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Ross: What the capital gains tax is really about

Hundreds gathered at a rally to protest Washington state's stay-at-home order at the Capitol building on April 19, 2020, in Olympia, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Sometimes when I write these commentaries, there’s a little voice in my head that says, “so what makes this worth a commentary?” As I was writing this commentary there was definitely a voice, except it came from the other person in the room at the time, asking me “so what are you writing about?” And I said, “the capital gains tax.”

She said: “Well that’s boring!”

I realized she was right. I was going to explain the $250,000 exemption, and how it would only apply to rich people and would help fix our regressive tax system, but that the real point was to raise money for child care so that working parents would have a place to put their children when they return to work. Thereby helping the economy.

You see the problem. That sentence is way too long.

You might say, “wait a minute, if it’s about child care, people are passionate about childcare!”

But is it? Or is it mainly about creating a new tax that can be expanded to include non-rich people?

Now that’s an interesting question.

But the answer will have to wait until the inevitable repeal campaign begins.

If people believe it’s really about child care and making it easier for parents to get back to work, then businesses will campaign for the tax, and parents will show up at the Capitol open-carrying their children on their hip.

And that’s when it will be interesting enough for a commentary.

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