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Updated Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 07:31 AM

Seattle mayor's scheme to make life 'fair' not a hit with taxpayers

By Ron Judd
Seattle Times staff columnist

Rarely does a week go by when Mr. Wrap does not pause to give thanks for the Mayor Mike McGinn administration — the amateur-hour gift that keeps on giving.

In this episode of As McGinn Turns, city attorneys tripped up Hizzoner the Happy Spender just as he was diving for the finish line on a scheme to compensate newly married, same-sex city employees for what he sees as an unfair federal tax on their benefits.

There's no question that the tax, a byproduct of the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act, is unfair. Also no question that few people beyond the mayor himself think local taxpayers would, or should, happily foot the bill to make life "fair" for all city employees.

What comes next on Mayor McFair's quixotic quest for "equal treatment under the law?" Monthly subsidies for the childless to compensate for the child tax credit? Bonus checks for street people (or renters) who don't get a home mortgage deduction? Free gas for people who don't get the tax credit for driving a hybrid car?

Clearly, the only way any to make this fly would be to adopt a broader distribution plan.

How about cash rebates to every asphalt-bound city resident who can't claim federal tax deductions for growing crops?

More stuff you can't make up:

Coming to a Yard Sign Near You: "Life Ain't Fair: Steinbrueck 2013."

Buying iMerican: Apple says it will begin building a small number of computer products in the U.S. — provided it can import a cadre of foreign workers willing to live in substandard housing and work for substandard wages.

Meanwhile, in the Big Apple: That barefoot homeless guy on the receiving end of a kind gift of a pair of boots from a New York City police officer has something he would like to say to the nation: "I was put on YouTube, I was put on everything without permission. What do I get? This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie." God Bless America.

A Faithful Wrap Reader (Not John Henry Browne) Wants to Know: Will the Seattle seawall be built by the same contractor, Concrete Sieves, LLC, building the leaky pontoons for the 520 "Floating" Bridge?

Speaking of Readers: Steve Price has a capital idea: Since the hapless Seattle Mariners are installing the galaxy's largest outdoor video screen in Safeco Field, couldn't they boost their flagging attendance by showing a major motion picture during games? He suggests starting it around the third inning, "when the game is already out of reach."

Peter Principle Personified: Salt Lake City wants to bid on the 2026 Winter Olympics. Seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to keep Mitt Romney employed, but OK.

Because it is the Season of Sharing: Our favorite line from a news release: "An average of 6,000 people a year go to the emergency room due to packaging-related injuries."

And Finally: Every time we start to read a story online about anti-virus guru John McAfee's meltdown in Central America, our computer slows to a sudden crawl. Coincidence? We think not.

Ron Judd's column appears each Sunday. Reach him at rjudd@seattletimes.com

or 206-464-8280.


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