Welcome to the REAL Washington State Budget!

                                       Follow the Money... See where your tax dollars are really going!  

 

Wondering why your taxes are skyrocketing while funding for our schools is plunging? Would you like to know where your tax dollars are really going?

Here's the REAL Washington State Budget...Billions of Tax Payer Dollars are diverted every year to Out of Control corporate tax breaks for some of the richest corporations in the history of our planet! Over two hundreds million dollars a year is given away in corporate welfare to Boeing - and another one billion a year is given away in tax breaks to Microsoft!

As a consequence of these massive tax breaks, school funding in Washington State is now at its lowest level, as a percent of income, in the past 30 years... and near the lowest in the entire nation!

Despite diverting more than $2 billion dollars away from our public schools in the past two year, the budget shortfall for this coming year is going to be billions of dollars more than has been reported to the media... Learn why our State is heading for a financial meltdown... and what you can do to stop it! >>>

Record $8 Billion Budget Shortfall

The budget shortfall for the next two years is officially $5.1 billion. But that is based on an assumption that there is going to be a rapid economic recovery and that State revenue will rise by 13% in the next two years. Instead, if it remains flat like it has been the past 2 years, the budget shortfall will rise to over $8 billion - requiring the firing of over ten thousand teachers and other public sector workers.

Record Plunge in School Funding

Over $2 billion has been cut from our public schools in the past 2 years. Thousands of teachers have lost their jobs. School funding in Washington State is now 49th in the nation as a percent of income. Our one million children are subjected to some of the highest class sizes in the nation... All so a few billionaires can buy bigger boats.

Out of Control Corporate Tax Breaks

Tax breaks for the wealthiest corporations in the history of the planet have skyrocketed to more than the rest of the State budget combined. For every dollar spent on schools, our legislature gives away $8 in corporate tax breaks. In fact, if we just suspended corporate welfare for Boeing and Microsoft, we could balance our State budget without firing a single teacher!

The Time to Act is NOW!

Our economy, our schools, our community and our Democracy are at risk. The time to act is now. Please sign our petition to suspend corporate tax breaks, restore adequate school funding, and rebuild our economy with good paying jobs for all.

Subscribe to get articles as they are posted!

Grab our Feed Grab our Feed
FacebookTwitterDiggGoogle BookmarksRSS Feed

Welcome to the Real Washington State Budget

The Real Washington State Budget 2014 Update

This past year, the corrupt Washington State legislature gave Boeing a $8.7 billion tax break – the largest tax break ever give to any corporation by any State in the history of the United States. This was on top of the billions of dollars in “no strings attached corporate welfare” Boeing had already been given by their corporate cronies in the State legislature. This will require billions of dollars in reductions for other State programs as well as billions of dollars in increased taxes on the rest of us to pay for this bribery and kick back scheme. At the same time, the legislature failed to comply with an order from our Supreme Court to fully fund our public schools. The legislature claims that after giving away all of the money in corporate tax breaks to wealthy multinational corporations, they can no longer afford to fund our public schools. We will therefore compare the 2014 State budget to the State budget from just 14 years ago.


As the above graphic shows, our State Budget has two major parts. There is the visible budget that you read about in the billionaire controlled news. This is about $34 billion every two years or $17 billion per year. Of this $17 billion per year about $8 billion goes towards funding our public schools. With about one million students, this is about $8,000 per student. National average per public funding is about $10,000 per student. It would therefore take an additional $2 billion per year just to restore school funding in our State to the national average. This is why our Supreme Court has ruled that the current inadequate level of school funding in our State is unconstitutional.


There is also an invisible State Budget consisting of about $50 billion per year in tax breaks which go mostly for wealthy multinational corporations like Microsoft and Boeing. Contrary to what the billionaire controlled press would have you believe, this $50 billion give away has not created a single job. Boeing used its free gift from Washington State tax payers to build a competing airplane plant in South Carolina. Microsoft used its free money to build sweat shops in China. So these tax breaks actually cost our State more than 100,000 jobs since 2000.

At a recent Supreme Court hearing on the legislature's refusal to comply with an order from our Supreme Court, one of the justices proposed repealing all 600 corporate tax breaks and forcing the legislature to first comply with their constitutional duty to fully fund public schools before giving corporate welfare to wealthy multinational corporations.

While this would be a good start, we believe there is a better solution. Repeal all 600 corporate tax breaks, restore school funding and then eliminate sales taxes and property taxes in Washington State. We have been giving money to the billionaires long enough. It is time that they start paying their fair share and giving the rest of us a tax break!

Regards,

David Spring M. Ed.

Candidate for the Washington State Legislature,

5th LD, East King County

2013 March Analysis of ERFC Revenue Forecast

The ERFC has released their March 2013 Revenue Update so it is time once again for an analysis of their forecast. As a reminder, past ERFC forecasts have over-estimated revenue and under-estimated expenditures by billions of dollars. A healthy skepticism of anything they have to say is therefore in order. Here is a link to the March 20 report:

http://www.erfc.wa.gov/forecast/documents/rev20130320color.pdf 

An Ongoing Employment Disaster

The following table is from an ERFC economic report released earlier this month:

 

http://www.erfc.wa.gov/publications/documents/mar13.pdf

 This table confirms that employment remains well below the high water mark in 2007 of 3 million jobs.

 

Since 2007, we have had 80,000 young adults enter the workforce every year. Obviously, 80,000 young people times 6 years equals 480,000 more young people in the labor market – bringing our total Work force to over 4 million. Few of these young adults have found jobs. Total employment is about 3 million in our State. So with 4 million workers, the true unemployment rate is 25%. This was not mentioned in the economic report or the March 20 revenue report. Instead, they continue to repeat the corporate propaganda that the unemployment rate is only 7.7%. Also not mentioned in the ERFC report was the decline in transportation spending – which this summer will decline from $5 billion annually to $1 billion annually – resulting in the loss of about 80,000 road construction jobs. Instead the report only noted that there were 7,800 fewer jobs than they predicted in November 2012.

 A Rapid Rebound in the Housing Sector???

The report also claims that the housing sector is rebounding. But in a prior report, they noted that we are still facing record foreclosures – now above the US average:

 

 Despite the record number of home foreclosures, the ERFC is predicting a dramatic rise in new home starts from the current 27,000 per year to 42,000 per year. This is a 50% increase!!!

 

 The reality is that home starts are more likely to fall in the face of a record “shadow inventory” of vacant homes already stolen by the Wall Street banksters.  

 Washington residents to loss at least $4 billion this year

The report did note that the higher federal taxes will cost Washington residents $3.5 billion while sequestration will cost another $0.5 billion. The report assumes sequestration will end in July of this year. However, if it continues the actual long term cost to Washington residents could be more than $3 billion. It is difficult to see how State revenue can grow by billions of dollars while personal revenue is declining by billions of dollars. But this is exactly what the March 2013 ERFC report assumes. The revenue forecast for the next biennium is now set at $30.5 billion for the current biennium, $32.5 billion for the next biennium and $35.3 billion for the biennium after that.  Since the Great Recession started in 2008, revenue growth has averaged 1 to 2 percent:

 

 Note that the growth in 2011 was due entirely to a change in the way revenue was calculated. In addition, economic growth nationally has been in the 1% to 2% range. Yet this revenue forecast assumes revenue will grow by nearly 7% in the next two years followed by 7% more in the following two years. Below is where we are at in the current biennium. It is looking like $30.5 billion:

 

 Here is the next biennium:

 

 The ERFC claims it will be $32.5 billion – an increase of $2 billion or 7% increase in the next two years.

 A rapid reduction in unemployment???

The ERFC is predicting that the unemployment rate will drop below 6%:

 

 But the ERFC is not predicting more jobs!

They claim that jobs by 2017 will only rise to 3.1 million:

 

 So we will have 200,000 more jobs in the next four years. That is 50,000 jobs a year. The first problem is that we have 80,000 more young people entering the job market every year. So 50,000 more jobs per year will increase rather than decrease the real unemployment rate.

 The second problem is that the ERFC is apparently unaware of how many workers live in our State. With a total population of 7 million, we have at least 4 million workers. By 2017, we will have at least 4.4 million workers. This means the real unemployment rate will be higher than 25% - not lower than 6%. At some point, the truth about our disastrous economy is going to come out. People cannot spend when they do not have a paycheck.

 Déjà vu all over again... a $3.3 billion shortfall???

Two years ago, the ERFC predicted a rapid economic recovery and that State revenue for the current biennium would rise rapidly from $30 billion to $34 billion. I predicted that revenue would remain below $30 billion. Today, the ERFC has acknowledged that it was wrong about the last biennium. It now expects us to believe than revenue will rise to $32.5 billion in the next biennium. Even if revenue does rise to $32.5, we will still have a billion dollar shortfall as spending is expected to be $33.5 billion. In addition, a two billion dollar “down payment” is required by our Supreme Court to fund public schools. This adds another two billion to the shortfall. Add another $300 million due to the fake assumption that Medicare spending would save $300 million by privatization of that program and the net result is a $3.3 billion shortfall. This is assuming that the ERFC is right about revenue going up $2 billion.

  Déjà vu all over again... a $4.8 billion shortfall???

But what if revenue only grows by 1% - to $31 billion??? Then the budget shortfall will grow to nearly $5 billion in the next two years. Either way, we are looking at a 10% decline over current State spending levels. This may not seem like much. But when one considers that over half of all State spending is mandatory (including not only public schools, but the billions we give away every year to Wall Street banks in interest payments on $30 billion in public bonds), then the remaining portion of the budget will have to take a 20% cut in order to balance the State budget! This includes not only higher education taking a 20% cut, but also health care, the judicial system and everything else!

 

 There is a better way... Roll Back the Billions in Corporate Tax Breaks!

The one thing not being cut in the current budget is tax breaks to wealthy multinational corporations like Microsoft and Boeing. Those currently stand at more than $40 billion per year and are rising rapidly. Since 2000, these corporate tax breaks have DOUBLED from $20 billion per year to $40 billion per year. It is clear that we can no longer afford these tax breaks for billionaires. Instead of raising taxes on the poor and middle class to fund schools and roads, we ought to return to the tax structure we had in 1981 – a time when our State was 11th in the nation in school funding – by requiring wealthy multinational corporations and billionaires to pay their fair share of State taxes.

 Please share this information with anyone you feel may be interested. I have posted a copy of this analysis on Home page of my website: realwashingtonstatebudget.info

 Regards,

David Spring M. Ed.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Exposing Two Microsoft Scams... The Billion Dollar Tax Avoidance Scam and the HiB Union Busting Scam

 Last year, Microsoft reported making a record profit of $23 billion on $70 billion in sales.  Had Microsoft paid their fair share of State taxes, they would have paid 1.5 Percent times $70 billion – or one billion dollars in State taxes. This still would have left Microsoft a record profit of $22 billion – and they could have deducted the one billion in State taxes from their federal taxes. Instead, despite $23 billion in record profits, Microsoft paid next to nothing in State taxes!

 

 

 In this report, we will  detail why the Microsoft Billion Dollar Per year Tax Scam not only risks the future of one million children – who must endure some of the lowest funded most over-crowded schools in the nation – but also has robbed our families of tens of thousands of jobs here in Washington State. Tax Breaks for Wealthy Multinational Corporations Do Not Create Jobs…Just the opposite, they cost jobs!

 

 

"We'd have a much easier time funding education if companies like Microsoft weren't picking our pockets for tax breaks year in and year out"

State Senator Erik Poulsen, D-Seattle (2005).


 

Read more...

The purpose of this website is to provide you with information on the real Washington State budget. This includes not only how much is spent on public schools and other essential State services – but also how much is spent each year on tax breaks for wealthy corporations. It is important to know that while BILLIONS of dollars have been cut from school funding and other State services, tax breaks for wealthy corporations have actually been increasing!

 

A second purpose is to explain why our State budget shortfall is much worse than is currently being reported in the media – and why in the coming months our State is heading for a financial meltdown. The current claim is that the budget shortfall for the next two years is only $5 billion. But this shortfall is based on the assumption that there will be a rapid recovery and that State revenue will grow by more than 13% in the next two years. If instead, revenue remains flat as it has been for the past 2 years, then the budget shortfall will exceed a record $8 billion.

 

A third purpose is to summarize how much harm is being inflicted on our schools and on our economy by massive tax breaks for wealthy corporations. For example, our State is giving away $2 billion per year in corporate welfare to Boeing and another $1 billion a year in tax breaks to Microsoft. If we could simply get these two wealthy corporations to pay their fair share of State taxes, we could solve our State budget crisis without firing a single teacher.

 

 

The final and most important purpose of this website is to give you some ideas of things you can do to help roll back corporate tax breaks, restore school funding and rebuild our economy. Knowledge is power. So the first step in achieving fairness for our kids and our families is by getting informed about what is really happening with our Washington State budget.

 

If you have any questions or comments about any of the information on this website, feel free to email me.

Regards, David Spring M. Ed.

Director, Fair School Funding Coalition

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

 

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied…
Our Supreme Court refuses to enforce our State Constitution… and turns their backs on one million children
David Spring M. Ed. Director, Fair School Funding Coalition This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
On Thursday January 5, 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court issued an opinion in the NEWS Education Funding Lawsuit, essentially upholding the Trial Court decision that the State legislature has failed to meet its Constitutional “Paramount Duty” to amply fund our public schools. Education Funding advocates predictably hailed the Court’s ruling as a major victory. In fact, however, the ruling was a severe defeat for our State’s one million school children.
 
The problem is that while the lower court severely criticized the Education Reform Act (HB 2261), specifically noting that it was unacceptable for the legislature to delay school funding for 6 more years to 2018 and demanding that the legislature comply with the Constitution as soon as possible, the Supreme Court seemed fine with HB 2261 which allows the Legislature to kick the can down the road for six more years and allows the legislature to knowingly break the law by failing to comply with our State Constitution for another 6 years. The Supreme Court claimed it would be too difficult for the legislature to comply with the law in a single year. In fact, if the legislature wanted to, they could solve the problem in a single day.
 
On a personal note, my daughter is a 6th Grader. She will have graduated by the time the Supreme Court demands that the legislature comply with our Constitution. But there is a worse danger than the legislature not complying until 2018. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Thirty years ago, the Supreme Court also stated in a virtually identical ruling that the legislature failed to adequately fund public schools. Since then, the legislature has conducted more than one dozen studies – none of which came up with any actual funding for our public schools. They all kicked the can down the road. Like all the earlier “reform” bills, HB 2261 again kicked the can down the road by appointing yet another commission to study the problem. It is therefore likely that the legislature will not comply with HB 2261 in 2018. Instead, they will do what they have done countless times in the past- they will appoint another committee to study the problem and kick the can further down the road..
 
Naturally, there will be another lawsuit. Then the Court will again agree that the legislature is failing to comply with the Constitution. Then the Court will give the legislature yet another 10 years to comply with the Constitution. This is not leadership – this is fraud. It is actively participating in an illegal theft.
 
Imagine treating a bank robber this nicely. After all, the legislature is stealing billions from our children to give billions in tax breaks to wealthy corporations like Microsoft – who rewards their corporate legislators by paying for their re-election campaigns. Anyway, imagine a bank robber stealing more than one billion dollars per year from our State’s one million school children – robbing our children of their future – and forcing them to endure the largest class sizes and lowest school funding in the nation.
 
Now imagine our Supreme Court agreeing that this robbery is against the law. But then only asking the legislature to stop robbing from our children 6 years from now. This is a great deal for the bank robbers. They get to continue stealing from our children for 6 more years!!! The real question is how much longer the voters will put up with this open law breaking.
 
In response, the Governor said she wants to protect corporate tax breaks by raising sales taxes on the poor and middle class by a billion dollars. State Representative Ross Hunter, a former Microsoft Manager, wants to protect corporate tax breaks by raising property taxes on middle class homeowners by a billion dollars. Keep in mind that our State already has the most unfair tax structure in America. Our middle class pay State taxes at a rate which is 20% above the national average – while our children attend schools funded at a rate which is 20% to even 30% below the national average. Both of these regressive tax proposals would make our unfair tax structure even more unfair, And by robbing the middle class – also suck one billion dollars out of local communities – costing thousands of local jobs.
 
The problem is NOT that our middle class is paying too little in taxes. The problem is that the very wealthy in our State are not paying hardly any taxes – less than one third of the national average. Ditto with wealthy corporations like Microsoft. Check this out. Last year, Microsoft had record sales of $73 billion – on which they made a record profit of $23 billion. Had they paid a one and one half percent Washington State Business and Occupation tax, like any other respectable business, they would have paid one billion in State taxes. This would not have harmed Microsoft because they could have deducted their State taxes from their federal taxes.
 
But instead, since 1999, our legislature has effectively exempted Microsoft from paying State taxes by going along with a charade whereby Microsoft evades paying taxes by claiming that they are really located in Nevada – a State with no Business and Occupation tax.
 
As a consequence of this corporate welfare, our State loses one billion per year in revenue (nearly all of the entire budget shortfall) which forces schools to fire about 10,000 teachers and forces class sizes to be way higher than the national average.
 
Even worse, nearly all of this billion dollars per year in windfall corporate welfare goes to only three people – all of whom are billionaires and who are already evading paying State taxes by living in a State without an income tax on high earners. Our legislature is literally sacrificing the futures of one million school children just so three billionaires can buy bigger boats.
 
Our Supreme Court may be okay with continuing this charade for 6 more years. But I am not.  I have a better idea. Instead of increasing the tax burden on families already close to bankruptcy, we should demand that the legislature roll back all corporate tax breaks passed since 1996. This was the last year school funding in our State was above the national average. This simple act would generate several billion dollars per year. And allow us to restore school funding and class sizes back to the national average – which is where school funding was in our State when the massive corporate crime wave took over Olympia.
 
I urge you to email your legislators. Let them know that you are opposed to any tax increases on the poor or the middle class. We are already paying far more than our fair share!!! Let them know that it is time for wealthy corporations and billionaires to start paying their fair share of State taxes. Let them know that it is time to stop making excuses and stop hiding behind Tim Eyman. Our State Constitution gives the legislature the power and the duty to repeal corporate tax breaks by a simple majority vote.
 
And if the legislature fails to roll back the massive corporate welfare this year – then it will be up to the voters themselves to throw the bums out. That too can be done by a simple majority vote. For more information on the real problems with school funding and our State Budget, please visit my website: realwashingtonstatebudget.info.
 
Regards,
David Spring M. Ed.
Director Fair School Funding Coalition
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

 

We Should Roll Back Corporate Tax Breaks Instead of Increasing the Sales Tax

Why We Should Roll Back Tax Breaks for Wealthy Corporations – Instead of Cutting School Funding and/or Increasing the Sales Tax on Poor and Middle Class Families

 

"In the middle of a historic recession, attempting to balance the budget on the backs of low-income people, working people and most vulnerable seems like the exact wrong way to go. 

Any economist worth their degree will tell you that what you want to do during a recession is put money in the pockets of those people most likely to spend it, not take away money from those people who need most and  spend it to support local economies." 

 

Adam Glickman, a spokesman for the Service Employees International Union 775, which represents home health-care workers.

 


 

 

“Tax the 1% not the 99%. NO SALES TAX” --- Occupy Olympia Protest Banner

 

 In response to our State’s $2 billion budget shortfall, Governor Gregoire has proposed a temporary half penny increase in the Sales Tax – claiming it would allow us to “buy back” $500 million in budget cuts – but still leaving another $1.5 billion in new cuts on top of the billions of dollars in cuts that have already been inflicted on poor and middle class families. Leaders of the Republican Party charge that there is no need for any increase in the Sales tax. They claim that, even with $2 billion more in cuts, our State will still be seeing an increase in tax revenue.

 

As is typical in Olympia, neither side in this debate is being honest with the voters. The Governor’s claim that there are “no other options” fails to acknowledge that we could roll back the billions in tax breaks our State gives away to wealthy corporations – thereby avoiding any budget cuts and any tax increases. The Republican claim that another $2 billion in cuts would not really be an actual cut fails to acknowledge that tens of thousands of State workers, including teachers and health care workers, have already been fired. Thousands more will lose their jobs if billions more are cut from the State budget. These job losses are very REAL and will certainly inflict further harm on our economy.

 

In this report, we will debunk the claims of the leaders of both political parties and explain why attempting to increase the sales tax would harm our economy. We will also explain why rolling back tax breaks for wealthy corporations will increase jobs and lead to an economic recovery by helping us rebuild our economy from the bottom up.

 Section 1 explains why the budget cuts are real and will result in the loss of thousands of jobs, especially when one considers the loss of billions in federal stimulus funds.

 Section 2 explains why rolling back corporate tax breaks is not only a viable alternative to cutting funding or raising the sales tax – but is REQUIRED by our State Constitution!

 Section 3 explains why tax breaks for wealthy corporations cost jobs and why rolling back tax breaks for wealthy corporations would create tens of thousands of jobs.

 Section 4 explains why our legislature already has the power under our State Constitution to repeal corporate tax breaks with a simple majority vote. There is no need for a lawsuit!

 Section 5 explains why increasing the sales tax on the poor and middle class would harm our economy by reducing demand, reducing sales and thus costing thousands of jobs. 

 Section 6 compares our current sales tax rate to the sales tax rate of other States. Increasing the sales tax would only harm our State’s businesses by driving customers to shop out of State.

 Section 7 compares our State’s tax structure to that of other States. We already have the most unfair tax structure in the nation. Increasing the sales tax would only make our State’s tax structure even more unfair that it is now.

 Section 8 calculates that more than $3 billion per year in new revenue is needed to restore school funding in our State to the national average. Raising the sales tax would not come close to raising enough revenue to meet our State’s constitutional obligation to fund schools. 

 Section 9 provides polling information and election results from past attempts to raise the sales tax. Even if the legislature approved a referendum, the voters would vote it down.

 Section 10 Rolling back corporate tax breaks to what they were in 1996 would generate up to $4 billion per year. We should therefore oppose an increase in the sales tax and instead support rolling back corporate tax breaks for wealthy corporations – which will not harm corporations and they can deduct their State taxes from their federal taxes.



See the NO TO UNFAIR SALES TAX MENU ITEM AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE FOR LINKS TO A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON THIS TOPIC.

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Close Corporate Tax Loopholes to Save Jobs

Yesterday, our Governor released her “Budget Roadmap” for cutting another $2 to $4 billion from the State Budget. http://www.ofm.wa.gov/reductions/alternatives/all_budget_alternatives.pdf

But Hoover proved long ago that we can not cut our way to prosperity. Each billion in cuts equates to the loss of 10,000 public and private sector jobs. Firing public workers in the middle of a recession is how Hoover caused the Great Depression. Do we really want to make the same mistake twice?

The following table describes some of the 160 programs being cut, along with the number of jobs lost.

 


 

The total possible budget cuts listed in the Governor’s Proposal is $4.2 billion. Ironically, it is possible that ALL of these cuts will be required during the next couple of years unless something is done to roll back tax breaks for wealthy corporations. This is because even $2 billion in cuts is based on the assumption that State revenue will only drop from $32 billion to $30 billion. But as I have shown in previous articles, State revenue is likely to remain between $28 to $29 billion – meaning even more cuts are coming in the next few months.

 

Read more...

Why the State Budget Shortfall is at least $3 Billion

For the past 3 years, I have issued quarterly reports critical of the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council’s (ERFC) Revenue Projections. My reports have accurately predicted that ERFC projections over-estimate State revenue by billions of dollars. These over-estimations of revenue have misled the legislature to pass budgets which could not be supported – requiring extra “special sessions” and billions in additional last minute emergency cuts during the past three years. The Revenue Council’s irresponsible and unreliable forecasts are the result of their failure to follow standard statistical methods. ERFC forecasts continue to be wildly inaccurate. This is no way to conduct our State’s business. The first step in problem solving is knowing how big the problem is. The ERFC failure to tell the legislature the truth has led to proposals which do not come close to solving our State’s budget problems.

 

Now that the ERFC December revenue report is out and the legislature has ended the latest special session by kicking the can down the road to 2012, it is time for our 2011 year-end review of the State Budget.

 

First, for those who have not yet read the ERFC December 12th report, here is a quick review.

Excluding a “property tax variance,” revenue was $14 million (or 1%) below the November 2011 forecast. Thus the State revenue picture continues to get worse. In December 2009, the ERFC predicted that by the end of 2011, Revenue Act receipts would grow rapidly exceeding $1,000 million per month. Instead, we remain below $900 million per month.

 

Total General Fund Revenue for the past year (December 10, 2010 to December 10, 2011) was $13.7 billion.  Two years ago, annual State Revenue was also less than $14 billion. I predicted in November 2009 and again in November 2010 that annual State Revenue would remain at $14 billion per year (or zero percent growth) – due to the legislature’s failure to address structural problems with our economy. The Revenue Forecast Council predicted revenue would skyrocket by more than 20% (or $3 billion per year) to an annual rate of $17 billion per year.

 

Each time the Revenue Council has predicted a rapid V shaped rise in revenue during the past 3 years, it was proven wrong. But the Revenue Council failed to learn from their past mistakes. The Revenue Council continues to predict a sharp rise in revenue in 2012. They now claim biennial revenue will be above $30 billion – or more than $15 billion per year. Since we are actually at $14 billion per year or $28 billion per biennium – the revenue council continues to over-estimate revenue by at least one to two billion dollars for the current biennium.

 

The following chart compares my accurate prediction of Biennial Revenue ($28 billion) to the many Revenue Council inflated predictions of State Revenue during the past three years.

 

Comparing State Biennial Revenue Council Forecasts to Reality

As the following chart shows, the Revenue Council also predicted that revenue would be $34 billion in the last biennium. They eventually had to admit that revenue was only $28 billion.

The yellow line shows that they are following a very similar course of denial in the current biennium. Eventually, the yellow line will be forced to drop to the light green line just as the red line fell to the dark green line.  

 


 

In summary, the Revenue Council initially predicted that 2009 to 2011 revenue would be $34 billion, while I predicted it would be $28 billion. It turned out to be $28 billion. Then the Revenue Council predicted that 2011 to 2013 revenue would skyrocket to $34 billion. I predicted it would remain between $28 to $29 billion. Recently, the Revenue Council lowered their prediction for the current biennium from $32 billion to $30 billion. But there is no evidence to support their claim. Instead, all of the statistical evidence, especially the fact that actual revenue for the past year was only $13.7 billion, continues to support my prediction that biennial revenue will remain between $28 to $29 billion.

 

Put another way, the Revenue Council claims that the budget shortfall is now $2 billion (requiring a drop in spending from $32 billion to $30 billion) when in fact the REAL budget shortfall is still at least $3 billion and could rise to $4 billion in the nest year (requiring a drop in spending from $32 billion to $28 billion).

 

A Direct Relationship between Employment and State Revenue

The reason I predicted revenue would remain at $28 billion two years ago is that the legislature was doing nothing about fixing the structural problems in our economy. Thus, there would be no increase in jobs and there would be no increase in State Revenue. There is a direct relationship between 2.8 million people working and $28 billion in State Revenue. Each person working generates $10,000 in State Revenue per biennium – or $5,000 per year. 

 

Therefore, the only way revenue could rise to $34 billion per biennium is if 3.4 million people were working. This would require a rise in employment of 600,000 workers in the next year – or an increase of 50,000 workers every month for the next 12 months.

 

Here in Washington State, the private sector added only 6,400 jobs in September and October – but the public sector lost 4,000 jobs for a net gain of 2,400 jobs in two months – or 1,200 jobs per month. 5,000 teachers lost their jobs during these two months due to “past budget decisions.”

 

However, total employment remains at close to 2.8 million - while the real workforce is near 4 million – with about 7,000 young adults entering the workforce every month. So adding jobs at a rate of 1,000 per month is very bad news. It means that 6,000 kids are unable to find jobs – leading to a real unemployment rate among young adults of 50% and a real unemployment rate among all adults of more than 25% - and getting worse every month.

 


 

Employment at the beginning of 2011 was 2.8 million – essentially where it was at the end of 2009. It is now at 2.83 million – a yearly gain of 30,000 or a monthly gain of less than 3,000. Given that 7,000 new jobs per month are needed just to break even, and 50,000 jobs are needed each month to have a real recovery in State revenue, 2011 has been a disastrous year for workers here in Washington State. For the year, over 60,000 young adults were unable to start their careers and instead are still living at home with their parents - or couch surfing at their neighbor’s house. And over ONE MILLION ADULTS in our State do not have jobs and have been unemployed for more than a year!!!!

 

Sadly, the legislature is doing nothing to create jobs. Instead, they continue down the path of Hoover Economics. In the just concluded special session, they cut another half billion in State spending – which will lead to 5,000 more public sector job losses. And the Governor has proposed $2 billion more in cuts for the next few months – leading to another 20,000 public sector job losses. This “All Cuts” budget will only make our economic crisis much worse.

 

The Only Solution to our Economic Crisis is to Roll Back Corporate Tax Breaks.

In addition to firing thousands of additional public sector workers, the governor has proposed raising a billion dollars by raising the sales tax on poor and middle class families. Ross Hunter recently proposed raising the property tax to raise one billion dollars. Either of these options would greatly harm our State’s economy and cost 10,000 private sector job losses by removing $1 billion from struggling poor and middle class families.

 

The only solution which will actually create jobs and restore money to our State’s economy – without harming poor and middle class families -  is rolling back tax breaks to wealthy corporations who can then deduct their State taxes from their federal taxes. Tax breaks for wealthy corporations have skyrocketed from $20 billion per year in 2000 to $50 billion per year in 2010 – robbing billions in school funding and removing $30 billion per year out of our local economy. Until the legislature reverses this disastrous corporate welfare policy, there will be no recovery.

 


 

Tax breaks for major corporations in our State have skyrocketed 250% during the past 12 years (from $22 billion per year in 2000 to $50 billion by 2010): Over 90% of these tax exemptions benefit the richest one percent, with much of this wealth being shipped out of State and even out of the country, creating jobs overseas instead of here in Washington State.

In shifting the tax burden to our middle class, and causing the firing of thousands of public servants, these massive tax exemptions for billionaires do not create jobs. Instead, they cost jobs. None of these billions in tax breaks resulted in any jobs. Instead corporations used these windfall profits to outsource jobs out of Washington State.

 

 

Microsoft as an Example of How Billions in Corporate Tax Breaks Harm our Economy

Let’s use Washington State’s most wealthy corporation as an example of their ability to pay their fair share of State taxes. This past year, Microsoft recorded a record profit of $23 billion dollars on record sales of $70 billion dollars. Had they paid a normal 1.5% Gross Receipts Business Tax like any other business in our State, they would have paid $1 billion in State taxes. This entire amount could have been deducted from their federal taxes – meaning they still would have recorded nearly $23 billion in profits - the greatest profit in the history of our planet.

If we simply required Microsoft to pay their fair share in State taxes, we could protect the jobs of 10,000 teachers – who will otherwise be cut in the coming year by the next All Cuts budget.

 

Wealthy Corporations can afford to pay State taxes!

Microsoft is not alone in experiencing record profits. The following chart shows the prior 12 months corporate earnings are at record levels: http://www.chartoftheday.com/20110916.htm?A

It is interesting to note that the original run up in real earnings from Great Depression lows to credit bubble highs took over 78 years. The current spike has taken 26 months.

 


 

Given that these wealthy corporations are making record profits by getting billions in tax payer bailouts and shipping our jobs overseas, isn’t it time that they at least start paying their fair share of State and federal taxes? For more information on the illegality of corporate tax breaks, visit my website: realwashingtonstatebudget.info.

 

More reasons there will be no growth in State revenue in 2012

In addition to the unwise give away of billions to multinational corporations, and the one million unemployed workers in our State, household net worth fell $2.44 trillion in the 3rd Quarter, a real decline of 4% - which would be an annual decline of 16%. The total loss in household net worth has now exceeded $20 trillion since 2008 – due almost entirely due to plummeting home values caused by millions of foreclosures. This crisis is getting much worse. Distressed (foreclosed) homes accounted for 28% of all sales in October 2011. Foreclosures have risen 21% in just the past 3 months according to a report by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.  1.3 million additional homes are now in foreclosure. Meanwhile, despite the trillions of dollars in tax payer bailouts to mega banks, the HAMP program has only helped 220,000 homeowners – less than 10% of the homeowners who have lost or will lose their homes. Obviously, as more people lose their jobs, there will be more foreclosures leading to a Hoover Economics Death Spiral. Things will not change until our State adopts FDR Progressive Economic policies by putting people back to work - rebuilding our economy from the ground up.

 

The next Revenue Council report is scheduled for January 15th. I will once again publish an analysis of that report a day or so after it is released. But until the insane corporate welfare is stopped, and until our legislature does something to address the extreme unfairness of our State’s tax structure so we create jobs instead of cutting jobs, we should expect more bad news. Feel free to email me back with your questions and comments.

 

Regards, David Spring M. Ed. Director, Fair School Funding Coalition

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Washington State Revenue Declines by another $1.4 billion

 The Washington State Revenue Council just released their revised revenue forecast admitting for the first time that State revenue will only be $30.3 billion – a $1.4 billion decline from their prior forecast in June of $31.7 billion.

 

 

Governor Chris Gregoire said she expects the Legislature will have to go into special session toward the end of the year to adjust the budget. She wants to wait until after the next forecast in November, in case things get worse. Given that the state needs to keep a healthy reserve fund, Gregoire said she looks at the current budget hole as closer to $2 billion.

 

This is the fifth quarterly decline in predicted State revenue. The June 2010 report predicted that revenue would be $34 billion for this biennium. So the current prediction of $30.3 billion represents an over-estimation nearly $4 billion:

 

 

Note that a nearly identical problem happened during the last biennium when the Revenue Council predicted $34 billion, but we wound up with only $28 billion in actual revenue:

 

 

This result of $28 billion in revenue was with the economy being artificially propped up with hundreds of billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds – which temporarily increased State revenue by more than one billion dollars. So how can our State get $30.3 billion in revenue when the federal stimulus funds are no longer propping up our economy??? 

 

For more than a year, I have issued reports critical of the Revenue Council’s irrational optimism and explained why revenue for the coming biennium will not exceed $29 billion… and perhaps not even $28 billion. I have repeatedly called the Washington State budget a ticking time bomb and a “House of Cards.” That is still the case. For more on the problems of our State budget, and the financial disaster we are heading for, see my website: realwashingtonstatebudget.info.

 

In this report, I will once again explain why the Revenue Council’s September report remains extremely inaccurate and why another one to two billion dollars in State budget cuts are to be expected in the coming months unless steps are taken to rein in the billions of dollars in corporate welfare our legislature is currently handing out.

 

Read more...

Counting the Invisible Unemployed in Washington State

The invisible unemployed are workers who desperately need a job, but have given up looking for work and/or have been unemployed for so long that they have lost their unemployment benefits. They therefore no longer count as part of the “official workforce.” The failure to count these invisible unemployed workers in the unemployment rate leads to the absurd claim that the unemployment rate is falling to 9% - when in fact it rising rapidly and is currently above 27%.

 

In a previous report, “Counting the Invisible Unemployed in the US”, I used national Bureau of Labor Statistics data to calculate that the actual national unemployment rate was three times greater than the official unemployment rate (27% versus an official rate of only 9%). This was due to the millions of “invisible” unemployed adults, including huge numbers of young unemployed adults, who were simply not being counted by the federal government.

 

In this report, we will examine the Invisible Unemployed here in Washington State. While the work force has been reported to be only 3.5 million, we will show that the actual work force is now over 4 million and is under reported by at least 660,000 – a sharp rise of at least 160,000 in just the past year. The number of unemployed workers is currently reported to be only 320,000. However, with employment under 3 million, and a total workforce of more than 4 million, the real number of unemployed workers is more than one million – meaning that there are at least 680,000 “invisible” unemployed workers in Washington State. Thus, while the official unemployment rate is reported to be only 9.2 %, the actual unemployment rate is greater than 27%. Far from declining, if one counts the 60,000 invisible young adults entering the work force each year - but being unable to find jobs - the actual unemployment rate is increasing.

 

October 12, 2011 Update

Since I first wrote this report on June 30, 2011, there have been two more Washington State monthly employment reports. Both show the number of invisible unemployed rising dramatically. The first report on July 20, 2011, for June 2011 employment in Washington State, showed that the “official workforce” continues to fall (a one month decline of about10,000 workers). In fact, in June, the workforce actually grew by at least 5,000 workers. Therefore the number of invisible unemployed rose in June by 15,000 workers.

 


 

Reported Labor Force: http://www.workforceexplorer.com/article.asp?ARTICLEID=10581

 

The second report, on August 17, 2011 for July 2011 employment shows that the official labor force fell by 17,000 workers from June to July 2011. In fact, as we will show below, the workforce actually rose by 5,000 workers – for a dramatically increasing the number of invisible unemployed of 22,000 during the month of July. The total increase in the invisible unemployed since my June 30, 2011 report has been at least 40,000 workers – and this dire situation is getting worse every month!

 

 

 

Look closely at the above report. Note that since July 2010, the official workforce has fallen sharply from 3.54 million to 3.46 million – a decline of 80,000 workers in a single year. In fact, the number of workers actually increased by about 60,000 during the past year. Thus, for the year, the number of invisible unemployed rose by 140,000 – bringing the total number of invisible unemployed in Washington State to more than 660,000. The total number of unemployed workers in Washington State has risen to more than one million.  The real unemployment rate is now more than 28%. The charts and graphs below have been updated to reflect our State’s ever worsening unemployment crisis.

 

Read more...

The Solution to our Economic Problems is Active Democracy

 In a recent article in the Los Angeles Time, economist James Galbraith argues that “Stimulus Alone was Never going to bring Recovery.” See http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-galbraith-economics-20110815,0,843976.story

 

I agree in part with his solution: “Let's build a new financial system to serve public purpose and private business. And let's start to act on our actual needs and problems: jobs, foreclosures, public investments, energy security and climate change.”

I also agree that the patient, our national economy, is not going to recover on its own. In fact, I have long predicted that until we address the underlying causes of our economic problems, our economy will only get worse. However, I disagree with Galbraith’s assessment about the “causes” of the Great Recession. I therefore also disagree about the effectiveness of his proposed solution. Given that our economy is in the worse mess it has been in 70 years, we need to look much deeper than merely economics to understand what our problems are and how to solve them.

 

I have taught courses in problem solving for 20 years. One of the key principles of problem solving is that one must determine the “underlying” or hidden causes of a problem in order to create a truly effective long term solution. Economists tend to think the solution to all problems must be economic – just as carpenters see the hammer as the solution to every problem. But we can not solve problems merely by focusing in on symptoms – or by proposing solutions that solve only a part of the problem. Instead, we must examine our assumptions and peel the layers away from this onion. This requires going back over time and seeing where we took a wrong path – so that we might better recognize how to get back on the right path.

 

The reason the federal stimulus program did not restore our economy was primarily that the money was given to the wrong people and used for the wrong purpose. Instead of directly creating jobs on Main Street, nearly all of the money was given away to corporate bankers on Wall Street. Corporations were handed trillions of dollars. This led to a fake Stock Market rally and billions in Wall Street bonuses for the super rich.

 

 

But because there were no strings attached that this money be used to create jobs, very few jobs were created (less than a million jobs, when more than 10 million jobs were actually needed). Thus, the recovery went no where. But this latest saga of corporate corruption was only the latest chapter in a very long and corrupt story.

 

Read more...

Gregoire Begins to see the light... Proposes $1.7 billion in additional cuts!

Months ago, I stated that, because our State Budget is based on an assumption that State revenue would grow by 14% during the next two years, our State Budget is a House of Cards. I noted that because our economy is not growing, State revenue is not likely to grow at all. Last week, the Federal Reserve admitted that the economy remained flat for the past 6 months. Then today, Governor Gregoire admitted for the first time that the State Budget might have to be cut another 10% - or about $1.7 billion beginning on January 1st 2012. This is on top of the $4 billion in cuts that were made by the 2011 legislature. For the complete list of upcoming budget cuts, go to http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2011/08/08/2015855454.pdf

 

$1.7 BILLION in State cuts converts to firing another 17,000 State workers and costing another 17,000 private workers to also lose their jobs – for a total of 34,000 job losses beginning January 1, 2012.

 

Sadly, as I also noted months ago, this is just going to be the beginning of budget cuts during the next two years. The House of Cards budget for the 2011 – 2013 biennium agreed to in May 2011 is about $34 billion in spending. The problem is that if revenue does not increase, there will only be $28 billion to $29 billion coming in. This is why I predicted that, if the State legislature continues to give billions in tax breaks to wealthy corporations, there will have to be another $5 billion to $6 billion in cuts during the next two years. So $1.7 billion in cuts is just the tip of the iceberg. Instead of ordering the Titanic to change directions, all our Governor did was order our State to hit the iceberg at a slightly slower speed. Unless the legislature sees the light and stops giving away billions in tax breaks to the super rich, total job losses will exceed 100,000 before the end of this biennium.

 

Nevertheless, we will review what the Governor’s 10 Percent Budget cut will mean to families here in Washington State. First, the good news. While Basic Education funding is $13.7 billion for the next two years, or about $6.8 billion per year, the Governor is not yet proposing a massive cut to public schools – only $100 million or $50 million per year. Only 1,000 teachers will lose their jobs in order to protect a billion per year in tax breaks for Microsoft.

 

Now for the bad news.

 

Public Universities which had already taken a $500 million cut, will be asked to take another $100 million cut. This means 1,000 fewer University Instructors, cutting slots or increasing class sizes for about 20,000 University students. Community Colleges will also see their budget cut by 10% - from about $1 billion to about $900 million. Another 1,000 college instructors will lose their jobs and another 20,000 students will be forced either out of college or into much higher class sizes. Thus, expect one in ten college instructors to be fired in the next few months.

 

But by far the biggest hit will be the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) which will lose over $573 million. Because these funds are tied directly to federal “matching” funds, the actual hit to DSHS will be over $1 billion – for a loss of 10,000 public sector jobs and another 10,000 private sector jobs.

 

Below are the details. The first number is the current budget amount (in thousands of dollars). The second column is a cut of 5% (not likely). The final column is a 10% cut (actual cuts will be much higher).

 

Read more...

State Revenue Act Monthly Receipts Fall by $53 Million

The State Revenue Council issued their report on State revenue for the month of June. It was not even reported in the local papers. But as I have been predicting for years, revenue act receipts were far below forecast – and things will get even worse in coming months. The State Revenue Act includes Sales Tax and B & O taxes. Below is the Revenue Act graph from page 4 of the ERFC July State Revenue Report.

 


 

Note the sharp drop from $900 million per month to $850 million per month. This equates to an annual decline of more than one billion dollars per year. The July 2011 ERFC Report stated “This month’s shortfall was the result of yet another decline in seasonally adjusted collections – the third in a row.” To be more precise, April receipts were 1,180 million, then fell to 861 million in May and 816 million in June – a drop of $364 million in just three months. Just a few weeks ago, the ERFC predicted that June Revenue Act revenue would be $869 million. So $816 million represented a drop of $53 million in just a few weeks.

 

Read more...

Join the Fight to Reinstate Glass Steagall!

 

Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

 

Thomas Jefferson

 

On June 28, 2011, the King County Democrats approved a resolution I proposed urging our Congressional representatives to reinstate the Glass Steagall Act (a copy of this Resolution is at the end of this article). I would like to explain what Glass Steagall is, how the repeal of Glass Steagall in 1999 led to our nation’s economic collapse in 2008 and why it is essential to restore Glass Steagall if we are ever to safely and confidently revive our economy.

 

What is the Glass Steagall Banking Act?

In 1933, FDR Progressive Democrats passed the Glass Steagall Banking Act to prevent bankers from turning our economy into a giant gambling casino for the super rich – as they had done in the 1920’s. For over 60 years, the Glass Steagall Banking Act protected us from economic disaster and helped maintain a stable economy.

 


 

1999 Glass Steagall Repealed to Deregulate Banks

Sadly, on November 12, 1999, under pressure from Wall Street bankers who financed their re-election campaigns, Congress passed the Gramm – Leach Act to repeal Glass Steagall and deregulate banks. Citibank alone spent $100 million in lobbying the Congress to repeal Glass Steagall, and other major Wall Street banks, led by JP Morgan, poured in more than $200 million in bribes of Congress in order to allow them to gamble with billions of dollars of other people’s money.

 

 

Read more...

Washington State Supreme Court Criticizes Education Funding Lawsuit

On Tuesday, June 28th, the Washington State Supreme Court heard the State Attorney General’s appeal of the Education Funding Lawsuit. The Justices criticized three aspects of this lawsuit. First, they noted that the plaintiffs had addressed only one of three Constitutional provisions relating to school funding. Second, plaintiffs had failed to challenge any specific laws as Unconstitutional. Third, and most important, plaintiffs had failed to provide a specific remedy as to exactly what would be a Constitutional level of school funding.

 


 

Since this case will directly affect the future of one million school children and is therefore the most important case heard by our Supreme Court in the past 30 years, we will review each of these three concerns – explaining why all three Constitutional provisions are being violated, describing the exact laws which are unconstitutional and providing a series of remedies which would lead to a Constitutional increase in school funding of more than $5 billion per year – without any increase in taxes on middle class families – simply by rolling back tax breaks for wealthy corporations to what they were in 1996. This would not hurt these corporations as they could deduct their State taxes from their federal taxes. But it would restore school funding in our State to the national average.

 

Given the importance of this case, it is reasonable to ask why the plaintiffs omitted or ignored so many serious violations of our State Constitution. One possible answer is that they did not want to offend the current powerful leaders of our Legislature - who have committed these crimes against our children by passing unconstitutional laws such as House Bill 2261 in 2009 and House Bill 2893 in 2010. Sadly, in trying to limit their case only to general “politically correct” statements, the attorneys for the plaintiffs may have put at risk the future of an entire generation of school children who are counting on us to provide them with a fair chance at success in school and success in life.

 

What is particularly distressing for the Supreme Court was the Plaintiffs’ failure to challenge the rise of local property tax levy lids as being a violation of Article 9.2 of our State Constitution (the School Uniformity Clause). Our Courts are known as Courts of Equity and therefore a challenge of the rise in Levy Lids would have almost certainly met with success. The Supreme Court has promised to issue their opinion by the end of the year. But in failing to include several important issues of equity, and focusing only on the adequacy of school funding, the plaintiffs have taken a “slam dunk” case and turned it into one whose outcome is now uncertain.

 

Read more...

How the State Lost $572 Million in a Single Day


After reviewing the June 2011 June State Revenue Report, Reporter David Goldstein (Goldy) wrote in the Stranger:


 Goldy would have been less puzzled had he read my critique of the State Revenue Forecast, posted 2 months ago on my website: Realwashingtonstatebudget.info entitled:

“Why the 2011 - 2013 Budget Shortfall will Exceed $8 Billion” http://realwashingtonstatebudget.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=58

 

In this critique and a follow-up article, I predicted this sharp decline in revenue and gave 10 reasons why State Revenue would be much less than the $32 billion – and will likely wind up between $28 to $29 billion for the next biennium. Losing $572 million in a single day is only a symptom of much bigger problems – an impending financial meltdown that will soon come to pass. Let me recap a couple of problems with the House of Cards that is our State Revenue Forecast:

 

Read more...

Why the School Funding Cut will approach $4 billion

 There seems to be a dispute over how much school funding is being cut during the next biennium. Some are making the ridiculous claim that school funding will not be cut at all. At the heart of this dispute is the proper way to measure a budget cut. Below are a couple of different views. The first is from Ramona Hattendorf, Government Relations Director, Washington State PTA. The second is from a person who claims that cuts will not be that great. I will then explain why - when you include cuts in federal stimulus funding and school repair and construction funding, the actual budget cut is closer to $4 billion. 

12 Worst Corporate Tax Dodgers

 “We're in the midst of a corporate crime wave.”  Ralph Nader June 2010

 

Corporate profits grew 37 percent in 2010, the biggest gain since 1950, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In just the 4th Quarter of 2010, corporate profits reached $1.7 trillion – an increase of $38 billion over the Third Quarter of 2010. This growth in profits was concentrated primarily in banks and other financial corporations which saw their domestic profits increase by $58 billion.

 


 

As a consequence, Wall Street bankers handed out a record $50 billion in bonuses to their top executives in 2010. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase's investment bank handed out $28 billion in bonuses, according to analysts' estimates. Since these three banks control about half of the capital in the US, total bonuses were certain to be more than $50 billion. That is 49 per cent higher than the previous high of $27 billion in 2007.  


President, Barack Obama, called these bank bonuses "obscene."

David Schmidt, a consultant at James Reda & Associates, a New York compensation firm said about the billions in bank bonuses, "The public perception is going to be that it's a lot of money."

 

With wealthy corporations posting record profits in 2010, you would think they would be happy to pay some taxes on those profits. You would be wrong. Tax breaks for corporations increased by $156 billion in the 4th Quarter of 2010. As a consequence of this increase in corporate welfare, corporate tax payments fell in the 4th Quarter by $1.3 billion despite the record increase in profits.

 

 

Below is another graph showing the decline in Corporate Share of total taxes during the past 50 years:

 

Read more...

Microsoft Tax Scam Costs our State $1 Billion per year!

 

Microsoft’s profit margins are among the biggest in the history of our planet. Whereas most businesses are lucky to achieve a margin of 5% to 10%, Microsoft has a profit margin of more than 30%. One third of every sale is pure profit.
 
 
 
For fiscal 2010 (which ended on June 30, 2010 for Microsoft), Microsoft made $19 Billion in profit on $62 Billion in sales. Sales and profits have continued at a record pace for the first two quarters of fiscal 2011. Microsoft has already made over $12 billion in profits in the first 6 months. It therefore will almost certainly go over $20 billion in profits for the fiscal year.
 
Documenting Microsoft’s Billion Dollar per year State Tax Scam
Like Boeing, Microsoft receives all kinds of hidden tax breaks - like millions in credits for equipment and property tax exemptions for their intangible property. But we will focus on the biggest State tax break, namely the Software Royalty License tax scam.
 

Billions More for Wall Street Bankers

Comparing the Spring Resolution to Suspend Tax Exemptions for Wealthy Corporations to House Bill 2078 released in Olympia today.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I support any bill which cuts corporate tax breaks for wealthy corporations (in this case Wall Street banks) to save $170 million in school funding. But there are several hidden problems with House Bill 2078 which the corporate media is conveniently not telling you.

 

Despite all the fan fare, there are several reasons to conclude this bill won’t pass – and even if it does pass, it will not come even close to achieving what it says it is intended to do.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2078.pdf

 

Let’s go over a couple of sections in this bill to see what it really means.

 

Read more...

More Articles...

Page 1 of 2

Start
Prev
1