In these tough economic times, Washington State families need leaders in government who aren't afraid to do the right thing - even if it means taking the fight to entrenched special interests.
We face unprecedented challenges. An unregulated Wall Street casino culture wrecked our economy, and state and local governments are forced to contend with record-breaking unemployment, deficits and under-funded programs like classrooms, medical services and instrastructure.
As a progressive Democrat, I believe that we should not balance the budget on the backs of working families. Washington State's tax burden ranks as one of the most unfair in the entire country: those who struggle the most pay almost one fifth of their entire income in taxes and fees, while the richest 1% pay less than 5 cents of every dollar they earn in taxes. I support commonsense, sustainable and fair reforms to our tax system, in order to ensure a more equitable sharing of the tax burden, as well as sustainable funding for the services that our people need now more than ever. I support an income tax levied on households making more than $400,000 per year, a gradual phase-out of the B&O tax, as well as a significantly decreased reliance on the property and sales taxes.
Washington State loses almost one billion dollars every year from corporate tax evasion. In addition to this blatant fraud, there are many tax loopholes on the books that Washington State citizens - and even some lawmakers - aren't even aware exist. It's time to critically examine what we need and what we don't. State government needs to be as responsible with its own funds as working families are with theirs.
Rather than relying on a Wall Street "invisible hand" to save us from this recession, I believe in the power of proactive leadership. It is the role of government to make smart investments in infrastructure, education and research to help put people back to work and get the economy moving again. An economy is only as healthy as its people.