“Fiscal responsibility”?

President Clinton left GW Bush with a $230 billion dollar SURPLUS. Some economists worried we were going to pay down the debt TOO FAST. Bush left Obama with a $1.3 TRILLION dollar annual deficit. Even though Obama cut that deficit by more than half, Republicans were screaming bloody murder for 8 YEARS about the outrageous Obama deficits and the national debt.

Now, having done not a thing to address our deficits/debt, in their first major piece of legislation, Republicans are going to add $1 TRILLION, at least, probably a lot more, to the national debt in order to directly transfer that borrowed money overwhelmingly to the wealthiest individuals and most profitable corporations

GOP Tax Plan: raise taxes on the middle class, students and the elderly, so the rich can get yet more tax breaks

The GOP Plan Is the Biggest Tax Increase in American History, By Far

The big deficits in GOP tax plan aren’t a glitch — they’re the whole point. “Slashing taxes is going to cause big budget deficits. But the reason Republicans don’t really care is because they can use the resulting fiscal crisis to go after Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

White House Says Cutting Meals on Wheels Is ‘Compassionate’

To pay for tax cuts for billionaires, the US Senate just repealed the credit for elderly and the permanently disabled.

GOP Tax Scam

  • Both the House and Senate bills dramatically lower the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT), making it tougher to raise funds for public schools. That means that you will be taxed on part of your income that was already taxed to support public schools.
  • The House bill also eliminates the tax deduction for student loan interest, taxes tuition waivers as income, and eliminates the small tax credit for teachers to buy school supplies.

Pray before raping

The could have added: “destroying the environment, deregulating Wall Street, making it harder for minorities to vote, damaging the neutrality of the Internet, concentrating media ownership in Trump-friendly corporations, reversing the New Deal, squashing unions, supporting neo-Nazis,” etc.

Who funded Washington State campaigns and initiatives in 2016 and 2017?

I downloaded from the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission a spreadsheet listing contributions to political campaigns and initiatives. After loading it into a database, I ran some queries to see who’s spending the most.

Over $60 million was donated to campaigns and initiatives in 2017, according to the PDC data.

In 2016, over $144 million was spent.

MariaDB [contributions]> select sum(Amount) from contrib where `Receipt date` >= '2017-01-01';
+-------------+
| sum(Amount) |
+-------------+
| 60918944.17 |
+-------------+
1 row in set (0.85 sec)

MariaDB [contributions]> select sum(Amount) from contrib where `Receipt date` >= '2016-01-01' and `Receipt date` < '2017-01-01';
+--------------+
| sum(Amount)  |
+--------------+
| 144721261.22 |
+--------------+
1 row in set (1.29 sec)

2017 biggest spenders

Notice that you generally can’t tell from the names who’s paying for it — the individual contributors are hidden — and what they’re trying to buy. Stand for Children, Inc, which has the largest entry, is a pro-charter schools PAC funded by Connie Ballmer, among others.

Eastside Leadership Council (a pro-Manka Dhingra group) donated numerous times, for a total of $1,345,000. Here’s their facebook page.

Likewise, Working Families donated a total of $1,240,000. It’s a “pro-family, pro-life, pro-growth” PAC: https://www.cwfpac.com/

Use the scoll-bar further down to see the right side of the data.

MariaDB [contributions]> select `Filer Name`, Office, BallotNumber, ForOrAgainst,`Contributor name`, Amount from contrib where Amount >= 100000 and `Receipt date` >= '2017-01-01' order by Amount DESC;
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+-------------------+--------------+--------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+------------+
| Filer Name                                                             | Office            | BallotNumber | ForOrAgainst | Contributor name                                                          | Amount     |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+-------------------+--------------+--------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+------------+
| STAND FOR CHILDREN WA PAC                                              |                   |              |              | STAND FOR CHILDREN, INC.                                                  | 1000000.00 |
| PEOPLE FOR JENNY DURKAN                                                |                   |              |              | CIVIC ALLIANCE FOR A SOUND ECONOMY (SPONORED BY THE SEATTLE CHAMBER)      |  475000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY EXEMPT                                               |                   |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            |  400000.00 |
| EASTSIDE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                            |                   |              |              | NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                         |  350000.00 |
| ORANGE DONALD J                                                        | PORT COMMISSIONER |              |              | WASHINGTON CONSERVATION VOTERS ACTION FUND                                |  290000.00 |
| THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                 |                   |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            |  250000.00 |
| CIVIC ALLIANCE FOR A SOUND ECONOMY SPONSORED BY THE SEATTLE CHAMBER    |                   |              |              | AMAZON.COM                                                                |  250000.00 |
| CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA                                         |                   |              |              | PHILLIPS 66                                                               |  250000.00 |
| REPUB ST LEADERSHIP COMM WA PAC                                        |                   |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE                                     |  250000.00 |
| WA CONSERVATION VOTERS ACTION FUND                                     |                   |              |              | LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS                                             |  250000.00 |
| CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA                                         |                   |              |              | ENTERPRISE WASHINGTON'S JOBS PAC                                          |  235000.00 |
| EASTSIDE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                            |                   |              |              | KENNEDY FUND                                                              |  225000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                   |              |              | DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE                                 |  200000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION 775 QUALITY CARE COMM                     |                   |              |              | SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION POLITICAL EDUCATION AND ACTION FUND |  200000.00 |
| THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                 |                   |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            |  200000.00 |
| EASTSIDE VALUES                                                        |                   |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY/EXEMPT ACCOUNT                          |  200000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  200000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  200000.00 |
| EASTSIDE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                            |                   |              |              | NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                         |  200000.00 |
| EASTSIDE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                            |                   |              |              | NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                         |  200000.00 |
| EASTSIDE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                            |                   |              |              | KENNEDY FUND                                                              |  170000.00 |
| MASTER BUILDERS ASSN OF KING & SNOHOMISH CO AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL |                   |              |              | MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF KING & SNO COUNTIES                        |  150000.00 |
| GREENE KRIS L                                                          | PORT COMMISSIONER |              |              | VANCOUVER ENERGY                                                          |  150000.00 |
| GREENE KRIS L                                                          | PORT COMMISSIONER |              |              | TESORO SAVAGE PETROLEUM TERMINAL LLC                                      |  140000.00 |
| MASTER BUILDERS ASSN OF KING & SNOHOMISH CO AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL |                   |              |              | MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF KING & SNO COUNTIES                        |  131238.00 |
| CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA                                         |                   |              |              | ENTERPRISE WASHINGTON'S JOBS PAC                                          |  130000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  125000.00 |
| WA CONSERVATION VOTERS ACTION FUND                                     |                   |              |              | STEYER TOM                                                                |  125000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                   |              |              | STEYER THOMAS                                                             |  125000.00 |
| EASTSIDE VALUES                                                        |                   |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY/EXEMPT ACCOUNT                          |  125000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                   |              |              | BLOOMBERG MICHAEL R                                                       |  125000.00 |
| CAMPAIGN FOR TRIBAL SELF RELIANCE BY WA INDIAN GAMING ASSN             |                   |              |              | WASHINGTON INDIAN GAMING ASSOCIATION                                      |  125000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                   |              |              | BLOOMBERG MICHAEL R                                                       |  125000.00 |
| URQUHART JOHN W                                                        | COUNTY SHERIFF    |              |              | URQUHART JOHN W                                                           |  125000.00 |
| GREENE KRIS L                                                          | PORT COMMISSIONER |              |              | ENTERPRISE WA JOBS PAC                                                    |  122314.40 |
| COALITION FOR HEALTHY KIDS & EDUCATION                                 |                   |              | For          | BLOOMBERG MICHAEL R                                                       |  115000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  115000.00 |
| CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT FRAUD AND PROTECT SENIORS                          |                   | 1501         | For          | SEIU 775                                                                  |  110000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                   |              |              | WASHINGTON FEDERATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES                                  |  110000.00 |
| URQUHART JOHN W                                                        | COUNTY SHERIFF    |              |              | URQUHART JOHN                                                             |  103000.00 |
| REDUCE SEATTLE HOMELESSNESS NOW                                        |                   | 126          | For          | HANAUER NICK                                                              |  100000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION 1199 NORTHWEST PAC                        |                   |              |              | SEIU HEALTHCARE 1199 NW                                                   |  100000.00 |
| CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA                                         |                   |              |              | ENTERPRISE WASHINGTON'S JOBS PAC                                          |  100000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                   |              |              | WASHINGTON FEDERATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES                                  |  100000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  100000.00 |
| CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA                                         |                   |              |              | PHILLLIPS 66                                                              |  100000.00 |
| ENTERPRISE WA JOBSPAC                                                  |                   |              |              | CHEVERON POLICY GOVT & PUBLIC AFFAIRS                                     |  100000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  100000.00 |
| SENATE REPUB CAMP COMM                                                 |                   |              |              | JOHN BRAUN FOR STATE SENATE                                               |  100000.00 |
| ENTERPRISE WA JOBSPAC                                                  |                   |              |              | TESORO COMPANIES                                                          |  100000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  100000.00 |
| ENTERPRISE WA JOBSPAC                                                  |                   |              |              | BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY                                                      |  100000.00 |
| CIVIC ALLIANCE FOR A SOUND ECONOMY SPONSORED BY THE SEATTLE CHAMBER    |                   |              |              | AMAZON.COM                                                                |  100000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                   |              |              | WASHINGTON CONSERVATION VOTERS                                            |  100000.00 |
| YES FOR VETS AND HUMAN SERVICES                                        |                   | 1            | For          | HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           |  100000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY EXEMPT                                               |                   |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            |  100000.00 |
| DE-ESCALATE WA I-940                                                   |                   | 940          | For          | PUYALLUP TRIBE OF INDIANS                                                 |  100000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                   |              |              | WASHINGTON CONSERVATION VOTERS ACTION FUND                                |  100000.00 |
| ENTERPRISE WA JOBSPAC                                                  |                   |              |              | TESORO COMPANIES                                                          |  100000.00 |
| KENNEDY FUND                                                           |                   |              |              | LABORERS POLITICAL LEAGUE EDUCATION FUND                                  |  100000.00 |
| EASTSIDE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                            |                   |              |              | NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                         |  100000.00 |
| EASTSIDE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                            |                   |              |              | NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                         |  100000.00 |
| WA CONSERVATION VOTERS ACTION FUND                                     |                   |              |              | BIG ORGANIZING ACTION FUND                                                |  100000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  100000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  100000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                   |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  100000.00 |
| EASTSIDE VALUES                                                        |                   |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY/EXEMPT ACCOUNT                          |  100000.00 |
| JENSEN JAMES E                                                         | PORT COMMISSIONER |              |              | JENSEN JAMES E                                                            |  100000.00 |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+-------------------+--------------+--------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+------------+
68 rows in set (0.84 sec)

MariaDB [contributions]> select sum(Amount) from contrib where Amount >= 100000 and `Receipt date` >= '2017-01-01' and `Filer name`='Eastside Leadership Council';
+-------------+
| sum(Amount) |
+-------------+
|  1345000.00 |
+-------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

MariaDB [contributions]> select sum(Amount) from contrib where Amount >= 100000 and `Receipt date` >= '2017-01-01' and `Filer name`='Working Families';
+-------------+
| sum(Amount) |
+-------------+
|  1240000.00 |
+-------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

2016

MariaDB [contributions]> select `Filer Name`, Office, BallotNumber, ForOrAgainst,`Contributor name`, Amount from contrib where Amount >= 100000 and `Receipt date` >= '2016-01-01' and `Receipt date` < '2017-01-01' order by Amount DESC;
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+---------------------------+--------------+--------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+-----------+
| Filer Name                                                             | Office                    | BallotNumber | ForOrAgainst | Contributor name                                                          | Amount    |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+---------------------------+--------------+--------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+-----------+
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                         | 750000.00 |
| CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT FRAUD AND PROTECT SENIORS                          |                           | 1501         | For          | SEIU 775                                                                  | 700000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM NON EXEMPT                                        |                           |              |              | HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CAMPAIGN COMM.                                    | 600000.00 |
| ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM                               |                           | 1491         | For          | EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY ACTION FUND                                      | 500000.00 |
| ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM                               |                           | 1491         | For          | BALLMER STEVEN                                                            | 500000.00 |
| STAND FOR CHILDREN WA PAC                                              |                           |              |              | BALLMER CONNIE                                                            | 500000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           | 500000.00 |
| WA EDUCATION ASSN PAC                                                  |                           |              |              | MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS                                                    | 500000.00 |
| ACCESS FOR ALL                                                         |                           | 1            | For          | CULTURAL ACCESS WASHINGTON                                                | 489332.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM NON EXEMPT                                        |                           |              |              | WASHINGTON SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN                                     | 433000.00 |
| A SAFER SNOHOMISH CO                                                   |                           | 1            | For          | STILLAGUAMISH TRIBE OF INDIANS                                            | 400000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                         | 400000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | KENNEDY FUND                                                              | 400000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | SOROS JONATHAN                                                            | 400000.00 |
| COMMUNITY PROGRESS                                                     |                           |              |              | THE REAGAN FUND                                                           | 400000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY NON EXEMPT                                           |                           |              |              | SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COM                                            | 375000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY NON EXEMPT                                           |                           |              |              | HOUSE REPUBLICAN ORGANIZATIONA                                            | 375000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | REPRESENT US                                                              | 360000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | OUR WASHINGTON                                                            | 360000.00 |
| WA ST ASSN FOR JUSTICE JUSTICE FOR ALL                                 |                           |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE JUSTICE IN ACTION                | 358150.66 |
| CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT FRAUD AND PROTECT SENIORS                          |                           | 1501         | For          | SEIU 775                                                                  | 350000.00 |
| GOOD GOVT LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                           |                           |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    | 350000.00 |
| INSLEE JAY R                                                           | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE                             | 300000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION 1199 NORTHWEST PAC                        |                           |              |              | SEIU HEALTHCARE 1199 NW                                                   | 300000.00 |
| CIT FOR WORKING COURTS ENTERPRISE WA                                   |                           |              |              | VULCAN INC.                                                               | 300000.00 |
| NO ON 732 SPONSORED BY THE ASSN OF WA BUSINESS                         |                           | 732          | Against      | KAISER ALUMINUM                                                           | 300000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION 775 QUALITY CARE COMM                     |                           |              |              | SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION POLITICAL EDUCATION AND ACTION FUND | 300000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION WA ST COUNCIL PAC                         |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             | 300000.00 |
| COMMUNITY PROGRESS                                                     |                           |              |              | THE REAGAN FUND                                                           | 300000.00 |
| INSLEE JAY R                                                           | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE                             | 290000.00 |
| ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM                               |                           | 1491         | For          | ALLEN PAUL G                                                              | 250000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION WA ST COUNCIL PAC                         |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             | 250000.00 |
| OUR WASHINGTON                                                         |                           |              |              | DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS ASSN                                                 | 250000.00 |
| ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM                               |                           | 1491         | For          | HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           | 250000.00 |
| ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM                               |                           | 1491         | For          | HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           | 250000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | BALLMER CONNIE                                                            | 250000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | KENNEDY FUND                                                              | 250000.00 |
| JUDICIAL INTEGRITY WA PAC                                              |                           |              |              | FISHER KEN                                                                | 250000.00 |
| MAINSTREAM VOTERS OF WA                                                |                           |              |              | HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                         | 250000.00 |
| NO ON 732 SPONSORED BY THE ASSN OF WA BUSINESS                         |                           | 732          | Against      | AMERICAN FUEL & PETROCHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS                               | 250000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | BALLMER CONNIE                                                            | 250000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM NON EXEMPT                                        |                           |              |              | ORR JAMES L                                                               | 250000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             | 250000.00 |
| OUR WASHINGTON                                                         |                           |              |              | SEIU WA STATE COUNCIL PAC                                                 | 250000.00 |
| WA CONSERVATION VOTERS ACTION FUND                                     |                           |              |              | LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS                                             | 250000.00 |
| SOUTH SOUND FUTURE PAC ENTERPRISE WA                                   |                           |              |              | ENTERPRISE WASHINGTON'S JOBSPAC                                           | 250000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM NON EXEMPT                                        |                           |              |              | BLOOMBERG MICHAEL                                                         | 248000.00 |
| INSLEE JAY R                                                           | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE                             | 239440.00 |
| AUDUBON WA                                                             |                           | 732          | For          | AUDUBON SOCIETY DBA AUDUBON WASHINGTON                                    | 234000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                           |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    | 225000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION WA ST COUNCIL PAC                         |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             | 210000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION WA ST COUNCIL PAC                         |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             | 210000.00 |
| SENATE REPUB CAMP COMM                                                 |                           |              |              | SENATE COMMITTEE FOR MARK SCHO                                            | 205000.00 |
| FAIRNESS PROJECT                                                       |                           |              |              | THE FAIRNESS PROJECT                                                      | 200247.00 |
| CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT FRAUD AND PROTECT SENIORS                          |                           | 1501         | For          | SEIU 775                                                                  | 200000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM EXEMPT                                            |                           |              |              | DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION                                          | 200000.00 |
| STAND FOR CHILDREN WA PAC                                              |                           |              |              | HASTINGS REED                                                             | 200000.00 |
| OURVOTESCOUNT                                                          |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             | 200000.00 |
| ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM                               |                           | 1491         | For          | AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE SOLUTIONS PAC                                   | 200000.00 |
| GOOD GOVT LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                           |                           |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    | 200000.00 |
| GOOD GOVT LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                           |                           |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    | 200000.00 |
| CIT FOR WORKING COURTS ENTERPRISE WA                                   |                           |              |              | GATES BILL                                                                | 200000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           | 200000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | REPRESENT US                                                              | 200000.00 |
| CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT FRAUD AND PROTECT SENIORS                          |                           | 1501         | For          | SEIU LOCAL 925                                                            | 200000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                           |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    | 200000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | REPRESENT US                                                              | 200000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                         | 190000.00 |
| BRYANT WILLIAM L                                                       | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | KING COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY                                              | 185000.00 |
| WA REALTORS PAC                                                        |                           |              |              | NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS                                          | 181830.35 |
| BRYANT WILLIAM L                                                       | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY                                         | 175000.00 |
| KNOW YOUR JUDICIAL BALLOT PAC                                          |                           |              |              | WEA PAC                                                                   | 175000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION LOCAL 925 PUBLIC SERVICE PAC              |                           |              |              | MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS                                                    | 174346.00 |
| INSLEE JAY R                                                           | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE                             | 172000.00 |
| BRYANT WILLIAM L                                                       | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY                                         | 170000.00 |
| INSLEE JAY R                                                           | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE                             | 170000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION                                     | 162000.00 |
| CAMPAIGN FOR TRIBAL SELF RELIANCE BY WA INDIAN GAMING ASSN             |                           |              |              | WASHINGTON INDIAN GAMING ASSOCIATION                                      | 160000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | EVERY VOICE                                                               | 155000.00 |
| STAND FOR CHILDREN WA PAC                                              |                           |              |              | WA CHARTERS ACTION PAC                                                    | 153200.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY NON EXEMPT                                           |                           |              |              | FISHER KENNETH L                                                          | 150000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | EVERY VOICE                                                               | 150000.00 |
| ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM                               |                           | 1491         | For          | HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           | 150000.00 |
| MASS TRANSIT NOW                                                       |                           | 1            | For          | MICROSOFT                                                                 | 150000.00 |
| HOUSE REPUB ORG COMM                                                   |                           |              |              | FRIENDS OF DAN KRISTIANSEN - S                                            | 150000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           | 150000.00 |
| MAINSTREAM VOTERS OF WA                                                |                           |              |              | KENNEDY FUND                                                              | 150000.00 |
| THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                 |                           |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            | 150000.00 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                      |                           |              |              | WA EDUCATION ASSN PAC / WEA PAC                                           | 150000.00 |
| WA REALTORS PAC                                                        |                           |              |              | NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS                                          | 150000.00 |
| NO SOUND TRANSIT 3                                                     |                           | 1            | Against      | FAMILIES FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSIT                                          | 150000.00 |
| MASTER BUILDERS ASSN OF KING & SNOHOMISH CO AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL |                           |              |              | MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF KING & SNO COUNTIES                        | 150000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | EVERY VOICE                                                               | 150000.00 |
| CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT FRAUD AND PROTECT SENIORS                          |                           | 1501         | For          | SEIU 775                                                                  | 150000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM EXEMPT                                            |                           |              |              | LABORERS' POLITICAL LEAGUE                                                | 150000.00 |
| KEEP WA ROLLING                                                        |                           |              |              | MICROSOFT                                                                 | 150000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | THE FAIRNESS PROJECT                                                      | 150000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | UFCW LOCAL 21                                                             | 150000.00 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                      |                           |              |              | WA EDUCATION ASSN PAC / WEA PAC                                           | 150000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                           |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    | 150000.00 |
| BRYANT WILLIAM L                                                       | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY                                         | 150000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | KENNEDY FUND                                                              | 150000.00 |
| MCLAUGHLIN STEVEN A                                                    | PUBLIC LANDS COMMISSIONER |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY                                         | 150000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | ELDRIDGE SEAN                                                             | 150000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM NON EXEMPT                                        |                           |              |              | STEYER THOMAS F                                                           | 150000.00 |
| SENATE REPUB CAMP COMM                                                 |                           |              |              | COMMITTEE FOR MARK SCHOESLER S                                            | 145000.00 |
| FUSE VOTES                                                             |                           |              |              | FUSE WASHINGTON                                                           | 145000.00 |
| INSLEE JAY R                                                           | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE                             | 140000.00 |
| ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM                               |                           | 1491         | For          | HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           | 140000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM EXEMPT                                            |                           |              |              | WASHINGTON FEDERATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES  (WFSE)                          | 140000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION LOCAL 925 PUBLIC SERVICE PAC              |                           |              |              | SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION                                     | 136762.25 |
| SOUTHWEST COMMUNITIES ENTERPRISE WA                                    |                           |              |              | ENTERPRISE WASHINGTON'S JOBSPAC                                           | 134000.00 |
| CULTURAL ACCESS WASHINGTON                                             |                           |              |              | SEATTLE THEATRE GROUP                                                     | 133732.00 |
| LEGISLATIVE MAJORITY PAC - SPONSOR DEMO LEG CAMP COMM                  |                           |              |              | DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE                                 | 130000.00 |
| MCLAUGHLIN STEVEN A                                                    | PUBLIC LANDS COMMISSIONER |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY                                         | 130000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION 775 QUALITY CARE COMM                     |                           |              |              | SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION POLITICAL EDUCATION AND ACTION FUND | 129168.67 |
| WA CHARTERS ACTION PAC                                                 |                           |              |              | BALLMER CONNIE                                                            | 125000.00 |
| WA CHARTERS ACTION PAC                                                 |                           |              |              | BALLMER STEVE                                                             | 125000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION 1199 NORTHWEST PAC                        |                           |              |              | SEIU HEALTHCARE 1199 NW                                                   | 125000.00 |
| WA CONSERVATION VOTERS ACTION FUND                                     |                           |              |              | OREGON GIVING BACK FUND                                                   | 125000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION WA ST COUNCIL PAC                         |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             | 125000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                         | 125000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY NON EXEMPT                                           |                           |              |              | DEDOMENICO MARK DR.                                                       | 125000.00 |
| THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                 |                           |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            | 125000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM EXEMPT                                            |                           |              |              | SEIU WA STATE COUNCIL                                                     | 120000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | KENNEDY FUND                                                              | 120000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION WA ST COUNCIL PAC                         |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             | 120000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION WA ST COUNCIL PAC                         |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             | 120000.00 |
| INSLEE JAY R                                                           | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE                             | 119720.00 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                      |                           |              |              | SEIU WA STATE COUNCIL                                                     | 117500.00 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                      |                           |              |              | SEIU WA STATE COUNCIL                                                     | 117500.00 |
| KNOW YOUR JUDICIAL BALLOT PAC                                          |                           |              |              | JUSTICE FOR ALL PAC                                                       | 115000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY NON EXEMPT                                           |                           |              |              | DEDOMENICO MARK DR.                                                       | 115000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL PAC                                         | 115000.00 |
| DENTISTS FOR PATIENT CARE (WA ST DENTAL PAC)                           |                           |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DENTAL PAC                                               | 112000.00 |
| REAGAN FUND                                                            |                           |              |              | HOLLAND CLYDE                                                             | 110500.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           | 110000.00 |
| REAGAN FUND                                                            |                           |              |              | FISHER KENNETH                                                            | 103375.00 |
| YES ON I-125 COMM                                                      |                           | 125          | For          | SEIU 775 HEALTHCARE NW                                                    | 100000.00 |
| SENATE REPUB CAMP COMM                                                 |                           |              |              | ANN RIVERS FOR STATE SENATE                                               | 100000.00 |
| REAGAN FUND                                                            |                           |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            | 100000.00 |
| COMMUNITY PROGRESS                                                     |                           |              |              | THE REAGAN FUND                                                           | 100000.00 |
| BRYANT WILLIAM L                                                       | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY                                         | 100000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM EXEMPT                                            |                           |              |              | WASHINGTON FEDERATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES  (WFSE)                          | 100000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY NON EXEMPT                                           |                           |              |              | HOLLAND CLYDE                                                             | 100000.00 |
| ENTERPRISE WA JOBSPAC                                                  |                           |              |              | CHEVERON POLICY GOVT & PUBLIC AFFAIRS                                     | 100000.00 |
| QUALITY COMMUNITIES COMM (REAGAN FUND)                                 |                           |              |              | THE REAGAN FUND                                                           | 100000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY NON EXEMPT                                           |                           |              |              | HOLLAND CLYDE                                                             | 100000.00 |
| FAMILIES FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSIT                                       |                           | 1            | Against      | KEMPER HOLDINGS                                                           | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | VON MUEFFLING WILLIAM                                                     | 100000.00 |
| INSLEE JAY R                                                           | GOVERNOR                  |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE                             | 100000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM EXEMPT                                            |                           |              |              | PUYALLUP TRIBE OF INDIANS                                                 | 100000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                           |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    | 100000.00 |
| JUDICIAL INTEGRITY WA PAC                                              |                           |              |              | FISHER KEN                                                                | 100000.00 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                      |                           |              |              | SEIU 775 QUALITY CARE COMMITTEE                                           | 100000.00 |
| MASS TRANSIT NOW                                                       |                           | 1            | For          | AMAZON                                                                    | 100000.00 |
| SENATE REPUB CAMP COMM                                                 |                           |              |              | JOHN BRAUN FOR STATE SENATE                                               | 100000.00 |
| HOUSE DEMO CAMP COMM                                                   |                           |              |              | FRIENDS OF FRANK CHOPP SURPLUS ACCOUNT                                    | 100000.00 |
| MASS TRANSIT NOW                                                       |                           | 1            | For          | MICROSOFT                                                                 | 100000.00 |
| SENATE REPUB CAMP COMM                                                 |                           |              |              | CURTIS KING FOR STATE SENATOR                                             | 100000.00 |
| WA CHARTERS ACTION PAC                                                 |                           |              |              | BINDER KATHERINE                                                          | 100000.00 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                      |                           |              |              | SEIU 1199 NW                                                              | 100000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | THE FAIRNESS PROJECT                                                      | 100000.00 |
| THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                 |                           |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            | 100000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION 775 QUALITY CARE COMM                     |                           |              |              | SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION POLITICAL EDUCATION AND ACTION FUND | 100000.00 |
| OUR WASHINGTON                                                         |                           |              |              | SEIU WA STATE COUNCIL PAC                                                 | 100000.00 |
| MAINSTREAM VOTERS OF WA                                                |                           |              |              | HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                         | 100000.00 |
| OUR WASHINGTON                                                         |                           |              |              | WA FEDERATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES                                          | 100000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY NON EXEMPT                                           |                           |              |              | FISHER KENNETH L                                                          | 100000.00 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                      |                           |              |              | DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE                                 | 100000.00 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                      |                           |              |              | SEIU HEALTHCARE UNITED FOR QUALITY CARE 1199 NW                           | 100000.00 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTL UNION 1199 NORTHWEST PAC                        |                           |              |              | SEIU HEALTHCARE 1199 NW                                                   | 100000.00 |
| COMMUNITY PROGRESS                                                     |                           |              |              | THE REAGAN FUND                                                           | 100000.00 |
| THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                 |                           |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            | 100000.00 |
| FAMILIES FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSIT                                       |                           | 1            | Against      | KEMPER HOLDINGS                                                           | 100000.00 |
| WA ST DENTAL PAC                                                       |                           |              |              | WASHINGTON STATE DENTAL ASSOCIATION                                       | 100000.00 |
| QUALITY COMMUNITIES COMM (REAGAN FUND)                                 |                           |              |              | THE REAGAN FUND                                                           | 100000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | WASHINGTON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION                                          | 100000.00 |
| MAINSTREAM VOTERS OF WA                                                |                           |              |              | KENNEDY FUND                                                              | 100000.00 |
| CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA                                         |                           |              |              | ENTERPRISE WASHINGTON'S JOBSPAC                                           | 100000.00 |
| FAIRNESS PROJECT                                                       |                           |              |              | THE FAIRNESS PROJECT                                                      | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | SOROS JONATHAN                                                            | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | DEVAAN JON                                                                | 100000.00 |
| CARBON WA                                                              |                           | 732          | For          | KELLY PETER                                                               | 100000.00 |
| NO ON 732 SPONSORED BY THE ASSN OF WA BUSINESS                         |                           | 732          | Against      | PUGET SOUND ENERGY                                                        | 100000.00 |
| REAGAN FUND                                                            |                           |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            | 100000.00 |
| AUDUBON WA                                                             |                           | 732          | For          | THE DURST ORGANIZATION LP                                                 | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | REPRESENT US                                                              | 100000.00 |
| CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT FRAUD AND PROTECT SENIORS                          |                           | 1501         | For          | SEIU 775                                                                  | 100000.00 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                      |                           |              |              | WA EDUCATION ASSN PAC                                                     | 100000.00 |
| SEATTLE PROTECTS WOMEN UNITE HERE LOCAL 8 FOR YES ON 124               |                           | 124          | For          | UNITE HERE LOCAL 8                                                        | 100000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM EXEMPT                                            |                           |              |              | DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION                                          | 100000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM EXEMPT                                            |                           |              |              | WASHINGTON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION PAC                                      | 100000.00 |
| THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                 |                           |              |              | STRAT PAC                                                                 | 100000.00 |
| MASS TRANSIT NOW                                                       |                           | 1            | For          | VULCAN, INC.                                                              | 100000.00 |
| MASS TRANSIT NOW                                                       |                           | 1            | For          | EXPEDIA                                                                   | 100000.00 |
| MASS TRANSIT NOW                                                       |                           | 1            | For          | WASHINGTON ENGINEERS PAC                                                  | 100000.00 |
| KENNEDY FUND                                                           |                           |              |              | SEIU LOCAL 775                                                            | 100000.00 |
| FAIRNESS PROJECT                                                       |                           |              |              | THE FAIRNESS PROJECT                                                      | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | ELDRIDGE SEAN                                                             | 100000.00 |
| WA ST REPUB PARTY NON EXEMPT                                           |                           |              |              | HOLLAND CLYDE                                                             | 100000.00 |
| SOUTHWEST COMMUNITIES ENTERPRISE WA                                    |                           |              |              | ENTERPRISE WASHINGTON'S JOBSPAC                                           | 100000.00 |
| GOOD GOVT LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                           |                           |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    | 100000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | WASHINGTON FEDERATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES                                  | 100000.00 |
| OUR WASHINGTON                                                         |                           |              |              | WA FEDERATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES                                          | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | ELDRIDGE SEAN                                                             | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | ABRAMS JEREMY JJ                                                          | 100000.00 |
| WORKING FAMILIES                                                       |                           |              |              | THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    | 100000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | SEIU HEALTHCARE 1199NW                                                    | 100000.00 |
| SEATTLE PROTECTS WOMEN UNITE HERE LOCAL 8 FOR YES ON 124               |                           | 124          | For          | UNITE HERE                                                                | 100000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | THE FAIRNESS PROJECT WA PAC                                               | 100000.00 |
| KENNEDY FUND                                                           |                           |              |              | SEIU HEALTHCARE 1199NW                                                    | 100000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                      |                           |              |              | SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL PAC                                         | 100000.00 |
| OUR WASHINGTON                                                         |                           |              |              | WA CONSERVATION VOTERS ACTION FUND                                        | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | ELDRIDGE SEAN                                                             | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | JOHNSON JOHN S  III                                                       | 100000.00 |
| WA ST DEMO CENT COMM EXEMPT                                            |                           |              |              | PUYALLUP TRIBE OF INDIANS                                                 | 100000.00 |
| MASS TRANSIT NOW                                                       |                           | 1            | For          | IBEW PAC VOLUNTARY FUND                                                   | 100000.00 |
| MASS TRANSIT NOW                                                       |                           | 1            | For          | GATES WILLIAM  III                                                        | 100000.00 |
| REAGAN FUND                                                            |                           |              |              | REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            | 100000.00 |
| RAISE UP WA                                                            |                           | 1433         | For          | THE FAIRNESS PROJECT                                                      | 100000.00 |
| NO ON 732 SPONSORED BY THE ASSN OF WA BUSINESS                         |                           | 732          | Against      | KAISER ALUMINUM                                                           | 100000.00 |
| INTEGRITY WA                                                           |                           | 1464         | For          | WILSON FRED                                                               | 100000.00 |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+---------------------------+--------------+--------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+-----------+
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See Campaign money pours into Washington state races days before election.

Social Security: The Swiss Army Knife of American public policy

social securityThe next time you hear a Very Serious Person’s pronouncement about Social Security’s supposedly impending doom, remember: an individual’s interest in seeing Social Security thrive is usually a) inversely proportional to their wealth but b) directly proportional to their empathy for others.

How else to explain the effort by the Trump administration and certain members of Congress to pull the economic rug out from under a huge swath of Americans by cutting Social Security?

In Washington state alone, nearly 1.3 million residents receive Social Security benefits – that’s 18% of our state’s population, who in turn provide income for 30% of the state’s households. But the benefits of Social Security go far beyond that:

  • Social Security supports the young, middle-aged, and elderly: It’s commonly thought of as something for retired people, but that’s only partly true: While 75% of recipients in Washington (969,835 people) are age 65 or older, 19% (245,536) of beneficiaries are age 18-64 and 6% (75,827) are under 18.
  • Social Security is a remarkably effective anti-poverty program: Social Security dramatically reduces poverty among the elderly in Washington, from 35.1% to 7.4%. Retirement benefits are modest, averaging $1,379/month ($16,549/year) – but without them, an additional 301,000 Washingtonians age 65 or older would have lived in poverty in 2015.
  • Social Security protects children and families against tragedy: For 98% of Washington’s 1.6+ million children and families, Social Security is the primary insurance protection in the event a parent or spouse dies or is disabled. In 2016, over 109,000 widow(er)s and children in Washington received an average $1,219/month ($14,631/year); over 211,000 disabled workers and their families received an average $1,061/month ($12,737/year).
  • Social Security bolsters local economies across the state: In 2016, Social Security benefits were equivalent to 5.2% of Washington’s total personal income, and generated more than $31 billion in economic activity, 192,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in state and local tax revenue. In December of that year, nearly $1.7 billion in Social Security benefits went directly to local economies across the state, from King County (288,000 people, $406 million) to Garfield County (660 people, $808,000).

Reducing benefits, limiting COLAs and/or increasing the retirement age will diminish economic security for nearly every American. It will disproportionately affect low- and middle-income families, women and all workers of color who, unlike wealthy individuals, often do not have significant retirement savings and must work further into old age in more difficult and physically demanding jobs.

For years, Americans have been subjected to a relentless PR campaign aimed at convincing them that Social Security probably won’t be there when they retire. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Social Security is the nation’s most secure and conservatively invested public trust. In anticipation of the “baby-boomer” generation’s retirement, Congress increased payroll taxes and reduced future benefits for millions of Americans in the early 1980’s, building a large surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund. The latest Trust Fund report projects Social Security can pay all benefits in full and on time until 2034, and 75% of benefits thereafter.

Federal lawmakers should be building on that strong foundation by making Social Security payroll taxes more equitable. While 94% of American workers (approx. 151 million people) pay Social Security tax on every paycheck, most of the earnings of the top 1 percent – and especially the top 0.1 percent – escape Social Security taxes.

That’s because workers and their employers each pay 6.2% of wages toward Social Security – but there’s a cap on taxable earnings. As a result, workers earning less than the cap ($127,200 in 2017) pay a higher Social Security payroll tax rate than those who make more.

Congress set the cap in 1977 and indexed it to average wage growth, intending it to cover 90% of all wages. But over the past several decades, wage growth among lower- and middle-income Americans has slowed, while wages at the top have grown dramatically. As a result, the cap now covers just 82% of aggregate wages.

That rising inequality in earnings accounts for 43.5% of the projected shortfall in Social Security funding I mentioned above. Put another way: if the cap on taxable income had continued to cover 90% of total earnings since 1983, the Trust Fund would have at least an additional $1.1 trillion today.

Scrapping the cap now would extend the Trust Fund’s surplus until 2087 – easily far enough in the future for policymakers to make additional adjustments if necessary. Only the richest 6.1% of workers (less than 1 in 15) would pay more. It’s a popular idea: two-thirds of Americans support requiring high-income workers to pay Social Security taxes on all of their wages (as is already the case with Medicare taxes).

To ensure Social Security continues protecting the economic security of working Americans, lawmakers should also expand and improve Social Security for workers and families, by:

Raising benefits overall: Adjusting the benefit formula to raise benefits for those who have had careers in low-wage occupations – such as childcare, restaurant service, or home health care – would better protect the financial security of people just scraping by, particularly older women and people of color.

Protecting the very elderly: Living to extreme old age, or outliving (or not having) a spouse greatly increases the risk of poverty. “Bump-ups” in benefits for seniors living past a certain age and increasing benefits for elderly widows and widowers would reduce financial insecurity among the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Honoring time caring for family: Caring for children or aging family members can cause many people, especially women, to reduce their hours or stop working, greatly affecting their retirement benefits. Reducing the number of years’ earnings used to calculate retirement benefits from 35 to 30 or 28 can eliminate this caregiving penalty. It would also help Millennials and others who had reduced access to employment due to economic downturns.

Restoring student survivor benefits: Before 1981, children of retired, deceased, or disabled workers continued receiving benefits through age 22 if they attended college. Now benefits end once a young person turns 18 and finishes high school. Reinstating college benefits could help children and their families achieve their dreams, as well as reduce socioeconomic barriers to education and lifetime opportunities.

Adopting the CPI-E inflation index: Over the past eight years, the current COLA formula has led to average monthly benefit increases of just over 1% and no increase at all in three of those years. The 2016 COLA was just 0.3%, or about $4.00/month for the average senior – barely the average cost of one Lipitor pill. Adopting the consumer price index for the elderly, or CPI-E, would be a more accurate means of calculating adequate Social Security COLAs.

Restoring office access & services: The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) expenses are self-funded and account for less than one penny of every dollar spent. While demand for SSA services (and staff workloads) have risen to record highs, over the past six years, the SSA’s operating budget has shrunk by 10% (after adjusting for inflation) due to Congressional budget cuts. This has resulted in the closure of one field office and the loss of 776 employees in Washington. Restoring full funding would help ensure people have dependable and easily accessible in-person service at Social Security offices, often at critical moments in their lives.

Social Security reduces poverty, protects kids and families, stimulates local economies, and promotes a dignified retirement. And contrary to what its wealthy opponents would have you believe, Social Security is not only fiscally sound – it’s ready for an upgrade. It’s time to “Scrap the Cap” and expand and improve Social Security to create a more equitable and secure future for all Americans.

More info. about the sources linked above is available in our latest Social Security fact sheet: Delivering on the promise of Social Security: America’s pension plan »

Originally published at EOI Online

Origins and purpose of some progressive advocacy groups

When presidential campaigns have done strong issue advocacy, they have often continued on after the campaigns themselves are over. Pick a few to get involved with now.

Rainbow Coalition
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow/PUSH
The granddaddy of them all, the Rainbow Coalition grew out of the 1984 Jesse Jackson presidential campaign, back when your only organizing tools were direct mail and making expensive long distance phone calls. In 1996, Jackson merged the coalition with Operation PUSH, the social justice coalition which he had founded in 1971.

Progressive Democrats of America
http://pdamerica.org/
PDA grew our of the 2004 presidential campaign of Dennis Kucinich. The organization endorses candidates as well as working on the main issues of healthcare as a human right, passing the Equal Rights Amendment, ending corporate rule, stopping climate change, election integrity, ending wars and occupations, stopping the Trans Pacific Partnership pro-corporate agenda, and general economic and social justice issues.

Democracy for America
http://www.democracyforamerica.com/
DFA grew out of the 2004 presidential campaign of Howard Dean–originally Dean For America. Howard has not actually been involved–the organization is run by his brother, Jim Dean.

Organizing for American/Organizing for Action
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizing_for_America
Originally known as Obama for America, Organizing for America, then Organizing for Action, (OFA) is a currently community organizing project of the Democratic National Committee. Initially founded after the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, OFA sought to mobilize supporters in favor of Obama’s legislative priorities, particularly health care reform. After 2010, it became the grassroots arm of Obama for America. After Obama’s second inauguration, it was reorganized again as Organizing for Action and returned to its previous mission of organizing around the President’s agenda. It has since turned into a hub of the Democratic protest movement.

Our Revolution
https://ourrevolution.com/
Our Revolution grew out of the 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders. It backs local candidates as well as doing issue organizing.

Sanders Institute
https://www.sandersinstitute.com/
The Sanders Institute was founded by Jane O’Meara Sanders, and works on economic, environmental, racial, and social justice issues.

Onward together
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onward_Together
Hillary Clinton co-founded the organization in May of 2017 with Howard Dean and is the CEO. In August 2017 they had hired Emmy Ruiz and Adam Parkhomenko as consultants. Both Ruiz and Parkhomenko were members of Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns. They don’t yet have an issues page.

In 2016, we have seen something new–organizations devoted to contesting local and congressional elections.

Indivisible
https://www.indivisible.org/
This group did not grow out of a campaign, but was founded by a group of former congressional staffers with the purpose of putting pressure in individual members of Congress to fight Trump’s agenda and advocate for progressive issues. There are thousands of local chapters.

Brand New Congress
https://brandnewcongress.org/
Brand New Congress was originally started by a group of volunteers and staffers from the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. The group is non-partisan, and will back Republicans who agree with its agenda, as well as Democrats and third party candidates.

Justice Democrats
https://justicedemocrats.com/
Justice Democrats was created by Cenk Uygur, CEO of The Young Turks, Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk and Zack Exley and Saikat Chakrabarti. Zack and Saikat are former Bernie Sanders campaign staffers.
Justice Democrats all pledge to:
• Create a universal, Medicare-for-all health care system
• Raise the minimum wage to $15 / hour and tie it to inflation
• Make public colleges and trade schools free
• Call for a constitutional amendment to get rid of money in politics once and for all
• Take no corporate PAC money or corporate lobbyist money

Also, urge your progressive state legislators to get involved with State Innovation Exchange
https://stateinnovation.org/
https://www.facebook.com/pg/stateinnovationexchange/
SiX supports state legislators who seek to strengthen democracy, fight for working families, defend civil rights and liberties, and protect the environment. We do this through training, emphasizing leadership development, amplifying legislators’ voices, and forging strategic alliances between our legislative network and grassroots movements.

Employers should stop subsidizing free parking by employees

The Bellevue Planning Commission has recently suggested encouraging employers to stop subsidizing free parking by employees.   The intention is to incentivize people to  use public transportation and other alternatives to commuting by car.   The benefits would be clear: less traffic congestion, less pollution, and a more pleasant environment.

As expected, there’s a posting on nextdoor.com calling on Bellevue residents to stop the proposed plan.  The posting encourages reader to email council members and to express their opposition to the increased parking fees.

One person said that the proposed fees would be an economic hardship on working families.

Yes, the policy to charge for parking will hit everyone, but employers have the option of paying higher salaries. Also, that argument (“It will hit working families”) can be used to oppose almost any regulation that protects people via an economic incentives. Safety regulations on cars, planes, food, and a myriad of goods result in higher prices, but those higher prices are needed to reflect the hidden costs and external costs (e.g., pollution) from the goods and services.  Countries worldwide are moving towards green economies less dependent on fossil fuels.  Our lives and communities need to be reconfigured to reflect the necessary trade-offs.

A similar proposal in 2015 was scrapped because of concerns that drivers would park at malls and would disrupt local businesses.

Since heavy traffic is detrimental to our health and quality of life, it is indeed desirable to make incentives for people to use public transportation and other alternatives to cars. Google “air pollution health” and you’ll find many scary scientific articles about how bad auto pollution is to the lungs of people living near freeways. Do you like sitting in traffic and breathing toxic exhaust? Are you OK with making nearby residents and workers breathe it?