Gregoire's plan will drive away businesses
Gov. Chris Gregoire declared the way out of Washington state's financial mess is to create 40,000 jobs by attracting capital investment.
Didn’t we already try this with Boeing? The state granted incentives only to have them rescinded. Eventually, Boeing moved their new Dreamliner plant to South Carolina because of an unfavorable business climate in Washington.
Businesses don’t need a jobs bill with tax credits, but a tax rate reduction bill for Employment Security, Labor and Industries and business & occupation taxes. The governor’s current tax package increased unemployment and disability premiums. There are no incentives for business to expand in her current tax package.
She has increased taxes on business at a time when she expects business to lead the way out of the state’s shrinking revenue woes.
Washington is looking for the “least-worst options” to solve its revenue shortfall. The state treasurer says the coffers will be empty by the fall. What the governor should be doing is prioritizing government services based on the “best-use” for the actual state revenues available.
The governor’s problems are twofold. Her department directors fail to realize that they have a limited revenue stream that doesn’t support the state government’s current employment levels. The governor has failed to set a clear prioritized service plan for her departments. Scaling back is not a viable option. What is needed is a new business model for state government that answers the basic question, “What services is the state able to support with the current revenue available?”
RICK YALE, Lacey
Lawmakers must protect public assistance
I am responding to the story about the racial justice scorecard.
Historically, government has repeatedly helped pull the rug out from under people of color. From regulatory red-lining to relaxing or constricting immigration law depending on demand for cheap labor, to our increasingly regressive tax code, government has pandered to folks with wealth.
Not surprisingly, in 2005, the average African-American family had only 10 percent of the wealth of the average white family. Wealth translates into stability and opportunity.
Policy decisions directly affect people of color.
To accuse that the study is subjective denies the weight of decades of oppression and inequity, and the concrete results we try to ignore today. The scorecard identified various areas in which government has let people of color down.
It helps us see who has been helpful in battling the inequality entwined in our system. For legislators, primarily Republicans, to defensively deny the value of the racial justice scorecard and say they are merely out for equal opportunity seems to indicate they imagine their constituents living in a vacuum, with no history, no inheritance.
This recession has disproportionately affected people of color. Many will be unable to keep afloat. Saving public assistance programs that help lift the most vulnerable out of poverty is the best way lawmakers can stand for racial justice.
Our state has many thriving businesses and people, despite the recession. Tax them, tax me, but let’s face race and not punish the poor.
JEAN SQUIRES, Olympia