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    Washington State Tag

    Seattle's latest attempt to tax its way out of its severe homeless problem failed when Amazon and Starbucks pushed back against the city's "head tax."  We've chronicled other efforts Seattle has made to generate revenue. Whatever they are doing to address the city's homeless problem is not working as evidenced by the scathing letter sent by the convention planning team for the 2019 American Pharmacists Association convention.

    Less than a month after they passed it, Seattle's city council voted to repeal the corporate head tax after facing legitimate pressure from companies like Starbucks and Amazon. The tax would have forced companies that make "more than $20 million a year pay an annual $275 tax per employee." The council predicted the tax would raise $47 million a year for "affordable-housing and homeless services." The city council planned to use that extra tax money to counter the city's growing homeless problem.

    As the open-borders agenda of the left finally sees the light of day, it's not surprising to learn that blue cities and states are no longer solely committed to refusing to work with ICE.  They are now actively working against federal immigration law and policy, even going so far as to issue emergency rules intended to protect illegal aliens from deportation. In Washington state, one such "emergency rule" was approved Friday.  The rule says that the country of birth is no longer required on applications for Washington driver licenses.  Washington state officials say that asking for the place of one's birth on an application for a driver license can lead to targeting by ICE.  They are having none of that.

    Despite its status as a blue state, a special set of entrepreneurs have figured out how to market one of Washinton's iconic products: Coffee. Perhaps inspired by the "Hooters" model for chicken wings, scantily clad women serve up delicious caffeinated drinks and a smile. The successful business model, however, was drawing concerns that criminal elements were attracted to bikini baristas.

    Any discussion of tax reform shifts quickly to "tax the rich" with avowed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sanders wannabe Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at the forefront of the Democrat 2020 presidential hopeful pack.  There are numerous problems with this philosophy, not the least of which is that it's a political slogan not viable economic policy, but that doesn't stop the left. Earlier this year, Seattle passed a "tax the rich" scheme that was immediately challenged.  This week, Superior Court Judge John Ruhl ruled that Seattle does not have the authority to impose such a tax.

    Although Seattle's gun tax was supposed to bring in $300,000 to $500,000, it's brought in less than $200,000.  The money was supposed to be used to "study" gun violence and to somehow lower the cost to taxpayers for gun violence. It didn't turn out that way, and Seattle ended up forking out taxpayer money from the general fund for the "study."  Meanwhile, small business owners have shuttered their Seattle gun shops, causing employees to lose their jobs.  Furthermore, Seattle police report that gun violence has sharply increased.

    On Thursday, President Trump announced the great news that he is withdrawing the U. S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, and the response across the internet was predictable.  On Friday, dozens of states and cities announced that they had established a "United States Climate Alliance" to meet the U. S.'s commitment without Washington. Thus far, the California-led effort seems focused on lowering carbon emissions and not on the government's financial commitments. The Los Angeles Times reports:
    President Trump may be quitting the Paris accord on climate change — but forcing the rest of the nation to go along with him is proving more of a challenge. Led by California, dozens of states and cities across the country responded Friday to Trump’s attack on the worldwide agreement by vowing to fulfill the U.S. commitment without Washington — a goal that is not out of reach.

    Hanford Nuclear Reservation made plutonium for nuclear weapons for decades and is now the largest depository of radioactive defense waste that must be cleaned. There was an emergency situation at this site in Washington state after a tunnel full of highly contaminated materials collapsed.
    Officials say a collapsed patch of ground above the tunnel was larger than first believed. The U.S. Department of Energy said the collapse covered about 400 square feet (37.1 square meters) instead of the 16 square feet (1.4 square meters) first reported.
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