A blue state if ever there were one. At least that’s what we’re repeatedly told.
What does it mean, though? What does it mean to be a blue state?
Were you to ask most Americans, they would tell you that blue means that a state is liberal. That a state disproportionately taxes the rich, distributes that money to the poor, and of course, votes for the Democratic Party (a party which ostensibly taxes the rich and distributes that money to the poor).
While the latter is certainly true of Washington State, we do overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates, what about the rest of the description? Are we truly “liberal”?
In my opinion, the answer to this question is a resounding “no”. Not only are we not liberal, but we may in fact be one of the most conservative states in the entire USA. This is especially true of our economic policies.
Consider this: Washington State has the most regressive tax structure in the nation, by a significant margin.
Washington taxes its poor people at a rate 6.7 times higher than its wealthy people. This is a taxation system which is 50% more regressive than that of Texas.
Does that sound “liberal” to you?
Of course it doesn’t.
So how did it all happen? How did Washington State get such a liberal reputation, and why does it persist?
The answer is that Washington State is populated by the largest group of phonies in the USA, if not the world. Upper-middle-class white folks who wear the liberal badge simply as a fashion accessory, and nothing else. People who talk the talk, but when it’s time to walk the talk, find that they cannot do so because the lure of self-interest is simply too great.
We are, to put it simply, frauds.
Don’t believe me? Consider this development from last Friday:
Washington’s Legislature has voted to revive a tax incentive program designed to lure movie production to the state.
The state House voted 92-6 Thursday to bring back the tax credits, with supporters saying it will draw business and spending to the state. Opponents counter that the program gives away $3.5 million a year when the Legislature is considering cuts to education and health care for the poor.
Having previously passed the Senate, the measure goes next to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature.
The program offers a 30 percent rebate off the amount of money spent in the state. It expired last July after the state House declined to take a vote on the issue.
Film industry officials have warned that Washington will lose out on film productions because the state can’t compete with incentives in Vancouver and Oregon.
Did you read that?
Good. Now, read it again.
In a year in which education budgets are being slashed, and in a year where the state is kicking people off of basic health insurance, the Washington State legislature passed, by a margin of 92-6, a bill that would provide public kickbacks to the underprivileged group known as “filmmakers”.
Once this incentive passes, if a production company from California comes up to Washington and spends $1 million on a location shoot, the State of Washington will turn around and give that production company $300,000 of taxpayer cash. Money that comes from poor people at a rate 6.7 times greater than that of the wealthy.
“But, that’s just the legislature!”, you say, “Those guys are as corrupt as the day is long. They always sell out the poor to monied interests. That doesn’t mean that the PEOPLE of Washington are frauds. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t liberal!”
If you really said this, you would be wrong.
The fact of the matter, my friends, is that it’s very much NOT just the legislature advocating for this 30% tax giveaway. The Seattle Stranger, the most supposedly-liberal paper of Washington’s supposedly-liberal population, also supports the giveaway to rich folks:
Even the supposed “alternative” press, the bloggers, are on board. Seattle’s award-winning West Seattle Blog champions the incentive:
What is The Stranger’s and WSB’s explanation for their support?
The same explanation as the legislature. That the capital expenditures of the film companies will reach the working class via means other than taxation. If you read all of their positions carefully, you will notice that the “liberal” government and both of these “liberal” publications are huge proponents of “trickle-down” economics.
If “trickle-down” economics sounds familiar, it should. “Trickle-down” economics is most closely identified with the economic policies known as Reaganomics or supply-side economics. It is, to put it bluntly, the most Republican of Republican economic philosophies.
Still think Washington is liberal?
How about the entertainment industry? Still think they’re liberal?
Think about something for a moment:
Given that the entertainment industry typically makes such a large fuss about liberal causes, and given that they typically argue for higher, not lower tax rates … how do they explain their own policy of deciding where to film based on where tax rates are lowest?
If the moneyed film industry really cared about social programs, wouldn’t they film in states with the highest tax rates? That way, more of the money they spend would go to fund healthcare, education, and other programs designed to benefit the working class and the poor.
They don’t, though.
Instead, they film in B.C. or Oregon, explicitly so they will NOT have to contribute to social programs. They purposely avoid taxes.
Isn’t this the same behavior they chide others for engaging in?
Yet, instead of calling out this blatant hypocrisy, and blatant … conservatism … what does the Washington State Legislature, the Seattle Stranger, and the West Seattle Blog do?
They ask you to support it.
And, they’re liberal. Right?
Folks, the fact of the matter is that we are all the same. Everyone works tirelessly for their own self-interests while pretending to do everything but. You, me, the guy down the street, everything we do is designed to help ourselves in some manner.
With the budget cuts Washington is considering to health and education, the (supposedly) liberal entertainment industry should be clamoring over itself to come to our state and pay taxes at their current rates. Why on earth would they want a 30% rebate? A rebate that would take medicine from the poor?
The answer is, despite their yelling and screaming to the contrary, liberals do not want to pay taxes any more than conservatives do, and when the opportunity arises to put their money where their mouths are, the overwhelming majority of Democrats opt-out. When given the opportunity, Democrats fight to keep their money out of social programs just like Republicans do.
The trickle-down bill goes to Christine Gregoire’s desk this week, where most likely, it will be signed.
A red state indeed.