For quite sometime, Democrats and their far left supporters have attacked Republican lawmakers for [supposedly] failing to close “tax loopholes,” aka tax incentives. Perhaps most damaging way liberals use the “tax loophole” attacks is how they frame the debate on fully funding K-12 education, as per the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. Democrats, from Jay Inslee on down, would like the public to believe that if Republicans allowed them to close all the unfair tax loopholes, why then they could fully fund public education.
Aside from the fact that, from a practical standpoint, that is a lie, Democrats’ attack also reveal their incredible hypocrisy.
Since 2005, 140 bills relating to tax incentives have passed out of the state Legislature and were signed into law. The 140 bills included a total of 172 new or amended tax incentives. And, of those 140 bills, 120 (a whopping 86 percent) were prime sponsored by Democrats. Adding to Democrats’ share of responsibility is the fact that a Democrat governor has signed and approved every “tax loophole” for the last 30 years.
In other words, Democrats are blaming Republicans for policies they created. And, adding insult to injury, they are attacking Republicans for not fixing the problems they created.
Republican Rep. Matt Manweller gives a great round-up of the issue in a recent blog post,
“If tax exemptions are a problem, then it is a problem the Democrats created. This type of hypocrisy is what drives voters crazy…
“We are not a business-friendly state. The so-called loopholes are in place so our state can stay competitive with other states and attract employers. Outside of the I-5 corridor the economy is still slow to recover. King and Snohomish counties have unemployment rates of 4.9 and 5.3 percent respectively, but there are 12 counties with unemployment rates of over 10 percent and most are at eight or higher…
“A quick review: our friends across the aisle are criticizing our tax system and the tax preferences we have in statute – a problem they have created. Yet, their solution is to get rid of tax incentives that keep many employers competitive and in Washington state. This is not a real solution.
“How thick is the hypocrisy? About 30 years’ worth since they have been in control for most of that time and have yet to offer a meaningful solution.”