We stand with the construction workers who shouted "No Head Tax!" today against a city gathering of activists lead by Seattle City Councilmember Sawant promoting a new tax.
The politics of tax and spend inevitably take us down this road. When the government takes and gives away money capriciously, the result is that the community will fight over who gets the least taken from them and who gets the most handed back. When businesses and consumers are more heavily taxed for engaging in commerce, economic activity slows. Amazon punctuated this point by slamming on the brakes on construction at their Rainier Square tower in the wake of a proposed new tax.
When governments have concentrated power to regulate, tax, and spend - powers that have clear monetary value - then it is predictable that the largest special interests will use their wealth to shove their way to the table to fight for the biggest slices of it. Meanwhile, the community is left picking up scraps to try to pay enormous property taxes, sales taxes, even a special soda tax.
There is only one way to level the playing field, and it is not more government powers. It is lowering barriers to competition, lowering taxes so that exemptions cannot be used for competitive advantages, and growing our way to a bigger pie that everyone has a share in.
The Seattle City Council needs to shift its attention from funding a failing homeless industrial complex with "envynomics" to lowering unnecessary barriers to construction so that our housing supply can catch up with the demand. Study after study has shown that burdensome regulations and supply shortages are the primary causes of our current housing crisis. We cannot tax our way to prosperity as a community, but we can build our way there together. And we'll need many more construction workers for that.