Washington State Democrats—from the party hacks to politicians who claim the label as their own—make a lot of ridiculous claims. At times, the claims are so ridiculous that it’s hard to believe that Democrats actually, well, believe them. This Friday, we here at Shift hope you’ll get a laugh out of these 5 claims.
- A capital gains income tax is not an income tax.
A capital gains tax is a tax on your income. However, Jay Inslee and friends refuse to accept that reality for political purposes—mainly because Washington voters overwhelmingly oppose a state income tax.
Inslee and fellow Democrats insist that a capital gains income tax is an excise tax. The problem with classifying a capital gains tax as an excise tax is that, as Shift reported, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the United States Supreme Court do not.
The IRS lists capital gains as income in its 1040 Individual Income Tax Return form. The reason why the IRS includes capital gains income as taxable income is that, under current law, a capital gain is taxed as income. In 1921, the Supreme Court definitively ruled inMerchants Loan and Trust Co. v. Smietanka that capital gains are taxable as income. The case overturned precedents and allowed for the taxation of capital gains as… income.
- The state Legislature must raise taxes in order to make ends meet.
State Senate Republicans proved by passing their no new taxes, balanced budget that tax increases are not, in fact, needed to meet all our state’s spending obligations. The reality is that Democrats need tax hikes in order to continue their pattern of growing the size of state government. Through their budget, Democrats have made it clear that their primary objective is to reward their special interest campaign donors—they have placed special interests ahead of public education funding.
The Republican-controlled state Senate’s budget truly prioritizes education. Nearly half of the budget is designated to education spending, spending about $2.7 billion more for education, including $1.3 billion to meet constitutional requirements as ordered in the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision… all without raising taxes.
- Jay Inslee’s cap-and-tax scheme won’t increase fuel prices or negatively impact businesses.
Inslee would like nothing more than for everyone to believe his cap-and-tax scheme would have no negative consequences and that it is needed in order to benefit the environment. But, nothing could be further from the truth.
According to one study, Inslee’s cap-and-tax scheme would reduce the average annual employment by approximately 56,000 jobs over the next 20 years. Nearly 6,000 of those jobs would be in the manufacturing sector. The study also found that the total aggregate worker and proprietor’s income would be reduced by an annual average of $3.1 billion per year. That figure, divided by total Washington households, is equivalent to a reduction of $1,200 in annual income per household.
Additionally, the average household could expect an increase in gasoline, natural gas and electric bills by nearly $60 a month—that does not include the indirect cost increases in consumer goods such as food.
Even more, Inslee’s cap-and-tax scheme is simply not needed. The study points out that Washington State’s per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rate is already 36% lower than the national average. And, despite our state’s booming population growth, emission rates continue to drop. In fact, Washington State is within 3% of the state’s 2020 GHG emissions goal—the goal that Inslee so often cites as a reason why our state must move forward with his extreme “green” plans.
- State employees haven’t received pay raises in 6 years.
House Democrats reward state employee unions with nearly $1 billion in pay and benefit hikes in the spending proposal they call a budget. Democrats justify forcing non-state employee working families to foot the bill for their million-dollar campaign donors by claiming state workers have gone six years without pay increases and, in turn, that has hurt retention rates.
Both claims are false. Republican state Senator John Braun used simple facts to disprove the Democrat claims. The facts reveal two key conclusions. First, the vast majority of state employees are being compensated higher than four years ago. In fact, their salaries have risen faster than inflation. Second, the state does not have a systemic retention problem. In fact, the state has a commendably low turnover rate that is well below the national public sector average.
- Bernie Sanders is someone Democrats can be proud of.
When Vermont Senator and self-avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders announced his presidential bid, the Washington State Democrat Party sent out a gleeful email asking recipients for support. It’s unusual for Democrats to be excited about the candidacy of a man who does not identify as a Democrat. Sanders, first and foremost, identifies as a socialist. But, considering Democrats’ lackluster bench of presidential prospects maybe we should give them a pass on this one.