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How to Win Big Money on the 1098 Washington State Income Tax…NOT

October 27th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Politics

lovitz.jpgMy friend Steve on his blog offers up a bet sure to serve as red meat for the class-warfare contingent:

The Sky-Is-Falling Crowd says that 1098′s income tax will be immediately extended to lower earners.

If you’re so sure, here’s a chance to make a buck on your certainty. Fifty bucks, actually.

Here’s the bet:

If, as of April 15, 2014, Washington-state taxpayers with incomes below $200,000 (individual filers) or $400,000 (joint filers) are paying Washington state income tax on their income, I will pay you $50.

If they are not, you will pay me $50.

I will take up to ten of these bets with ten different individuals.

It’s a killer bet. Love it. I like it so much I am not only offering up the same bet, you should do it with me instead, as I will pay you 1.5 to 1!


It’s a really bad bet to take. Deck is stacked. If you take the bet, and 1098 doesn’t pass on Nov 2, you lose(!) In addition, assuming there is inflation, there is a 100% chance the tax will hit those below 200/400 and that isn’t covered here.

Also, 2014 is just too soon. All good bureaucrats and collectivists know you can’t warm up the water the frog sits in too fast or he’ll jump out.

Here’s the bet I’d take if I were you:
* It has to pass!
* Move it back to 2108
* make it 200k/400k in 2010 dollars (we know that inflation creep is the collectivist’s favorite stealth method for moving tax brackets)

Ideally I’d add a clause that we don’t see any more teacher strikes, as it’s a good benchmark that funding has been addressed — but we know no one will take that bet, because whatever this tax raises, it just won’t make any material difference.

I have to cut Steve some slack (bless his idealistic heart,) as he wasn’t here in 1982 when the state lottery was sold to us as a way to “fund education.” Many of us still have those commercials running through our heads. Here’s the reality of 2010:

Lotto tickets are $1 and Jackpots start at $1 million. Lottery revenues benefit stadium debt reduction for Qwest Field and Event Center. Proceeds also support stadium debt reduction for Safeco Field, as well as education construction, economic development and problem gambling prevention and treatment.

Well, at least education is now in great shape! Oh, wait — it isn’t.

Straw man: “The Sky-Is-Falling Crowd says that 1098′s income tax will be immediately extended to lower earners.”

No, the anti 1098 crowd claims it CAN be extended in two years. That’s simply a fact. What’s scary is this.

Check out the brackets for all other states and connect the dots.

The bet isn’t if it will be moved down below the $200k level, the question is when. If we get double-digit inflation, an overt move may not even be required.

Besides, I thought the the Sky-Is-Falling Crowd are to busy for this. They have their plates full just trying to “hide the decline“…(?)


5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve Roth // Oct 28, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Okay so state the terms of your bet in a sentence or two.

  • 2 Steve Roth // Oct 28, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Following your tangent (2009 data):

    1 Prizes: $301.3M (60.7%)
    2 Education Contributions: $102.0M (20.5%)
    3 Retailer Commissions: $30.8M (6.2%)
    4 Cost of Sales: $31.2M (6.3%)
    5 Stadium Contributions (Qwest and Safeco): $13.8M (2.8%)
    6 Administration: $12.3M (2.5%) 7 Economic Development: $2.4M (0.5%)
    8 General Fund: $2.0M (0.4%)
    9 Problem Gambling Education: $0.2M (0.1%)

    Google is your friend.

    But don’t trouble me with facts. You can make data say whatever you want it to.

    (Yeah, the stadiums make me nuts — I hate paying for the privilege of sitting in traffic — and it really pisses me off that they’re funding them using the stupidity tax. But the sky is not falling.)

  • 3 Steve Broback // Oct 31, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I knew a guy once who thought surprise birthday parties were loathsome due to the inherent “lying” involved. I wonder what he would think about 32 percent of the “education” monies being diverted to marketing, the general fund, and stadiums the public voted against.

    Principles are your friend.

  • 4 Steve Broback // Oct 31, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    The right bet:

    That if this passes, in ten years the WA state income tax will still be levied at the same percentage for incomes at the same level (inflation adjusted.) In other words — would a reasonable person say no naysayer could make a case for the statement “I told you so.”

    It’s moot anyway. This thing is circling the drain:

    Here’s one reason — the blatant disingenuousness of the “…and I love our state…” ads:

  • 5 Steve Roth // Nov 6, 2010 at 8:50 am

    > diverted to marketing


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