Letters to the Editor

Taxes: Rich pampered in Washington

When Washington state finds itself short of funds we find hundreds of very conscientious people in the state departments and offices, and also in the municipalities throughout the state, scurrying around trying to discover how they can make do.

In some cases, such as with public schools, with treatment for the mentally ill, or with the funding of agencies which enforce high standards of business practices, these agencies’ underfunding is chronic.

Thus, it happens here in the richest country in the world:

Education: Children’s education is an area of disgusting neglect!

Mental health care: The mentally ill make up an appreciable portion of the homeless and, untreated, they pose a continuous threat to the public safety!

Regulation of corporate activities: Unregulated, the fossil fuels industry’s practices provide the grist for unsavory headlines, such as “Gas line explosion kills three innocents!,” “Oil refinery explosion not alone in list of incidents of safety neglect!” and “Seventh largest energy broker goes bust.” As do the retirement funds for thousands of employees!

I have a suggestion for all these conscientious people who are trying to make do. Seriously! You are wonderful, diligent citizens and you deserve a good answer. You need a long term solution to these awful problems, problems that keep you forever on a repetitive track that mostly goes nowhere!

Are you aware that Washington state has the most regressive tax system in the nation? It means that the rich are not paying their share! With property tax and sales tax the principal sources of revenue we can never hope to raise our standards to the level of the more progressive states! Yes, it is the overwhelming norm in our nation to include income tax at the state level! Only five states are without it. Without it we condemn ourselves to lower standards!

Our paid millionaires’ club in Olympia knows this, and does nothing about it! This is sick, people! And most especially sick is the acquiescence of a cowed public!

May I suggest you ask your computer search engine to look up the home page for Citizens for Tax Justice. Just type in CTJ. You will come face to face with the fact of Washington’s tax is 17 percent on the income of the poorest 20 percent of our residents while extracting a mere 4 percent from the top 1 percent of our pampered rich! There’s lots more!

What do you think? Might all of our most conscientious make do scurriers organize to get at least some of our joint efforts focused against the real villains here?

Paul Bixby

Oak Harbor

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