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Economic Justice, Jobs and Tax Fairness

A sustainable economy with strong communities requires living-wage jobs, tax fairness, opportunity, and shared prosperity for all.

We call for:

  • An incremental increase in the state and federal minimum wage, with a living wage as the goal;
  • Funding and rebuilding our infrastructure as a proven method of job creation
  • Fair and equitable taxation to provide state revenue that meets constitutional requirements, cares for the most vulnerable, and promotes the common good;
  • A progressive tax system at both the federal and state level, including taxing unearned income at the same rate as earned income, a state income tax offset by cuts in regressive taxes, a state capital gains tax, eliminating the Business and Occupation tax in favor of a corporate income tax, and a financial transaction tax on Wall Street trading;
  • A budget that represents tax exemptions as expenditures to be  part of the biennial  appropriations process;
  • Repealing tax breaks and incentives for companies that do not provide verifiable net benefits to the state and requiring them to make restitution;  subjecting tax exemptions  to renewal every 5 years;
  • Greater transparency on the part of federal financial institutions;
  • Reducing or eliminating the $1.2 trillion dollars of student debt by:
    • Reversing of the 2006 federal bankruptcy law that excludes student debt from discharge orders;
    • Refinancing student debt to the lowest rate that Wall Street pays;
    • Making tuition affordable to state residents by returning to 70%state support of the cost of higher education (2002 tuition levels);
    • Adopting Pay It Forward programs, both state and federal, which enable people to attend college without paying tuition, in exchange for paying a small percent of their post-graduate income to pay for the next generation to attend a public school;
    • Forgiving tuition for professional degrees at state institutions in exchange for 10 years of in-state service;
  • Addressing our decaying infrastructure and lack of opportunity for young people by encouraging the utilization of apprenticeship programs;
  • Fully supporting the “Job Corps” program;
  • Creating a new civilian conservation corps to address natural resources needs;
  • Until a living wage is achieved, increasing eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit to help the working poor;
  • Removing of the cap on income subject to Social Security tax;
  • A major increase in funding for assistance and construction of affordable and low income housing in Washington State;
  • Property tax breaks on primary residences of low-income homeowners and small businesses;
  • Requiring economic development to consider impacts on the environment including climate change;
  • A fair system of paying for growth, including urban growth, with impact fees ;
  • Support of diverse and resilient local economies;
  • Local, state and federal governments to develop Buy Local, Build Local priority policies, mandating all government dollars to provide quantifiable incentives to entities who offer locally produced, locally sold products and services;
  • Support for small businesses, including tax credits, low interest loans, tax abatement development  zones for start-ups and non-profit micro-lending;
  • Establishment of a Washington State Investment Trust (i.e., a state bank);
  • Using post offices to provide bank services for low-income people;
  • Targeted economic development incentives to businesses that provide verifiable, immediate, and lasting benefits to our communities;
  • Re-establishing and maintaining usury laws capping all interest rates at the level allowed to credit unions;
  • Economic justice on women’s issues such as social security reform, pension reform, livable wages, pay equity, job discrimination, and reproductive rights;
  • Only those multilateral trade agreements that are conditioned on environmental, health and safety standards, human rights and workers’ rights, and which support transparent democratic processes.

We oppose:

  • Excessive corporate profits and executive compensation;
  • Privatization of Social Security or reduction of benefits;
  • Privatization, downsizing, outsourcing, and offshoring of public services;
  • Excessive fees and excessive interest charged to consumers by short-term lending corporations;
  • The use of credit scores for insurance rating and hiring;
  • Taxing unemployment, worker compensation and Social Security benefits;
  • Corporate welfare, including tax breaks that don’t provide proven public benefit;
  • Any constitutional amendment that requires an un-democratic two-thirds vote in the Legislature to raise revenues.