Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

I-1098: Time for the rich to pay their fair share

Letter by John L. Messina, Tacoma on Sep. 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm with 31 Comments »
September 22, 2010 12:44 pm

Re: “CEOs oppose income tax initiative” (TNT, 9-22).

For years, Washington’s wealthy have benefited by a patchwork of regressive taxes, those by which lower-income people pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than do those of higher incomes. It is time for change and time for the rich to pay their fair share.

William Gates Sr. helped write and supports the initiative but some Seattle multimillionaires oppose it, including Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com), Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Bartell Drug Co. owners and Barry Ackerley. A Microsoft spokesman claimed that the tax would impair the state’s ability to “attract top tech talent in the future.”

Where will they go? Passage of I-1098 will leave only six states as safe harbors from any tax on income. With good luck and having wonderful people around me, I will be one of those taxed. I accept that; it is only fair.

Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. So you don’t make over $250k a year huh?

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    Regressive, my Butt…….The rich hugely spend on taxable items. If you feel guilty, why not cut a check for the general fund, they WILL take it.

  3. OldLefty says:

    grouse – did you read the letter?

    “I will be one of those taxed. I accept that; it is only fair.”

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2010/09/22/i-1098/#comments#ixzz10I85r3MP

  4. Sumner401 says:

    oh oh John, the righties are going to very mad at you!

  5. Sumner401 says:

    The rich hugely spend on taxable items

    Actually, they don’t.
    The middle class used to, but the conservatives have all but wiped them out.

  6. OldLefty says:

    BlaineCGarver says:
    September 22, 2010 at 12:49 pm
    “Regressive, my Butt…….The rich hugely spend on taxable items. If you feel guilty, why not cut a check for the general fund, they WILL take it.”

    If all the generous people did that Blaine – just think, you might get by paying nothing. Oh, sorry, that’s what you wanted, isn’t it?

    I sincerely hope I never see you complain about people that have to get State assistance. It will be fun to remind you of how you want State services without paying for them.

  7. dbreneman says:

    Unlike Mr. Messina, I won’t be hit by this tax – for the first two years, at least. But I’m opposing it because it’s not tax reform at all; it’s just One More Tax that, eventually, all of us will have to pay. This state’s revenue system needs a major overhaul, not the scattershot application of new taxes that the Legislature and now Mr. Gates have been throwing at us.

    Unlike Messrs. Gates and Messina, I’m not a lawyer, and they may be privy to information I lack; but I have no reason to doubt that many single proprietorship businesses will incorporate in the wake of this new law. When gross personal income becomes corporate revenue, the population subject to this tax will shrink appreciably. Then the call will come to extend it to all, to make up for lost revenue. Even if you accept Mr. Messina’s premise that the affluent are undertaxed, there is just way too much room for mischief in this legislation.

  8. citizen65 says:

    OldLefty says:
    September 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm
    grouse – did you read the letter?

    “I will be one of those taxed. I accept that; it is only fair.”
    OldLefty, time to read the rest of that sentence: “With good luck and having wonderful people around me, I will be one of those taxed. I accept that; it is only fair.”

    Just one more person wanting someone else to pay their taxes. How many pore people buy expensive houses, luxury cars, and fine dining. All taxed.

  9. Thank you citizen. Same way I read the letter. Sounds as if he has designs on being wealthy in the future. I could be wrong though.

    There’s a lot of money to be made in “Personal Injury Plaintiff: general, Personal Injury Plaintiff: Medical Malpractice, Transportation/Maritime

  10. Okay I did the math. Mr Messina will be 72 I believe this December. He’s been practicing law since he was 30.

    I’m sure he’s taken care of himself and family well. He’s probably sincere when he sates he’ll be taxed through I-1098.

    Best of luck to you Mr. Messina. I’m still not convinced though on the issue.

  11. Zillahboy says:

    It always sounds inviting to spend other peoples’ money, but any taxes levied against the rich will eventually be passed on to the rest of us. .So, if you want your own taxes to be increased, go for it. Bill Gates Sr.may be able to pay more but I’m not.

  12. Are you saying, if Mr. Messina’s taxes go up his legal fees will too?

  13. OldLefty says:

    Good grief, Mr. Messina, there are certainly a lot of people that are ignorant to your successful practice.

  14. OldLefty says:

    “grouse says:
    September 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm
    Are you saying, if Mr. Messina’s taxes go up his legal fees will too?

    In Messina’s practice, they work for a percentage. If there is no judgement in favor of their client, they get nothing.

    Sounds very capitalistic to me.

  15. The last thing we need is tax policy driven by and written by lawyers or accountants.

    We need tax system overhaul, but some lawyers’ concept of “fairness” is among the least palatable justifications I can think of.

  16. geeterpontiac says:

    I believe The Seattle Times did an editorial, September 5th on this topic.

    They are against it for the simple reason that everyone knows this whole thing is just a Trojan horse. The idea is to open the door and within 2 years the state legislature will lower it down and everyone will pay.

    Only a fool shoots themselves in the foot.

    Lawyers and accountants… reminds me, how do you know when a lawyer is lying? Same as you do with a kid. When their lips move.

    No thanks Mr. Gates Sr.

  17. uratroll says:

    Geeter- spot on!
    Vote NO on I-1098

  18. Novelist3 says:

    One constant I have noticed-
    No matter how much money the government steals from “the rich”, at no point in time will it ever be considered enough to constitute “their fair share”.

  19. the3rdpigshouse says:

    For all of the non-thinkers! What I understand is that all you leftist dullards that support I-1098 would like to include yourselves in the income tax pool 24 months after it is approved. Think about that a little!

  20. richardpuy says:

    It doesnt matter how you figure taxes in our state. 9.8% sales tax is the same percentage on 50K as it is on 1M. To me that means the millionaire is paying a lot more money when they spend is a big portion of thier income. Once we have any income tax in this state, give them a few years and we will all be paying. Also the state rolling back property tax by 20% is not reallity. Only around 4% of all the property taxes we pay goes the the state. 20% of 4% is not going to amount to a lot of money . Vote against this initiative.

  21. The rich have been paying WAY more than their fair share for many many years and the stats prove it. It’s actually time we start taxing the poor and have them “invest” like we taxpayers do.

  22. OldLefty says:

    If only these people would pay the amount of taxes that they moan about.

    They wail and moan and yet, I doubt that any of them realize that their over all tax base equates to about 20% of their income.

    As to the “stats” proving anything – just look at the tax schedules. Statistics have a way of being manipulated to say what people want.

  23. If I could be absolutely sure that the income tax would never be applied any lower on the income scale I’d probably vote for it. But, I’m absolutely sure that it will end up being applied to almost everyone. No, I won’t vote for another tax that our legislature can raise.

  24. Roncella says:

    John Shame on you. You are Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

    All a State Income tax will do is give more money to the big spenders in Olympia to spend.

    It will accomplish nothing more then that.

  25. eagle_beak says:

    there is a short and easily read book regarding the history of taxation in our great country called: “The Fair Tax Book” -by Neal Boortz.
    if one would take the time to read this common sense book and if our country/state would do what it proposes, we could eliminate…….yes ELIMINATE …..the federal income tax. the federal government would end up with much more money than it gets now and they would get that money from everyone in this country. everyone would be paying according to their wealth, fairly, by what they buy and spend money on. there would be provisions regarding the basic necessities of life so the poor would not be taken advantage of. there would be no business tax and so businesses would find it better to stay in this country and provide jobs for us. our economy would recover.
    it is interesting to know that the way the federal government got the federal income tax supported originally was to use the same argument the state is using now for I-1098, “it is just on the rich, not you”
    God bless America and help us make our country strong!

  26. I don’t know where they’ll go, but I know where I’ll go–North to Alaska.

    John, you can send the guverness as much money as you have to to salve that liberal conscience of yours. No income tax is required. But don’t expect the rest of us who are Taxed Enough Already to join you on your guilt trip. There’s lots of states that would love to have you. Pick one and hit the road.

  27. Roncella says:

    John How do figure the huge Tea Party movement got started ? T. E. A. = Taxed enough Already !!

    John you got that now ?

    nothing is stopping you and other Liberal democrats from just writing a big fat check to Olympia each month, if thats what you want to do, go for it.

  28. grouse — wrong John. This is the son, who is about 43. He grew up in a large view home, enjoyed a private education and many other luxuries his parents were able to give him. Law school wasn’t his thing so he earned his degree through apprenticeship at Dad’s firm.

    Of course he thinks people with more should give more — he never had to work from the bottom up. His way was paved.

  29. Sumner401 says:

    I am not in favor of this but I do have to laugh at the mindless talking point parrots.
    How do you people get through a day on your own? Does your media blow hards control every aspect of your lives?

  30. eagle_beak says:

    sumner: methinks thou dost protest too much.

    God bless America and help us make our country strong!

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0