Why I am running
As a parent and teacher, I believe the future of our children is in danger. On this website, I explain why I am concerned and what should be done to correct these problems to ensure that our children have a better chance at success in life.
Let's take a brief look at each of these problems:
Locally, nationally and globally, we are suffering from the worst economy crisis since the Great Depression. This economic disaster was caused by reckless deregulation of Wall Street. Speculators have broken countless laws and robbed their stockholders and the tax payers of trillions of dollars. But thanks to bribes and kickbacks to our elected officials, instead of punishment, these robber barons are rewarded with billions in State tax breaks and trillions in Federal bail outs.
Likewise, ten years of endless trillion dollar wars, and the outsourcing of jobs to sweat shops in China continue to cripple our economy. Here in Washington State, we have 4 million workers, but only 3 million jobs – for a real unemployment rate of 25%. Among young adults, the real unemployment rate is nearly 50%. (See Coalitiontocreatejobsnow.org ).
Thanks to skyrocketing tuition rates, those going to college (and their parents) are now saddled with more than one trillion dollars in debt. This is on top of the $16 trillion in Federal debt and the $30 billion in State debt. This equals $53,000 in debt for every person in America.
Today, while wealthy multinational corporations now make record profits, the rest of us are stuck with record unemployment, record home foreclosures, record public and private debt, record economic inequality, skyrocketing property taxes and the lowest funded most overcrowded schools in America. Thousands of people have lost their jobs. Thousands of seniors have lost their life savings due to stock market swindles. Thousands of families have lost their homes due to predatory lending practices. Thousands more have lost their health insurance - and many have lost their lives – all in order to feed the greed of heartless and immoral Wall Street executives.
Even people lucky enough to have a job face ever increasing health care premiums, out of control gasoline and heating costs, rising food prices, and stagnating wages. Over half of all Americans have no savings and are living at or below the poverty line. Most people who are forced to declare bankruptcy and lose their homes have jobs. But they still cannot make ends meet. Thousands of small businesses are on the edge of bankruptcy because their customers no longer have the income to shop at their stores.
Our current elected leaders have done nothing to solve the jobs crisis. But there are three more urgent problems faced by East King County families which can and must be solved.
Public schools in Washington State are funded at $2,000 per pupil per year below the national average. It will take $2 billion a year and hiring 20,000 teachers to restore school funding and class sizes in our State to the national average. Here in East King County, things are even worse. Our middle class families pay some of the highest State taxes in the nation. Yet our kids are forced to attend some of the lowest funded, most overcrowded schools in the nation. School operating funding in East King County is not only $2,000 per student per year below the national average, but another $1,000 per student per year below the State average for a total of $3,000 per pupil per year below the national average.
Why has our school funding fallen so low?
The failure of the legislature to pay for building and operating schools means that much of the burden for funding schools has been placed on the backs of local homeowners in the form of rapidly rising property taxes. It would take $2 billion per year to restore school operating funding to the national average – and another $2 billion per year to restore school construction funding to what it was in the 1980’s.
It is important to understand WHY school operating and school construction funding fell so low in our State since 1980. Let's look at two remaining problems and then see how all four problems are actually part of the SAME underlying problem. This will help us better understand how to solve these four problems.
The reason given for increasing our property taxes was to "increase funding for public schools." However, increasing our taxes was actually followed by DECREASING funding for public schools!
So if our ever increasing tax dollars did not go to our schools, where did they go?
To understand how much we and our children have been robbed since 1980, it would take $4 billion per year to restore all of the jobs we have lost, another $2 billion per year to restore school operating funding we have lost and yet another $2 billion per year to restore school construction funding we have lost. The total being robbed from all of our families in Washington State is at least $8 billion per year – just to restore the school funding and jobs we had in 1980.
Where can we get $8 billion per year to restore jobs and school funding? Here are the options being considered in Olympia
#1: Raise Your Sales Taxes??? (I say NO!)
#2: Raise Your Property Taxes??? (I say NO!)
#3: Start an Income Tax??? (I say NO!)
#4: Raise Our Gas Taxes??? (I say NO!)
#5: Raise Tolls and User Fees??? (I say NO!)
The problem is that any of the above options would raise taxes on the poor and middle class… folks who are already paying more than their fair share! We should be cutting these taxes, not raising them.
Another option frequently mentioned is cutting government spending and firing thousands more State employees....But firing thousands more State employees would make our Economic Crisis even worse than it is now… Not only that, but the number of State employees, as a percent of the total population, are already at their lowest level in more than 40 years.
A Solution to high unemployment, high taxes AND low school funding
One option rarely discussed in Olympia is rolling back the billions in tax breaks we give to wealthy multinational corporations…
Could it be because these corporations are paying for the re-election campaigns of the politicians discussing the options?
Problem #4: The REAL problem is years of rising tax breaks for wealthy multinational corporations
The reason funding for operating and building schools in our State has fallen so low – while our property taxes have skyrocketed and our jobs have disappeared- is that billions of dollars that should go towards operating and building schools have been diverted during the past 12 years - by our corporate controlled legislature - into tax breaks for wealthy multinational corporations.
Wall Street bankers, heads of big corporations and wealthy oil barons spend millions of dollars buying elections in our State. The wealthy then use their billions in tax breaks to ship jobs overseas - leaving behind record unemployment here in Washington State. Billionaires are getting millions in unfair tax breaks - while thousands of teachers are fired and the futures of one million children are put at risk.
This summer, things could get even worse as thousands more teachers are fired and thousands of small businesses are forced to close their doors – causing even more families to lose their jobs, their homes, their health care and their life savings in a vicious downward economic spiral.
It doesn’t have to be this way. For 20 years, I taught courses in leadership and problem solving at Bellevue College. Both of these skills are sorely lacking in Olympia. There is too much emphasis on giving tax breaks to wealthy corporations which pay for re-election campaigns of do-nothing career politicians - and not enough emphasis on actually solving problems to build a strong economy for the next generation.
There is a structural problem with our economy… Too much of the nation’s wealth is going to too few people.
The rest of us are literally drowning in a sea of debt because the costs of housing, food, gas and insurance are all so high that it is almost impossible to make ends meet even with two people working. Our economy will not recover until this structural problem is fixed so that everyone who wants a job can get a job.
Imagine we are all on a boat filled with a mountain of debt. Bailouts only help those on the top deck. The rich get bailed out while everyone else keeps sinking further into debt. No matter how much bailout money is given to the rich, our economic ship is going to keep sinking until something is done about the hidden underlying problems.
There are actually several holes that need to be filled. The first 600 hidden holes are billions of dollars in tax breaks and give aways for millionaires and multinational corporations. These holes must be fixed so that we can get the revenue to address the next problem which is not enough jobs for working families. Other massive holes are bribes and corporate kickbacks being used to buy elections. If we can seal these huge holes, then our economic ship will begin to right itself and carry us all to a more prosperous future.
Building a Full Employment Economy Based on Human Needs...Instead of a Low Employment Economy Based on Corporate Greed
We can restore school funding without any tax increases on working families simply by ending corporate welfare. These billions of dollars in tax breaks to wealthy corporations not only harm our kids, but they harm local small businesses by giving multinational corporations an unfair advantage. Instead of cutting school funding, we should cut loopholes wealthy corporations use to avoid paying State taxes. This will not harm these corporations as they can deduct their State taxes from their federal taxes. But it will allow us to restore school funding in our State AND lower taxes on middle class families- and create local jobs by restoring a more level playing field between small local businesses and big multinational corporations.
We can create a Full Employment Economy with three simple steps:
Step 1: Restore School Funding - by rolling back tax breaks for wealthy corporations
Step 2: Rebuild our economy - with a Public Bank to reduce the cost of public projects.
Step 3: Revive our Democracy - by ending corporate kickbacks to political campaigns
Essentially, what I propose is to return to the full employment economy of the 1960’s by going back to the tax structure of the 1960’s:
Why this election is important
This election is not about the Democratic Party versus the Republican Party. It is about the long term needs of our children versus the short term greed of multinational corporations.
This election will determine whether we restore school funding by rolling back corporate welfare so our children can have a fair chance at success in life – or continue to do nothing but suffer in silence as thousands of teachers are fired and the futures of one million children are put at risk.
This election will determine whether we demand that the rich pay their fair share so we can lower taxes on middle class families by more than $1,000 per year – money they will spend at local businesses to jump start our economy – or instead continue to do nothing and stay with our current extremely unfair tax structure which essentially robs local homeowners and robs or children to pay for tax breaks to the rich.
This election will determine whether we will rebuild a full employment economy with our own public bank to provide paychecks instead of unemployment checks - or continue to nothing while thousands of hard working families and small business owners to lose their jobs, their homes, their health care and their life savings.
This election will determine whether we rein in political corruption in Olympia by ending corporate kickbacks to political campaigns - or continue to do nothing while corporate lobbyists bribe our State legislature, outsource our jobs, rob middle class families and drive our economy over a financial cliff.
If you have had enough of corporate corruption, it is time to join our campaign!
It is time to restore a level playing field for local small businesses so we can restore jobs and rebuild our economy. It is time to restore fair school funding so that our children will have fair class sizes and a fair chance at success in life. It is time to end political corruption by ending corporate kickbacks. It is time to go in a new direction which focuses on rebuilding a full employment economy and a brighter future for all of us. It is time to elect a person who will work for you and not for wealthy multinational corporations.
Each morning in our schools, our children pledge themselves to a nation with Liberty and Justice for All. This goal is within our reach - but only if we move away from an economy based on corporate greed and towards an economy based on human needs.
This election you get to decide which is more important … the long term unmet needs of working people - or the short term unchecked greed of wealthy multinational corporations.
Working Together to Build a Better Future for Everyone
Democracy is not a spectator sport. It is up to each and every one of us to stand up and declare that we’ve had enough of the insider-run big money politics that rules Washington State and our nation. Democracy depends on each of us using our concern, our energy, and our intelligence to find ways to improve the lives of everyone in our community.
Real change will never come from the top. Real change has to come from us - from people who work hard every day pounding nails, driving trucks, changing sheets, teaching children, plowing fields, and making the real economy work. This is our election. We can win this year and rebuild our economy and restore our democracy. But we need your help to do it. There is a great deal you can do to help.
The first step is to learn more about the actual underlying causes of our economic crisis and what can be done to restore a full employment economy. On the following pages, we will summarize some of the many problems created by the corporate takeover of our government. We will then describe a program for creating a full employment economy based on peace and prosperity instead of war and austerity.
The next step is to call or email your friends and neighbors. Encourage them to visit our website and learn more about our Full Employment Productive Economic Program. Sign up for our email list to receive updates on our campaign. Volunteer to go door to door in your community. Donate to our campaign if you can. Host a Community House Party and we will come to your community and share ideas about turning our economy around. If you have had enough of corporate greed and government corruption, then please join our campaign and help us create a full employment economy that works for all of us.
Together we can provide a brighter future for all of us. With your help, we can restore a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Feel free to email us if you have any questions, comments, concerns or advice. We are here to serve you and we look forward to meeting you.
David Spring M. Ed.
Candidate for Washington State House of Representatives, 5th Legislative District
During the 2008 and 2010 elections, David ran for the House of Representatives against a corporate lobbyist for banks and oil companies. Despite being outspent more than ten to one, David received thousands more votes than any Democratic legislative challenger in the history of East King County. David has a Master’s Degree in Education and has been a college instructor for over 20 years. He is the Director of the Fair School Funding Coalition (fairschoolfundingcoalition.org) and has written extensively on problems with the Washington State Budget (see realwashingtonstatebudget.info). David has also served on King County and Washington State Planning Commissions. He is a homeowner in North Bend where his daughter attends school in the Snoqualmie Valley School District.