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Four freeloader fabrications poisoning our perceptions of public policy

In the “makers vs. takers” debate, the line between truth and opinion is just a dot to some. That might win a debate, but it’s not a good way to run a democracy. So here’s a handy summary of what’s

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Posted in Tax and Budget

Tax cuts for growth? Don’t make me Laffer out loud

Arthur Laffer is the go-to guy for conservative fiscal types who think tax cuts for millionaires are just the recipe for economic growth. Problem is, Laffer’s numbers don’t hold up under scrutiny. Laffer contends that the nine states without personal

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Posted in State Economy, Tax and Budget

The closer you get, the smaller it looks: Washington’s budget is shrinking

02/14/12 4:08 p.m. Updated to clarify the distinction between the state “general fund” and “operating budget”. Yesterday’s post illustrated how to get comparable state budget numbers by accounting for inflation and population growth. Today I’ll look at three other ways

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Posted in Tax and Budget

Honey, I shrunk the budget: An honest look at Washington state’s spending

02/14/12 4:10 p.m. This post edited to clarify the distinction between the state “general fund” and “operating budget”. Policy issues like marriage equality, paid sick days and the minimum wage have dominated the news from Olympia so far – but

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Posted in Tax and Budget

Bass ackwards: How America’s tax code hurts the middle class and coddles millionaires

By David Cay Johnston, excerpted from Reuters: Everyone seems to know that about half of Americans paid no income taxes in 2009 and that the top 1 percent paid about 37 percent of the income taxes. But how many people

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Posted in Tax and Budget

Boeing, Paccar had negative income tax rates 2008-10; Microsoft says pretax profits all overseas

A comprehensive study profiling 280 of America’s most profitable companies finds that 30 enjoyed a negative federal income tax rate from 2008-10 – including two with major operations in Washington state: Paccar (-30.5%) and Boeing (-1.8%). In total, 78 companies

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Posted in Tax and Budget

Counter the lobbyists – create 2000 jobs and provide 1 year of community college free, just by closing three tax breaks

From the Everett Herald: I rode to work in the dark this morning, and I will probably ride home in the dark this evening. It’s that time of year, the sun rising later and setting earlier, Halloween right around the

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Posted in Column, Education

How to modernize Washington’s tax code and rebuild our local economy

Washington legislators will convene a special session this fall to respond to a $1.4 billion drop in the state’s expected revenue for 2011-13, brought on by high unemployment and the lingering recession. State lawmakers have already slashed billions of dollars from

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Posted in State Economy, Tax and Budget

Keep the jet in the hangar: Study shows rich stay put in high-tax states

A recent study titled “The Impact of Taxes on Migration in New England” says that employment, family and education are the three primary reasons people (wealthy or not) move from one state to another. Taxes have little – if anything

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Posted in Tax and Budget
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