Tag Archives: socialism

Seattle Council votes to repeal new business head tax just weeks after they approved it

re elections meme

Did you know seven of the nine Seattle City Council members’ terms expire next year?

In early May the Seattle City Council approved a new business head tax to combat the homelessness crisis. From my post:

“The tax is an amount businesses pay per employee ($275 per year), with a sunset clause of 2023. The head tax was approved by a unanimous vote.

The main target of this new business tax was Amazon, which was not pleased with the tax. “Amazon had strong words for the Seattle City Council as it questions its future in the city. “We are disappointed by today’s City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs,” Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.”

Immediately after the tax passed, a group calling themselves “No Tax on Jobs” gathered enough signatures to put the matter on the November ballot and let the voters decide. They needed 17,000 signatures by June 14 and surpassed that amount.

On Monday, Council President Bruce Harrell announced that he had called a special meeting for the council to discuss repealing the head tax. (Harrell’s term expires next year.) They already had a draft bill prepared for the repeal.

Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a statement regarding the consideration of the repeal. Excerpts from her statement:

Over the last few weeks, these conversations and much public dialogue has continued.  It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis. These challenges can only be addressed together as a city, and as importantly, as a state and a region. 

We heard you. This week, the City Council is moving forward with the consideration of legislation to repeal the current tax on large businesses to address the homelessness crisis.”

Less than a month later the council has voted to repeal the head tax.

The council yesterday repealed the head tax by a vote of 7 to 2. More details from MyNorthwest.com:

“Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold said the opposition to the tax was just too great. The opposition, she said, has “unlimited resources.

Teresa Mosqueda, one of two council members to vote against a repeal, said she is concerned that a repeal will result in months of inaction and more regressive taxes. The process to implement a head tax took months, she pointed out. And, if the city wants to continue getting people off the streets, it will need additional funding. She called on businesses who opposed the head tax to come to the table with progressive ideas.

Numerous people in support of the head tax expressed similar concerns as (socialist) Councilmember Sawant, who accused her peers of making a last-minute decision and “caving” to Amazon. “Backroom betrayal” and “caving” were thrown around frequently.

“Jeff Bezos is our enemy, he is our enemy,” Sawant said before the council voted.”

Read the whole story here.

I can’t believe the Seattle citizens are putting up with this clown council with a socialist member who is calling the owner of one of their largest employers an “enemy” in a public forum.

Yet I gather from the comments on this article and also at the Seattle Times that some proggies in Seattle are finally waking up to the madness they elected as the majority have had it with the council members. Next year’s re-election cycle is bound to be a hoot.

DCG

PS: Jason Rantz from KTTH Radio tweeted from the repeal meeting (see his Twitter timeline here). A bunch of socialists/proggies were there to support the crazy council member Kshama Sawant. A few of Jason’s tweets:

  • “Lunatic just claimed the Council is pushing “the Trump agenda.”
  • “Priest is mad that Christians don’t ideologically agree with him and now claims you can’t call yourself a Christian if you support capitalism. This guy is a lunatic.”
  • Sawant activists in the crowd shouting down speakers whom they disagree with. But remember: they’re fighting fascism or something.”
  • “We’re done with Trump tactics,” said one lunatic at the meeting.”
  • Crazy women being removed by security now but because she’s a Progressive activist, the crowd doesn’t mind and she’s getting a pass from the crowd.”
  • “Socialists think the couple hundred of them that worked to pass the Seattle head tax is more important than the 45k who signed on to repeal the . They don’t know how numbers works: it’s why they’re Socialists.”
  • “Sawant said she’s now talking as an economist and some in the crowd just laughed at her. Loudly. That annoyed her.”
  • “CM Sawant – “I’m speaking as an economist….” People in chambers break out in laughter….”

Sounds like the meeting was a whole lotta crazy!!

Irony alert: Seattle socialist councilmember Kshama Sawant selling her book on Amazon

kshama sawant book

Socialist Kshama Sawant has a new book coming out (well, you have to wait until September 2019)! Price is only $9.99!

From her Amazon book listing:

“In 2013, Kshama Sawant became one of the most unlikely and most exciting politicians in the United States not only because she grew up in Mumbai and earned a PhD in economics, but also because she ran for Seattle City Council as a militant socialist, basing her campaign on a bold push to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than double the national minimum wage. She won the election, and in 2014, Seattle’s mayor signed into law a $15 minimum wage.

This is the story of how Sawant toppled a sixteen year incumbent who was backed by a powerful Democratic Party establishment, and reshaped Seattle’s political culture around demands for economic and social justice, reviving national debate around municipal socialism in the process.

This is an inspiring call for more movements to speak to the scores of young and old people who are looking for alternatives to capitalism.”

More irony:

Sawant has been spearheading the call for the “head tax” on big Seattle businesses, and has been very vocal against Amazon (the Seattle City Council approved the tax on Monday). She says that Amazon contributes to the city’s rising real estate prices and income inequality.

Sawant led a march at Amazon headquarters calling for them to pay the tax for affordable housing.

Sawant called Jeff Bezos a “bully” for threatening to take his business expansion elsewhere if the city approves the new head tax.

So in looking for alternatives to capitalism, this socialist is now selling her book on “Bully” Bezo’s web site, the largest internet retailer in the world?

You can’t make this stuff up!

DCG

Finland will end its “basic income” experiment by year’s end

universal basic income

Pay attention and learn a lesson, Bernie.

From Fox News: The Finnish government reportedly announced Tuesday that it will end the country’s universal basic income program by year’s end — and appears to be taking on new measures to cut benefits to those who do not actively seek employment.

Finland was considered the first European country to pay a monthly check of $685 to its unemployed between ages 25 and 58. It was considered a pilot program — serving 2,000 randomly selected jobless people — that its founders hoped to expand.

“It’s a pity that it will end like this,” Olli Kangas, who oversees the Finnish government agency that focuses on social welfare and helped design the program, told the New York Times.

“The government has chosen to try a totally different path,” Kangas said. “Basic income is unconditional. Now, they are pursuing conditionality.”

David Whitley summed up Finland’s decision in the Orlando Sentinel.

“Proponents said the program wasn’t comprehensive enough to gauge its merits,” Whitley wrote. “Critics say it would have required a 30 percent tax increase on an already over-taxed population to be viable.”

But some cities, including San Francisco, continue to look into the basic income theory, the Times wrote. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2017 said that basic income should be explored “to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”

That was essentially Finland’s theory when announcing the pilot program.

The initial move was met with skepticism from citizens who questioned whether an unemployed young person would be motivated to find a job if they were making a steady income, albeit small.

“There is a fear that with basic income they would just stay at home and play computer games,” Heikki Hiilamo, a professor at the University of Helsinki, told the paper.

DCG

Classless socialist: Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant becomes unhinged with Women’s March tweet about Barbara Bush

kshama sawant tweet

Remember folks, #LoveTrumpsHate!

The left always reveal their vile, hypocritical souls while claiming to be the party of “tolerance” and “pro-women.”

Yet time and time and time again they show they are bullies to anyone who doesn’t share their political ideology.

That is the case of Seattle councilmember and socialist Kshama Sawant.

After Barbara Bush passed away, the Women’s March (whom we are no fans of) tweeted the following: “Rest in peace and power, Barbara Bush.”

Short, sweet and polite.

But the socialist was having NONE OF THAT. The councilmember tweeted the following:

“This is terrible. @womensmarch organizers have helped lead historic protests since Trump’s election but this tweet shows how, without a political compass, even well-meaning progressives can end up giving cover to ruling class & ultimately undermining struggles against oppression.”

Classy.

Best part is the reaction (of which the MAJORITY did not approve of her tweet) by many proggies. Here’s some examples:

“What is wrong with you? The woman died. It’s not like she was a dictator. There’s nothing wrong with expressing condolences.”

“You’re Politics is sick with resentment, and anger. Explains why we have seen little as far as solutions to our homeless explosion, but a significant increase in vitriolic political rhetoric.”

“This is an incredibly troubling message, Councilmember. You have a rude awakening coming for your re-election. I’d highly suggest you start focusing on the ISSUES in your district and not dissing on a Women’s group expressing their thoughts of someone that passed away.”

“This is beyond pathetic. Have a little bit of respect. If it was you in mourning, even those of us who despise you, would be sympathetic to the pain your loss would cause your loved ones. You seriously need a lesson in humility.”

“You are disgusting (and I’m trying to be nice – maybe I shouldn’t since you aren’t). What you did is exactly against women!! It shouldn’t matter what side of the political spectrum someone is for the women’s march to express condolences.”

“Kshama…you lost your voters by this simple tweet.”

“Imagine if someone said that about your mother, daughter, sister… How utterly disturbing your comment is.

“you are an embarrassment to the city of seattle and state of washington.”

“Shame on you!”

Not a good look for you, Seattle voters. Remember this during Sawant’s next re-election campaign.

DCG

Another lecture from Bill Gates: He and other rich people should pay significantly higher taxes

bill gates and bill clinton

Hey Gates: Good luck convincing your buddy Bill that he and Hillary need to give the government more of their money!

Bill knows darn well he doesn’t need the federal government to tell him to give the government more money. He can make a donation to the US Department of Treasury any time he wants. And he can convince his super-rich buddies to do the same.

From Yahoo: Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said wealthy individuals such as himself should be made to pay substantially higher taxes.

Mr. Gates, who is worth over $90bn, said despite the fact he has “paid more taxes…than anyone else” he should be required to fork out more by the government.

Speaking to CNN in an interview on Sunday, he said: “I need to pay higher taxes. I’ve paid more taxes, over $10bn, than anyone else, but the government should require the people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes.”

He criticised the Republican sweeping $1.5 trillion tax reform bill which Donald Trump signed into law at the end of last year.

The measure constitutes the most profound changes to tax laws since the 1980’s and slashes taxes for corporations while providing most Americans with only temporary relief.

Mr. Gates, the second richest man in the world after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, argued the greatest benefits of the bill would be reaped by the super rich. “It was not a progressive tax bill. It was a regressive tax bill,” he said.

He argued the biggest advantages would be felt by the wealthiest in society despite the Republicans’ assertion their first major legislative victory would help America’s working and middle classes.

“People who are wealthier tended to get dramatically more benefits than the middle class or those who are poor, and so it runs counter to the general trend you’d like to see, where the safety net is getting stronger and those at the top are paying higher taxes,” he said.

While Mr. Trump has drawn attention to the magnitude of the tax cuts and branded the legislation “a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs”, Democrats have labeled the measure a “monumental con job” that will benefit the rich at the expense of America’s poorest.

The bill slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent.

It also raises the threshold for the estate tax, a levy that applies to property passed down when a family member dies which only affects a few thousand ultra-rich families each year. This change predominantly benefits the upper echelons of earners, including Mr. Trump himself.

Asked about his view on “rising inequality” in the US, Mr. Gates said: “All advanced democracies have to think about that.”

He added: “You still have about a sixth of the population living in conditions that should be very disappointing to us, and government policies need to really think, ‘Why aren’t we doing a better job for those people?’”

Mr. Gates has donated more than $40bn of his personal wealth to charitable causes. He founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the US, with his wife in 2000. The organisation aims to improve healthcare, cut extreme poverty and expand educational opportunities and access to information technology.

See also:

DCG

Willing to make an exception: Socialist Alternative Seattle seeking items from Amazon

socialism

Hey friends, Socialist Alternative Seattle needs some gifts. They’ve registered with Amazon and have a “wish list” of items you can purchase from the largest internet retailer in the world!

You can’t make this stuff up. What an epic self-awareness fail.

About the Socialist Alternative:

“Socialist Alternative is a national organization fighting in our workplaces, communities, and campuses against the exploitation and injustices people face every day. We are community activists fighting against budget cuts in public services; we are activists campaigning for a $15 an hour minimum wage and fighting, democratic unions; we are people of all colors speaking out against racism and attacks on immigrants, students organizing against tuition hikes and war, women and men fighting sexism and homophobia.

We believe the Republicans and Democrats are both parties of big business, and we are campaigning to build an independent, alternative party of workers and young people to fight for the interests of the millions, not the millionaires.

We see the global capitalist system as the root cause of the economic crisis, poverty, discrimination, war, and environmental destruction. As capitalism moves deeper into crisis, a new generation of workers and youth must join together to take the top 500 corporations into public ownership under democratic control to end the ruling elites’ global competition for profits and power.

We believe the dictatorships that existed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were perversions of what socialism is really about. We are for democratic socialism where ordinary people will have control over our daily lives.”

From the socialist’s Facebook page:

“Lots of people have helped us pull this space together! We still need a few things, can you help? Donate things you don’t need anymore OR check out our Amazon wish list. https://www.amazon.com/…/1FG05OEQP…/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1

From their Amazon wish list:

Socialist Alternative is an activist organization. We are workers organizing in our workplaces, students organizing in our schools, and activists organizing in the streets. We are trying to set up our new party center in Seattle to help professionalize our work, can you hlp by purchasing something from our shopoing list”

Some of the items requested include an EARISE M60 Audio PA System (starting at $269.99), a soft cozy shag area rug ($59.00), a 5’ folding portable plastic table ($69.95) and Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go toilet spray ($8.89).

I guess they requested that last item because they are full of you-know-what!

h/t MyNorthwest

DCG

Socialist Seattle councilmember wants to double proposed head tax

sawant2

Cough up more money you rich businesses!

There’s never enough of your money that Seattle proggies and socialists can’t get their hands on.

From MyNorthwest.com: If Amazon can afford to spend billions on a second headquarters, it can surely afford to pay a head tax.

That was the sentiment from Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who wants the proposed tax on the wealthiest 10 percent of businesses in the city to be increased from $100 per employee to $200.

Council members Mike O’Brien and Kirsten Harris-Talley proposed a head tax for approximately 2,200 businesses who gross receipts value is at least $5 million per year. They say a business would pay an additional 5 cents an hour per employee to help “alleviate Seattle’s homelessness crisis.”

The two proposed the tax during the city’s budget process. If approved, the tax would have an effective date of early 2019. It would raise between $20 million and $25 million each year, according to O’Brien.

But why not up the ante? Sawant says.

Assuming the tax was increased from $100 to $200 per employee, Sawant says the city could raise at least $50 million a year. Amazon would pay about $8 million a year; not much when you consider the company’s yearly revenue, she says.

“That is less than six parts in thousand of one percent of their 2016 revenue,” she said. She added the fractions are “so small, it doesn’t even make sense. “It’s 1/625th of the money they … intend to use to build a new campus.”

Sawant proposed increasing the tax on Election Day.

The company announced earlier this year that it would invest $5 billion and create as many as 50,000 jobs.  If approved, the tax would fund affordable housing projects and emergency services.

There has been pushback from the business community. Many have voiced concern over the tax in a city that is already costly to operate in. Not every business is as wealthy as Amazon, after all.

“I urge you to abandon the idea of a head tax,” Bartell Drugs chair George Bartell wrote in a statement. “We are a significant employer here in Seattle and we reached a breaking point on the city-imposed fees and costs. Instead, I ask you to spend the money already raised for homelessness prudently and effectively and that you continue to partner with the significant number of non-profit organizations that are rallying to confront this issue.”

DCG