According to my horoscope, today is the day Brexit happens, and President Donald Trump will be acquitted in his Senate trial. At least it doesn’t say I’ll personally be hit by a garbage truck.
It’s five days before this gets printed, so, as usual, it could always be a Dewey Defeats Truman moment. A garbage truck might hit me after all, in which case you could say “the polls were biased.”
But it’s looking as certain as ever that Mitch McConnell has succeeded in preventing witnesses from appearing, which means the Republican senators won’t be challenged to reconsider their positions on the articles of impeachment, so it will be over quickly.
This, I suspect, also will happen to a measure that’s been proposed in the Washington state Legislature to permit certain counties to tax companies with many highly paid workers.
The problem is, to try to make it easier for the Legislature to swallow, the proponents thought to make it a smaller pill. So instead of applying to all counties, it would only apply to counties with more than 2 million people. That means it won’t apply to 38 Washington counties. So it’s really not changing how things are done in the state, eh? So let’s just pass it and get on with our lives, OK?
Except the one and only county with two million people is King County, which has almost a third of the population of the whole state.
So the Legislature is being asked to pass a law to give more power to about one-third of the state and not to the other two-thirds. I don’t think that’s such a small pill to swallow. That’s like my doctor expecting me to swallow a pill the size of a springer spaniel: It would never happen. I have an amazingly strong gag reflex and I can’t control it.
According to a Crosscut article, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan are pushing for the bill, along with State Sen. Nicole Macri, D-Seattle.
I’m trying to wrap my head around this. It’s taxing my head. Ha!
Remember how in 2017, Seattle passed a so-called “head tax”? Remember how Jenny Durkan got the City Council to reduce the tax before passing it? Remember how Amazon threatened to curtail construction of a new office building in retaliation, and the City Council caved under pressure from Amazon and other businesses, and they revoked their own law with the approval of Mayor Durkan, less than a month after Durkan had signed it into law? And that this repeal was done with only 24-hours notice, so supporters of the head tax had very little time to mount an adequate protest to its repeal?
So what gives now? Is the idea that somehow the county is in a better position to pull off something like a head tax than the city ever was? How? Wouldn’t Microsoft and Paccar join the opposition along with Amazon and Starbucks? Is the King County Council that much braver than the Seattle City Council?
Meanwhile, I have it on good authority that other counties in the state have homeless people who could use some housing. (I Googled it.) Also, that they have big businesses that could be taxed to pay for such housing. What’s the thinking behind not considering letting the other 38 counties have the same privilege that King County would get?
I suppose it might be that Democratic legislators will vote for it just because they support the cause, even if it doesn’t help them in their own counties, while Republican legislators will vote for it on the off chance it could result in Seattle businesses moving out their way. Amazon could move to Spokane. Yeah, that makes sense. I’m sure I’m over-supposing this one.
Well, we’ll see. If the law does pass, the King County Council will be entitled to pass a tax collecting up to $120 million without even having to put it to a vote of the people. And the idea is to spend most of the money where the homeless people are, so Seattle will get at least half of it. I won’t complain if all that happens.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast, I’m sure you all recall. As the poet what’s-her-name said, “Hope is the thing with feathers,” so it’s like the bluebird-of-paradise — easier to swallow than a springer spaniel. So that’s how it gets in your breast.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd. He can be reached at drwes (at) realchangenews (dot) org
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