Huh. I’ve got this nagging feeling that there’s something missing from the Seattle Times editorial board’s list of things we need to do to attract and retain corporate headquarters:
Support and fund education for students ages 3 to 23. Raise the quality of and reduce inequity of access to pre-K, K-12 and higher education. Protect and enhance the area’s vaunted quality of life and make strategic investments in transportation. Continue to promote a civic culture that values innovation, diversity and tolerance.
Oh. Yeah, that’s right. They forgot to mention the money it takes to pay for all these great things.
It doesn’t take much courage to argue for expanded funding of pre-K, K-12, higher education, transportation, and other public investments that improve our collective quality of life. I do it all the time. But what’s consistently missing from the editorial page of our state’s paper of record is support for raising the taxes necessary to pay for these things. It’s as if there is only one side to the financial ledger—the spending side—and it would be absolutely crazy to even mention the topic of revenue.
I mean, if attracting corporate headquarters provides the strange logic you need to put you over the top in support of universal preschool, fine by me. Whatever floats your pre-K boat. But then what’s so wrong about taxing the incomes of highly paid executives in order to help pay for all the public investments that draw them to the region? Washington does have the most regressive tax structure in the nation, after all.
Without the mention of revenue, the editorial comes off as scolding the rest of us for stingily refusing to invest in the things corporate executives refuse to pay for. Weird.