Bold Colors Blog

Stickin’ it to the libs, one day at a time

Once again, Queen Christine needs your help

Posted by Liberty on February 5, 2009

The Governor apparently either really cares what the public thinks about the budget or wants you to think that she really cares what the public thinks about the budget.

Go to:

http://www.governor.wa.gov/priorities/budget/default.asp

There’s a budget calculator where you can adjust levels of state government spending to get rid of the budget gap.  This brings me to one thing that needs to be made clear about Washington’s budget problem.  According to the Governor’s budget calculator webpage, under the current budget, the projected revenue for the 2009-2011 budget cycle is $31,573 million.  The proposed spending is $35,274 million.  We aren’t in debt yet but if we continue spending as proposed, we will be.  The spending is the problem!

The Governor’s proposed budget has spending dropped down to $32,079 million and she adds in $122 million from “Other Fund Transfers and Budget Driven Revenue.”  [Not really sure where that came from?!]  She also includes $609 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.  Note that the Rainy Day Fund starts out at $709 million and she wants to use almost all of that in this 2009-2011 budget cycle.  If the economic downturn is prolonged and if the State of Washington does not gain a better understanding of what functions actually are the legitimate responsibility of state government, we could get into serious trouble.  Can you say, California?

Do you understand what I’m saying here, though?  Much has been made of Washington’s Budget crisis and I’ve posted several times about it before, too.  The point I’m trying to make is that we don’t have to have a budget crisis.  It is not a foregone conclusion.  All that the Governor and the Legislature have to do is cut spending.  There is plenty of waste, fraud and abuse hidden in that budget.  Will anyone tackle that?  There is a lot of spending for things that are not really the responsibility of state government.  Are we going to see some of it reversed?  With Democrats in control, it isn’t likely.  Instead, they’ll make visible, painful cuts to essential services.  And then, they’ll use those cuts to sell the public on a tax hike.

Unfortunately, I think that the Governor’s budget calculator page is designed to make you more sympathetic towards Queen Christine.  It lets you play with the numbers but ultimately, I think you’re supposed to walk away with a new appreciation for how tough it is for the Governor to make everyone happy.  The budget calculator doesn’t let you adjust specific programs–only general areas like “student achievement,” public safety,” “human services for vulnerable children & adults,” and “health of Washingtonians.”  Like her earlier request for your e-mailed budget suggestions, I think this budget calculator is just a public relations stunt.

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