Tax wealth, not wages. Plus: a finalized state budget and the likelihood of an special legislative session

April 27, 2009 | Alex Stone

Taxing wages, protecting wealth: Up until the mid-1980’s tax policy in the U.S. focused on taxing wealth, not wages. But a policy shift changed the paradigm, and few realize just how inequitable our tax structure is today. The Institute for Policy Research recommends we reverse the trend, and restore America’s tax system to one that protects economic security for all Americans, not just the top 5% of taxpayers. Some of their ideas: tax income from capital gains and dividends the same as income, create a new top rate for incomes over $2 million, and levy a progressive tax on large fortunes. | Institute for Policy Research

Written approval: The State Senate has approved its 2-year operating budget, with ‘no new taxes’, one-time transfers, and federal money to fill the $9 billion gap. Immediately, the budget cuts will slash 8,000 state jobs, 9,000 slots in higher education, and up to 40,000 people will be ‘disenrolled’ from the Basic Health Plan. The budget now goes to Governor Gregoire, who has expressed her support; it remains to be seen if she will exercise section veto power on any portion of the budget. | Puget Sound Business Journal

Special session: Washington state lawmakers may spend more than the anticipated 105-day session in Olympia, as a few important bills have not yet been discussed. Once called back, the lawmakers have the ability to bring up other topics, but it is unlikely that will happen. Bills likely to get some floor time are Gregoire’s requested legislation on climate change and a bill to alter I-937, which caused widespread debate during the regular session. Only the governor has the power to call the legislature back – and nothing is certain just yet. | seattlepi.com

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Posted in Education, Higher Education, Retirement Security, State Economy, Tax and Budget, Work & Family

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