Oxfam released a report recently about economic inequality, World’s 85 richest people own nearly half of global wealth: Oxfam report. “In the US, the wealthiest 1 per cent of the population grabbed 95 per cent of post-financial crisis growth between 2009 and 2012, while the bottom 90 per cent became poorer.” “Wealthy elites have co-opted political power to rig the rules of the economic game.” The report further says that since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 of the 30 countries for which data are available.
This trend is evident in Washington State, which has the most regressive tax system in the nation, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. You pay more in state taxes as a percentage of income than Bill Gates.
And it’s not just the Republicans who have contributed to the problem. President Obama surrounded himself with Wall Street cronies and continued Bush’s bailouts for billionaires.
Belleuve’s Rep. Ross Hunter, a former executive at Microsoft, negotiated tax breaks for his former employer that allowed it shift income to the tax haven of Nevada. (Why should Microsoft pay to support public education when they can import workers from overseas?)
And Gov. Inslee recently spearheaded the push to grant Boeing $9 billion in tax breaks — the largest amount any state has granted in history.
Yet the legislature is struggling to pay for education and to fund Metro transit.
Until the people wise up and demand progressive taxes, including a move away from the regressive sales tax, our tax system will continue to serve the 1%.
Seattle Times Realizes Microsoft’s Running the Legislature “From 1997 to 2010, Microsoft’s Nevada-based tax avoidance operation deprived the state of an estimated $1.51 billion in taxes, interest and penalties. In 2010, Hunter led legislation that granted the company amnesty and redefined the state’s royalty tax to exclude Microsoft’s worldwide licensing revenue.”