Posts Tagged ‘state budget’

Town Hall Meeting with 42nd District Legislators

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

IMAG0116I along with few hundred others attended a Town Hall meeting in Lynden yesterday afternoon.  The meet was put on by Vince Buys, Doug Ericksen, and Jason Overstreet, our freshly elected representation for the northern half of Whatcom County. 

After a brief introduction by our well known Sen. Ericksen, Rep. Buys and Rep. Overstreet spent a little time familiarizing us with how the 42nd District Legislators are approaching things down in Olympia.  Their goals, and I think they are good ones, are to balance our states budget without raising taxes, to strengthen the economy and to allow businesses to create more jobs.  They described the principles they would employ as they approached our already very out of whack state budget.

  • No new taxes
  • No fund transfers
  • No Federal Bailouts
  • No tricks, gimmicks or shell game tricks

They also referenced some thoughts that Microsoft’s Bill Gates had on state budgeting.  He said that state budgets have received a puzzling lack of scrutiny and have been "riddled with gimmicks"  and “when you get down to it, the guys at Enron never would have done this.”

The next two hours were spent in Q&A.  The lines of questioners were long within seconds and even though they proceeded quickly, their sheer volume had the program running over by 30 minutes.    Questions, and comments, ran the gamut, but most seemed to be centered on protecting funding for educators of one variety or another.  Their were also a couple of comments regarding Pregnancy Center regulation and the proposed coal export terminal being planned for Cherry Point.  The other thing that was brought up several times was the notion that our legislators were somehow union busters.  One questioner asked if they were operating from the same playbook as Wisconsin, to which Doug Ericksen replied, we live in Washington, I don’t even know what Wisconsin’s playbook is.  On that subject, I find it interesting that so many unions, union members and media refer to the new Wisconsin legislation as a stripping away of collective bargaining rights, when once the facts are read, we find that the employees of Wisconsin will have more collective bargaining rights than Federal employees have had since President Carter signed into law the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978

With the 42nd District covering northern Bellingham and much of rural Whatcom County, the wide variety of views did make for a lively meeting.  Perhaps the most entertaining comment I heard came out in the hallway near the end, when a young man collecting business cards asked one of the legislators assistants if Jason Overstreet was a liberal.  I guess he missed the question where stepped center stage and made it extremely clear that he was unequivocally pro-life and that he would never measure the life in economic terms. 

Overall the Town Hall was great event and I look forward to the next.

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PUSH BACK NO TAX

Monday, January 11th, 2010

push back no tax There is more than one way to balance our state’s budget.  It looks as if our Governor is favoring a tax increase.  I prefer spending cuts over more taxes. 

If you are of the same mind then why not Check out this video message or go straight to  the PUSH BACK NO TAX petition that is being promoted by the folks at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation.

Hogwash

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Photo_032009_001 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.

Lost in budget debates and news stories

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

spending problem That’s how our Rep Doug Ericksen describes the fact that our state is actually not short on tax revenue, it is just $8 billion dollars long on spending. 

Yeah, I’ve not heard that in the news either.  I also don’t hear much about how our Federal tax burden has gone up to fund the “stimulus” package to states so they don’t have to cut spending to living within their means levels.  

As Doug says in his latest newsletter,  we can balance our budget, but to do so,

“our state must close the walls on liberal spending and commit to a prioritized state government that focuses on the protection of its most vulnerable, public safety and education. This will require restructuring state government  and living within our means.”

Isn’t it again refreshing to hear a politician who seems to realize that you don’t get out of debt by borrowing more money? 

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