“My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our governments to get serious about shared sacrifice.” – Warren Buffet
Across the water from Seward park is a strange looking boat. Flat and wide, this permanently docked vessel is a symbol of arrogance and privilege. Why? This strange craft is a private floating helipad. Allen who could not get permission for a helicopter landing pad on his land, used his extreme wealth to game the system and get his way. One must ask, what other gaming of the system was necessary to get the $300 million we paid to subsidize the football stadium for Allen’s Seahawks after voters flatly rejected it? What was necessary to get $50 million in tax-payer dollars used to fund a mile-long streetcar connecting downtown with his South Lake Union biotech cluster?
So, how did Paul Allen show his gratitude when offered the opportunity to pay his fair share via a state income tax on the wealthy to help pay for education and healthcare? Did he lock arms with
Bill Gates Sr. to do the right thing and share the sacrifice as Buffet says is long due?
Sadly, no. This year’s cuts to education could have been avoided, but for Allen and a small, but greedy and extremely rich circle of Washington State power-brokers who bank-rolled the Defeat I-1098 campaign to fund education and healthcare. Allen’s $100,000 contribution was matched by many of Washington’s wealthy and the corporations they often hide behind. Jeff Bezos, Jon and Judith Runstad, Theiline Scheumann, Barry Ackerley, Jeff Carnevali, Joseph Barer – with Steve Balmer topping them all with a $450,000 – flatly placed the preservation of their opulent lifestyles ahead of the opportunity to share the sacrifices of normal, working people.
The wealthiest 1% of Washington residents pay less than 3% of their income in state taxes, while the poorest 20% of residents pay 17% in their incomes in state taxes. Yet, the state legislature could not muster the political will to close tax loopholes and give-aways to millionaires, banks, coal, and other giant corporate interests.
Yolanda Tinoco, a member of Washington CAN! From Bellevue said, “It doesn’t take an AP Calculus teacher to explain why we are frustrated. Our children and schools need funding. We are already making a sacrifice; it’s time we share the sacrifice with the richest like Paul Allen who lobbied everyday to keep their tax breaks in place.” Yolanda is a mother of three, PTA member and after-school tutor.
“The path to shared sacrifice and shared progress is to have our system of taxation and budgets align with the moral adage, to whom much is given, much is expected,” says Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign. “And the time for begging elected officials for favors and the rich for crumbs is past. The time for polite discourse with those who refuse to pay their fair share is over. We the People must join together to build a community-based movement for economic justice that interrupts business as usual and returns real power to real people.”
Join the movement at www.SharedSacrificeMyAss.org
We will contact you for future teach-ins and principled, nonviolent, creative action.
Backbone Campaign and Washington CAN are partnering to put Washington’s greediest individuals and corporations on notice. We’re tired of sacrificing jobs, healthcare and quality education while wealthy power brokers don’t pay their fair share.
On Sunday, August 21st, join us at Seward Park for the first ever
Shared Sacrifice My Ass Regatta!
Bring your voice, your dancing shoes, inner tubes and your watercraft to join the flotilla. Sing and dance in the Change Your Evil Ways flash mob. The Flotilla for Fairness will launch giant helium-powered banners! Combining art, music, spectacle and personal stories we’ll send a clear message that working families in Washington State are finished carrying the load alone.
Come raise a ruckus! (If you are a videographer, or have a motorized boat you can bring, please call Bill at 206-356-9980)
Where: Seward Park (on the beach, south side of park, south of amphitheater, near picnic structure #2)
IMPORTANT – Approach the park from Orcas St. or further south due to a closure for a bicycle event.
When: SUNDAY, August 21st, 11:30 am (We’ll teach the flash mob routine and practice)
Who: The other 99% of Washington State. That’s all of us.
Contact for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please donate to our helium and balloon fund here