Seattle's Folly: Liberal Democrats weaponizing taxes
It would be no surprise at all if, even before the enactment of our nation's 16th Amendment, Democrats had been anticipating the value of a federal income tax as a club to smite their political enemies. While their most vocal proponent of the issue, William Jennings Bryan, didn't include that particular consideration in his compelling exhortations to enact such a tax, it is not difficult to visualize that perennial presidential candidate (1896, 1900, 1908) offstage in a smoke-filled room offering other Democrat leaders this enticement: C'mon guys, when I'm president we'll be able to hammer the Republicans with tax audits until they do our bidding.
Not to say that abuse of taxing authority is limited to Democrats; Richard Nixon reportedly used the federal tax audit to punish political enemies who angered him enough. But there's no question that it has been the Democrats under Barack Obama who have made taxing power a weapon of mass destruction.
Granted, in the most recent IRS scandal it was a passive use: the withholding of tax-free status from conservative political organizations. The damage from that is impossible to assess, although the coast-to-coast fallout could be that we are now enduring a second four years of Chicago Way corruption of our legal system. The fact that the milquetoast members of the Republican majority in Congress have consistently failed to follow through on their investigations and pressure for indictments has only emboldened Democrats nationwide.
All of this brings us to this situation in Seattle, where a liberal Democrat city council has enacted an extortionate tax specific to guns and ammunition, a flat $25-per-gun purchase and anywhere from two cents to five cents per round of ammo. The tax is having its desired effect, driving gun stores out of Seattle to surrounding suburbs. That this tax on citizens' Second Amendment rights will have any true impact on the number of household guns in Seattle is, like most liberal endeavors, laughable. It will, however, raise both prices and demand in Seattle's criminal black market, and it's a dead certain fact it will send jobs and the taxes that were already being collected from these gun stores to other, more sensible municipalities.
But the real lesson to be learned here is that while Democrats deny and dismiss the destructive effects of higher taxes on American industry, instead attributing manufacturers' moves to offshore locations to corporate greed and an unwillingness to pay unionized workers a fair wage, Seattle's Folly demonstrates full well that they know better. Here they have deliberately weaponized their taxing authority to target one small, specific business type for no other reason than to force it to do precisely what they deny giant American corporations are doing: move to a less tax-oppressive environment. The only difference is that this time, the Democrats in power view the move-out as a desirable outcome.
When the Democratic Party finally expires from this metastasizing corruption, the carcass will no doubt have the green bile of hypocrisy oozing from every orifice.