One Hundred Dollar money bill. Benjamin Franklin with face medical mask with dollar sign. COVID-19 coronavirus USA, Economy world crisis.

One Hundred Dollar money bill. Benjamin Franklin with face medical mask with dollar sign. COVID-19 coronavirus USA, Economy world crisis.

SEATTLE -- During the pandemic, Washington's billionaires have made enough money to cover the state's 2021 budget shortfall -- with $85 billion to spare.

According to a new analysis, Washington's 12 billionaires added nearly $90 billion to their wealth between mid-March and mid-June -- the second-highest amount in the country, behind California. Meanwhile, the state predicts a $4.5 billion hole in next year's budget.

Frank Clemente, executive director of the group Americans for Tax Fairness, which co-wrote the report, said the shortfall means slashing budgets for education, housing, and food and nutrition programs.

"The inequities, the inequality that's happening in this era in America is astonishing, and it needs a remedy," he said.

The report was co-authored by the Economic Opportunity Institute and Health Care for America Now. Nationwide, it said, billionaires' wealth increased $584 billion between mid-March and mid-June. During this period, 1.3 million Washingtonians lost their jobs. Health Care for America Now executive director Margarida Jorge said that's bad news for their health insurance.

"We will expect that a lot of those people are going to lose their employer-sponsored coverage," she said. "Even people who are laid off, their job isn't permanently terminated; during the time that they're laid off, if they're going to retain their health care, they're going to have to pay the full cost of it."

Clemente said the CARES Act, passed in March to provide coronavirus relief, included a tax break for the country's millionaires. He said he wants the Senate to approve the HEROES Act, which would repeal that tax break.

"If we repeal that giveaway, we raise $250 billion. That's a quarter of a trillion dollars we would raise," he said. "That's money that could go directly into more services for folks at the community level, family level. It'd pay for extended unemployment benefits, things like that."

Clemente said he hopes Congress can pass the HEROES Act before its next recess begins on Aug. 7.

The analysis on growth in billionaires' wealth is online at opportunityinstitute.org, and the study on wealth growth vs. state budget shortfalls is at americansfortaxfairness.org.

(15) comments

darling

i lost now and homeless

cryingtoddlerlibs

I love it when the DNC boot lickers comment on how they are right and everyone else is wrong

Desert Dweller

Funny thing, if you are willing to actually WORK and don't expect someone to take care of you, you can do great things.

Then again you can say " it's not fair. They don't play fair" and cry in the corner.

Just don't quit and think/plan.

darling

right on

JohnQPublic

Just for context: The entire annual GDP of Grant County is about $5.5 Billion.

Or, less than 1% of what Washington's Corporate Technocrats made in three months.

And how much of Grant County's GDP *leaves* to fill the ledgers of Walmart and other corporations? Look around. Our two-class, aristocratic economy might give you a clue. The only "opportunity" for our kids is signing up for the military to protect the corporations' interests overseas.

And then Trump and McConnell *cut* the corporate tax rate by 20%. And racked up nearly a $1 Trillion in debt last year to pay for it.

We don't need to "wake up." The corporate GOP nightmare is real.

@the real JohnQPublic

The military is a great option for the kids these days. Get them out of the house, travel the world, meet interesting people, and shoot them. Plus your wardrobe is picked out for you on a daily basis.

Desert Dweller

Planning, it's called being prepared.

You don't have to be a billionaire or a genius to plan for yourself and your family.

@the real JohnQPublic

You just don't have to be a socialist or God forbid, a communist and you'll be alright.

opinionscrossroad

what a dumb story.. BILLIONaires wealth increases during pandemic.. The story was nothing about that.. It was about the state's budget shortfalls.. HOW did the Billionaire's wealth increase should have been the story..

I can see Jeff Bezo's wealth increase as EVERYONE floods to Amazon (which isn't the cheapest price now BTW) and TESLA is always going up so Musk's wealth but why others..

It is a typical Democratic story though.. They misplan, programs don't work, fail at what they do, spend spend spend.. Then when their program FAILS what do they do?? They look around at who is doing good and say we need to TAX that SOB because Democrats need money because our plans failed again and you have more than you should.. Tax Tax Tax

What a story!!

@the real JohnQPublic

The billionaires were smart enough to ensure their household would have money. Socialists want to take that away because it's not 'fair' for someone to get ahead, even way ahead. Stop being poor, it's possible.

Socialism doesn't work in America.

Ever see the college kids get asked about participating in socialism with their grades, and being asked to give away their A to bring a failing student up to a C grade and the A student goes down to a C grade? It's all fine and dandy until it your shit that someone else wants to 'give' away.

indentwrack

IF you use that analogy, a billionaire has an A, but instead of a 100% A they have an A that is high enough that they could give away tons of percentage and still have an A higher than 100%.

The top 10 richest Americans could give away 20 billion dollars each, which would be 200 billion dollars total and they'd still all be worth more than 20 billion dollars.

The top 3 could give away half their total net worth and still have a net worth in the top 10.

@the real JohnQPublic

Mixing analogies is wrong. Plus, it's their money to NOT give away. You want that much money? Put money above all other things in life and good luck to you. You could have that, too, if you really wanted it bad enough.

darling

No...could have seen that coming. I was raised in poverty in Europe. My will to survive is innate. But wealth can crumble. We can all become homeless. I am pink, or white.

Cheburashka

Just wait. It will trickle down on you soon enough. 🙄 Better get an ☔

@the real JohnQPublic

The last one trickled down nicely to me. Huge bonus, lower taxes, I love it. Do it again, Trump, do it again!

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