The Seattle Times’ editorial board recently endorsed Erin Jones, a Tacoma Public Schools official, in the race to replace Randy Dorn as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. In keeping with the Times editorial board’s developing desire to see taxpayers have even less money in the future, Jones is lauded in part because she supports a state income tax as a means to create a “more progressive tax system” as the solution to the “biggest problem facing Washington public schools,” i.e. funding.
The fact that Jones — as a Democrat — claims that a “more progressive tax system” like a state income tax is the answer to all our budget woes is not anything new. Rather, it’s Jones’ defense of a state income tax that’s more than a little bizarre. MyNorthwest.com reported:
“Jones, who was raised in the Netherlands, has seen firsthand where higher taxes can lead. Though 40 percent of her parent’s wages go to taxes, she says it’s obvious where that money is going. Education, for example, is paid for from kindergarten through college and covers a PHD.”
Not only is it folly to compare the economic system of a relatively small European country with the economic system of a state within the United States, the notion that a state income tax is the answer to solving education funding is illogical.
As Shift reported, a recent study revealed that California’s overreliance on forms of state income taxes creates economic volatility. According to a “stress test” conducted by Moody’s Investor Service, California’s high dependence on income taxes makes it the “least able big state to withstand a recession.”
Alternatively, Washington and Texas (both non-income tax states) have low revenue volatility and score well in Moody’s budget stress test. Yet, Democrats like Jones continue to insist that a state income tax would somehow provide a more dependable funding source for education.
Unfortunately, as its endorsement proves, the Seattle Times doesn’t appear to mind the illogical nature of it all.
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