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Dori: Head tax spending plan ignores problem’s root cause

Seattle council chambers were filled as the city council discussed its proposed head tax on May 9, 2018. (Matt PItman, KIRO Radio)
LISTEN: Dori: Head tax spending plan ignores problem's root cause

I am looking at the proposed five-year spending plan for this head tax. It is mind-blowing to me.

RELATED: Seattle head tax 101

They want to spend about $30 million on housing projects. They’re going to spend $1 million that ramps up to $1.5 million on addiction and medical services. Less than 3 percent of this money is going to the root cause of the problem … which means that we will never get a grip on the problem.

Three percent on addiction and mental treatment is a joke. What it means is that, through this spending plan, they’re going to put people in housing, and those people will still be on heroin, meth, and crack, continuing to kill themselves. People from around the country will continue to come here because we have a de facto legalization of drugs in King County.

What government did here, is they first told the business community, “Let us send someone to your company and punch your CEO in the face 10 times, and then we expect a thank you from you.” The business community said that this would not be a great solution. So the city leaders huddled up and said, “Okay, we’re going to punch you five times in the face, and it’s only going to be half as bad.” And the business community is supposed to say, “Thank you for that grand compromise.” When it’s obvious that the city has no interest in treating the root cause.

In her speech yesterday, Jenny Durkan said that her goal is to make Seattle more affordable for everyone. You’re not making Seattle more affordable for everyone when you raise taxes. That is contrary to every economic principle. Delis raised their sandwiches by a dollar to compensate for the $15 minimum wage, so the people are taxed that $15 minimum wage. It drove down the take-home pay of the lowest-income workers because their hours got cut. Seattle is not affordable, in large part, because of government and taxation.

Her other point is that we all want the same goals. No — my goal would be to get these heroin-addicted people off the heroin and in a place where they can rebuild their lives. Her approach in this spending plan is to get them in a house where they can continue to kill themselves with drugs. I would argue that my approach is a million times more sympathetic to their plight than the government’s.

And then the Seattle City Council wants to send voter registration forms to these people so that the homeless people can keep electing the people who allow them to shoot up in their tiny houses. I truly believe that is the depth of the evil surrounding the people who are behind all of this.

And then, in a bizarre comment, Bruce Harrell said, “Now we have to prove to the public that we’re actually investing wisely and strategically.” Now? Why didn’t you have to prove that when you were spending $200 million a year? Why do you have to prove it at $275 a year? Is there some magical threshold? Is it like when Ed Murray was fine to stay in office when he we thought had allegedly raped four children, but five was too many? It’s like nobody involved in this is dealing in the realm of reality.

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