Yesterday, state House Democrats released their latest budget proposal and, as could be expected they are hoping for new taxes to fund the bigger government they desperately desire. It relies on closing several tax incentives to raise taxes, including ending the tax incentive for manufacturers to utilize their own recycled fuel.
Notably, while the Democrats’ budget would freeze tuition this year at state colleges, it would not cut tuition. Senate Republicans have pushed for tuition cuts throughout the legislative session— a recent study ranked Washington State second worst in the nation for tuition increases since the beginning of the recession in 2008.
For more than a decade, Democrats have used college tuition hikes, essentially a tax on the middle class, as a cash cow to help transfer taxpayer money to their special interest allies and key campaign donors. Under Democrat leadership in the Legislature, students pursuing higher education have faced an exponential growth in tuition rates— budget after budget has leeched off students, and their families, in order to pay for Democrats’ bigger-government agenda.
Unfortunately, Democrats are not concerned with reversing the mess they created. Democrats continue to reject Republicans’ efforts to lighten the college tuition burden, choosing only to trumpet support for higher education when it suits their interests. It wasn’t too long ago that Democrat state Rep. Pat Sullivan, the House Majority Leader, championed lower tuition rates. In fact, it was just last year.
In January 2014, Sullivan sent his constituents a newsletter devoted to the subject of lowering tuition rates. Here’s what he wrote,
“Ask any college student – or parent of a college student – and their number one concern is affordability. While the legislature did hold back tuition increases this school year, we all know costs have increased dramatically over the last decade. And too often, it’s the middle-class families who are feeling the effects. Their income is too high to qualify for state financial aid, but not high enough to afford the full price of a college education.”
Well, thanks to Senate Republicans, Sullivan now has the opportunity to remedy what his party has done to higher education in this state. The problem is, like every other Democrat, he doesn’t seem to keen on the idea of walking his talk.