Washington state’s ruling class was at it again in March 2013. After less than four months in office, Gov. Jay Inslee has already violated a major campaign promise he made on taxes to get elected in 2012.
“After a year of pledging that higher taxes won’t be needed to fix Washington’s budget woes, Governor Inslee has broken his campaign promise with his budget that would raise $1.2 billion in new revenue to pay for increased government spending,” wrote Erin Shannon, director of the Center for Small Business at the Washington Policy Center (www.washingtonpolicy.org).
Moreover, she wrote “Inslee’s budget proposes the largest increase in government spending” in several years. That’s an 11 percent increase – the largest since 2005 when Gov. Gregoire’s proposed an 18 percent hike just after she was elected.
Governor’s disingenuous claim
At the least, Gov. Inslee is disingenuous. He claims extending the tax hikes are not tax increases.
“Part of Inslee’s budget would roll back a series of tax breaks for businesses and individuals, and would make permanent tax increases that were supposed to be temporary and set to expire this year,” wrote Ms. Shannon.
“Those temporary taxes were part of SB 6143, an $890 million tax package passed by the Legislature in 2010,” she explained. “Included in the bill were increased Business & Occupation taxes and an increased tax on beer, among other tax increases (increased taxes on soda and bottled water were subsequently repealed by voters via I-1107).”
Legislators’ broken promises
Voters were told the tax increases wouldn’t be forever. Lawmakers claimed the taxes would end June 30, 2013.
“When debated, lawmakers promised the controversial tax increases would be temporary increases in revenue. Then Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown gave rousing floor speeches on March 7, 2010 and April 12, 2010 promising the taxes would be temporary,” Ms. Shannon remembers.” Senator James Hargrove is also on record reassuring opponents the tax hikes would not be permanent.”
Are you amused? There’s more.
“By extending these taxes, Governor Inslee would impose an additional $661 million tax increase on Washingtonians in 2013-2015,” observes Ms. Shannon.
“When Inslee first indicated he might extend the tax increases (his second day in office) he explained that allowing those temporary tax increases to continue is not breaking his no-tax campaign promise because it is not an actual tax increase…”
Sure. And the reasons for the tax increases have nothing to do with over-spending.
My question is: How long will it take for voters to realize they’re responsible for continuing to elect a ruling class.
From the Coach’s Corner, as it is, in a ranking of economic and personal freedoms, Washington residents languish 29th in the nation, according to an academic study.
The study’s data range from fiscal policy and regulatory policy to personal freedom in the Freedom in the 50 States 2013 study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
To bring Washington in line with national norms, researchers recommend several policy improvements:
- The state should stop over-spending (spending is too high in proportion to tax revenue).
- Reduce government employment.
- Reduce spending on unemployment and workers’ compensation.
- Protect the property rights of landowners by with eminent-domain reforms and either “repealing or amending the Growth Management Act and the Shoreline Management Act.”
- Stop relying on sin taxes.
THE RULING CLASS…now even the deviancy of the old nobility is becoming more commonplace…as once they were given land by the sovereign, upon which to live well…now they are given government pensions and benefits.
-Frequent Biz Coach Reader
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.