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Does the City of Seattle have an economist in the room?

The full Seattle City Council was on hand for hearings on the proposed head tax. (KIRO Radio/Matt Pitman)

The vote is in, looks like the head tax is a go. But for $275 per employee instead of the original proposal of $500. The money generated will go towards homelessness.

I thought that in preparation for today’s vote, I’d check to see what the chief economist and the homeless czar for the City of Seattle have to say about the plan.

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So I fired up my Google machine and did a quick search for “Seattle economist head tax.” No names popped up. I am really interested in finding out  who is advising our politicians. What school did she or he attend? What’s their economic philosophy? What kind of advice have they given? What’s their breakdown on how this tax affects the business economy going forward?

Since my Google search was fruitless, I went over to the City of Seattle’s website and hit the search icon. “Head Economist,” was my query. Still no name. I spent about 15 minutes or so manually searching through the different departments until I finally gave up.

Does the City of Seattle have an economist? Someone who has actually attended university level classes on things like macroeconomics and taxes? Seems like when you’re making a decision of this magnitude, you’d want to get advised by some folks that have expertise in this kind of thing.

Will the chief economist for the City of Seattle please stand up? I have some questions for you.

Homeless Czar or an economist?

After that little exercise I figured that I’d see what Seattle homelessness czar George Sarcola has to say. You know George. He’s been leading the charge on the state of emergency for homelessness. Oh wait, George is pretty much invisible. I forgot.

Back to my Google machine. A quick search for “George Sarcola head tax” yielded zero results. In fact, I can’t seem to find a link in the search results from this calendar year.

Hey George, what’s your plan for the new head tax dollars? Is that money going to solve our problems?

Hey George, how’s it going with the $275 million dollars that was passed in the last levy?

Hey George, what’s your opinion on the head tax?

Hey George, what exactly do you do all day?  Hello… is this thing on?

What we are witnessing here is political theater. This is not about helping desperate people find a way out of living like animals under the bridge. This is about scoring political points.

Don’t be fooled by the loud shiny objects they dangle in front of your face.

Mark my words, this tax will not significantly help homelessness, but it could significantly hurt our local economy.

You can hear “What are we talking about here?” everyday at 4:45 p.m. on 97.3 FM.

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