Blame the politicans if you want. I blame all those stupid voters who are doing the same mentall calculation I am.

  42. 47

    RUFUS Fitzgerald Kennedy spews:

    33

    Dont you love it though. Listening to dems on the “fair tax” is like watching a leech try to suck on a dry rock. hehehehe

  43. 48

    sgmmac spews:

    The death tax needs to be repealed or changed very radically.

    There is no logical reason for the State or Federal government’s death reaper to swoop in like the blood sucking vultures that they really are and take all the assets of people when they die.

    Make the system fair and equitable to all, instead of this godawful social engineering that is currently happening.
    It is none of the government’s fucking business who someone leaves their estate to.

    You pay taxes all your life, why the fuck should the government run in and take it all when you die? What gives the government the moral right to dictate where your money goes when you die?

  44. 49

    Libertarian spews:

    Tell you what…why don’t YOU just decide what we all need, OK? I’m sure everyone here is OK with that, whaddya say, people? After all, who better?

    Commentby Daddy Love— 9/28/06@ 2:33 pm

    ================

    Thanks for your support, Daddy.

    My first decree is to get us out of the Iraq mess and let the residents of the area solve it.

    Then let’s close down a the show in South Korea and defer to Japan, Russia, China, and South Korea in dealing with their nasty neighbor in North Korea.

    Then let’s excuse ourselves from the UN. They never liked us anyway.

    All those troops returning from Iraq could do us a service by monitoring the borders and intercepting illegal aliens before they have a chance to get too far into our country. The activity would concentrate mostly on the southern border with Mexico, but it will also mean an effort will have to be expended on the Canadian border, too. Remember that guy who tried to come in from BC into Port Angeles with the explosives.

    Next, we have to bid a fond farewell to our friends from Europe. We’ve been camped-out there for over 60 years, so it’s time for us to withdraw. Also, we need to let Israel and the Muslim state get their conflict over with. We’ve been helping too much there.

  45. 50

    Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

    Hey you Kennedy bros… remember MTR’s rule of moobat taxation policy…a “fair tax” is the one that the other guy has to pay.

  46. 51

    ArtFart spews:

    79 Makes more sense than the other way around. May be arguable whether it’s fair, but if you’re going to take money from someplace, like Willie Sutton alluded to, you’re more likely to find it in a bank than in a bum’s empty pockets.

  47. 52

    spews:

    Jim King @48,

    First… your frame that newspaper op/ed pages tend to endorse liberal candidates and liberal causes is a LIE. Study after study shows that newspaper endorsements nationwide overwhelmingly support Republicans. That’s just the plain truth, and it’s been like that for forty years.

    Second… we did NOT repeal the estate tax 25 years ago, we repealed the inheritance tax, and pegged the estate tax to the federal rate. You think voters did that in the expectation that the feds would phase out the federal estate tax 25 years later? Give me break. For all of the past 90-some years, WA has levied some sort of estate or inheritance tax. Again… that’s a fact.

    Third… a 25-year-old initiative? Give me a fucking break. Let’s go back then to 1932, when the people overwhelmingly approved an income tax, but the Supreme Court threw it out on a bizarre decision that would never be upheld today. Where’s your outrage over the people being denied their income tax? So don’t give me this crap about the legislature denying the will of the people by modifying law created a quarter century ago.

    And finally… again… this is about newspapers who continue to claim to be “objective” and “fair and balanced” and yet are clearly playing in partisan politics. Every editor at the Times knows the publisher’s passion for estate tax repeal, and he can tell them not to be influenced, and they can try not to be influenced… but it simply isn’t humanly possible. Talk to reporters at the Times… many of them are clearly uncomfortable about Frank’s obsession with this issue.

    Readers should not expect objective coverage of an issue in which newspaper owners have so heavily invested themselves. Period.

  48. 53

    sgmmac spews:

    Daddy,

    How about eliminating the waste in our bloated State Government? How about a state income tax – Gates, Allen and Schultz all get to pay millions to the state…… Those 3 paying 15% of their yearly income is more than enough to recover the 300 million or so brought in by the estate tax, which they won’t ever pay.

  49. 54

    sgmmac spews:

    Daddy @ 64,

    Of course people want the rich to pay the taxes. It is human nature to expect someone else to pay – anyone but me!

    Come On – 97% of the taxes are paid by the top 1% of the population. There is a limit as to how much of your income should go to the government. 30% of your income is a very big slice of the pie going to Uncle Sam.

  50. 55

    Libertarian spews:

    Those 3 paying 15% of their yearly income is more than enough to recover the 300 million or so brought in by the estate tax, which they won’t ever pay.

    Commentby sgmmac— 9/28/06@ 10:18 am

    =============

    I wish that were true, sgmmac, but Bill Gates and the others have very low salaries compared to their accumulated wealth. The last time I saw an annual report for Microsoft, Gates’salary was under $300,000. I know that’s a lot you you and me, but, in relation to Mr. Gates’ accumulateed wealth, it’s only a small fraction.

    Even if we assume Bill Gates gets $500,000 from Microsoft each year, that doesn’t amount to a lot of incone taxes in the scheme of things.

    The estate tax probably had noble intentions when it was initiated, but it has degeneraated into wealth re-distribution.

  51. 56

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    67, cont…..by refusing illegals any education, social services, and only emergency medical care [transport back to Mexico]

  52. 57

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    Libertarian @ 54:

    Just be honest and admit it: estate taxes are yet another attempt to re-distribute wealth so as to keep neo-socialist politicians in office.

    If you want me to say that, sure. I’d phrase it a little differently though.

    I do not begrudge anyone the ability to get as rich as they want through hard work. I don’t even begrudge Bill Gates, though I get to curse his products on a daily basis.

    I fail to see anything healthy about leaving multi-billion dollar estates in the hands of heirs. Their interests are generally focused on the maintenance of their wealth and not on growing it.
    Class resentment aside, it’s a poor use of capital.

    Let’s assume the very worst case in government wealth distribution, that it gets blown on welfare checks in the ghetto, which are promptly spent on coke and whores. (note: I don’t buy this, but we’ll play with the worst-case scenario anyhow).

    The first thought is reverse resentment. How dare you give this money to leeches! But remember something:

    Money moves.

    If it stayed under the beds of undeserving people, that would be one thing. It doesn’t. It goes to Korean grocery store owners, auto dealerships, gas stations, and of course, to vile urban slumlords like myself.

    I can’t speak for the rest of my cohort, but I’m hungry and I want my capital to grow as quickly as humanly possible.

    I’ll ask a facetious question, followed by a serious one. Why do you hate hardworking Korean grocery store owners so much?

    More seriously, other than some vain belief that you are going to join the social class that’s subject to inhertiance tax (the somewhat well-off guys version of winning the lottery), what possible good to you see in preserving wealth for generations after the original person who earned that wealth?

  53. 58

    sgmmac spews:

    If the death tax has been in Washington State for 90 years, what has changed? The super wealthly are still super wealthly because they are all sheltering their money. It’s the damn little guy in Seattle whose house, car and modest investments put him just over the limit. It’s the farm owner and the small business owner who are getting murdered with the estate tax. The wealthy who can easily afford it – are NOT paying it.

    Those of you who are preaching for a consumption tax can all kiss it! We have a consumption tax in this state and it’s never enough. We pay over 8% on almost everything we buy. Some things are a lot more than 8%. Hopefully this next legislature will nail YOUR sin with a special tax, because I am tired of them taxing my sins into oblivion.

    Where is the Latte tax???????

    Consumption taxes are regressive because they slam the poor and the working class the hardest. Why should I pay the same consumption taxes that Bill Gates pays every month? It is way past time for this state to get a State Income Tax that is progressive and fair. The longer we keep consumption taxes – the worse off the poor and working families will be. 1 million people in this state are getting State Health care and assistance. How many more can the system support before it bursts at the seams?

    This next legislature is going to raise taxes on property. We are looking at 2 to 4% annual increases unless Eyeman runs something. The legislature is going to raise taxes for education and health care also, Gregoire has blue ribbon panels giving her suggestions.

    Nichols is looking to scam the legislature for over 20 million for his pet projects and then we have the viaduct and the floating bridge…………….

    As far as the newspapers contributing to initiatives, they vote too! A survey was done after the 2000 and 2004 election and the biggest majority of reporters voted democratic………

  54. 59

    ArtFart spews:

    23-24 Sure, a “consumption tax” is a wonderful improvement if you’re fortunate enough to only need to spend significantly less than you make. If you’re a regular workin’ stiff, and most of what you make (save for a little saved and maybe a little dropped in the basket on Sunday) is spent buying stuff to serve your everyday needs, then by golly, you’re being taxed on most of your income, while Mr. Moneybags isn’t.

    Now, if you’re one of those folks in real denial who are carrying a third mortgage and a lot of credit card debt to pay for all that gas for your SUV and other stuff to keep making believe you’re affluent, then you’re in even deeper doo-doo because you’re paying taxes on MORE THAN YOU MAKE.

    Now, remembering that all those rich folks get to stay rich if the companies whose stock they’re holding keep selling stuff, switching to a system of taxation that pushes all the K-Mart shoppers off the deep end would seem to eventually bite them in their pampered asses as well. If a rising tide supposedly floats all boats (i. e. “supply-side” or “trickle-down” economics) a really bad storm’s gonna sink them all, too.

  55. 60

    Libertarian spews:

    Libertarian,

    I sincerely doubt that Gates is paying federal income tax on 300 grand a year. That may be his salary, but that is probably not even close to his yearly income.

    Stock options, capital gains, dividends, etc……..

    Commentby sgmmac— 9/28/06@ 11:55 am

    ==============

    sgmmac,

    We can’t say with certainty how much someone like Bill Gates makes each year. Unless we have his tax returns and yearly personal financial statements, we have no idea what his taxable income is or what his cash flow might be. I doubt Bill will be providing those to us, even if we ask nicely.

    Having a lot of wealth does not necessarily mean someone has a large income. Unless we can get our hands on all the documentation to prove or disprove your or my point, everything here is conjecture.

  56. 62

    Libertarian spews:

    I’ll ask a facetious question, followed by a serious one. Why do you hate hardworking Korean grocery store owners so much?

    More seriously, other than some vain belief that you are going to join the social class that’s subject to inhertiance tax (the somewhat well-off guys version of winning the lottery), what possible good to you see in preserving wealth for generations after the original person who earned that wealth?

    Commentby jsa on commercial drive— 9/28/06@ 11:42 am

    ===================

    Actually, I don’t hate Korean grocery store owners at all. I was stationed in Korea for a year while in the AF, and got along well with the merchants there, too. Every Monday afternoon and Friday morning, I stop at a local Korean grocery store and buy a MegaMillions ticket, a Lotto ticket, and a Quinto ticket. As a matter of fact, I actually helped revent a robbery there once. Does you really think I don’t like the Korean grocery store owner?

    No, I am not going to inherit a fortune, but let me tell you about my former father-in-law. Of his $2.7MM estate, over half went either to the Feds or to the Tax Hell on Earth of the State of Massachusetts. His daughters got the retirement account divided among the five of them. Guess what? As they withdrew the money, they had to pay income taxes on it. So, when you got down to the end of the line, his duaghters got about 30% of the estate.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think heirs like Paris Hilton and the whole Kennedy Family are wastes of organic matter. But I do not think it’s the government’s job to help itself to what a person leaves to his or her heirs. Wealth in private wealth is no-kidding wealth; wealth in govenrment hands is money waated. I defend a person’s right to leave his or her estate intact to whomever he or she chooses. I may not agree with his or her choices, but I defend his or her right to do as he or she chooses. It’s like the old saw about free speach. I defend a person’s right to say what he or she wishes, but I don’t have to agree with what she or she says.

    So, let’s leave it to the person who is leaving his or her money at death to leave is to whomever he or she chooses.

  57. 63

    sgmmac spews:

    12@ facts ………

    “Should Bill Gates have 50,000,000,000 times as much influence in our government as a disabled vet with no $$?”

    I am a disabled vet and Bill Gates’ heirs won’t pay 1 penny in estate taxes. They are forever protected with cushy jobs in his charity foundation…….

    The same with Warren Buffet, Paul Allen and the rest of the billionaires up in Seattle.

    I use MSN as my mail server. Their customer assistance techs are in Canada…….. Can you say outsourcing?

    I read somewhere that Microsoft ships software from Nevada… Can you say outsourcing? Washington State B & O taxes drive corporations to other countries and other states.

    Paris Hilton won’t pay any estate taxes on the 100 million that she will inherit some day.

  58. 64

    Daddy Love spews:

    sgmmac

    It’s the farm owner and the small business owner who are getting murdered with the estate tax. The wealthy who can easily afford it – are NOT paying it.

    When challenged to do so during the debate over the federal esate tax, the GOP was unable to produce a single family farm sold to pay estate tax. It’s such an ingrained part of your propaganda that you all repeat it at every turn as if it were true, yet it’s just a bunch of bullshit, smoke, and mirrors.

    Besides, there’s nothing about the estate tax regarding family farms of businesses that cannot be fixed by minor changes to the law—a higher threshhold (Democratic proposal) or indexing the limit instead of setting a fixed amount (neither party has yet had the brains to do this). Blowing yet another hole in our state revenues is NOT what we need right now. Mend it, don’t end it.

    As for an income tax, I’m all for it, but I won’t support cutting other taxes before that gets done by saying only that we “should” have an income tax. If someone produces a package that contains an income tax and other tax cuts that is revenue neutral or better, I could support it.

  59. 65

    LauraBushKilledAGuy spews:

    Interesting – Jimmy Queen says she chooses Frank over Goldy, but yet, surprisingly enough, here we have Jimmy Queen posting on – now wait for it – Goldy’s site. Looks like you’ve decided to read Goldy over Frank’s rag to me you right wing asswipe! HE HE!

  60. 66

    Libertarian spews:

    For the rest of us, if your wildest dreams of riches and avarice have your net worth below about $10 million when you shuffle off this mortal coil, this is so not your problem.

    Commentby jsa on commercial drive— 9/27/06@ 7:13 pm

    ===========

    Just be honest and admit it: estate taxes are yet another attempt to re-distribute wealth so as to keep neo-socialist politicians in office.

  61. 67

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Jim King is exactly right. Get rid of the trust loopholes too. No 100% estate tax. Make it curve upward up to 50%, starting at say 2 million. That would be my plan.

    If I have a million in assets, I can make $50,000 a year, and not lift a finger…..

    Having money means it is easier to make money.

  62. 68

    spews:

    Why hello Anonymous. I agree we need to be united. In order to be united our politicians from both parties need to be held to the same standard. They need to tell the truth. They need to be held accountable, and they need to hold each other accountable regardless of party lines.

    These last 2 things are not happening. I respect honesty and integrety above all. The problem is the fact that our current leaders in the White House and leading Congress have neither. They do not speak the truth. They hide their crimes behind “executive priveledge” and their peers (the Congressional checks and balances written into our constitution) allow them to continue this disastrous course with no one questioning their actions. It is these lies, actions, and inactions that have split this country.

    On 9-12-2001 we were united with the world. Remember. Now look at what we got. Chavez getting a standing ovation at the U.N. This would not have happened if we actually were hunting terrorists, and not settling old political scores, and trying to impress Americans with bloodlust for the innocent victims in Iraq.

    We all wanted Bush to go after Al Queda, and put a hurtin’ on the people that attacked us.

    Where we parted ways was when Bush, and his co-conspirators lied about the threat Saddam posed to this nation (undeniably) invaded Iraq withoug UN authorization (which makes this war illegal) and created chaos, and hatred for America our country may never recover from.

    It is not about being Democrat, or Republican. It is about standing up for honesty, and integrity, and the Republicans are laying down like pathetic leeches to the Bush Regime. Only Chuck Hagel says what is really going on. The only Republican I can name that has a clue. The rest are Bush’s poodles, and should be neutered come the next election.

    I would never say Democrats are perfect, but there is no way they could possibly screw up as bad as Bush, and the Republican controlled congress.

    To list all the ways the Republicans have hurt America since they took over would take all night. I am going to bed.

    I feel comfortable knowing all facts support my positions. Prove me wrong, and I will change my stance on a dime. That is what makes me a true American.

    Goodnight, and good luck!

  63. 69

    RUFUS Fitzgerald Kennedy spews:

    The victims are not really vitims because the poor doenst pay federal income tax.

  64. 71

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    “I feel comfortable knowing all facts support my positions.”

    Commentby Facts Support My Positions [.........Who the fuck writes sentences like that? "All the facts".......... Total bull shit.] JCH

  65. 72

    JDB spews:

    Loser Yellowback:

    Is there even one AG investigation anywhere that proves even a shred of illegal corporate activity?

    Actually, at least three, as was proven yesterday.

    Boy, you sure are dumb.

    And a loser.

    And you have no honor.

    And you apparently know nothing.

    Pay your bets!

  66. 73

    sgmmac spews:

    Finding someone who used to own something and lost it isn’t easy. It’s not like there are records which state what taxpayer lost what for a specific reason. Obviously, the legislators in Olympia know of family farms lost because they exempted most of them. I would support changes to it – that taxed the capital gains when they are sold at a fairer rate.

    Why is it that people think it’s okay for Gates and Buffet to NOT pay these taxes????????????

    This state did fine without the estate tax. When they reinstituted it – they tied the funds to education so that they could cry and whine like they are currently doing that it’s for the kids and eliminating the tax will hurt education. No, it won’t.

    Gregoire promised to use the tobacco money on health care. Instead of health care, it is funding her legacy embryonic stem cell research program – Life Sciences Discovery Fund.

  67. 74

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    My Left Foot @ 46:

    …but Goddamn, sometimes JCH is funny.

    I think the word you’re looking for is “trite and derivative”.

    Yeah, it wasn’t a bad joke. I laughed.

    I then went to Google and punched in “chamiqua” (not a name, but something that was done by some white guy who thought “god damn but them darkies do some funny names”).

    It’s a joke that’s been kicking around through the tubes for a few years now. I missed it on my email lists because while some of my friends and family are pretty conservative, none of them are racists.

  68. 75

    Jim King spews:

    @14- Goldstein- being a paper of record does not mean you cannot opine. You concede here, in your reference to the op/ed pages, that the news reporting- the “of record” of the Seattle Times- has been accurate.

    All you have ever “documented” is your differences of opinion with Frank Blethen- and I hate to be the one to break it to you, David, but I imagine that hundreds of thousands of people in this state find Frank Blethen more credible than you, if only because they have no clue who you are- and of those that do know who you are, I would wager that the vast majority would take Blethen over you as an informed opinion.

    But let’s get back to the number one complaint of the small business community regarding the estate tax- that it puts more money in the pockets of the insurance companies and their allies than it does the public treasury- the one issue that no liberal ever honestly addresses.

    I see blithe comment about restructuring of assetts and financial planning by some, who obviously have no clue about how companies- even small businesses- must be structured and what their assett base looks like. These same folks have no clue about the costs of premiums for the insurance necessary to protect that small business against the unxpected death of an owner.

    No, they love to focus on Paris Hilton- who enjoys her extravagant lifestyle for the same reason the hypocrites Gates and Buffett heirs will- Daddy and Granddaddy were able to set up trusts and other devices to give the heirs the lifestyles of the ultra rich and infamous. The worst is Buffett, who built much of his fortune preying on distress sales of family owned companies.

    Why do you same liberals who rail against the Wal-Martization of America fight so hard to be sure that local, family-owned companies do not survive? Your hatred for commerce and small businesses and private ownership comes through loud and clear.

    The bottom line, David Goldstein, is that you are absolutely clueless on the issue of the estate tax- absolutely clueless.

  69. 76

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    The death tax needs to be repealed or changed very radically.

    There is no logical reason for the State or Federal government’s death reaper to swoop in like the blood sucking vultures that they really are and take all the assets of people when they die.

    Make the system fair and equitable to all, instead of this godawful social engineering that is currently happening.
    It is none of the government’s fucking business who someone leaves their estate to.

    You pay taxes all your life, why the fuck should the government run in and take it all when you die? What gives the government the moral right to dictate where your money goes when you die?

    —————-

    Except for the fact it is a lot easier to make money if you already have some. Period. Reinvesting the “more easily made” money (by the estate tax) held by the fat and happy Americans back into the system helping to level the playing field makes sense. Spend it on education, and health care. Something to offset Reagan’s trickle up union busting economic disaster.

    We are still paying 180 BILLION DOLLARS in interest yearly on the money REAGAN BORROWED!!! Imagine how much interest will be on the money Bush borrowed. 3 times as much?

    Should Bill Gates have 50,000,000,000 times as much influence in our government as a disabled vet with no $$?

  70. 77

    spews:

    Jim King @38,

    First of all, the issue of this post is not the estate tax, it’s the hypocrisy of newspapers pretending to objectively cover the issue when they are quietly compromising themselves by contributing money towards its repeal. They abuse us bloggers for our partisanship and our first-person narrative, and yet they are at least as politically partisan as we are. They just won’t admit it. What a bunch of fucking hypocrites. (The ownership, that is.)

    Second, okay… you want to argue about inefficiencies in the tax system, then let’s have a debate over our entire tax structure and not just that part that impacts multimillionaires. We have the most regressive tax structure in the entire nation for chrisakes, and you want to repeal one of the few progressive taxes we have left? Give me a fucking break.

    But you want to talk efficiency, that’s fine. So let’s adopt the Times’ transparently bullshit homage to the Swedes and follow their lead. Let’s eliminate the estate tax. And replace it with a wealth tax, just like the Swedes did. There… I’ve eliminated all that inefficient estate planning you complained about. Satisfied?

    No, of course not. Because estate tax repeal isn’t about fairness or efficiency. It’s about allowing rich people to keep more of their money.

    We’ve had an estate tax and/or an inheritance tax for over 90 years in WA state. What the fuck has changed over the past decade that now it is somehow immoral and bad economics? It’s the moral fiber of the very wealthy that has changed… people who can no longer give a flying fuck about the greater good of the society that gave them all that opportunity to become so amazingly wealthy.

    The estate tax repeal folk don’t want to have a real debate. They just want their money… and screw the rest of us.

  71. 78

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Leverage your wealth to multiply it over, and over while you are alive, and then give half to your heirs.

    Maybe you could buy a few Republicans along the way the Abramoff way!

    Talking about money the easy way. Look at the return the oil companies made on the pennies (millions) they invested in the GOP!

  72. 79

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    Well, it appears our Democrat African-American friends have found yet something else to be pissed about. A Democrat black congresswoman reportedly complained that the names of hurricanes are all Caucasian
    sounding names. She would prefer some names that reflect African-American culture such as Chamiqua, Tanisha, Woeisha, Shaqueal, and Jamal. She would also like the weather reports to be broadcast in language that street people can understand.

    So……………………..,

    “Wazzup, Mutha-fukkas! Hehr-i-cane Chamiqua be headin’ fo’ yo ass like Leroy on a crotch rocket! Bitch be a category fo’! So grab yo’ eight chirren, yo’ Ho, leave yo crib, and head fo’ de nearest guv’ment
    office fo yo FRE E shit and guvment check!”

  73. 80

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    67, cont…….By having Mexico pay for all illegal costs in oil!!! [They pay, or we deport all 20 million Mexican illegals and take the oil anyway]

  74. 81

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    AmericaFirst and Carl Grossman Friday night.

    Puddybud and Headless Lucy at his place of work… when…?

    Puddy, be sure to wear a flea and tick wrist bracelet on both wrists as you’ll be attacked by the fleas and ticks on headless lucy!

  75. 82

    stilwell spews:

    @40 Jim King–

    So below is the list of newspapers at this hour known to be making direct donations, as corporations, to a right-wing initiative that is the ultimate result of the polling of Frank Luntz, also known as “Mr. Death Tax.” Frankly the relative merits of the estate tax are now beside the point.

    I’ll have to look up the combined circulation of these newspapers, but it’s easily in the hundreds of thousands.

    This is a radical departure for newspapers in our state, who typically can be counted on to support via donation parks and library levies and such, not the fetid spawn of Republican pollsters. In short, the newspapers listed below cannot run a credible article or editorial about I-920 by definition.

    At least we’re not pretending any more that there is much remaining of the supposedly objective press. In the past I have wondered if I have been too hard on them, but this pretty much casts aside all doubt.

    In all seriousness, how can any subject who opposes 920 view interview requests from these publications with anything but suspicion? This is incredibly damaging to newsrooms and it’s serious enough that it will probably wind up in Editor and Publisher or something.

    And while the obvious connection is to 920, it calls into question the motives and professionalism of publishers who would trade their credibility, much of which was earned by their ancestors, for such a Faustian bargain.

    Sure, times are tough for newspapers, but if they focus on their communities and do what they do best, ie investigative journalism, they will always have a place. Newspapers won’t fail because of the estate tax. The reason they will fail can be found in the publishers’ mirror every morning. There is more to community than what you find at the Chamber and the BIAW.

    Here’s the list, at this hour, of newspapers in Washington that cannot ethically run articles about 920 this election season. Anyone who spots an article about 920 in these publications should immediately call the editors and demand to know how much they were paid to print the articles:

    Anacortes American

    Courier Times (Sedro Wooley)

    Argus (Burlington)

    Skagit Valley Herald

    Ellensburg Daily Record

    The Columbian (Vancouver)

  76. 83

    For the Clueless spews:

    We just want to keep our money and screw you!

    Estate tax apply to your family Gas? Goes to show that money is no indication of brains.

  77. 84

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    Why would Jim Queen worry about the estate tax? Cleaning the toilets at McNeil Island can’t pay all too well!

  78. 85

    Daddy Love spews:

    Lib

    wealth in government hands is money wasted

    Yeah, I sure hate all that mponey wasted on education, those roads, veterans health care, feeding kids breakfast, firefighters and police, the armed forces, and all those other things that people elected rep[resenttives toput into p[alvce for them. Tell you what…why don’t YOU just decide what we all need, OK? I’m sure everyone here is OK with that, whaddya say, people? After all, who better?