Washington State Democratic leadership has held the state hostage for 30 days of a special session in order to address the state budget crisis. After threats of 20% across the board cuts (wouldn't that be nice), and thirty days at a cost to the state of nearly $20,000 a day, the Democratic leadership seems to be passing a budget aimed at cutting funding for the most necessary functions of Government - schools and prisons, while placing nearly $800 Million in new taxes on beer, candy, services and bottled water.
Come November, however, the Republicans will be blamed for funding cuts to the schools - mark my words...
Let's take a look at my main points of contention with the approach the Democrats are taking.
First - the tax increases.
The tax on beer is not across the board. As a matter of fact, it targets low cost/high production beers... the type of beer most likely to be consumed by the working poor - the Coors Light, Rainier, PBR, Budweiser, etc. Exempt are the high-end micro brews, resulting in a tax exemption for the Seattlites who flock to microbreweries after a long day in the office. The tax is on the order of ten cents per can/bottle. A sizable expense to the poor, where every penny counts.
Tax increases were also directed at candy, soda, bottled water, and service businesses - directly hitting the working elements of our state. A tax boycott of candy, bottled water, and soda would directly impact the working distributors of those items, placing further pressure on the working families of this state!
Budget cuts -
There were cuts to the budget, to the tune of slightly more than the expected tax increases. However, these cuts were directed at universities, schools, and corrections. The very fundamentals of our state, and of the state's responsibility to support, were cut - leaving the health care and bloated state employee union wages untouched. The cut to K-12 education relies on the lottery funds to pick up the slack, a crutch that uses a supplemental fund as a primary source of funding... never a strong move. The cuts to universities and corrections further shows the disregard for the people of the state of Washington.
Democrats have, in putting forward this partisan budget, revealed their priorities and allegiances. They have placed special interest and state labor unions above the education of our next generation, and placed the burden of taxation on the hard workers of this state. Each and every representative or senator who is voting in favor of these horrendous budgetary changes needs to be reminded of their failures come November.
Where they refused to cut union wages, we will remember in November. Where they refused to back education, we will remember in November. Where they refused to represent the working poor, we will remember in November.
We will return the favor and refuse to cast our votes for them... and perhaps, by doing so, we can return the government of the State of Washington back to the people... the hard working people of this great state!