State budget shifts problem to local government

February 22nd, 2012 by Ken

Afraid to raise taxes in an election year and afraid of their powerful friends in education and state unions, the Washington State House’s budget shifts the burden to local governments.

It’s the old kicking the can down the road, except this time they kicked the can into their neighbor’s backyard. Local governments were given the ability to raise a number of taxes, without a vote of the taxpayers.

The state budget does almost nothing to stop future budget shortfalls. It’s predicted that by 2014, the next budget cycle, the state will still be $6 billion dollars short. And while revenue continues to increase each year, the cost of government continues to increase even faster.

Everyone knows the answer. Cut the cost of government.

Increases in government are built in. While state workers may not get cost of living wages every year, they do get step increases every year. And while, the amount state workers pick up for their medical insurance is also increasing, the cost of medical care continues to be to high.

The state legislature has to buck its union friends and re-define basic education. The recent State Supreme Court decision didn’t say that the state had to pay more for basic education. All the legislature has to do is re-define its definition of basic education and cut out all of those non-educational activities that we pay for every year.

There’s much that could have been done, if the legislature had the moxie. But we’re represented by weak leaders, afraid of their friends, and unable to make sound financial decisions.

So they kicked the can into their neighbor’s backyard.

Posted in Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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