The ongoing corrupt behavior by the WA State Socialist/Democrats was on full display as the Democrat caucus waited until the last weekend of 2019 legislative session to pass last-minute tax bills in the middle of the night with no public input, no debate, no amendments, no explanation, no accountability and with no consideration to the citizens of Washington State. How is this in any way responsible governance?
To add insult to injury the Democrats passed several new taxes using “Title-Only” bills, aka "Ghost Bills", which are pieces of legislation that have a title with little or no verbiage in the bill, this allows lawmakers to keep the details of proposed legislation a secret until the last possible moment, at which time the Dems insert the new language, then rush it through without time for study. This is pure corruption as there is absolutely no transparency with this process and the practice needs to stop!
Additionally there is absolutely no reason to increase taxes, we are already experiencing record high tax revenues that is forecast to generate an additional 4.5 billion dollars over the next two years. The appalling new $52.4 billion state budget is a 18% increase over current spending and it forces us to ask "How will such a budget be sustained during any potential future financial downturn without raising taxes?"
Here are a few examples of new Democrat tax laws being imposed on the state's citizens over the next biennium:
- HB 2158 - B&O increase on professional services: $380 million
- SB 5998 - REET Real Estate Excise Tax (property sales): $245 million
- HB 2167- B&O increase on banks: $133 million
- SB 5581 - Sales tax for online purchases: $116 million
- SB 6016 - B&O changes for international investment mgmt. companies: $59 million
- SB 5997 - Changes to non-resident sales tax exemption: $54 million
- SB 5993 - Increased Fuel Taxes: $173 million
- SB 6016 - New taxes on bank customers: $59 million
- SB 5313 - School Levy Lift (increase in property taxes)
The worst of the worst may be HB 1087, which is a massive new payroll tax for long term care, aka Long Term Services & Support or LTTS. LTTS mandates a tax increase on WA state wage earners, yes this is a state government payroll confiscation from ALL employees and goes into effect for the 2021-2023 biennium; it equates to about $1.3 billion in new taxes per year. The new entitlement program will provide limited benefits (approx. $30,000 total) to help pay the costs of individual long term care in the future. The Democrats are even doubling down on this new law and are saying the next step will be an employer mandate contribution.
The new taxes are unnecessary and painful, but particularity so is the Real Estate Excise Tax, as the increased rate (now up to 2.5% on the sale of real property) makes WA state the highest REET tax in the country. The new rates will also apply to multi-family units, which will just be passed along as higher rents. When the solution to an affordable housing crisis is to raise taxes on housing, once again you know the Democrats have gone way to far!
Also the new B & O taxes targeting business all across the state is another nightmare tax. By increasing the tax from 1.5 % to 2.7 % it significantly hurts a large part of our economy and will just force businesses to raise their fees, passing along the increases to the end-user customers.
And do not forget new law SB 5116 which mandates a WA state "Green New Deal" phase out of ALL fossil fuels, natural gas, oil, (and the jobs that go with it), etc. This law says our state is to have 100% carbon free electric by 2045 with coal totally outlawed by 2025. Meaning we will be forced to spend billions of dollars to provide alternative sources of power such as wind and solar. This is a severe and needless financial penalty to our citizens, as WA state currently is one of the cleanest energy states in America and the leading hydro-electric producer in the country. SB 5116 is a huge tax on the state's citizens as it will directly lead to higher utility costs for all.
Of course the new Democrat taxes will go to creating a bigger government administrative bureaucracy, and funneling tax money to benefit green groups and their agendas. Also expect new tax money to go to things like raising salaries and adding benefits for public employees, whose contracts are negotiated between unions and the governor’s office before being sent to the legislature for a vote. One new program includes an insurance benefit for part-time school workers who will receive full medical coverage for working as little as 630 hours per year.
All was not lost however as Republicans in both the House and Senate fought off many terrible Dem laws which would have implemented such things as a new capital gains income tax, a low carbon fuel standard tax which would have significantly increased the price of gas & goods, liberal minded sex education beginning in kindergarten, a statewide plastic bag ban, individual contractors forced to work as employees, etc. So this we are grateful for, but we also know these and other horrible bills will be studied and proposed again next year (because that is what Democrats do).
Minnesota Democrat Congressional Rep Ilhan Omar spoke in Bellevue at a CAIR-Washington event entitled: UN-Apologetically US Building Muslim Power for 2020. The event was scheduled over Memorial Day weekend sending a message of disrespect to our vets, and of course the Democrat party (including Jay Inslee) was out in force supporting the cause. Omar wants to abolish ICE, demands the decriminalization of illegal aliens, and advocates ending all deportation programs. These platforms are unconstitutional and reckless; also Omar last week said that "US foreign policy should be reorganized from the perspective of a foreigner."
Omar is well known for her anti-semitic tropes and is a longtime supporter of the Muslim American Society (MAS). MAS recently posted a horrifying video on their Facebook page where children in a Philadelphia Islamic Center were singing and reading poetry advocating the beheading of Jews, to view the video see: https://newspunch.com/ilhan-omar-supports-group-produced-child-beheading-skit/.
It turns out that the Federal Judge who just blocked construction of Trump's Border Wall in areas of Arizona and Texas, Haywood Gilliam (an Obama appointee), has donated over $21,000 to Barack Obama and $4,500 to the DNC since 2007. This was a horrible ruling in favor of the drug and human traffic smugglers as the ongoing humanitarian crisis has only worsened in the past few months as innocent woman (one out of three are molested), children and families are being taken advantage of and crime is running rampant. It is also reported that over 500,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended at the southern border in 2019, including over 130,000 arrests in the month of May. And in fact just today (May 31st) a wave of 1,036 Illegal Aliens were apprehended by El Paso Sector Border Patrol Agents. The National Emergency has cost US taxpayers over 1.13 billion dollars since January 1st, 2019. President Trump's decision to ratchet up Mexican tariffs - unless Mexico helps stop Illegal Aliens from crossing into the US - is a smart and necessary move!
The Venezuela Socialist form of Government continues its epic economic death spiral collapse, as new reports say that the hyperinflation rate is now near 10 million percent; proving once again that socialism always brings about suffering, despair and failure.
Many of the 2020 Dem Presidential candidates have something in common; they are promising lots of "Free Stuff", such as Free Medicare (cost to US taxpayers) $15 trillion, Free Retirement $1.2 trillion, Free Infrastructure 1 trillion, Free College $725 billion, Free Family Leave $319 billion, Free Pension $29 billion, free jobs $5.5 billion. The total cost to US taxpayers for these programs would be about $18 Trillion and if implemented these policies would destroy our country. The Democrats are running on irresponsible promises, unaccountability to the taxpayers, and ignorance of economic realities.
Of note: On June 4th Dr. Yang Jianli will helping to co-host a very important event in Washington D.C. commemorating the 30th year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. For more info from The Citizens Power Initiatives For China website click here and/or https://www.citizenpowerforchina.org/. Also for a transcript of Dr. Yang's SCRP L/R Day speech via The Global Committee For The Rule Of Law website click here.
Thank you to the state Republicans that sponsored and supported HB 1784, a new law which will reduce forest fires by requiring the Department of Natural resources to prioritize forest health treatments to our state's forests by creating wildlife prevention corridors. This forest management program is long overdue and will save us hundreds of millions of dollars year after year.
Thank you to "We Build The Wall", a privately funded organization that just finished installing a critical new 1/2 mile section of the southern border wall in the problematic El Paso sector in just three days. This new section of wall is estimated to stop $100,000 per day in drug smuggling. The group is solely funded by private funds and donations and has plans to continue on building in key areas of the southern boarder.
Congratulations to to One America News Network ("OAN"). OAN which launched its 24/7 cable news network on July 4th, 2013, announced last month that their ratings continue to soar. OAN now ranks as the fourth-highest watched "Cable, News/Business/Info networks" service in the United States, behind Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN. Also OAN is now outperforming CNN headline news, Fox Business Channel, CNBC, BBC World News, Bloomberg and others! OAN has a group of professional journalists and broadcasters that are True Conservatives, see oann.com / klowdtv.com or Direct TV Channel 347. Of note: CNN was just forced to close its London, England headquarters office after CNN boss Jeff Zucker announced the international channel was losing $10 million a year.
Congratulations to the Skagit County Republican Woman's Group, the organization has outgrown their old venue and now will be meeting in La Conner at the Civic Garden Club, 622 2nd St. Meetings are held at 10 am on the first Tuesday of every month. For more information please contact SCRP Committeewoman Judy Billings (206) 550-1836.
The Skagit County Republican Party is putting on a Campaign / Activist Training on Saturday, June 15th from 1 to 3 PM. The training will be held at the Valley Business Center (first floor nw conference room), 2021 E. College Way. All PCO's, Precinct Captains and Skagit GOP volunteers are strongly encouraged to attend. Refreshments provided! To RSVP call (360) 424-9792.
On Saturday, July 27th the SCRP will be hosting our annual Summer Salmon BBQ Picnic at the Burlington Skagit River Park Play Fields (located at 1720 Whitmarsh Road in the Covered Picnic Shelter). Our Special Guest Speaker will be Maria Espinoza, Co-Founder and National Director of The Remembrance Project. For over 9 years she has been "a voice for victims killed by illegal aliens." Tickets are $25 per person, $10 for children 12 and under, for more information see: https://skagitrepublicans.com/SCRPSummerSalmonBarbcue.
Respect & Blessings
Bill Bruch, SCRP Chairman