Seattle’s Income Tax on ‘the Rich’ Has Collateral Damage: The Poor | American Thinker

Source: Seattle’s Income Tax on ‘the Rich’ Has Collateral Damage: The Poor

 

Seattle’s Income Tax on ‘the Rich’ Has Collateral Damage: The Poor

Seattle’s City Council made national headlines earlier this year when it enacted a city income tax aimed at “high earners.” Immediately, politicians crowed that they had planted a flag of “resistance” to the forces of “Trumpism.”

In a court hearing last week, the city defended its war on wealth against several legal and constitutional challenges. The briefing from both sides exposes an inconvenient reality for the levy’s defenders: its real, ultimate victims aren’t necessarily the plutocrats they claim to be targeting. In fact, just the opposite.

Some background: there are few precedents from other parts of the country for a city income tax of any kind, whether aimed exclusively at the successful or not. But for the Evergreen State, it is definitely a first-of-its-kind gambit.  In fact, the city’s action was in direct defiance of the Washington State Supreme Court.  That court has repeatedly held that the state’s constitution — specifically, its mandate for equal treatment of all private property — prohibits targeted income taxes, like Seattle’s decision to impose a 2.25% tax on total income in excess of $250,000 per year.

The courts cannot overturn the constitution — so, what is Seattle’s strategy? It is to convince a court to redefine a person’s income as something other than property, such that income would lose its constitutional protection.

Seattle’s legal briefing argues that income does not look like a typical piece of property. For many of us, income flows in and out of our possession without us ever really having a chance to capture it or hold it for longer than it takes to write a check. Thus, the city concludes that income should not be characterized as property.

But, in making this argument, the city’s legal team painted itself into a corner. You see, not only has the Washington Supreme Court recognized income as a form of property, there are decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that agree. Thus, the city, in an effort to win by any means necessary, refined its argument to point out that those cases involved income derived from assets like bank accounts or real property.  Seattle argues that income should only constitute property if an individual invests it in some hard asset, like stocks or real estate or a business. According to Seattle, the state constitution’s protection for property should not protect anyone who lives paycheck-to-paycheck.

The city’s argument in this regard is dangerously short-sighted. Ownership of the fruits of one’s labor is at the very heart of personhood. One need only recall Frederick Douglass’s account of being paid wages for the first time in his life: “To understand the emotion which swelled my heart as I clasped this money, realizing that I had no master who could take it from me — that it was mine — that my hands were my own, and could earn more of the precious coin… I was not only a freeman but a free-working man, and no master stood ready at the end of the week to seize my hard earnings.”

It’s no secret, though, that Seattle’s decision was spurred on by a sense of resentment against wealth and achievement. Indeed, supporters celebrated the proposal by waving “tax the rich” signs, while bill cosponsor, councilmember Kshama Sawant, declared that the decision to impose a “tax on Seattle’s rich” is part of a larger “battle” against wealthy citizens and is motivated by her belief that the “capitalist class” actively works to “undercut” the policies that she supports, and should be compelled to pay for them.

But at what cost?

The only way for the city to win this tax fight is to deprive the poor and middle class of the protections guaranteed by the state’s constitution. Doing so would have broad ramifications. Indeed, in the 1930 case, Culliton v. Chase (the very decision Seattle wants reversed), the Washington Supreme Court explained that, if income is not property, then “anyone can use our incomes who has the power to seize or obtain them by foul means.”

So, who has the most to lose?  The poor and middle class of Seattle and the entire State of Washington. Once again, a “progressive” plan turns out, in practice, to operate more like the Sheriff of Nottingham than Robin Hood.

Brian T. Hodges is a senior attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation.  PLF represents four Seattle residents in a constitutional challenge to Seattle’s income tax law.

Seattle ‘antifa’ fails.  Low Turnouts at Seattle and  Nationwide ‘Refuse Fascism’ Protests| Breitbart

The much-hyped, nationwide Antifa protests are off to a slow start, with a few hundred demonstrators in NYC and far smaller groups elsewhere.

Refuse Fascism, the group behind this weekend’s multi-city Antifa rallies, claims to be “organizing millions of people to drive out the fascist Trump / Pence regime.” Actual turnout on the first day of their nationwide rallies was far lower.

The group, founded by Revolutionary Communist Party chairman Bob Avakian, took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to promote the rally, and has enjoyed free press in the national media in the past few days.

Despite the press attention, turnout was low at many of Refuse Fascism’s rallies, which were scheduled to take place in 20 U.S. cities. The exception appears to have been L.A, where local news reported that close to 2,000 protesters gathered.

There were no reports of violent incidents, although a woman accused of deliberately splashing her drink on a Trump supporter was reportedly arrested at the Refuse Fascism march in New York City.

The Chicago protest later grew to a small crowd.

Boston saw an even smaller crowd of protesters.

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In the Antifa stronghold of Seattle, local observers estimate an attendance of about 50 during the afternoon. Many protest signs can be seen lying on the ground, untouched and unused.

One protester in Seattle turned up with a Soviet flag. I can only assume that the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN, all of which hate murderous totalitarian ideologies, will give it the same kind of coverage they devoted to the swastika at Charlottesville. That’s how it works, right?

There was also a man with an American flag, which is not totalitarian at all. Unless you believe the left.

There was also a man with neither an American flag nor a Soviet flag, but a trombone. Tooooot.

The largest rally appears to have been in New York City, where pictures and footage from the ground indicated a crowd of several hundred people.

Source: ANTIFAIL: Low Turnouts At Nationwide ‘Refuse Fascism’ Protests – Breitbart

Seattle Coffee Shop Owner Shouts Profanities at Christian Pro-Life Group, Kicks Them Out | Breitbart

A gay coffee shop owner in Seattle kicked a Christian pro-life group out of his coffee shop because he felt offended by their presence.

Source: VIDEO: Gay Coffee Shop Owner Shouts Profanities at Christian Pro-Life Group, Kicks Them Out – Breitbart

 

The Washington Times reports that the group, called Abolish Human Abortion, decided to order drinks at Seattle’s Bedlam Coffee after passing out pro-life pamphlets in the area when the owner angrily asked the group to leave.

“I’m gay. You have to leave,” owner Ben Borgman said in the Facebook video.

“Are you denying us service?” activist Caytie Davis asked.

“I am. Yeah,” Borgman replied.

The group had been handing out pamphlets about the Bible, sin, and abortion to Seattle residents and one of the baristas let Borgman know what he was doing, according to the Blaze.

Borgman did not take the news well, and further confronted the group.

“This is offensive to me. I own the place. I have the right to be offended,” he said.

The group tried to explain to him that they did not leave any pamphlets in the cafe, but Borgman continued to berate the group.

“There’s nothing you can say. This is you and I don’t want these people in this place,” he said.

Borgman then asked activist Jonathan Sutherland whether he would “tolerate” a sex act between two men.

“Can you tolerate my presence? Really?” the owner asked. “If I go get my boyfriend and f**k him in the a** right here you’re going to tolerate that? Are you going to tolerate it?”

“That would be your choice,” Sutherland replied.

“Answer my f***ing question!” Borgman yelled back. “No, you’re going to sit right here and f***ing watch it! Leave, all of you! Tell all your f**king friends don’t come here!”

As the group prepared to leave, one of the women in the group told Borgman, “Just know that Christ can save you from that lifestyle.”

“Yeah, I like a**,” the owner spat. “I’m not going to be saved by anything. I’d f**k Christ in the a**. Okay? He’s hot.”

Another woman then told him that she would pray for him.

$660M KeyArena deal submitted to Seattle City Council | KING5.com

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the Oak View Group (OVG) have a formal agreement to build a $600 million privately financed arena at Seattle Center, with tens of millions more in transportation mitigation.

The deal calls for construction to begin next year and be complete by 2020.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), as it is commonly known, was formally submitted to the Seattle City Council on Tuesday morning in the Select Committee for Civic Arenas.

Source: $660M KeyArena deal submitted to Seattle City Council | KING5.com

‘It’s never too late to say we’re sorry’: Seattle leaders respond to Amazon plans to establish second HQ outside its hometown | Geekwire

Amazon announced plans early Thursday morning to open a second headquarters “fully equal” to its Seattle home, calling on local governments across North America to submit proposals. The news immediately ignited speculation that the e-commerce giant is outgrowing its hometown and introduced questions about whether Amazon’s complex relationship with Seattle is to blame.

Source: ‘It’s never too late to say we’re sorry’: Seattle leaders respond to Amazon plans to establish second HQ outside its hometown

Evergreen State College faces $2.1M budget shortfall, cites enrollment drop, issues layoff notices | The College Fix

Administrators at The Evergreen State College have announced that the embattled school faces a massive $2.1 million budget shortfall due in part to a drop in enrollment, and the institution has already handed out some temporary layoff notices as officials grapple with balancing the books.

Source: Evergreen State College faces $2.1M budget shortfall, cites enrollment drop, issues layoff notices – The College Fix

More proof Seattle is full of passive aggressive people | MyNorthwest.com

Tailgating inspired Linda to get a personalized license plate with the phrase “BACKOFF.”  But someone found the message distasteful and let Linda know with a note on her car.

Source: More proof Seattle is full of passive aggressive people

[Ed.: Yes, Linda is the type of person that camps in the left lane and paces the loaded dump truck on her way to the dog park when the rest of us are trying to get to work on time. It’s a wonder we don’t have more deadly incidents of road rage.]

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