Витрати на життя

This image shows the Smokey Point Costco in Snohomish County, Washington State doing their part to minimize health risks while still serving the community by limiting the number of shoppers inside at one time to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 during this pandemic.

Інфляція цін по всій країні досягла 7% у 2021 році, найвищого рівня з 1982 року. Ніде вартість життя не зростала швидше, ніж у столичному районі Сіетла, включаючи округ Снохоміш. Якщо за останній рік ваша зарплата не зросла на двозначний відсоток, ви знизили зарплату.

Перевантажені ланцюги поставок змушують працюючі сім’ї дивитися на голі полиці, не в змозі купити необхідні продукти, коли вони потребують. Інфляція завжди найбільше б’є по тих, хто найменше може собі це дозволити.

Як реагує Олімпія? З новими податками на робітничий клас, обмеженнями, що підвищують ціни та тарифи, а також підвищенням цін на газ, що вплине на пасажирів і наш ланцюг поставок.

І за все це проголосували наші представники в 44-му окрузі.

У нас надзвичайна економічна ситуація. Настав час найняти когось із навичками, незалежністю та досвідом, необхідними для того, щоб наша економіка працювала. Нам потрібен економіст, а не інший політик.

Щоб переглянути політику, яка стосується основних видів витрат, натисніть нижче:

Споживчі витрати на товари зросли до рекордного рівня у 2021 році через пандемію та пакети федеральних стимулів. Не в змозі встигати за попитом, весь наш ланцюжок поставок майже зупинився, через що ціни на повсякденні товари зростають, а багато полиць залишаються безплідними. У нас є значне відставання товарів, які зберігаються в портах і на складах, де просто не вистачає працівників, щоб досягти прогресу. Деякі частини ланцюга поставок зросли, щоб задовольнити попит, але їх затягнули частини, які цього не зробили. Наш ланцюг поставок міцний лише настільки, наскільки міцна його найслабша ланка.

Ми повинні визнати нашу кризу ланцюга поставок такою, якою вона є: надзвичайна економічна ситуація, яка загрожує нашій державі та нашій країні. Поки ланцюги поставок не зможуть відновити нормальну роботу, слід вжити таких тимчасових, надзвичайних заходів:

  • Вимагайте, щоб всі ворота терміналу порту Сіетла та Такоми працювали цілодобово
  • Створіть фонд для компенсації далекобійникам за час очікування в порту та витрати на навчання CDL класу B
  • Відмовтеся від усіх зборів за поновлення CDL
  • Відмовтеся від усіх обмежень щодо зонування, що обмежують зберігання транспортних контейнерів
  • Дозволити складам і розподільним центрам списувати заробітну плату працівникам, які отримують, у рахунок податкового тягаря B&O, якщо вони працюють 24/7

Much of our current inflation issues trace back to the COVID pandemic. Consumers, fearful of catching the disease, have substituted away from purchasing in-person services like movies and dental appointments, instead increasing how often they buy physical goods, especially online. This has increased prices through higher demand and has strained supply chains to the point of breaking and widespread shortage. Ultimately, ending the pandemic and getting people back to normalcy solves many of these issues.

Science conclusively demonstrates that the COVID vaccine is crucial to reducing the severity of the disease and preventing hospital overcrowding and triage. I am fully vaccinated including a booster, and I even volunteered at a vaccine clinic early in its distribution. I am a strong supporter of this great scientific marvel and believe anyone who refuses the vaccine for non-medical reasons and without natural immunity is unnecessarily harming themselves and their community. For those who are fully vaccinated, I believe there is little to fear from the virus, and life should return to normal. The sooner everyone does their part, the sooner we can all put this behind us.

Our state’s vaccine mandate has been enforced with little regard for scientific rationale. It makes little sense for the state to refuse assistance in clearing vital roadways of snow just because the workers alone in a truck may not be vaccinated. It definitely does not make sense for hospitals to ask COVID-positive vaccinated nurses to work when COVID-negative unvaccinated nurses are barred from the same job. It makes zero sense to fire unvaccinated employees who had already recovered from a COVID infection and thus acquired natural immunity at least as strong as a vaccinated person.

My solution to hospital overcrowding would be construct a central field hospital, as we did in 2020, where all unvaccinated COVID-positive hospitalizations are taken. Doing so would relieve local hospitals to focus on normal but crucial operations while making resource allocations more efficient for treating serious COVID cases. People need to internalize the costs of their reckless decisions, but I would not fire workers in a time of labor shortage except at the very end of need.

Washington has one of the highest state gas taxes in the country at nearly 50 cents per gallon (on top of the federal 18 cent gas tax). This tax is increasing in 2022 thanks to the 2021 cap-and-trade bill, supported by the 44th District’s Rep. April Berg and Sen. John Lovick– directly by 5 cents and indirectly through the new carbon credit system, perhaps by as much as another $2 per gallon by 2024.

Gas taxes disproportionately harm the working class and further raise costs within our supply chain, only making inflating grocery and goods prices even higher. Worse yet, the infrastructure projects these tax increases fund see limited oversight, routine cost overruns, ever more distant times to completion, and improper maintenance thereafter so that more new construction can be funded.

While I do not oppose infrastructure investment on principle, our state’s current administration has proven time and again they cannot act responsibly with this money. We already have record tax revenue, but they can’t help but come back for more. It’s time to say enough is enough.

In 2019, 60% of voters in the 44th District and 58% of voters in Snohomish County voted to limit annual car tab fees to $30 for vehicles under 10,000 lbs. This would have been a large reduction in a fee which routinely costs hundreds of dollars, intentionally overcharges due to an underestimated depreciation schedule, and which disproportionately falls on working class commuters. As they did in 1999 and 2002, the legislature, governor, and state courts ignored the will of the people and hiked costs for the working class (and yes, Tim Eyman deserves plenty of blame as well).

I support municipalities maintaining their infrastructure, and I support expanding light rail into Everett and possibly beyond. I do not believe we should fund a bloated, inefficient project scheduled to be completed ever further in the future on the backs of the working class. Especially when in Seattle, which primarily benefits from this funding, police aren’t even allowed to pull cars over for missing or expired tabs. Car tabs provide less than 20% of Sound Transit’s revenue– revenue which could be easily replaced with streams voters have not clearly and repeatedly rejected.

Let’s reset the board. Drop all car tabs back to $30, and let municipalities and counties vote on whether they want to raise them back up– or find alternative sources of revenue– to fund projects necessary in their communities.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has repeatedly attempted to unilaterally ban the use of credit scores in setting auto, homeowners, and renters insurance premiums under the guise of addressing systemic racism. Without the ability to use credit scores, insurance companies will not be able to adequately assess individual levels of risk, inevitably leading to large increases in premiums for seniors and individuals with good credit scores.

This policy should be opposed for two reasons: first, it will raise rates on those with good credit histories far more than it will decrease rates for those with poor credit. The policy increases the overall level of risk in the market, necessitating insurance companies collect higher overall premiums than otherwise.

Second, banning the use of credit scores takes away a vital individual-level assessment of claim utilization, but does not take away the need for insurance companies to assess individual risk. Credit scores are a meaningful proxy for how often someone files a claim, even within racial groups. Without this tool, insurance companies will be forced to rely on more aggregated sources of data, meaning individuals in relatively higher risk portions of the population will suddenly have a reduced ability to rise above their peers. Someone who lives in a poor neighborhood or who is within a relatively riskier demographic group would no longer be able to rise up and out of higher premiums through merit and responsibility, locking them into a permanently prejudiced situation. Their agency is stolen from them.

While I very much support efforts to help to individuals escape poverty, banning credit score use in insurance rates actually locks poor individuals into poverty and systemic racism, not frees them.

Washingtonians have repeatedly voted down attempts to establish state income and capital gains taxes. These taxes discourage work and investment on the margin, dragging down our economy and punishing productivity. In 2021, despite record tax revenue, Democrats in the legislature passed a new capital gains tax, including votes to pass from the 44th District’s April Berg and John Lovick.

In November 2021, 67% of voters in the 44th District voted to repeal this tax. We need representatives who listen to the residents of our district, especially on the rare day that two-thirds of them agree on something.

While I am not vehemently anti-tax in all circumstances, I oppose state income and capital gains taxes being enacted here and would vote to repeal the 2021 capital gains tax.