How to screw Seattle in one easy step

Here’s a free tip to those Seattle-haters in the rest of the state who just love to screw us big city folks:  pass a high-earners income tax.

Really. Pass it. I mean, honestly, let’s say we levy an income tax on household earnings in excess of $500,000 a year… who do think’s gonna pay most of it? You guessed it: folks right here in Seattle and the surrounding suburbs. This is the part of the state where most of the wealth is, and where most of the high paying jobs are, so the reluctance of voters elsewhere to tax us to pay for the things they need (you know, like levy-equalization) is, well, just plain stupid.

And you’re not stupid, are you?

Comments

  1. 2

    spews:

    I thought that the Pacific Northwest was populated exclusively by broad chested, axe wielding, self determined supermen that were immune to taxation.

  2. 4

    SJ on Style Patrol spews:

    Nahh …

    lets charge for services based on population density and land values:

    e.g. a real estate surtax (better a fee) on all waterfront property to pay for the added costs to the public of maintaining the waterway. A lower taxm would be placed on view properties.

    e.g. make all roads toll roads, exemot car pools and transit.

    e.g. tax all home beyond one.

    e.g. tax all “private” facilities that make use of public spaces … e.g. Seattle Yacht Club.

    e.g. tax all non citizens to support unique urban resources .. zoos, courthouses, stadia, and to replace tax revenue lost to tax free entities located in urban areas (e.g. the UW, Lakeside, St. James).

    e.g. place a surtax on licences for all cars beyond 1/family.

    I betcha we can come up with more fair and flat taxes!

  3. 5

    Me spews:

    But, But, But Obama promised it!! Oops! He is going to tax all of us in the end in more ways than one!!

  4. 6

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    The only way to reform government is to take away the money.

    Your argument is ridiculous Goldy.
    I oppose High-earners Income Tax, even though I’m not one ANYMORE, because the High Earners create the jobs.
    How about this…a high earners tax on Government Employees making over $100,000/yr. of TOTAL COMPENSATION….meaning wages + 31% Benefits + 18% for Paid Time-off.

    Actually, we can tax them without a formal tax by cutting salaries 10% and benefits 20% and eliminate 1/2 of the days off resulting in some layoffs.
    Start there.

  5. 7

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    Here’s a free tip to those Seattle-haters in the rest of the state who just love to screw us big city folks: pass a high-earners income tax.

     
    Isn’t that exactly what right-wingers are saying about the oba-mao taxing rich people?
     
    I sure hope this thread is one of those parody ones.

  6. 8

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    sj–
    Tax all homes beyond 1??
    Does that mean tax rental property?
    How exactly would you police this?
    Hire another 2 dozen Bureaucrats?

    Taxing success is ludicrous.
    Encouraging folks of means to create jobs is good.

    I know of at least a dozen businesses in the process of moving out of State.
    WHY?
    Because the TAX INCREASE writing is on the wall. They do not have to be in Washington. They chose Washington because of No State Income Tax…and are happily moving to more Business-friendly confines.

    Why not first put all your energy into cutting every non-essential program and reducing government salaries & benefits to reflect the sorry state of the Private Sector?? Why should government workers be exempt from losing their jobs, getting pay cuts or getting benefit cuts??

    SJ–We need to work on you because you do have POTENTIAL! We need to start by getting you to demand government examine all their programs..are they necessary. If so, how do you most cost effectively provide the service.
    You have fallen into the Leftist Big Government trap of “how do we extort more taxpayer money”.

    First look at what is being done & how…
    The last thing is how to pay for it.

    Are you saying everything the State Gov’t does is essential and they are doing it the most cost-effectively??

    I’m hoping there will soon be some specific examples of how the Bureaucrary bloats itself.
    One I am familiar with…
    A State Department Manager retired making $75,000. His replacement makes $100,000 and has 2 assistance making a total of $120,000…to do the same job he did himself.
    PLUS BENEFIT!
    So we are talking a Wage Difference of $145,000 PLUS 31% Benefits PLUS 18% For Paid time-off..
    So $220,000 TOTAL COMPENSATION more for the same job.
    Oh, they will tell you they are doing more.
    Are they??
    Shuffling papers and creating more jobs.

    Until we dig in deep and put all programs & employees and spending under the microscope…it will continue to demand more food (tax $$).

    If you question the Bureaucrary, what happens SJ??
    NOTHING, except comrades view you as an a$$hole for questioning and trying to reform

    Think about it.
    What we have now is totally UNSUSTAINABLE and it’s not just because of not enough tax dollars.

  7. 9

    Blue John spews:

    Taxing success is ludicrous.
    Is it?

    This touches on the question, at what point can one have enough?
    Conservatives never answer that. To ask the question goes into the realm of socialism or something.
    After a person or family makes enough to own a home, operate a car, pay for college for their kids, fund a retirement, pay bill, pay for health care, and be able to go vacation to disney land once every couple of years, should they start to be taxed significantly.
    You can argue the specifics of what I wrote. “What, only one car?”. But what about the basic question, is there a level, where a family was financially successful enough, and after that point, they need to pay very high taxes to help the ones that were not to their level, get to their level? Be that an NBA star, a government bureaucrat, CEO, dishwasher, blogger or salesman.

    Which society do you want to live in more, Colombia or Denmark? They are extremes of what I’m talking about.
    I think we should tax success, significantly, after a certain point. We used to. We should go back to that.
    At what point can one have enough?

  8. 10

    rhp6033 spews:

    Blue John @ 9: I’ve mentioned before that I’ve served on the committee which determined pastor’s pay at several churches. Each time, when members of the congregation were asked what was the appropriate salary for a pastor, most gave a figure which was within 10% +/- of their income, and almost all gave a figure which was within 20% +/1 of their own income.

    I think the answer you will get to your question will be similar. People generally feel that they are making too little, and want to give themselves room to incorporate what they reasonably HOPE to make in the future, as being the level in which taxes are at a minimum. But at about 150% of their current income (assuming they are still employed), most will be in favor of a rather high percentage of taxes on the additional income.

  9. 11

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @8
    So the first question is how much would total compensation for Washington State Government employees need to be cut to fill the $2.6 billion budget gap and would you even have any left if you slashed pay and benefits by that amount?

    Rank and file state employees are for the most part grossly underpaid even when you factor in benefits and paid time off.

    I have a relative who could earn at a minimum 5 times her state salary in the private sector. She has her reasons for choosing the path she has. But don’t think there aren’t thousands of talented and experienced people working for state government who might look for greener pastures if their pay and benefits were cut.

  10. 12

    Alki Postings spews:

    #1 LOL

    That is funny, and terribly ironic. It IS a caveman mindset. Tax bad, no taxes good! But give me stuff. Give me roads, give me police, give me fire departments, give me schools, give me fighter jets, give me social security, give me Medicare, give me give me give me give me. But don’t “take my money”.

    Elect 100% of Congress and the White House as Republicans, elect EVERY Republican candidate for governor. Then what? The military budget will be increased, social security and Medicare will be “protected”, NASA is still very popular with the public…FBI and CIA are hard to cut unless you’re “soft on crime”. So…er….will I still pay taxes in this utopia of Republicans? Oh yeah, the exact same taxes, with a % point or two. Maybe they cut the capital gains, and increase local taxes or middle class taxes (unless they just want to run up debt).

    ROTFLMAO.

  11. 13

    Alki Postings spews:

    #11 I agree, cutting rank and file government salaries won’t help. The low salary is why they can’t attract or keep the highest quality folks now.

    I’ve worked for the government (Dept of Defense) and currently in the private sector. My salary more than doubled the day I got left the DOD. The reason I took a the DOD job will many, and the reason I left mostly due to moving for a relationship, but thinking that cutting the already crazy low government job wages will make things ‘better’ is nuts.

    Isn’t this why we HAVE TO pay the CEO of Goldman or BofA $500 million a year in bonuses? Otherwise they couldn’t attract and keep the ‘quality’ CEOs? LOL. So if you make BofA cut their CEO salary by 50% they won’t be able to hired qualified people…but you can cut government salaries from their cut 1/3 market rate to even less, and you’ll get MORE qualified people? That’s interesting logic.

    And yes, cut “non-essential” services. But keep in mind, bored rich well feed whiners think “non-essential” means any service THEY don’t use.

  12. 14

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    An income tax on high earners would soon turn into just your plain vanilla income tax. No thanks: I’ll keep the current tax system rather than having an income tax.

    If you feel strongly about an income tax, sent the Department of Revenue a check to ease your conscience. They’ll gladly cash your check.

  13. 15

    nolaguy spews:

    “so the reluctance of voters elsewhere to tax us to pay for the things they need (you know, like levy-equalization) is, well, just plain stupid.”

    Some people, regardless of their income, see progressive taxation as a mild form of robbery.

    When is it ever right for a man to come in to your home and take what’s yours simply because he’d decided that someone else needs it more?

  14. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    What’s going on here that is the rural counties produce all of our state’s tangible products — wheat, apples, forest products, etc. — and Seattle, acting as broker, shipper, and middleman, skims all the money off the top as these goods pass through our hands. I wonder why they put up with it. For the same reason they put up with Wall Street, I guess.

    The rubes love three things: Hard work, the American flag, and getting scammed.

    Today, the House of Representatives passed a financial reform bill, and every single Republican congressman voted against it. Every last one. Like I said, farmers and loggers love getting ripped off by Wall Street, and God help anyone who gets between them and the Goldman Sachs trading desk.

  15. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 Oh, I forgot to mention, we also take what little money they have left when they show up at our medical centers for treatment of what all that unremunerated hard work gets them.

  16. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m glad someone has a work ethic, because I sure don’t. Oh, I worked for a long time — 45 years — and damned hard … but that’s behind me now. I finally got smart and realized I’ll be richer and healthier if I let other people do all the work and I sit here and take all the money — just like the Wall Street boys and girls do.

    It’s called “capitalism,” and you wonder why the hicks put up with it, but I’m glad they do. It sure beats working for a living.

  17. 19

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Goldman Sachs contributes a ton of money each year to the Democrats, folks. They fully support the Democratic Party yet are some of the biggest “banksters” on Wall Street.

    {“Banksters” is a term that Air America’s Thom Hartmann uses nearly every day to describe the evil banking empire that is the cause of all our worries.}

  18. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 “e.g. tax all “private” facilities that make use of public spaces … e.g. Seattle Yacht Club.”

    They already are. Have you shopped for a yacht berth lately? Every marina in the state has a roughly 12% tax, similar to a sales tax, that goes to the state for using the public lands the marina sits on (or over; the state owns all seabeds and stream/lake bottoms).

  19. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 “e.g. place a surtax on licences for all cars beyond 1/family.”

    This isn’t very fair or logical, because it doesn’t consider vehicle usage. For example, I used to keep an old pickup for trash hauling that typically was driven once or twice a year, with total annual mileage under 25 miles. (I finally scrapped it when the engine block rusted out.) And what about the guy who keeps a Jeep CJ5 with a snowplow, that he only uses for plowing his driveway or access road when it snows? Why should he pay the same license fee or tax as someone who drives a Prius 50 miles to work every day?

    No, I think it’s much better to tax vehicles according to miles-driven. We’ll have to go to such a system anyway when electric cars become common, because you can’t collect gas taxes from electric car owners. Retired couples often continue to own two cars because they go different places at the same time — he to a doctor appointment, she to a church ladies’ club function — but they’re not putting 3,000 miles a year on both of them. No way should these people pay the same vehicle fees and taxes as commuting drivers.

    It should be based on the miles you drive, or maybe a combination of miles driven and vehicle value, where luxury vehicles over a certain value are involved.

  20. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It used to be labor got 60% of GDP and capitalists got the other 40%. Now it’s the other way around — the tiny Owning Class gets nearly 60% of our national income and all 154 million wage earners get what’s left, which is a little over 40%. That’s before taxes; and taxes have become increasingly skewed in favor of the Owning Class and against workers.

    The trend is clear — working is rewarded less and less, owning is rewarded more and more. Only suckers and saps waste their lives on work. The smart money flips assets like stocks, real estate, commodities, and currencies.

    Acquiring education and work skills is one of the worst investments there is. It doesn’t pay. You’re better off to be ignorant and inherit a trainload of money, because the taxes on your first $3.5 million — which is way more than most wage earners will ever earn in their lifetimes, even if they keep working until they’re 85, which most of them have to do now — are zero.

    That’s right, if you work the government takes a third of your wages, but if you inherit $3.5 million, every cent of it is immediately investable, tax-free. Even if your investments only return 1%, that’s $35,000 a year, which is equivalent to a job paying $17.50 an hour. How many jobs pay $17.50 an hour? You can’t get a $17.50-an-hour job in a South Carolina Boeing plant or a Honda auto factory.

    But wait! The $35,000, if it’s received as dividends, is taxed at the capital gains rate whereas wages are taxed at ordinary income rates AND are subject to payroll taxes! So that $35,000 of work-free income is really worth a job paying about $60,000 a year, which is equivalent to $30 an hour. Where are you going to find a job paying $30 an hour? Certainly not at Boeing, Honda, or Safeway.

    So why work? Inheriting money is the only thing that makes sense. But if, for some geneological reason, you can’t inherit money then the next best thing is to flip assets with other people’s money. That’s what the bankers and hedge fund boys and girls do, and it works great for them — they get all the profits, and taxpayers get all the risks and losses.

    Ain’t capitalism grand? I love capitalism! Without capitalism, we’d all have to work. Thanks to capitalism, only some of us have to work. I feel sorry for them.

  21. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 So? What does that prove? Besides the fact Democratic politicians sell out to the monied class, just like the Republican whores do? We already knew that.

  22. 25

    Slippery Pete spews:

    Goldy, but what percentage of Seattlites earn >$500k, compared to that percentage on the Eastside, or even anywhere else in the state. I’m not saying I disagree with your idea, tongue-in-cheek as it may have been, but I’m not certain it would burden Seattle like you think. Yeah, Seattle has more of those guys, but you could also institute a $100 per person head tax and Seattle would also have to pay the most there. What matters is the percent of tax payers in each city who would fit into your proposed tax bracket.

    @19: {I wouldn’t have been able to figure that one out based on context. Thanks for the heads up.}

  23. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 Seattle has a tremendous number of high-income households. Two doctors or corporate lawyers married to each other probably are making $500,000 to $1 million a year, if not more. Even two Seattle School District teachers married to each other are making $130,000, if they have enough seniority to be at the top of the salary scale. Add the fact that Seattle is a regional transportation, shipping, medical, banking, and legal hub, not to mention professional and managerial level jobs at Boeing and Microsoft … and, well, you’ve just got a hell of a lot of high-income households here. Which means ordinary wage earners and public servants don’t have a prayer of competing successfully for housing or anything else here. They get what nobody else wants, such as old houses in crime-infested neighborhoods like White Center.

  24. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Capitalism eventually will make everyone a millionaire. The only problem is that by then an Egg McMuffin and cup of coffee at McDonald’s will cost $5,000.

  25. 28

    Slippery Pete spews:

    @26. Wow your fatal misunderstanding of elementary statistics is an embarrassment. Of course Seattle has more high wage earners than anyone else. They also have more low wage earners, more men, more women, more fatties, more anorexics, more Jews, more Catholics, more Protestants, more Hindus, more kids, more retirees, and more goats than any other city. BECAUSE THEY HAVE MORE PEOPLE. So saying Seattle would bear the brunt of a high-earner tax is not really a policy argument, it’s just a tautology. Divide the number of folks in each city clearing 500k a year by the number of people in that city, and now we’re talking. Until then, repeat 7th grade math.

  26. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @28 Wow, your idiocy is breathtaking. Your argument is that money is evenly spread across the state, adjusting for population distribution. That Omak and Oakville have the same proportion of $500K> households that Seattle does. You also assert that Seattle has more goats than any other city. I’ll bet it doesn’t. I’ll bet Pullman has more goats than Seattle, even though it’s smaller population-wise. Goldy’s whole point is that income is concentrated in Seattle, not just in absolute terms, but relatively.

    You probably think matter is evenly distributed through the universe, too. It isn’t. You wouldn’t exist if it was.

    What a simpleton.

  27. 31

    Slippery Pete spews:

    @29: I’m not saying Seattle DOESN’T have the highest proportion of folks making >$500k, I’m just not sure they definitely DO. Seattle is about 5 times the size of Bellevue and 10 times the size of Redmond. Does Seattle half also 5 and 10 times the number of half-millionaires? Maybe, but I don’t think anybody would know for sure until somebody presents some data.

    You probably think matter is evenly distributed through the universe, too

    I see you took 7th grade science, but I was talking about 7th grade math.

    You also assert that Seattle has more goats than any other city

    Your inability to detect sarcasm also makes me question your intellect.

  28. 32

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 26: You’ve hit upon something I’ve been attempting to quantify for quite some time. It’s the basic economic argument regarding the flow of resources, as it impacts different income groups.

    Let’s make it simple. An old codger I once knew was ranting about how young people should quit complaining about the price of housing.

    “When I was young and just out of the service (WWII), we bought a simple three-bedroom, one ranch rambler, about 900 square feet. It had a carport instead of a garage. That was plenty good for us to use to start to raise a family. Later, when we could afford it, we moved into a bigger and nicer house. But now young people want to buy a three-bedroom, three-bath house, with walk-in closets and a hot tub, and they complain that they can’t find one for the same price we paid for our house!”

    The trouble is, you can’t buy those anymore. When dealing with a finite resource, such as land, those with high incomes act as a magnet, drawing the bulk of the development funds in their direction. Why should a developer build five small houses when he can make more money building a McMansion, instead? As this trend develops, the cost of the McMansions gets slightly lower (in inflation-adjusted dollars), but the cost of the lower small homes actually increases, as there are fewer available.

    After WWII this was kept in check somewhat by the huge numbers of returning G.I.s getting zero-down financing under the G.I. bill (and similar low-down financing under the FHA). To keep their exposure low, these government agencies kept the total value of the house low, and government inspections were notorious for making sure the property was in good order (and actually existed). This kept the prices down, since most of the buyers fell under one or the other of these financing vehicles. Now, not so much.

  29. 33

    Me spews:

    “But, But, But Obama promised no new taxes on middle income families!! Oops! He is going to tax all of us in the end in more ways than one!!”

    rhp6033 has a good point. You buy a house when you can afford it. Many people can’t afford them but the Democrats are giving homes away and can’t understand why we are having so many foreclosures!!!!

  30. 34

    Puddybud Remembers Progressives Forget spews:

    Puddy suggests taxing only Seattle Democratic peeps. Why not start at $200,000. That was the Joe Biden level, remember? Seattle Democratic peeps should pay for voting for Jim McDimWitt. Seattle Democratic peeps seem to love Baghdad Jim and taxes so elevate their taxes.

    Alki Postings@12 – wouldn’t know a headless lucy post unless he told him. Too stupid to know facts.

    Absolutely useless…

  31. 35

    Gary spews:

    Bum-f&$k rednecks living in a Lynden trailer park somehow think their average income beats lib Seattle’s by a factor of 3.

    Flip those numbers, and you get a clear picture.

    Welcome to today’s political reality.

  32. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @32 You can’t even find those post-WW2 ranch houses anymore because they’ve all been remodeled into 3-Br, 3-Ba McBungalows. You can find them in the real estate listings for $895,000 and up.

  33. 38

    roots spews:

    whoa, whoa, hold on Gold mouth. This makes perfect sense. Since all of the crazy Metro centrist laws are passed by the masses in the “Seattle area”, why not let the “Seattle area” people pay for them. (twice they gave us “never had a real job Gregoire”)

    Think about it, if we put the programs on the ballot all the Seattle lefty leaners would vote for them, so, let’s let all the Seattle wealthy leaners pay for them…………

    I like it.

  34. 39

    Me spews:

    Barney Frank and Company approved the continuance of the Fannie Mae mess which basically gave away homes to people who could not afford to pay for them! Go see Barney to get one!

  35. 40

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    9. Blue John spews:
    This touches on the question, at what point can one have enough?

     
    Here’s a test to see if you are serious about having enough…
     
    Blue john, go to this site and enter your income. Look where you rank in the world. Then defend why you have so much when there are so many with so little. Why are you so greedy?
     
    Progressives see economic equality as the highest form of social justice, so they have become obsessed with questions of income inequality.

  36. 41

    spews:

    re 40: We are obsessed with equality of opportunity, not with the leveling of income.

    Inherited wealth and privilige is what we object to. With that kind of system, you end up with crazy kings (George III) and retarded presidents (Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush).

    What do you suppose George HW Bush meant when he described Reagan’s economic ideas as ‘voodoo economics’?

    Hint: It was not a compliment.

  37. 42

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    41. Bloggy Bloggerton spews:
    re 40: We

     
    When headless says “we,” he’s talking about all his sockpuppets.
      

    are obsessed with equality of opportunity, not with the leveling of income.

     
    There is opportunity for all those that take advantage of it. Cite some examples of people not having opportunities.
     

    Inherited wealth and privilige is what we object to

     
    We know for a fact that a child raised by 2 loving parents has a much better chance at life than someone raised by one parent with no idea who his/her daddy is. Should we start penalizing kids with 2 parents? After all, they have an unfair advantage in life.
      
    Say, you know that good looking people do better in life. What should be done about that unfair advantage?
     
    Are you aware that some babies are born with high IQs, some with low IQs. No doubt the smarter people do better in life. Is that fair to stupid people like rujax? What do you suggest we do to level the gap between smart and stupid so life isn’t unfair to stupid people.
     
    Is it fair that some people are born with musical talent and others, like yourself, aren’t? What should be done so you can make as much $ in music? After all, it’s not fair I was LUCKY to be born with talent.
     
    Again, those lucky enough to be born tall have an unfair advantage in life. How can we make things fair for normal sized people?
     
    Strange you never talk about all these things that are unfair, instead only obsessing on $$.
     
    Progressives see economic equality as the highest form of social justice, so they have become obsessed with questions of income inequality.

  38. 43

    spews:

    27. Roger Rabbit spews:

    Capitalism eventually will make everyone a millionaire. The only problem is that by then an Egg McMuffin and cup of coffee at McDonald’s will cost $5,000.

    i want to introduce you to the austrian school of economics.

  39. 44

    Max Rockatansky spews:

    @35…ya but in Lynden, unlike Seattle, a person doesnt have to worry about running into two faggots ass raping each other in an alley, or dealing with some fucked up drunk ass bum pesterin you for money so he can get his next bottle of Night Train…

    …and how about that pile of shit area known as the Rainier Valley – geezus, what a nice place that is…

  40. 46

    Michael spews:

    @44

    Ya, but in Lynden you have to deal with people like you. I’ve been hassled by more rednecks than homeless or gay people.

  41. 47

    Max Rockatansky spews:

    @46….I will take the small town folk every time over you pompous inner city fucks.

    You people are funny to watch when you try to go camping, to deal with power outages, or when it snows….etc..

    what a bunch limp wristed pussies…

  42. 48

    Max Rockatansky spews:

    @45…nah, LA doesnt hold a candle to that democratic/liberal paradise known as Detroit.

    The left sure did a number on that city-or whats left of it. Good job.

  43. 49

    Mark1 spews:

    ‘pass a high-earners income tax.’

    This coming from chronically unemployed Goldy who earns nothing. Easy for Goldy and his minions to say. This is comparable to if YLB arschloch gave advice on finding gainful employment. Hardy-har-har. It would make a good comic routine however.

    Produce something, pay taxes, and earn your own living for a change and perhaps more people will take your opinions on the matter seriously. Good luck with that.