April 15 is passing again and if you are like me, it hurt this year. With the increased taxes given us and passage of even more by our ruling party in Olympia, more money was taken out of me, even though my wages are down. I’m left feeling screwed.
Unemployment here in Clark County remains well over 14% and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, just more taxes coming at us and potentially more lay-offs and more bankruptcies. Democrats answer? Raise taxes, the exact opposite of what we really need to spur job growth and recover from this economic downward spiral we have been in for well over a year now.
Unable to agree on just how to stick it to us during regular session, Governor Gregoire ordered the legislature into special session where the arguing amongst Democrats over what to tax continued until they adjourned the session Monday night, April 12.
Particularly troubling to me was seeing not only so many new taxes, on candy & gum, bottled water, mass produced beer (leaving micro breweries beer that liberals and the wealthy often consume alone), a 20% increase in the Business and Occupation tax, but as Senator Joe Zarelli said, the majority Democrats
“included some familiar majority accounting gimmicks, such as sweeping $461 million from accounts intended for environmental cleanup, public works projects and other specific activities into the general fund and drained the $229 million remaining in the rainy-day.”
Saddest was seeing a handful of Republicans in the House join with Democrats in draining what was left in the rainy day fund that included 18th District Representative Jaime Herrera, who was taken to task for her vote on the Victoria Taft program in March.
Ed Orcutt, also from the 18th, released a statement addressing the session that included,
“This is an $800 million-a-year financial hit that our families, our employers and our economy cannot afford. If Democrat budget writers had put half as much effort into balancing the budget through true government reforms and efficiencies as they put into arguing with each other over which taxes to raise, we’d have a balanced budget, no tax increases and no special session.
Instead of spending 30 days sharpening our pencils, applying the priorities of government process and implementing meaningful government reforms, budget writers from the majority party haggled over who would be the ‘winners and losers’ while resorting to tax increases.
This is a sad day for struggling families and employers. This tax increase represents the largest tax increase in state history and it will have a negative impact on our chances for economic recovery.”
Senator Don Benton released a statement also saying in part,
“It’s unconscionable to dump 1.7 billion dollars in new taxes on the people of Washington during the worst recession since the Great Depression. With hundreds of thousands of people out of work already, this will hit the economy like an earthquake. The 20 percent increase in the business and occupation tax on service businesses, which is about 80 percent of Washington’s small businesses, will put more people out of work. This is flat-out wrong. We have already lost more than 190,000 jobs.”
Benton also said that not one of the 55 reform ideas put forth by Republicans over the past 5 years has even been considered.
While we are told of harsh cuts by the governor just last year, left unexplained is how spending increased with those harsh cuts until we realize that to a Democrat, a “cut” is actually a reduction in the amount of expected increase.
We would never get away with balancing our own checkbooks in such a manner or paying our bills. If we tried we would see our homes in foreclosure.
For this massive screwing we just received, Governor Gregoire says,
“the budget passed by lawmakers is ‘fair and reasonable’ and will not significantly impact the average Washington family or penalize local businesses.”
With our ever increasing unemployment, I fail to see anything “fair” or “reasonable” in this continued raping of Washington State and Clark County citizens. All I see is more troubles ahead as once again the problem is just kicked downstream to await the next legislature.
Listening to Senator Lisa Brown and her anticipations, we can once again expect to see a proposal to change our constitution to hit us with an income tax that will offer a reduction in the sales tax of a minor amount.
We cannot continue in such a manner and thrive. Taxes must be returned to a reasonable rate and state spending must be critically scrutinized across the board. Pie in the sky spending sprees in hopes of temporary jobs for some will not pull us out of this severe slump.
Relying on receipt of federal money is equally as ludicrous. It may not come, might not be enough and where does it come from in the first place? You and I. It was our money first before taken by income taxes.
Adding taxes on every item imaginable in hopes of closing loopholes is self defeating as time and again it has been shown doing so results in less consumption of those products. Less consumption means less revenue collected. It’s that simple.
The Democrat majority that controls our state legislature continues to show us they have no idea of what to do. They just argue back and forth about what to tax next and by how much. Then, regardless of how much worse it becomes, they tell us what a great deal we are getting and how “fair and reasonable” it is.
It is time we took control of the state back and initiated a new approach. As we see, Democrats continue in that status quo they blame on others and their “hope and change” is in reality just more of the same borrow, tax and spend we have seen for years.
There is no fiscal responsibility or true leadership, just more of the same. Surely, of those 55 reform proposals put forth by Republicans over the past 5 years, some should have been considered.
It is time to give someone else a chance and that someone else is in the form of candidates offered by the Republican Party.
Several Republican candidates are hoping to gain your trust and are offering true reform and ideas for creating jobs and prosperity in Washington State.
Even those Democrats such as Tim Probst, who campaigned on opposing tax increases and has voted against obvious tax increases, knowing there is a large enough Democrat majority for it to pass anyways, are suspect and deserve scrutiny.
Did Probst support any of the Republican proposals or amendments to reduce taxes? Did any of his votes actually help with bills that gave us backdoor tax increases?
Jim Moeller and Jim Jacks of the 49th are as tax happy as any Democrat I have seen.
Deb Wallace is stepping down but what of the Democrat candidates vying to take over the seat she occupied? Will they support bi-partisan measures to regrow the economy? Or will they just follow along lock-step with other Democrats in raping the blue collar workers in the state?
Do we even want to vote them in and see? Not me, I’d much rather see a party with a different philosophy in the majority and implementing a different approach. I’d rather see the governor in her final two years in office, barring a recall effort, not have the rubber stamp of her party that she currently enjoys.
It’s time for real hope and change and that will only come from new leadership. Leadership that actually has people in mind, not special interests or pet entitlement programs to those who shouldn’t be entitled.