Becoming rather taxing

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The state I live in, Washington, has no income tax. It’s against the law.

What you’ll read in this article is that our legislature is trying apply a tax on businesses with employees who are paid more than $150k a year. All in the name of battling homelessness.

Sounds great does’t it? Not so fast.

The Seattle City Counsel passed a “head tax” on Seattle business last year (you’ll also read that in the article too). That tax was aimed at large corporations whom they feel are exploiting workers and causing the housing costs to go up. So, they would tax these companies X number of dollars per employee, over a certain number of employees. If I remember correctly, it was $550/per employee for really large corporations and $250/per employee for smaller ones. Small business were exempt, supposedly. The counsel soon rescinded that because they did it illegally by holding secret meetings, behind closed doors, etc etc etc.

Now, instead of the local group trying to unfairly tax corporations, the state legislature is taking up the issue and calling it an “excise tax”. As one person interviewed in the article calls it, “New coat of paint on a bad idea.”

The City of Seattle, King County, and others have tried to pass an income tax on high earners ($400K+) several different times.  It has consistently been voted down by citizens and the courts as illegal and against the state constitution.

This new effort by the state legislature is essentially moving the high income earners tax from the earner to the employer. Thus, it is an income tax, they have just prettied of the terminology to try and disguise what it actually is.

Our Democrat friends, who constantly like to have their hands in our pockets are at it again. Our Democrat friends are now also playing a different game at every level of politics – if you don’t like the definition of a word, give it a different one and shame everyone who disagrees with you. (I use the word “friend” very loosely.)

This issue is no different. They want their hands in our pockets again….and they don’t like the definition of “income tax” so they just keep renaming it in the hope that no one is paying attention.

 

 

Price gouging?

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What do you guys thing? Could this instance be considered price gouging or just market demand?

New Years Eve plans weren’t set in stone yet, so going to the movie theater was determined to be a good idea. Killing a few hours at a movie would help get the evening along and help me make it to the new year (instead of being an old, grumpy person – er, like every other day).

Anyway, we only have one movie theater that is local so to the AMC we went. During the ticket purchasing process it was discovered that the normally $5+ tickets at the theater were just the normal price of $11+. Huh? What’s going on here? Discount Tuesday has been a thing for years and this last year has been no different, so why suddenly are prices not the normally discounted price?

Come to find out, because both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve are the night before a holiday, the theater suspended the special price to take advantage of the fact that maybe more people would want to go see movies. Really? They’re going to jack the normally low price up for two days just so they can take advantage of their customers?

To me, it smacks of “price gouging,” because it is taking advantage of an abnormal situation to make more money. The official definition doesn’t say anything about a “state of emergency” or “disaster,” but if you look at legal definitions it tends to lean in that direction.

I guess it probably isn’t really price gouging, but it feels really shady when you are standing in line to buy tickets with your kids and what would have been a $25 night at the movies turns into $60 (before you even buy popcorn or snacks) because you have no choice at that point. I watched family after family be surprised by the unique “price adjustment” and the unspoken visual debate between husband and wife take place via their eyes. There were some who just turned around and left, but not very many. As parents, it’s hard to turn around and leave when you have all those eyes staring at you in expectation. So, they break the budget to make it happen.

Real shady, AMC. Real shady.

Overstep

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Government overstep is the first step to oppression.

Government redefining language for a political purpose.

Government control of thought and speech.

Government gone wrong.

Government legislating what you can or can’t say is a step in the wrong direction.

New York is shamefully destroying your rights in the name of “protecting” others’ “rights.” It is playing politics and redefining language in order to make political point. They have been doing it for a long time and this is yet another step in the wrong direction.

“Illegal alien” is now illegal to say in the state.

This is all kinds of wrong because changing facts and definitions of words to suit your agenda is beyond absurd.

Legal = you followed the law.

Illegal = you didn’t follow the law.

Alien = relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government

So, by looking at the definitions that are agreed upon internationally and also defined by law in the same manner, you are an illegal alien if you are a foreign person who lives in a country without having official permission to live there.

There is no gray area there. You are either legal or illegal.

Even if you entered the US by following the law, but stayed beyond the time set by law upon your arrival, you are illegal. There also is no gray area here.

The government has become the oppressor.

The government has overstepped its design and usefulness when it takes such actions.

When…it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, …to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. … But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. …

Declaration of Independence, 1776

As we see governments overstepping their bounds and interfering in the daily lives of every day citizens (at the literal and figurative expense of citizens for non-citizens), then the words of the document become more and more relevant.

History has a way of repeating itself.

 

Precedent can be dangerous

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Sound the alarms! Everyone to the streets! Crisis! Crisis! Oh my! Let the fear-mongering begin.

Alright people, let’s calm down.

Precedent can be dangerous. The Supreme Court has shown this in the past and is showing it again in the present. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

A court can’t rely solely, or place too much weight on precedent (past SCOTUS decisions), or things can’t/don’t/won’t change for the better.

If the Supreme Court never breaks with precedent, then it isn’t actually doing it’s job and would just continue to “pile on” bad past decisions.

Think of it this way – as a parent, are you allowed to change your mind in how you parent a child if a decision you made previously didn’t have the intended outcome? What if you didn’t have that ability or you were required to maintain the bad decision because that was the way it was always done in the past? Yeah, I don’t think any of us would like that.

The Supreme Court should be no different. Sometimes, the court has to fix its own bad decisions from the past. Prime example: Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896). The “separate but equal” precedent was never a good decision to start with and everyone knows for all intents and purposes that it would not be applied equally. For the next 58 years there were lots of challenges to Plessy and that precedent. The court held with precedent. It wasn’t until 1954 that the court finally broke with precedent and decided that “separate but equal” was not equal in Brown vs. Board (1954), correcting a previously bad decision.

Those who protest about breaking precedent now, in essence, are arguing again correcting previously badly or erroneous interpreted decisions. Is that what you really want from SCOTUS? To never fix their errors?

Oh, you must be exempt from traffic laws

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Wanna know who is exempt from traffic laws? Cops, apparently.

You see them speed all the time on the highway. You see them make a flagrant u-turns in traffic. You see them park on the side of the road (especially on overpasses) with a portion of their vehicle in traffic. You see them park in “No Parking” or “Fire” zones. You see them park on sidewalks. You see them using their computers and their cell phones while driving. You see them not use their signals properly. So, they must be exempt, right?

I was always under the impression that the only time they were exempt from traffic laws was when they had their lights on and were responding to a call. They don’t even have to have their siren on, but they at the very least had to have their lights on. Otherwise, I was under the impression they should act as though they are the same as any other citizen. Well, we clearly and regularly don’t see this happen, right?

So what gives? I have never had a law enforcement official clearly explain this to me. When asked if they are exempt from the law, they say no but they can’t explain why it is acceptable why they violate traffic laws on a regular basis. Anyone got an answer?

Do you know why I pulled you over?

*Disclaimer #1, no, I haven’t been pulled over for this yet.

There are some really dumb traffic laws out there, and this happens to be one of the dumbest. The sheer nature of the law assumes that someone will be speeding and someone else will be impeding their progress.

Bahn Storming

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So, let’s talk about this for a second. Let’s assume you are trying to follow the posted speed limit and are not exceeding it. Slower vehicles are supposed to stay to the right (it’s the law, right?). If, by the nature of traveling the speed limit, you are able to pass people while traveling in the left lane then you are not causing anyone grief because you are in fact going the speed limit.

Let’s just say an emergency vehicle comes up from behind you with their lights on. What do you do? You move to the right, like the law says to do. If you don’t move right, you can and should be ticketed for not following the law. So, is this an issue with traveling in the left lane?

If you are going slower than the speed limit, well, then you could be pulled over because you are actually being a hazard to other drivers and should be pulled over for being a danger to yourself and others.

Finally, that leaves anyone who is going over the speed limit, which I do regularly. *Disclaimer #2 – I do not condone speeding, I am just merely using myself as an example. First, if you are speeding you can be pulled over for that because you are violating a law already on the books. However, since you are speeding you are likely passing slower people who are staying on the right. Thus, no need for the law. If you are one of those jackwagons (is that gender specific or is it all-inclusive?) who decides that you are going to speed at an unreasonable rate and unsafely, well then there is already a law on the books for that. It is called reckless driving.

So that leaves a scenario where I am traveling over the speed limit and passing people on the left when a jackwagon speeds up from behind me and tailgates me as I don’t move immediately out-of-the-way. Who is in the wrong here? As we are both exceeding the speed limit, both of us are passing people on the left. We are both speeding, only one of us is doing it in an unsafe manner. I am not really impeding anyone in traffic, except the jackwagon behind me who feels the need to run everyone off the road to get to where they are going. Get my drift here?

The “keep right” law is dumb.