Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Seattle Times Nails it: Democrats used power to spend

Did ANYONE believe they'd do different?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

Democrats used power to spend
By Ralph Thomas and Andrew Garber
Seattle Times Olympia bureau

Enlarge this photo

A party in Lt. Gov. Brad Owen's office marked Sunday's adjournment. Performing are Rep. Steve Conway, D-Tacoma, left; Sen. Erik Poulsen, D-Seattle, second from right; Brian Hatfield, right, Owen's made-up job, $70,000 a year legislative director; and an unidentified bass guitarist.

OLYMPIA — The state Legislature kicked off three months ago amid widespread predictions that the Democrats in charge would increase taxes, spend more money, and cater to the demands of political allies.

The predictions were right.

The Legislature passed a $26 billion operating budget, a nearly $3 billion increase over the current one, and an $8.5 billion transportation package — the largest in state history. To pay for it all, lawmakers made it more expensive to smoke, drink, drive and, for some people, to die.

Tax increases will raise the cost of cigarettes by 60 cents a pack, liquor by $1.33 a liter and gasoline by 9.5 cents a gallon over the next four years. In addition, lawmakers reinstated an estate tax on the wealthy.

The Democrats also handed labor unions and environmentalists some of their biggest legislative victories in years, boosting unemployment benefits for thousands of seasonal workers, approving the first-ever collective-bargaining agreement with state employees and passing one of the nation's toughest car-emissions standards.

And, with the exception of a dragged-out fight over the gas-tax increase, they did it all with an ease that hasn't been seen in years.


Anonymous said...

But Duke Schaub, lobbyist for the Associated General Contractors of Washington, said the $8.5 billion transportation package might have saved the session for big business. He said it will create thousands of new construction jobs and give the economy a major boost. "We're going to take a hit on unemployment insurance, but this will no doubt make up for a lot of that," said Schaub.

Uhhhhhh....... So government spending doesn't create jobs? You might want to talk to the Republican affiliated AGCW about that one.

Brad said...

Please... no one said that government spending "doesn't create jobs."

The idea is that the creation of jobs where people work directly or indirectly FOR government (as in these union-only, 30% more expensive then necessary, paid for by the taxpayer) is NOT a function OF government.

Government's mission is not to expand. Government's mission is to create a business-friendly atmosphere that will result in expansion of the PRIVATE sector econmy... and it is EXTREMELY doubtful that this budget sea of gravy gets THAT done.