KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Dems defend WA Supreme Court’s racist capital gains tax ruling

Mar 29, 2023, 5:55 PM | Updated: Mar 30, 2023, 8:54 am

The activist Washington state Supreme Court majority redefined the capital gains tax to fit their left-wing, racist ideology. The defense of this objectively ludicrous decision has been aggressively foolish.

Pushing aside our constitution and basic definitions, the court ruled the capital gains tax isn’t an income tax, but an excise tax. They did not use the law to come to that conclusion. They used their ideology, arguing they personally liked the capital gains tax because Washington has too many affluent white residents. Though irrelevant to the case, the court argued their new definition is necessary because the state’s “upside-down tax system perpetuates systemic racism by placing a disproportionate tax burden on BIPOC residents.”

The opinion doesn’t read like a Court decision, but a press release from a pro-tax, anti-capitalist Seattle activist group. But that’s what the Washington State Supreme Court has become.

Neither skin color nor imaginary systemic racism has any bearing on the definition of a capital gains tax, which 49 states and the IRS deem an income tax. They made a race-based judgment. We’ve devolved to a time when judging people harshly based on skin color was acceptable. Democrat lawmakers now consider this progress. The court eschewed our constitution for purely political purposes. And it’s racist: they judged our tax system on the basis of the skin color of wealthy Washingtonians.

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Bait and switch

Democrats who tax everything love to complain about the state’s “regressive” tax system.

In the same breath that they vote to raise the gas tax, which disproportionately hurts low-income residents who rely on a car to get to their two jobs, they complain about the state’s cost of living. But now they can effectively argue they’re finally able to get the rich to pay “their fair share.” It’s an ignorant talking point. The wealthy pay more taxes in one year than a community of low-income residents will in their lifetimes.

The argument is meant to imply that because the wealthy will pay more in taxes, everyone else will get relief. Do you think Democrat lawmakers will offer any tax relief? They’ve never signaled an interest in doing so and still haven’t. Their carbon tax is pushing gas prices through the roof, but they’re ignoring the impact it’s having on everyone, including the “BIPOC” community they feign interest in for votes. Every election cycle, Democrats pitch higher property taxes and levies to fund failed programs and bloated budgets.

When the wealthy ditch Washington and take their businesses along with them, where do you think the missing funds come from? Even more taxes. Democrats will push their wealth tax, which is even more obviously unconstitutional. The court will side with Democrats again, worryingly giving the impression they’re colluding with Democrats directly or indirectly, and they’ll make up some of the cash. But it’ll just push even more people away. Eventually, the rest of Washington will be the tax target.

This is all a transparent bait-and-switch. And Democrat lawmakers rely on partisan, uncurious media members to help sell the scam.

Aggressively bad hot takes

Some progressives, like those who will never earn more than the going rate for an editor at a dying newspaper, are celebrating the activist court decision. What’s more pathetic than a grown man’s jealousy of far more successful people? You’ll read it in an embarrassing editorial for the Tacoma News Tribune by Matt Driscoll. He childishly writes “boo hoo” to the wealthy who will pay the capital gains tax (assuming they keep their residency in Washington).

“A lot of people are in no mood to celebrate, as it turns out, above and beyond the roughly 8,000 well-to-do Washington residents who will actually have to pay a capital gains tax,” Driscoll writes. “Whether they’re partisan warriors hopped up on right-wing talking points or Reagan Era dreamers still keen on trickle-down economics, a tax expected to bring in $500 million a year for criminally underfunded things like education and childcare — that would impact far less than 1% of state residents — has attracted predictable opposition from many who would never pay a cent.”

He’s correct: most people complaining won’t pay a cent, but we’re smart enough to realize the dangers of a court that flagrantly ignore the constitution to fulfill a political agenda. And it’s likely why he’s struggling to find people celebrating this tax outside of the state’s most partisan lawmakers.

Driscoll goes on to complain that leaving legislative issues to the Legislature might not generate the results he wants. Driscoll favors the court’s approach because his fringe viewpoints benefit. And while his ideology is mainstream in Washington, it’s not mainstream enough to convince voters that an income tax is wise. To get around the will of the voters, who have routinely rejected income taxes, Democrats needed to abuse the courts (while complaining that the criminal justice system is as broken as our tax system).

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Oh the hypocrisy

Driscoll should go back and do the unthinkable (for anyone familiar with his work): review his past columns.

After Roe v. Wade was overturned, he decried what he effectively called an activist court. “If a Supreme Court now packed with conservative jurists is willing to toss 50 years of precedent to eradicate one constitutional right — thus fulfilling the long-promised goal of an increasingly dangerous and belligerent national Republican party — what’s stopping the next assault?” he asked.

Indeed: what’s next when it comes to a left-wing state Supreme Court openly flaunting the rule of law to pursue a political agenda? At least in Roe, there was never any explicit constitutional right to abortion. It was invented by the Left to justify abortion. In the case of capital gains tax, it’s pretty explicitly an income tax.

“So, did the state Supreme Court get it right on Friday, under a strict reading of the law? I have no idea,” he concludes in his new editorial. He’s at least acknowledging he writes editorials on issues he doesn’t understand. But those who do understand what’s at stake, we’re rightly alarmed.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Dems defend WA Supreme Court’s racist capital gains tax ruling