March 12, 2009 · 3:43 PM
A disservice to publish unfounded rhetoric
I’m a retired engineer with 44-plus years of manufacturing, laboratory, R&D and government relations experience and find it necessary to respond to your letter writers and columnist Jack Hamilton (Friday, March 6) regarding class warfare.
When reference is made to the “rich,” are they referring to the Wall Street executives who have developed the current “casino” trading system based on derivatives, hedge funds and default swaps with losses in the multi-trillion-dollar range based on 30/1 leverage trading and hyped-up “phantom” equities?
AIG executives saw fit to insure the multi-trillion-dollar Wall Street phantom investments and more than $150 billion of our tax money is now used to replenish their losses. The humongous losses are now affecting the stock market with no end in sight.
Or are they referring to executives at GE who also have a Capital Investing Division instead of relying on its core product divisions, or GM which destroyed electric cars many years ago to protect its Hummer business and oil company sales? Or are they referring to the predatory mortgage lenders and real estate businesses who hyped up the prices and sales of real estate to unsustainable high levels? What about the billions of dollars some of these executives placed in Swiss banks to avoid paying taxes?
Are the letter writers concerned the many executives with their multi-million (and billion) dollar salaries, bonuses and perks may not be able to put food on the table if their income tax rate increases to, say, 39 percent from 35 percent? They also may have to reduce the number of corporate jets, corporate parties in luxurious locations or million-dollar office furnishings to improve profitability. Before 1980, I understand their income tax rates were in the 70
percent bracket and they survived quite well.
Now let’s consider what has happened in our country during the last several years. There are bank failures due to the aforementioned phantom investment bank practices; a health care system that is, by far, the most expensive in the world with questionable results; questionable safety of our food and drugs, especially imports; loss of jobs and outsourcing of jobs; a failing higher education system; reliance on foreign oil, probably responsible, in part, for the turmoil in the Middle East; a weak U.S. dollar; and the loss of respect in our federal government by the rest of the world. I suggest the letter writers and your newspaper focus on these types of issues that affect our daily lives.
We now have President Obama who, with his intelligence, hard work ethic and integrity, is trying his best to get our country back on track for all the people, not just the billionaires. He has taken many positive steps during only six weeks of his administration to undo all the harm of the previous federal government failures. I believe, it is a disservice to the American people to publish rhetoric which is unfounded and destructive to the honest and reasonable attempts at getting our country back to the excellence it once enjoyed for all its citizens. And to call our president Karl Hood is a gross disservice to our citizens.
A solution to the problem
Initiative 1039 is heading toward the November ballot and here’s what it will do for all of us:
• Establish the sales price as the true value. To phase this in, property owned as of Jan. 1, 2009 will use the current assessed value as the established basis. Property bought after Jan. 1, 2009 will use the sales price as the established tax basis.
• Limit the annual assessment increase to 1 percent resulting in a predictable property tax. Under the current system the assessor decides what is “market value” and the assessed value may double or triple on any given year. The owner pays taxes on money he or she has never received. This imagined value is called “unrealized capital gain” and not even the IRS has the nerve to do this. Plus it’s paid year after year.
• Lower inflated assessments by providing a way to challenge the basis in a fair way, not relying on an arbitrary decision by an assessor.
• Be revenue neutral for all taxing districts and preserve the levies and bonds.
Because property sells every five to seven years, resetting the tax base at the time of sale will continually adjust the taxable values to the current economy. Everyone, those who stay and those who buy, will be able to budget for their property taxes.
The premise of this initiative is people buy what they can afford, are entitled to own what they buy, pay tax on what they bought and not be forced to sell because their neighbors have more expensive homes.
Learn more at www.realnotimagined.com and become part of the solution for this problem.
WASHINGTON VOTERS FOR FAIR PROPERTY TAX COMMITTEE