1. Before his gig tonight at Town Hall, national global warming guru Bill McKibben (McKibben wrote a defining article in Rolling Stone—"Global Warming's Terrifying New Math"—last year, and his group 350.org is organizing a 1980s-style divestment movement against the oil industry to fight climate change), is hosting a fundraiser for Mayor Mike McGinn at the Sorrento Hotel on First Hill.
State Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-44, Snohomish)—a purist McGinn-style green in Olympia who split with the environmental bloc in Olympia and voted 'No' on this year's $10 billion transportation package—and Sightline Executive Director Alan Durning are among the hosts at the recommended $50-donation reception.
2. A new report from the D.C.-based non-profit Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which recommended a series of mostly lefty policy prescriptions to aid the poor (such as a local earned income tax credit), found that poor people in Washington state pay a greater percentage of their income—16.9 percent—in state and local taxes than in any other state; Illinois ranks second in the dubious achievement, but well below Washington at 13.8 percent.
The Washington Post picked up on the news this weekend, and gawking in a story headlined "The state that taxes the poor the most is… a blue one" wrote:
The state that easily handed President Obama a victory last November while passing voter-approved referendums legalizing same-sex marriage and marijuana consumption also happens to have the nation’s highest tax burden on the poor.
Poor families in Washington state pay 16.9 percent of their total income in state and local taxes, more than any other state in the nation, according to a new report from the nonprofit Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which advocates for progressive tax policies.
Washington takes the top spot by a sizable lead. For the poor in Illinois, 13.8 percent of their income goes to paying state and local taxes. In Florida, those taxes eat up 13.3 percent of the income of the poor. The share in Hawaii is 13 percent, followed by Arizona at 12.9 percent.
The Post, however, didn't pick up on another detail from the report about our supposedly left wing state: In contrast, the top one percent in Washington—people with income over $1.1 million—pay just 2.8 percent in state and local taxes.