LATEST BLOGS

COVID-19 in the U.S. - Hindsight is 20/20, but here’s what we should learn for the future
By ROGER STARK  | 
Apr 3, 2020

Was the world in general, and the United States specifically, caught off guard by the COVID-19 virus? It had been 100 years since the catastrophic Spanish Flu devastated the populations of virtually every country. The early 20th Century medical community was completely unequipped to handle the crisis, with no drugs, no life-support devices, and no intensive care infrastructure.

Should the recent Ebola, H1N1, and SARS epidemics have alerted the world to the potential devastation of the COVID-19 virus? Not necessarily.... 

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State Supreme Court rejects Seattle’s effort to use courts to allow graduated income tax
By JASON MERCIER  | 
Apr 3, 2020

The state Supreme Court today refused to hear the Seattle income tax case allowing the Appeals Court's ruling to stand. While this is fantastic news concerning the state’s constitutional ban on a graduated income tax, it means the Appeals Court's bizarre decision to invalidate state law banning a local income tax remains in effect. Earlier this year majority Democrats in the legislature refused to hear bi-partisan bills that would have re-instated that 36 year old law. Make no mistake though, this is a major decision and devastating blow to those who have been trying to circumvent voters and get the courts to allow a graduated income tax without a constitutional amendment. It also means extra vigilance will be needed now on efforts to impose a capital gains income tax.

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Should Governor’s emergency powers be subject to legislative check?
By JASON MERCIER  | 
Apr 3, 2020

Yesterday Governor Inslee extended his “Stay home, stay healthy” emergency proclamation and all his previous coronavirus emergency orders until at least May 4. I initially believed that under state law, the 4 corners of the legislature (House and Senate majority and minority leaders) were required to give consent to any extension of an emergency proclamation lasting longer than 30 days. That legislative check, however, is limited to only certain types of actions taken by the Governor. Without passing any judgement on the decision by the Governor to extend the current emergency restrictions, should just one person have that much unchecked power to indefinitely impose emergency restrictions?

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