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The Battle over I-1098 in Washington State

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Don Smith       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

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Another regressive force in Washington State politics is the Washington Policy Center, a right wing think tank that produces videos and articles critical of government and of progressive policies.

Conservatives are coming out with all sorts of claims about I-1098. Many of the conservative editorials and letters-to-the-editor warn voters not to allow the Democrats to start an income tax because in the future, they say, the Democrats will extend it to more than just the top 1.2%. Don't let them get their foot in the door, they warn.
As reported in this report by the Economic Opportunity Institute, "The wording of I-1098 clearly anticipates the issue; it requires a vote of the people to adjust either the tax rates or income thresholds."

Or they warn that it's unwise to raise taxes in a recession. (In fact, unemployment compensation and other social programs that benefit the poorer people directly lead to increased demand for goods and less recessionary pressure.)

In America wealth has been concentrating into fewer and fewer hands over the past several decades. In 1976 the wealthiest 1% of Americans had about 20% of the national wealth. Now they have about 35%. The wealthiest 10% of Americans have about 73% of all wealth. (See Wealth, Income, and Power.)

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"From 1980 to 2005, more than 80 percent of total increase in Americans' income went to the top 1 percent." -- The Great Divergence, by Timothy Noah

The conservatives are right. There's too much socialism and too much redistribution of wealth in America. It's socialism for the rich, and redistribution of wealth from the middle class and from future generations to the rich folks today.

The Reagan and Bush tax cuts transferred hundreds of billions of dollars to the super-rich. On federal tax returns investment income is taxed at a lower rate than earned income. Only the first $106,800 of earned income is subject to social security taxes; this greatly favors the rich.

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Nationwide tax rates are lower than they've been in decades. Nevertheless, the Republicans are basing their campaign strategy on supposed voter anger at government waste, spending, and taxation. This is disingenuous given that (1) the Republicans are the ones largely responsible for deficits and the recession, which were caused by Republicans' reckless deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, corruption, and war-mongering; (2) tax rates are lower than they've been in decades; and (3) stimulus spending was necessary for recovering from the recession.

Stimulus spending, as well as the Wall Street bailouts, were started by President Bush. President Obama continued both. Of course, the Republicans sweep the truth under the rug and complain loudly about out-of-control Democratic spending.

Given President Obama's meek leadership style, his forgiving and compromising attitude towards Republicans, his continuation of many Bush policies, and his decision to surround himself with Bush-era economic, legal, and military advisers, it will be difficult to convince the American people that the Republicans are the ones to blame. Also, the GOP has control of Fox News and has ample funding from corporations and donors like the Koch brothers. The Supreme Court's decision to treat corporations as people has opened the floodgates for even more propaganda.

Conservatives are drooling over the chance to destroy government. Their diabolical plan to drown government in a bathtub is coming to fruition. Cut taxes for the rich, deregulate widely, privatize and corrupt the government, rouse peoples' anger at the elite liberals, provoke a crisis, cause a recession, start a phony war, use the chaos to dismantle the New Deal and turn America into Somalia.

Additional references.

Wealth, Income, and Power

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Bring on the Reagan Counterrevolution

Government is like a computer's operating system: a response to libertarians

Yes on I-1098: Voters should pass tax reform proposal

Yes on 1098

Top Economists Urge Lawmakers to Shun Deficit-slashing Policies

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DFA organizer, Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, writer, and programmer. My op-ed pieces have appeared in the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and elsewhere. See and for my writing, my (more...)

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