When Governor Christine Gregoire (D) ran for governor in 2004 she promised no tax increases. In her first year of office she raised the gas tax and various other taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars.  Then, in her 2008 gubernatorial race, Gregoire said flatly, “I won’t raise taxes in tough economic times. We’re not going to be raising taxes.” Well…you guessed it. 

This week, Gov. Gregoire announced at least $700 million in tax increases as part of her new budget plan to cover up a $2.6 billion overspending problem. Let’s ignore the fact that Washington State has increased spending by 18% between 2005 and 2008 alone – not even counting Gov. Gregoire’s most recent year in office.
The governor has yet to release a detailed list of tax increases, but she has indicated that it will involve eliminating a number of tax exemptions. So, while we await the Governor’s list of economically damaging revenue grabs in the midst of a recession, our friends at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation remind us that the state spent $20,000 on a capitol holiday tree, $30,000 on a state poet laureate, $3 million on the Museum of Flight Space Gallery, and $511,000 on a state subsidized golf resort. These are small examples of a larger spending addiction.
If Gov. Gregoire looked a little closer at where the money is going instead of who to take it from next, Washingtonians could have more sympathy for her when she says things like, “I presented a budget proposal that while balanced is unjust.” Until then, the only injustice is the Governor’s blatant electoral lies and constant raiding of taxpayers’ wallets.
(photo by WSDOT)