Seattle’s mayor and his leading challenger are turning pandering to the left into foot race, where one seems to be trying to out-do the other when it comes to getting ever farther into the left field weeds, with the current focus on a proposed citywide income tax.
Name one large liberal city in the United States where the administration wouldn’t love to get its nose deeper into the public trough.
It may not be right; it may not even be constitutional in Washington State if one reads the more than 350 comments so far submitted to the Seattle Times by readers. But it’s going to cause fireworks in a race that already has enough sparks to start a forest fire.
Liberal former Mayor Mike McGinn, who was defeated four years ago by current liberal Mayor Ed Murray, jumped into the race after Murray was sued by a 46-year-old man who alleges sexual abuse when he was 15, perhaps sensing the incumbent’s vulnerability. Murray is openly gay, and rode into politics years ago as a gay activist.
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But McGinn says he wants to focus on the issues, and right now, the big issue is revenue. Liberals love to spend other people’s money, and an income tax on high-wage earners – Seattle has a lot of them – would be one way to raise the big bucks.
According to the Seattle Times, during a candidates’ forum Thursday evening – with other people running to replace Murray – the mayor suggested the income tax, while indicating other taxes would be reduced. And that is the trap.
Seattle’s conservative talk radio maestro John Carlson immediately put things in perspective Friday morning on KVI-AM by noting that Murray didn’t promise to eliminate other taxes.
This has long been a troublesome symptom of “tax-and-spend liberalism” all over the American landscape. Liberals, who now call themselves “progressives” in an effort to identify themselves and their agendas as “progress,” never seem to tire of taxes.
In Seattle’s case, Murray seems to be trying to “out-tax” McGinn, who mentioned an income tax when he announced his candidacy a few days ago. The Stranger Friday suggested Murray is just picking up an idea from a movement called “Trump-Proof Seattle.”
An income tax has been rejected repeatedly in Washington State. Primarily it’s because voters have figured out that it would not replace a tax, but simply add to it. Even if other taxes are initially reduced, they will creep back upwards and voters know it.
McGinn and Murray seem to realize that an income tax would be immediately challenged in court. The possibility of winning in court has Murray salivating. A victory would allow a “shift” away from sales and property taxes, he indicated. But he didn’t say anything about eliminating those taxes.
Tax-loving liberals would no sooner completely eliminate a tax than they would cut off one of their own hands. It would make it harder to reach into someone else’s pocket and take their wallet.