Bold Colors Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Budget’

The legislature just doesn’t get it!

Posted by Liberty on March 7, 2009

From Joe Turner’s Political Buzz, here’s a nice list of the tax increases that the Washington State Legislature is considering. 

Here are tax hike options for lawmakers (and voters?)

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Unexpected honesty about Obama’s tax plan from ABC News

Posted by Liberty on March 3, 2009

Upper-Income Taxpayers Look for Ways to Sidestep Obama Tax-Hike Plan

Truly, I didn’t expect to find a story critical of Obama’s tax plan on the ABC news website but there it is!  It certainly comes off as vaguely critical of the messiah, Barack Obama.  The author, Emily Friedman, has focused on how Obama’s tax plan will impact people making over $250,000 annually.  The consensus among the interviewees is that they will do what is necessary to earn less to avoid Obama’s punitive taxes.

“Dr. Sharon Poczatek, who runs her own dental practice in Boulder, Colo., said that she too is trying to figure out ways to get out of paying the taxes proposed in Obama’s plan.

‘I’ve put thought into how to get under $250,000,’ said Poczatek. ‘it would mean working fewer days which means having fewer employees, seeing fewer patients and taking time off.’

‘Generally it means being less productive,’ she said.

‘The motivation for a lot of people like me – dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers – is that the more you work the more money you make,’ said Poczatek. ‘But if I’m going to be working just to give it back to the government — it’s de-motivating and demoralizing.'”

Dr. Poczatek is absolutely right.  The demoralization that she’s feeling is a natural side-effect of redistributive economics.  The real unintended consequences of Obama’s tax policy will be the loss of productivity.  Think job losses now are bad?  Just wait.

“Obama’s budget proposal calls for $989 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years, most of which will be earned from increased taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 and from families who make more than $250,000.

The expiration of the Bush administration’s tax cuts at the end of 2010 would garner an estimated $338 billion, $179 billion would come from the elimination of some itemized deductions for higher-income taxpayers and $118 billion would be brought in from a hike in the capital gains tax. The remaining $353 billion would come from taxes on businesses.”

Not many are talking about how the expiration of the Bush tax cuts will affect the economy but we should be.  The expiration of those cuts will equal a tax increase for the bulk of taxpayers.

The ABC news piece also features a poll.  The question is, “is it fair to reduce salaries to sidestep President Obama’s tax proposal?”  As of 8:08 this morning, the answer “Yes. I also would find ways to decrease my salary to avoid taxes” had a significant lead.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Obama, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Repeating past mistakes

Posted by Liberty on March 2, 2009

Declining Defense

“For all of his lavish new spending plans, President Obama is making one major exception: defense. His fiscal 2010 budget telegraphs that Pentagon spending is going to be under pressure in the years going forward.”

Hope and change = same old Democrat policies.

Posted in Liberalism, National Security, Obama | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paid for by the people

Posted by Liberty on February 27, 2009

The Obama Revolution

“In the closing weeks of last year’s election campaign, we wrote that Democrats had in mind the most sweeping expansion of government in decades. Liberals clucked, but it turns out even we’ve been outbid. With yesterday’s fiscal 2010 budget proposal, President Obama is attempting not merely to expand the role of the federal government but to put it in such a dominant position that its power can never be rolled back.”

This WSJ editorial shines some much-needed light on Obama’s budget and verifies what anyone with a brain already understands–tax increases are on the way and not just for the mythical wealthy.

“The falling deficit also assumes the largest tax increase in U.S. history, starting in 2011 with the repeal of the Bush tax rates on incomes higher than $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. The White House says this will yield upwards of $1 trillion, if you choose to believe that tax rates don’t affect taxpayer behavior.

In the real world, two of every three tax filers who fall into this income category are small business owners or investors, who are certainly capable of finding ways to invest that allow them to declare less taxable income. The real impact of this looming tax increase will be to cast further uncertainty over economic decisions and either slow or postpone the recovery. Ditto for the estimated $646 billion from a new cap-and-trade tax, which no one wants to call a tax but would give the political class vast new leverage over the private economy. (See here.)”

And:

“Democrats will want to rush all of this into law this year while Mr. Obama retains his honeymoon aura and they can blame the recession on George W. Bush. But Americans are only beginning to understand the magnitude of Mr. Obama’s ambitions, and how much of their own income will be required to fulfill them. Republicans have an obligation to insist on a long and considerable debate on all of this, lest Americans discover in a year or two that they live in a very different country.”

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Conservatism, Educate yourself, Liberalism, Obama, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

State House approves ban on campaign lies

Posted by Liberty on February 24, 2009

State House approves ban on campaign lies

If this bill makes it through the Senate and is signed by the Governor, it will be illegal in Washington State to lie in the course of a campaign for public office.  My first thought was, “Couldn’t they make this retroactive and nail Queen Christine for the lies she told about the state budget?”  But the real focus of this law appears to be lies about a candidate’s opponent.

“The bill, passed out of the House on a 92-2 vote, seeks to reinstate an old law that was thrown out on free speech grounds by the state Supreme Court in 2007. The court said the state’s former ban on lying in campaigns violated the First Amendment because it did not require proof that campaign falsehoods were defamatory.

Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, said this year’s attempt at reinstating the ban on campaign lies addresses the court’s problems with the old law. Specifically, the bill approved Monday would prohibit false statements that are libelous or defamatory, and committed with actual malice – a key legal test in free speech case law.”

Darn.

Posted in Liberalism, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The porno tax–why you ought not support it

Posted by Liberty on February 11, 2009

Washington lawmaker wants huge porn tax to restore GAU cuts

Have you heard about the proposed 18.5% tax on “adult”entertainment? 

“State Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, is prime sponsor of House Bill 2103, which would levy an 18.5 percent tax on all visual or audio pornographic materials.

But he’s not the only one.

House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, has signed on. So have Reps. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, John McCoy, D-Tulalip, and Marilyn Chase, D-Shoreline.”

The tax would apply to all forms of pornographic material–magazines, movies, phone services, photos, cable tv services, etc.  It would be used to restore funding to General Assistance Unemployable (GAU) and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Support Act (ADATSA) programs that have been cut [or failed to grow, which equals a cut in bureaucrat speak] under Queen Christine’s budget.  So, why am I opposed to this?  Why am I calling 1-800-562-6000 later today to let my legislators know that this is a bad idea?

Trust me, it’s not because I like porn.  It’s not because I think that porn is a good influence upon our society; it certainly is not.  It’s not because I think the people who create and distribute porn are worthy of being defended; they aren’t.  I oppose this on principle.  I don’t believe the State of Washington should be taking another penny from any of us, even filthy porn users.   They confiscate enough and they redistribute enough already.  Government has a seemingly insatiable appetite for our money.  Maybe filthy porn users aren’t the most sympathetic group to choose to defend but here I am, making my case because I am so fed up with the taxes.

I also think it is potentially dangerous to have government trying to influence and control our behaviors.  So they’re targeting pornography today.  Who’s to say they won’t take this concept [an exhorbitant tax on a behavior they don’t like] and apply it to other target groups.  Are we going to see higher ammunition taxes because some politician doesn’t want you shooting your guns?  A lot of kids get hurt on trampolines…maybe there should be a tax on trampolines.  They want your kids signed up on SCHIP anyway.  A trampoline tax will just pay to fix all those broken arms and bonked heads.  An extra tax on auto parts to make you re-think repairing your car instead of opting for mass transit?  Maybe I’m extrapolating too far but you never know when government is involved.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Guns, Health care, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your resistance to tax increases is under attack

Posted by Liberty on January 27, 2009

Here are just three examples of the news stories I’ve been noticing lately about the “victims” of state budget cuts.  We’re going to be innundated with sad stories about the necessary serices that are being slashed under Washington’s new scorched earth budget.  That way, when the legislature puts a tax increase on the ballot for the next election, it has a better chance of passing.  Nice.

Center gives runaways peace, but now finds itself in need

“Spruce Street and eight other facilities like it, called Secure Crisis Residential Centers, face elimination by state budget cuts, some of which are under way and others that have been proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire for the Department of Social and Health Services.”

Poison Center’s hot line in peril

“Parents could no longer call the Washington Poison Center’s hot line under Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget because it would cut critical funding for the service, the nonprofit said Monday.

Gregoire wants to slash the center’s funding from $4 million to $2 million a year — a move the 50-year-old group says would force it to close.”

Detox center loses in budget cuts

“The North Cascade Secure Detox is the first of what could become many social services programs to be shut down in the coming year while the Legislature and the Department of Social and Health Services trim their budgets.

The cuts will save the state money in the short term. One patient costs $275 a night at North Cascade, and the state pays out $2 million a year for the Skagit County branch. But it will cost individual counties more in the long run as the same patients seek help at emergency rooms and mental health treatment facilities, which can cost up to $565 a night.”

Posted in Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Washington State | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Holy Botox!

Posted by Liberty on January 12, 2009

Be careful when you open this link!  The picture of Queen Christine is huge and it startled me for a second there!

Dems in control but not in sync as Legislature opens

I think I agree with the premise of this article–we have a lot of Democrat infighting on the way.  Queen Christine spent her first term expanding the scope of Washington State government, creating new programs and increasing funding to old ones.  There are a lot of favors owed to unions, environmentalists and Indian tribes after a contentious campaign but she’s also pledged not to raise taxes.  Something’s gotta give!

Oh, and my favorite quote from this article:

“‘Everybody’s puppy got squashed,’ said Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, chairman of the House Capital Budget Committee.”

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Union Thuggery, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Spending or slashing–which is it?

Posted by Liberty on January 10, 2009

State Budget: Legislature has unique opportunity

In the editorial section on the [doomed] Seattle P-I’s web page today, this headline caught my eye.  We do have a new session of the Washington State legislature beginning January 12.  With a huge budget gap looming, the potential for new taxes is something we need to be on the lookout for.  The economy undoubtedly has some role in the budget crisis but the main problem is spending.  Of the Governor’s budget, House Minority leader Richard DeBolt said that it was a good start but that the problem lies with spending, not revenue. 

Rather than facing the spending problem, however, Democrats are doubling down on the policies that have brought Washington to a $6+ billion deficit.

“At a briefing last week, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said legislators need to look for more alternatives to the governor’s budget. House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, even added spending ideas, talking about new transportation partnerships and health care. ‘We’re serious about keeping the state’s promise to have health care coverage for every child by 2010,’ he said. On top of that, Democrats will propose an economic stimulus package this week.”

Of course, the P-I editorial board supports quite a bit of the Democrat spending agenda–especially the bit about health care coverage for children.  How could anyone say no to the children, after all?  [How about opening up competition in the health insurance market so more parents could afford to take responsibility for insuring their children themselves?!]  At the end of the article, they do mention the idea of trimming the scope of the state government.  I think this is where the real solution to the budget crisis is at but unfortunately, the P-I treats the issue more as a symbolic measure than a concrete one.

“The state budget picture is going to grow worse (we can only imagine what December’s sales tax figures will look like) and the Legislature is not going to succeed if the discussion centers on cutting budgets. There should be an emphasis on strategy before numbers. Can state agencies and programs be combined? Are there more programs that can be eliminated entirely? (For example, commissions and boards don’t add big numbers to the budget, but they are symbolic about the many branches of government. Trimming them would a clear way to signal a leaner government.)”

I think the P-I may be headed in the right direction here but let’s get past the symbolism and more to the substance, shall we?  By all means, dump the boards and commissions, along with all of the time, manpower and money that they waste.  And continue cutting from there!

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Main Stream Media, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The City of Seattle doesn’t plow snowy roads–is it so they can afford salary hikes for pencil pushers?

Posted by Liberty on December 22, 2008

From Crosscut & Kent Kammerer this morning:

Memo to city pols: times are tough

“We are now experiencing the full impact of WaMu layoffs and downsizing of hundreds of other Seattle area employers. While local businesses and the public are feeling the pinch, Seattle decision makers seem much less concerned.

Consider that the City just passed an increase in spending. Seattle’s budget for 2009, will be $3.9 billion. The general fund, which pays for most City functions, is $910 million, up 1.6 percent from 2007, and is projected to rise to $925 million in 2010. To fund the increase, the City will raise parking fees, raise the garbage rates 42 percent and water rates by 38 percent to help pay for the increase in spending. At the same time, it will reduce city revenues with property tax deferments to developers.

Mayor Greg Nickels also just announced that a Seattle top administrator needs a 37 percent pay raise to $302,000 per year. So, is spending on City employees getting out of hand, particularly in a time when many others are making salary sacrifices?”

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Check out Washington Policy Center for the free market take on Washington State issues

Posted by Liberty on December 16, 2008

With the Washington State legislative session coming up in January and budget issues aplenty, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to what’s happening in Olympia.  Washington Policy Center is a think-tank that centers on finding free market solutions to the problems our state is facing.  They have a lot of their research posted on their website

This week, on the WPC blog, Jason Mercier has compiled a list of ideas to help the state fix the budget.  He took the suggestions submitted to Governor Gregoire [remember that?  I blogged it on November 17] and compiled a master list of sorts.  There are some terrific ideas on this list and thanks to Jason for sorting through the raw information to find them.  I hope that Governor Gregoire will study these suggestions in earnest.

Posted in Redistribution of wealth, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Washington State’s budget woes

Posted by Liberty on December 4, 2008

Gregoire: State needs $600M economic stimulus

“Gov. Chris Gregoire says Washington state needs at least $600 million in federal money for short-term road and bridge projects to help kickstart the state’s struggling economy.”

Wait a minute…didn’t she say during her campaign that this Washington’s economy is strong and that the budget is balanced?

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Redistribution of wealth, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Queen Christine’s one-gal budget oversight committee

Posted by Liberty on November 25, 2008

After letting my thoughts on the Washington State budget crisis gel for awhile, I decided it was about time to e-mail my ideas to Governor Gregoire.  Here is what I sent:

Dear Governor,
In light of the looming budget deficit, here are some ideas for saving money.
*Make sure only people who are legal US citizens and Washington State residents receive state benefits.
*Provide services and documents in English, not 15 different languages.
*Remove the requirement that road projects include art.
*Auction the sculpted salmon currently over I-90.
*Remove state mandates on health insurance so that health insurance would be more affordable, thus reducing the need for state coverage.  People are smart enough to purchase plans that cover what they want–they don’t need the legislature to tell them that their plans have to cover mental health, accupuncture, birth control, etc.
*Get rid of the poet laureate program.
*Streamline adoption–make it faster, less expensive and easier–to get kids out of state care.
*Continue with performance audits so we will find out where waste and abuse are occurring.
*Renegotiate gaming contracts with Indian tribes to include revenue sharing with the state.
*Pay teachers based on merit, not the number of degrees they have or their tenure.
*Disband public employee unions, including the WEA.
*Eliminate ethnic commissions such as Washington Commission on African American Affairs.  Such commissions are really unnecessary and the services they provide are probably redundant. 
*Focus on easing the burden for the taxpayers, rather than providing more redistributionist programs.  Give people back more of their own money.
*Keep your promise not to institute a state income tax.  It will stifle growth, punish productivity and give already over-taxed people one more reason to get the hell out of Washington!

Very sincerely,

Liberty

Conservative blogger extraordinaire

Posted in Redistribution of wealth, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Budget cutting ideas for Washington from Crosscut

Posted by Liberty on November 25, 2008

Two ways to make deep cuts in government services

Some interesting ideas in the article and comments.  Will the State of Washington (or municipalities) ever make meaningful cuts?  Probably not.

Posted in Redistribution of wealth, Washington State | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Washington’s Democrat legislators express shock at $5 billion budget shortfall

Posted by Liberty on November 20, 2008

$5 billion budget gap means Washington faces painful cuts

“‘We knew it was going to be awful. But it was more horrible than we were talking about,’ said Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Margarita Prentice, D-Renton.”

Margarita, it’s been primarily your party that’s been spending millions and millions of the people’s money.  How can you be surprised–don’t you remember all of the spending increases that have happened lately?  According to this Seattle Times story,

“State spending has increased by $8 billion since Gregoire was elected governor in 2004. Half of that money, around $4 billion, was spent on public schools and higher education. The current two-year general-fund budget is $33.6 billion.”

Also, Washington Votes.org has 852 laws archived between 01/01/07 and 11/20/08.  I clicked through quite a few pages of these laws and they were all marked as passed and signed.  Our wallets would be a lot safer if the first thing that Washington State furloughed was the legislature.  Also, Washington Republicans, I don’t see that there was a lot of conscientious opposition to many of these bills.  Even though you are severely outnumbered, we still need you to attempt to hold the line on spending, redistribution of wealth and the loss of our liberties.

Posted in Redistribution of wealth, Washington State | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Queen Christine wants your help! How can Washington State save money?

Posted by Liberty on November 17, 2008

“Like the rest of the country—indeed the world—we are in the midst of an economic slowdown. State government is going to have to sacrifice and make hard choices just like Washington families. But families know, and we know, that tough people always outlast tough times, and together we will emerge stronger from the challenge.”    Governor Chris Gregoire

Governor Gregiore’s Budget Homepage

First of all, let me be really clear.  I thought that the best way for the State of Washington to fix its budget problem was to elect a Conservative like Dino Rossi.  Since that’s off the table, the next best option is going to be participating in the Governor’s outreach attempt here and letting her know what you think about how the State of Washington spends your money.  If you have ideas for the Governor, you can submit them through the magic of the internet here: http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/default.asp#startform

And…through the magic of the internet, your free-market, low-taxes, personal responsibility solutions will be magically translated into something like this:

“Dear Governor Gregiore, the economy is so bad, we can’t make it on our own.  Please raise taxes and give us free health care, free child care, free food, free public transportation, free housing…” 

But, it’s worth a shot.  Even in a deep blue liberal stronghold like Washington, Conservatives need to speak up, just on the off chance that we can change even one person’s perspective.

Posted in Redistribution of wealth, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Why did we re-elect this woman?

Posted by Liberty on November 11, 2008

Gregoire pushes immediate stimulus

Washington State is faced with a budget shortfall that is over 2 billion dollars, thanks largely to the spending spree that Christine Gregoire went on in her first term as governor.  Washington is one of the most taxed states in the union (no surprise there since it has been under liberal control for the better part of 30 years or more) but it never seems to be enough.  Even with punitive tax rates on business, a 37.5 cent per gallon gasoline tax and the looming threat of a state income tax, it will not be enough.  But we’ve made necessary “investments” in education, health care and transportation, right?  Right?

Come to find out, there are a few more specifics out about the governor’s spending…I mean, stimulus plan.

Gregoire seeks immediate economic stimulus package

“The immediate stimulus package is made up of:

  • More than $200 million in tax-exempt bonds for housing programs. The money can be used for rental housing for poor families, assistance for first-time home buyers, and refinancing of mortgages at risk of default.    
  • About $85 million to help low-income Washingtonians pay heating and energy bills and make weatherization improvements to their homes. Because the money is funneled through utility companies, Gregoire hopes it also will create jobs.    
  • An additional $13 million in aid for the salmon fishing fleet, meant to help those hurt by the sudden collapse of the Pacific Coast salmon industry. Gregoire said she’s pushing federal officials to release that money faster.”
  • So…if you’re not a salmon fisherman and you aren’t going out of your way to seek a government handout, forget about you.  If you think that paying your mortgage and keeping your family warm are your responsibility, guess what?  You’re paying for your own needs and everyone else’s, too. 

    Governor Gregoire, why don’t you do something that will benefit Washington State much more broadly?  Cut our taxes!

    Posted in Redistribution of wealth, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »