Category: Taxation

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Private Potties for Servants?

Just why has public money been spent to provide a private bathroom for Renton’s mayor? Council President Randy Corman said a staffer invited him to use the mayor’s private bathroom, which he didn’t do. He can account for every second of his time, he said, and he was always surrounded by people. “In 10 years I have never used the mayor’s bathroom. On this night, they invited me to,” he said. “That was awfully suspicious to me.” Keolker said that since she took office as mayor, she has regularly told council members they can use her bathroom during meeting breaks,...

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Theft and Sacrifice

In today’s Seattle Times Floyd McKay reports that one of the retired generals calling for rummies resignation was struck by the “lack of sacrifice and commitment on the part of the American people,” excepting military families and closes his opinion piece with But all in all, the upper and middle classes don’t show up in these figures nearly as much as they show up on college campuses across America. We don’t sacrifice either wealth or lives if we are well-off. In fact, if we own defense-industry stock, we make money off this war. Think Halliburton. An honest administration would talk...

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Your Tax Dollar At Work

I’ve got to remember to read the whole article if the headline or picture catches my eye! Ten days ago the Alaska Airlines salmon plane was plastered all over the papers. For instance here is the Seattle PI article and here is a picture of the plane. Well, Alaska Air has had interesting paintings on its planes for may years so when I saw this picture I thought: “Wow, they’ve gone a bit overboard with this but it does look pretty cool.” And turned to the next page of the paper assuming that this was Alaska Air marketing to the...

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The Right Approach to Using Extorted Money

Some King County council members have finally figured out that money taken from citizens should not be used to support commercial endeavors: County Councilmen David Irons and Dwight Pelz on Monday formally presented a pair of proposed bills that would prevent the use of county funds or state or federal grants to support efforts to allow commercial airlines to operate at Boeing Field. Sadly, I doubt they’ve learned that this approach should apply across the board. For instance, airlines and their passengers should pay all the costs related to Sea-Tac; the stadiums should be payed for entirely by the teams...

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Urban Transportation Projects as Market Failures

The Seattle Times today presented one of the best arguments I have seen for terminating the Monorail Project: • Operations would almost certainly have to be subsidized somehow, as no public-finance expert interviewed by The Times believes the monorail’s claims that it can support itself from fares, ads and self-generated revenue. “Typically, urban transportation projects in the United States are not self-supporting,” said Scott Trommer, senior director at Fitch Ratings, one of the nation’s three bond-rating agencies. “They require subsidy support, from some kind of dedicated tax or government grants.” And, terminate all the other analogous projects. Well, at least,...

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Incomplete Picture for Viaduct Funding

In a Seattle PI guest editorial titled Complete Picture for Viaduct Funding Davd K.Y. Tang and Steve Leahyin urge Washington residents to contact their congress critters and ask them to support federal funding for the Seattle Viaduct project. Why, though, would anyone pick up the phone, write an email, etc., based on the incomplete information in this piece? How much money are they asking for? What will be the total cost of the project? How will the so called regional share be funded? Why should federal money be involved at all? Could the entire project be funded by tolls? If...