Posted on March 20, 2009 | By wally
I read the headline Deep state cuts, but no new taxes in the Herald this morning and only one word came to mind. Hogwash! Not to bash the Herald though, this article came from the News Tribune.
Three legislators tell a public forum in Tacoma to expect painful budget cuts. Despite the shortfall, they don’t expect to raise taxes.
Speaking at a legislative forum attended by about 75 people Thursday night at The News Tribune, Sen. Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma; Rep. Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup; and Rep. Skip Priest, R-Federal Way, brought their perspectives on the state’s budget crisis as long-time legislators in their caucus’ leadership ranks.
So what, are we just going to not pay the bills and go deeper and deeper into debt? Or perhaps it is like car tabs, no tax increase, but your air use fee has just gone from $0 to $3 billion.
How will those guys and gals down in Olympia pull this off? The article also stated that “state’s projected budget gap has grown from about $6 billion to nearly $9 billion” Are they actually going to make “Deep state cuts” that amount to $9 billion, deep enough to balance the budget and avoid new taxes?
Three veteran lawmakers in the thick of state government’s fiscal crisis predict legislative budgets heavy with program cuts, assisted with federal money and not dependent on new taxes.
Legislators are grateful for an influx of stabilization dollars from the federal government – “Obama Claus,” as Priest put it. The state is counting on about $3 billion that will help stave off some of the cuts.
So no, the guys and gals down in Olympia are not planning to cut spending by $9 billion. But will they cut even the $6 billion left after the “Obama Claus” money? You know kids, that those presents from Santa Claus that your find under the tree are really purchased by your parents just as money from “Obama Clause” really comes from us tax payers, or more importantly to you, they will come from you as soon as you earn enough to pay taxes.
Our state legislators saying no new taxes while spending “Obama Claus” federal dollars is like using your credit card and saying you are not spending money. Any money that any government agency has or will have, whether state, federal, local or other, comes from taxes. Any net increase in spending has to be paid for with our money.
When a legislator tells me that there will be no new taxes, they’d better back it up with something better than a $6 billion dollar shortfall. I’ll believe no new taxes when I see a budget that spends less than it takes in.
Perhaps someone over at NWCitizen will photoshop President Obama’s likeness into a big jolly Coca-Cola Santa. That’d be fun to try, but again, I’m off to work to pay my taxes.