Last week, Democrat Governor Jay ‘Bait and Switch’ Inslee once again proved to the people of Washington that he has found his true vocation in life.
A pandering politician.
During a press conference June 17, Inslee announced that he would be furloughing 40,000 state employees between now and the end of the year to save the state money. Except that it won’t actually save any money and could end up costing the state even more. Instead the state will now be providing millions of hours of less service.
A 3% raise for state employees is scheduled to take effect on July 1, but Jay doesn’t want to cancel the raise (the second one in two years) as that would upset his union campaign donors. Instead the raise will go into effect July 1, with up to 10 days of furloughs per employee supposedly offsetting the increased pay level.
The result of Inslee’s policy? For the same amount of money, Washington gets a lot less government work done, and it doesn’t help the budget deficit crisis. The 40,000 state employees will work up to 80 less hours a year for the same amount of money.
Put another way, Jay Inslee just gave 40,000 state employees an additional two weeks of paid vacation a year.
And even worse, Inslee and his union backers devised this furlough scheme in a way to exploit the federal response to the COVID-19 crisis (the CARES Act), so that the workers can claim unemployment for their furlough days, thus costing taxpayers even more money. All while paying state employees more money than if they were working!
So, while most of the rest of Washington’s workers have been ordered, by Inslee, to stay home, he won’t even cancel a raise for his friends who have been kept on the government payroll, even if they weren’t actually working.
And Inslee is making sure they can scam the federal government for more tax dollars.
For the more astute readers, you will also realize that unless the furloughs continue after 2020, or the 3% wage increases are cut from the budget next year, the state will still have to pay the 3% increase in the long term.
It’s this kind of logic that got us in this budget mess in the first place.
Since Inslee has not been prescriptive in which government agencies the furloughs will occur, the Employment Security Department, which still has 81,000 residents waiting for unemployment checks, could be especially hard hit.
Republicans, and a few sensible Democrats, have called repeatedly for a special session to start addressing the budget issues head on, without wasting more time. The Democrat leadership has resisted, giving partisan excuses to protect their special interests and promised money to their donor base. Washington taxpayers will be the ones footing the bill for the Democrat leadership’s lack of action.
Ex-Speaker of the House, Democrat Frank Chopp, not wanting to be left out of the action, has released his own plan for Washington. Not shackled by being Speaker and having to protect vulnerable Democrat legislators anymore, Chopp is able to show his true ‘tax and spend’ colors. In response to the biggest economic downturn in Washington history, Chopp is proposing a massive $2 billion per year tax hike on Washington residents to expand government further. That’s over $1,000 per year in new taxes for a family of four, or $260 for every man, woman and child in the state.
To say Chopp is tone deaf to the current economic situation in this state would be an understatement.
If you think Chopp and Inslee’s ideas don’t have support, think again. Several Democrat lawmakers are already calling for ‘Tax Reform’ which is politician-speak for ‘Tax Increases’.
Inslee has repeatedly said, “We are all in this together”, but it’s obvious that doesn’t apply to himself (since he, already the 6th highest paid governor in the country, is also getting a big, non-merit based pay raise July 1), Frank Chopp, or his friends in the government. They want the hard-working Washington workers to pay for their free ride.
The Inslee ‘Bait and Switch’ plan is at best is ignorant and at worst deceptive, and we won’t even get a free set of steak knives out of the deal.
ESD staff aren’t subject to furlough, are receiving promotional opportunities and overtime pay. They are also exempt from the hiring freeze and plan to hire around 150 people per pay period thrift August. The agency that has directly contributed to the dire financial situation of many people in our state has no financial worries at all. How does that happen?