If you’re like us, you probably realize right off the bat that taxing jobs is a bad idea. Jobs, economic growth, construction, commerce – these are what keep government bureaucrats fat and happy.
So you’d think Seattle’s “progressives” would want more of these things. They want fat government budgets, after all, so they shouldn’t want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
But obviously, other things are more important to them right now. The symbolism of the head tax – that direct tax on jobs – is more important to them than continuing to fuel the immense rise in City of Seattle revenues.
Those progressives reject the notion that taxing jobs will have ill effects. Yet they completely accept the “tax it to get less of it” logic for lots of other things.
What is a carbon tax, after all, but a disincentive to burn carbon? That’s a good thing, they think. Same for cigarette taxes, or pop taxes. When Seattle’s soda tax was introduced (by Ed Murray – remember him?), it was explicitly pitched as a way to reduce soda use.
So why wouldn’t the same logic apply to jobs? It does – but in Seattle’s progressive circles, showing support for the head tax is the most important virtue signal of the moment, consequences be damned.
If you don’t agree, YOU’RE BAD
If you’re a card-carrying member of the Seattle Left, you MUST SUPPORT THE HEAD TAX. Do otherwise and you risk being called some really ugly things, including a Republican. That’s tops the hierarchy of Seattle insults.
Here we have David Rolf, the well-compensated local head of SEIU, telling Seattle political leaders that if they dare question the head tax, they’re pretty much Republicans. That must be aimed at Mayor Jenny Durkan, considering every city councilmember voted for the job-killing head tax.
Think the head tax is a bad idea? You must be a right-wing extremist – after all, who else would think taxing jobs might result in fewer jobs? Only those extremists, of course. If you’re a Seattle business questioning the “compromise deal,” you’re blowing it up – the progressives will jack it back up to punish you!
Yes, you see Shift readers, thinking that a direct tax on jobs will have unintended consequences – just having the thought, even – means you’re attacking the very foundations of progressive Seattle. This progressive wants his compatriots to fight back or surely the very idea of tax reform is a tough slog from there on out.
Progressives in shock: Seattle voters don’t support head tax
To no one’s shock, a campaign to repeal the head tax has already started – and it’s made up of more than just Republicans, mega-corporations, and right-wing extremists. Signature petitions are already out on the streets. Considering it takes just 17,000 signatures to make the ballot, this one will surely meet that threshold.
In what must have been a surprise to Seattle progressives’ beliefs about their fellow Seattleites, a KIRO 7/Strategies 360 poll shows 54% of Seattle voters oppose a head tax to just 38% in favor. Ouch.
And hey, if Seattle progressives somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat and hang on to the head tax, no worries: Pierce County, Bellevue, and many other locales are happy to absorb the job growth from businesses fed up with Seattle.