Dori: Jay Inslee uses homeless person’s death to push state income tax

Feb 12, 2019, 4:13 PM
A homeless encampment in Seattle during the snowstorm. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)...
A homeless encampment in Seattle during the snowstorm. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Jay Inslee actually used the snowstorm and the death of a homeless person to push for a state income tax.

Inslee was speaking at a press conference about the snow on Monday with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine. He was in the middle of answering a question about deicing roads when he squeezed this message in:

I want to say something too, and I hope it’s not too off-topic, but I have to say it. When I think of our community that has homeless people who actually, one of whom lost their life to exposure, and realize that we don’t have a system to handle this problem in the state, it kind of drives me nuts, given the wealth that exists in the state of Washington. And I just want to note that, because today in the Legislature, we have a proposal to have a tax system on really high-income people that, in part, will help deal with this … when a state that has these enormous pockets of wealth, to have a system where we can take care of homeless people and they’re not dying of exposure, I hope that’s a lesson we take from this snowstorm this year.

It makes you wonder, at what point after hearing about this person’s death do you start thinking, “How can I use this death to push for a new tax?” Is it immediately after?

RELATED: Snowstorm shows you, pay attention to whom you elect

When do government aides come in and workshop it? When do they begin crafting it, turning a sad situation into a political PR moment?

The proposal that Gov. Inslee was referring to is his push for an income tax, in the guise of a capital gains tax. Of course, as we know, a state income tax is expressly forbidden under our state Constitution, as stated in Article VII, Section 1. We voted on an income tax many times in the state of Washington and said no every time, apart from once in 1932 — and that time, the state Supreme Court threw it out because it is patently unconstitutional.

Although Inslee calls this tax a capital gains tax, according to the IRS, a capital gains tax is an income tax. If the IRS calls it an income tax, that should settle it once and for all.

As for the homeless person who froze to death — had he been approached by City of Seattle Navigation Team members offering meals and beds and rehabilitation services? As we talked about a few weeks ago, the city’s Navigation Team offered services to all of the homeless people at a Northgate encampment; out of 12 tents’ worth of people, only one person accepted.

Jay Inslee knows that the homelessness problem has nothing to do with the lack of money; I think he is smart enough to realize that. According to the City Journal, we spend $100,000 per year per homeless person in Seattle and King County. But the fact of the matter is, most refuse all help and all services because they want a life with no rules. And if that means staying on the streets and breaking into cars and getting their next round of drugs one car prowl at a time, that’s what they’re going to do.

How much more money, Governor? I know plenty of people who raise a family of four on much less than $400,000 a year. A family of four living on far less can live quite comfortably. But that’s how much the taxpayers are spending on four homeless people. And Jay Inslee stands up there and uses the death of a homeless person to pitch an income tax.

What goes through the heart, mind, and soul of people who propose things like this? He sees the death of someone so far-gone and sees it only as a political tool. Ironically, it is our politicians who have caused this impossible homelessness crisis. We can’t round them up, we can’t involuntarily commit them. As Durkan said during the press conference, we can’t even go into their tents. So how do we stop them from freezing to death when they are choosing to spend the night on the streets during a snowstorm?

I challenge any reporter who covers Inslee to find out how much more he wants to spend per homeless person. What will solve this problem, Mr. Governor? How about a quarter-million per person per year? A group of four homeless people can cost us $1 million. Will we solve the problem then? A big chunk of that million dollars will go to labor unions, favored contractors, and the homeless industrial complex, like the six-figure positions at the Low-Income Housing Institute.

Think your income tax is going to save lives? Of course not. This is the kind of soullessness that is dominating public discourse these days.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
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Dori: Jay Inslee uses homeless person’s death to push state income tax