In reporting that Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles will hold a hearing on the high-earners income tax tomorrow in the Ways and Means Committee, the TNT’s Joe Turner adds…
I’m not sure what the purpose of holding a hearing will be…
Well Joe, um… maybe the purpose is to debate the merits of a high-earners income tax?
This, for me, is what has been most infuriating this session… the absolute refusal of most in the media and political establishment to even consider discussing the issue itself. Here we are in the midst of our state’s worst economic and budgetary crisis since the Great Depression, and Kohl-Welles is being mocked for daring to discuss the highly regressive and inadequate tax structure that is at the heart of Washington’s long term budgetary problems.
Make the argument that it is a sound policy to tax our state’s poorest families at six times the rate we tax our wealthiest. Explain why it is in the best interest of our citizens and our business community to stand by and watch our state government’s spending power gradually and steadily erode as we continue to rely on an ever shrinking portion of our economy to provide the bulk of state revenues. Offer even a little bit of evidence to suggest that if we only ride out this recession, state revenues will ever return to pre-crisis levels, adjusted for population and inflation.
Go ahead… try to make an actual argument as to why the income tax is unfair, unworkable, and unrealistic, for chrisakes. But no… you’d just rather mockingly dismiss it out of hand as an unserious proposal because voters rejected one iteration of it some thirty-five years ago.
My God.. there are two sides to the budget equation—expenditures and revenues—so why is it that the only responsible, reasonable and serious thing to do, is to debate the former while ignoring the latter? Shame on all of you.