This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
WIthout getting too dramatic, you should all read Goldy’s post on the future of Washington State. We really are at a crossroads here. The state is billions of dollars short of its budget. It’s constitutionally prohibited from (a) running a deficit, or (b) cutting education funding, which makes up 45% of the budget, in Goldy’s estimation. QED, very, VERY large cuts have to come from a very small pool of revenue.
Without fundamental underlying changes to the way revenues are collected in this state, we’re going to go off a cliff. Oh, we’ll still function all right, but we certainly won’t be the kind of state that attracts high-paying jobs and lots of investment. Goldy:
The highly regressive retail sales and excise taxes on which we rely for the bulk of our revenues are levied on an ever shrinking portion of our post-industrial, service and information based economy: the sale of material goods. Thus unless we raise taxes, or dramatically restructure our tax system to meet the reality of the twenty-first century, state and local government will continue to shrink as a portion of our total economy, and with it, the services taxpayers have come to expect and demand.
When the Senate budget is released next week we will have an opportunity to examine one vision of Washingtons future a vision much closer to that of Alabama or Mississippi than the one we hold now. It is a vision that will surely make many Republicans happy.
This is bad, kids. It’s leadership time for Gregoire, Chopp, Brown, and the rest. Time to show your cards.