Guest opinion: Do legislators understand who really pays taxes?

  • Wednesday, March 31, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion

The state tax revenue forecast is $3 billion more than expected, yet Democrats want to implement a capital gains tax.

First, a capital gains tax is unconstitutional, so why bother? Oh, right — it’s a stalking horse for an unconstitutional state income tax. But the self-styled “progressives” in Olympia don’t let a little thing like the state constitution stand in their way on any issue, do they? Which explains why they’re so busy finding ways to circumvent the state constitution on so many issues rather than give the rule of law the respect due it.

Second, when are Democrats going to stop their insatiable grab-and-spend behavior? Taxes on anything eventually get passed down to consumers, of which the lower and middle class comprise the vast majority. These are the constituents Democrats claim to represent — or used to represent. Democrats appear now to represent only wealthy leftist donors, noisy environmentalists, the “woke” and public employee labor unions — and little else. Certainly not small business, the middle class or blue-collar union families such as mine.

Third, we know how the game works: eventually the threshold for exposure to capital gains taxes will get lower and lower — just as the sales tax rate ballooned — until Democrats have their fingers in everyone’s retirement accounts. It has nothing to do with the rich paying their “fair share.” That’s just the worn-out rhetoric Democrats use to gin up support for their tax hikes. Eventually everyone pays.

So whose side are the three of you on ? The self-styled “progressives” (read: Socialists) in Seattle-King County? Or the side of the state constitution, fiscal restraint and accountability, and liberty?

Are you on the side of small business and the middle class? Really? Then why do you vote the way you do?

Money goes where it’s welcomed. People and businesses are fleeing Blue states such New York, California and, yes, even Washington state. That should be a wake-up call for Democrats in Olympia.

Paul Schmidt is a Sequim resident.

Editor’s note: State Rep. Mike Chapman also opposes the capital gains tax as presented. Here’s his take on the legislation in an email to the Sequim Gazette:

“At this time I am opposed to the Cap Gains tax being considered in Olympia. First, the State Legislature should focus on the pandemic, vaccine rollout and getting our local businesses back open so our economy can rebound, schools can re-open and everyone can get their freedom to gather again.

“Second, the legislation being discussed does not help the low and middle class because it does not lower sales and/or property tax and with the Governor proposing a $25,000 Cap Gains in his draft budget the current $250,000.

“Cap Gains will be open to reduction and may eventually impact a majority on the North Olympic Peninsula. Third, this legislation will undoubtedly be challenged in court and may make it to the ballot as a referendum.

“I believe the State has more important things to do than to spend the next year or two and millions of dollars defending a new tax I’m fairly certain the majority of my constituents oppose. We have more important issues to focus on in my opinion.”

— Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles)

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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at
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