May 5, 2011

Eyman urges lawmakers to keep tax breaks for his big oil, big banker backers

Eyman before rant against supporters of shared sacrifices.

Anti-tax gadfly Tim Eyman said asking voters to amend Initiative 1053 to take some tax breaks from his backers in Big Oil and Big Banking is “stupid.”

His testimony came during a Senate hearing on several tax loophole-closing measures Wednesday (May 4).
Included: SB 5944 that would ask voters to modify I-1053 so it doesn’t require a super-majority vote to close tax loopholes. Eyman sponsored I-1053 and bankrolled the campaign with funding from the likes of BP Oil, Tesoro Oil and the Washington Bankers Association.
“You are proving you are the stupid ones,” Eyman told the Senate Ways and Means Committee in a childish rant that garnered several censures from the committee chair. Eyman also made political threats against legislative supporters of the measures.

Eyman complained the measures would open a “massive loophole” in the law that effectively protects billions in tax loopholes enjoyed by corporations.

Eyman’s defense of big tax breaks came the same day ABC News reported that Fortune 500 corporations saw their earnings increase 335 percent in 2010.

But Eyman ended up being the sideshow at the hearing as the audience clearly supported taking the first steps to close tax loopholes.

“An equitable society should ensure that the solutions aren’t on the backs of a small group of folks or a small class of people,” said Nick Federici, of the Protecting Our Economic Future Coalition, one of the Federation’s partners.

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