Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gates, Sr., promises his income tax is only for health and education - Gates is easily fooled

Bill Gates, Sr., says we need a state income tax and thinks he can ignore our state constitution and supreme court precedents against an income tax. Initiative 1098, not 1077. He promises that it will only be for the rich and it will be locked up for use only for health care and education. He promises! But both of those promises can be easily broken by the legislature after two years. Initiatives cannot be changed for two years, but then they can be. When asked at his kickoff about the legislature making changes he said "they would never do that." But the Legislature has a huge track record of raiding "dedicated funds." In fact, in this state a dedicated fund has to be considered a fiction. Richard Davis at Wash ACE
In my column in the Puget Sound Business Journal today, I look at how the legislature has routinely dipped into dedicated accounts and amended initiatives to grab money for the general fund. Lawmakers slip budget handcuffs with an ease Houdini would envy. In the past decade, they tapped dedicated health care, education and other accounts. In all, more than $2 billion flowed from easily cracked lockboxes to bail out the general fund. ...
And his blog has a table of all the robberies over the past ten years. Robbery? Yes. A robbery is stealing from a victim who is aware you are doing it, so it requires force. The data is stunning. They steal from everyone every year! Table at Wash Research Council blog (pdf) Here are just a few of hundreds:
Health Services account - $150 million to General Fund in 2001 and $45M in 2004. A later removal was paid back. Education Savings Accoint - $51.1M in 2009 and $100.8M in 2010. Part of the latter might be $84M that went to Education Construction Account Local Toxics Account - $148.1M in 2009 and $12.8M in 2010.
Picking on Gates, Sr., is so easy. His unforced errors are so large and open to the world. Thanks for the entertainment, sir.

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