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Comment: Re:Class warfare? and Constitutionality (Score 1) 10

by Don Johnson (#31946662) Attached to: I-1077 is a Distraction and a Waste of Time and Money

Would you have the same approach if the issue at hand were, say, slavery? Freedom of speech? The PATRIOT act? Do you care about the rule of law at all? Or just when it might be convenient?

Yes I care about the rule of law. Which is why I'd defer ruling on the unclear Constitutionality of a law to those people we have assigned the role of determining whether a law is Constitutional. I do not think it is a transgression of the law to posit questions of Constitutionality to those people. As a matter of fact, I wish every law had to undergo Constitutional review by those qualified to do so prior to enactment.

And even if it did, that's no excuse to purposefully break the rules.

You're assuming that the rules are purposefully being broken. I think the rules are unclear and need to be re-evaluated.

I also feel that we'd be better served if the State Constitution were specifically amended to allow progressive tax rates. But if we can establish that they are legal under current law, then there's no need to.

Comment: Re:Class warfare? and Constitutionality (Score 1) 10

by Don Johnson (#31946198) Attached to: I-1077 is a Distraction and a Waste of Time and Money

It's not an event. You're question-begging. It's always been ruled property in this state, and NOT an event.

And the same was true of many other states, until they ruled differently.

It's never done so before, ever, in the history of mankind. But keep dreaming.

I point to the 1950s and 1960s in the US as a counter-example.

Spoken like a true socialist.

Class warfare exists when one class is actuated to harm another class. That is class warfare. Obviously.

When you have a system such as ours that promotes equality of opportunity, and then also on top of that try to squeeze in a perverse concept like equality of outcome which requires harming one class for the benefit of others, that's when you get class warfare. Obviously.

Too many uses of the word "obviously" when that word does not apply. Obvious to you, maybe, but that is only because you have a specific set of beliefs -- which are not universal, by the way.

Shrug. I use words that are appropriate. Always. If you would prefer that instead of saying "it promotes class warfare" I say "it promotes the majority to make the upper class disfavored, taking from them for the majority's own benefit," we could do that, but it means the same thing: it's just slightly more specific and uses more words.

You choose to ignore the entire point -- and I'll point out in addition, it is quite clear that you choose words *you* think are appropriate, whether or not under general usage for those terms, those words would be appropriate. Class warfare exists as a function of class disparity. Those things that increase class disparity increase class conflict, and hence class warfare. If you're going to invoke the term "class warfare" please be aware of the historical context of the word, and understand why it's not a valid term for this case.

Once the facts get out -- that the Court has many times ruled this very thing unconstitutional, that it will almost surely lead to an income tax for far more people, and so on -- its support will drop dramatically. That's how these things work. It's like with the health insurance bill: you ask people generally, "should everyone have health insurance?" and people say yes. You get into specifics and people say no.

Whoa... back up here. Two things: 1. it is absolutely clear that the Court's past rulings on this issue were based on an invalid interpretation. This does not mean that the issue is Constitutional, just that the precedents you refer to do not apply, and the case must be made on first principles and other precedent, not on the precedent you refer to. 2. That health insurance example you give is very flawed. As a counter, when people were asked, do you support the health care legislation" the answer is no... but when asked if they supported specific measures, the answer was yes.

That's the real point here: to distract from the abject failures of the Democratic Party.

I'll agree that there have been abject failures by the Democratic Party. But I will not agree that the point of the Initiative is to distract from them. The point of the Initiative is to pass a progressive income tax, which would help correct some of the problems.

The system ALREADY HAS ruled on that. Many times. You liberals keep leaving out that fact.

The previous rulings of the system were based on a precedent ruling that has been overturned. You conservatives keep leaving out that fact. The current Constitutional objection has not been truly tested in court.

But that is precisely what she did, increasing spending a whopping 33% in her first term

Source, please... this site cites a 14% increase from 2003 to 2007, discounting the estimated 1.2B on health insurance costs that were reclassed (even with the 1.2B added back in, still under 20%). Given our biennial budgets, how is it possible that she enacted a 33% increase from FY04 to FY05? Did we really have that big a drop in FY04 from FY03 spending, that would cause the FY04 number to be 25% less than the FY05 number?

These people aren't fit to run a lemonade stand, let alone a state.

Good thing a state is not the same thing as a lemonade stand.

Comment: Re:Class warfare? and Constitutionality (Score 1) 10

by Don Johnson (#31944168) Attached to: I-1077 is a Distraction and a Waste of Time and Money

But they ignore the fact that between 1930 and 1933, the Constitution was modified to classify income as property,

I've read the amendment in question (14). Nowhere does it classify the act of receiving income as property.

But since it's done on certain cumulative annual levels of income, it's so obviously a myth that the only way you can think otherwise is if you WANT to. The facts cannot lead you to that conclusion.

I disagree, and think it would be just as valid to say that the only way you can conceive of the act of receiving income as property is if you WANT TO believe that -- the idea that an event can be considered property is ludicrous. Whether the rate is based on cumulative annual income, or net worth, or anything else is immaterial... since an event itself does not belong to anyone, and is not capable of belonging to anyone. Therefore the limitation of equitable taxation does not apply, so we can then turn to cumulative annual amounts to determine taxation rate.

It's literally being sold as a way to get less taxes for you, and to take it out of another class of people. That is, again, the definition of class warfare.

Hm. That's not what I understand to be the definition of class warfare. Class conflict is the struggle between different socioeconomic classes due to different social positions. Some would, rightly in my opinion, say that the status quo embodies class conflict since it promotes the concentration of wealth and social inequity. It's a hard case to make, that a progressive tax initiative promotes class warfare when the class conflict is already present, and a progressive tax system would potentially ameliorate some of the social stratification that causes class conflict.

Seems to me that calling it "class warfare" is a nice sound byte, but doesn't really hold up under scrutiny. Things that promote class warfare are things that promote class conflict -- things that promote social inequity between classes. I think maybe "populism" would be a better term for this than "class warfare", though I understand the desire to use the "class warfare" term by the Republicans, who are trying to raise the spectres of Socialism, Communism, and Marxist revolution in some kind of inapt ideological battle against Democrats.

The middle class will not pay more taxes, so I don't know why you include them in this. And there's not "so much support" from upper-class business owners. There's no evidence of that whatsoever. You'll find some super-rich who support it, but they are a tiny minority of the people who will be paying more taxes.

I guess we'll wait and see what the polls say. Apparently 57% of Republicans polled in WA support the initiative. Considering that fewer than 20% of business owners would see their taxes increased under the initiative, looks like you've got a hard sell.

Eventually this will likely go up the Courts for adjudication. Hopefully the matter will be settled then, once and for all. In the meantime, we can focus on the initiative itself, and not get bogged down in the Constitutionality issue, since we have a system set up to rule on that. That issue is really a red herring from where I sit...

Comment: Class warfare? and Constitutionality (Score 1) 10

by Don Johnson (#31940518) Attached to: I-1077 is a Distraction and a Waste of Time and Money
Hey Pudge,

I read through the complete text of the initiative -- do you think eliminating the business and occupation tax for 80% of business owners really falls under the umbrella of "class warfare"?

And as for Constitutionality... I've been searching for any legal analysis of the Initiative, and have found none... just blurbs from people on both sides... notably from Bill Gates Sr who expects it to be upheld since the '33 decision was based on 'obsolete legal theory'.

Do you know where people can find better legal analysis of the Initiative?

Also, I was wondering about whether the bill is really class warfare. Are all progressive tax systems inherently class warfare in your opinion? And if it's class warfare, why is there so much support for this initiative among middle and upper-class business owners?

So... did you ever wonder, do garbagemen take showers before they go to work?

Working...