Letters to the Editor

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BUDGET: State lawmakers must increase revenue

Letter by Sheryl Wood, Tacoma on Dec. 29, 2011 at 9:46 am with 32 Comments »
December 29, 2011 10:02 am

I am increasingly concerned that our legislators are out of touch with the will of voters. For years they have balanced the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable with their all-cuts budget approach.

During our second special session of the year they once again cut programs to solve the deficit. When they come back in early January they will have an even bigger hole to fill. We need to increase revenue to keep critical services for the needy.

Not only are some legislators seemingly incapable of supporting increased revenue, they are trying to repeal an initiative voters have twice passed with a wide majority. Initiative 1163 protects our most vulnerable citizens and keeps seniors and people with disabilities in their homes – saving the state millions.

We need lawmakers to take a balanced approach to solving the budget problem that includes increasing revenue.

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Leave a comment Comments → 32
  1. The reason we are seeing cuts only budgets is because the conservatives have made in next to impossible to raise taxes and fees.

  2. SandHills says:

    Sheryl is a perfect example of how out of touch some are from reality. Government and politicians can never increase revenues. Only private interprise that creates jobs and produces a profit to pay taxes can increase revenue. To expect our elected government officials to arbitrarily increase tax rates (which must be what the letter writer is suggesting) would mean to add taxes to private businesses who are already strapped by an economy, and consumers for their products who flock to Walmart for Chinese made stuff.

    Our economy has been in a car wreck, the letter writer would suggest that as our economy is still in recovery ( if not still in an ICU) we expect it to jump out of bed an run a marathon – oh and put this backpack on with a few more lbs of taxes added on.

    There will be some suffering in this belt-tightening era – and in terms of the truly needy maybe a whole lot of suffereing if they depend on inefficient government programs. To expect businesses or workers to ante up even more for inefficency is nothing short of lunacy – even if that lunacy is coming from a good place in the heart. How about all good hearted people taking personal interest in those in true need, rather than expecting an inefficient government with programs known to be riddled with fraud, waste, and abuse, to ease their conscience.

  3. BlaineCGarver says:

    Reduce spending and programs to the Pre-Queen Chris legacy, and adjust for inflation. No one was dying from lack of Gubment handouts, and the ensuing money and programs were to buy votes, not help anyone. Now that a near majority are in financial need, lets back off and have means testing (that translates to I’m MEAN, so get a job if you can)

  4. hansgruber says:

    Increase revenue?

    You mean raise taxes. Come on Sheryl, say it for what it really is, increase taxes.

    The state is not selling anything here, it’s spending!

  5. Don’t just raise taxes!

    Focus on raising taxes on the rich, which, unless I misread the campaign brochures from the last election, is just exactly what Bill Gates Sr. said should be done.

    Tax the rich to raise revenues! Bill Gates Sr. says that’s okay! They can afford it! He said so!

    But, just don’t do it by trying to trick people into voting for a phony state income tax.

  6. I feel hansgruber has hit the nail on the head and couldn’t agree more.

  7. muck: “Focus on raising taxes on the rich, which, unless I misread the campaign brochures from the last election, is just exactly what Bill Gates Sr. said should be done. Tax the rich to raise revenues! Bill Gates Sr. says that’s okay! They can afford it! He said so!”

    And I can afford a Lexus. I don’t buy one because I don’t need it. I drive a Kia, and I have more money because of that. If you forced me to buy a Lexus, it would piss me off, and I would go out of my way to make sure you didn’t get your filthy hands on any more of my money.

  8. lanq, I could really care less if you drove a Yugo. Nobody, least of all me, is telling you or forcing you to buy a Lexus. I don’t want your money. I just think if a person is rich, then the state should ask that person to kick-in a bit more. Rich people can afford it. I didn’t say that, Bill Gates Sr. said it, and he’s rich. He ought to know.

    I don’t think it takes very much to p&%$ you off about anything. Weird?

  9. SandHills says:

    A graduated income tax, say starting at $100K (with a capitol gains tax as well), a 10% luxury tax on anything priced more than $40K, and a graduated property tax starting on property worth more than $500K. It would be a start, and I bet it passes on the ballot too.

  10. tree_guy says:

    Sheryl, the State has set up a way for people like you to contribute money to help the state increase it’s “revenue.” Just go the state Treasurer’s website and look for the tab marked “donations.” Donate as much as you wish and as frequently as you wish. Problem solved. Next?

  11. hansgruber says:

    Hey Muck-Remember, they tried to raise the taxes on the rich here in Washington and it failed in 2010 by 2 to 1 margin. Why? Cause we don’t want a stste income tax!

    I-1098 Defeated In Washington: Tax Initiative Would Have Raised Bills For Wealthiest 1 Percent

  12. hansgruber says:

    Sandhills-look above comment. If Washington won’t tax the miliionaires, why would they tax the $100 k earners?

  13. hans…, that’s exactly my point with the Bill Gates Sr. comments I posted!

    Bill Gates Sr. made it sound like the proposed state income tax was going to be a tax on rich people only. Except for the fact that the majority of us who voted against his income tax proposal saw it as a lie.

    Yet, he did say the rich can afford to pay higher taxes, so I say we hold him to it, and devise some other rich man’s tax.

  14. hansgruber says:

    Muck-There is nothing holding him from writing a check to the state or the Feds. Yet, it doesn’t occur?

    I spend my money on my biggest charity…..my children….sad …very sad……as there are more worthy, more needy indeed!

  15. concernedtacoma7 says:

    One rich guy (or 2 if we toss in buffet) want higher taxes and the left stereotypes everyone making over $106k, $ 200k, $250k or $2billion a year.

    2 old rich guy who if taxed 100%, nothing would change for them, should set policy for millions? Who elected them? I say no, Gates is a software genius, but a tax policy idiot. Since our experience in politics is the same, my vote cancels his. One more like me and Buffet is cancelled also.

    To use the richest guy on the planet (ok, C Slim has him on paper today) as the pro-tax spokesman is hypocritical. He got there because govt did not steal his wealth. He got there through individual hardwork, sponsored by investors with non govt ‘investment’ money.

    Ask a man effected by a potential tax, in terms of life style. It is like the polls about taxing the rich, except in reverse. The same level of selfishness is involved but the goal is different. The less rich want unearned material wealth. The rich want a feeling of altruism.

    I ask you, Muck, to donate to the govt, above and beyond your current required rate. You ask others to ‘give back’ more, so set the example. Charity does not count. I ask that (this is a public forum with reasonable expectation of honesty, but still) anything extra in your paycheck, retirement account, etc is given to govt out of free will to distribute. And why will you or won’t you?

  16. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    No new taxes until we have cut every penny of fraud, waste and abuse from state government. No new taxes until we are out from under the weight of state worker unions. No new taxes until the tribes, pay their fair share. No new taxes until we have real tort reform. No new taxes until trust in state government is restored and that will take years.

    REFORMS BEFORE ANYMORE REVENUE. Just say NO to any tax increases and do what you can to starve the beast everyday.

  17. Taxedtoomuchintacoma has the right idea,too bad the majority of voters won’t get it!

  18. muck: “Nobody, least of all me, is telling you or forcing you to buy a Lexus”

    Yes, I know, you’re much worse. You would force “the wealthy” to pay more than their fair share and get zip in return. Rich people don’t need or use the social services that they pay for. I truly despise people who advocate higher taxes on the rich, who do you think is funding the government now?

  19. Just think, if enough people “donated”, the wealthy wouldn’t have to pay taxes at all.

  20. In fact, we should be taking more revenue from the middle class too. They don’t pay their fair share either.

  21. klthompson says:

    Shakespeare got it right in Henry VI. “first, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

  22. beerBoy says:

    As much as I enjoy that quote from Shakespeare it is, like many quotes posted on this board, taken out of context.

    Dick the Butcher makes that suggestion in order to support Jack Cade’s autocratic ambitions – killing all the lawyers is a move to remove any obstacles to tyranny.

  23. As for suffering – What is wrong with asking the shared-suffering?

    To combine and paraphrase a couple old sayings;

    Sincere – the problem with Hans’ statement is that no State sells anything – They provided services only.

    Ianq – kia/lexus – Most of the anti tax crowd would claim taxes are forcing them to buy the KIA rather than the Lexus the deserve.

    Muckibr – notice where lanq’s cars are build?

    SandHill – here’s an idea that could get tidy righties to support you income tax plan – only those who pay income taxes are citizens and only citizens can vote, hold public office, or receive government services.

    Taxed – there is a one way ticket to Utopia with your name on it waiting for you at the Tacoma Greyhound Station.

    Sincere – you are booked into the seat next to Taxed.

    beerBoy – the Original Rockefeller hired lawyers to find ways around the law.

  24. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Real reforms are a sourse of revenues too. Why don’t we hear the democrats champion this thought? They only want more revenue from taxes to fund their wasteful ways.

    Thank you Tim Eyman. We all owe you a huge thank you.

  25. amJames says:

    “As for suffering – What is wrong with asking the shared-suffering?”

    There you go, a perfect example of what motivates a progressive.

  26. As opposed to the “I want it but don’t want to pay for it” right wingers.

  27. amJames says:

    You’re 180 out of phase xring.

  28. “Real reforms are a sourse of revenues too.”

    Tell a business that reforming your selling of services by not charging for them is a source of revenue and wait for the laughter.

  29. “You’re 180 out of phase xring.”

    Says the person who claims to know who is who on an anonymous blog

  30. Sheryl along with lawmakers, you too are somewhat out of touch. Most of us that are fortunate enough to be working, at the moment, have seen our ‘revenue’ held constant or decreased. We have no capacity for additional taxes. None. Tax the “rich”? They’ll leave the state and we’ll have the same problem or worse.

    Initiative 1163 is nothing more than welfare for SEIU and its members.

  31. amJames – only when compaire to right wing talking points.

  32. chile74 says:

    Sheryl – please define in your next letter “the needy” and the “most vulnerable”. Seniors get social security and Medicare so I would hardly call them “needy”. You need to be specific about who needs social services or we will keep throwing money at a problem and get nowhere.

    Sandhills pretty much wrote what needed to be written.

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