Yesterday, Shift took to the radio waves to speak with KVI’s John Carlson about the battle brewing in Olympia after state House Democrats proposed sizeable tax hikes in their 2015-17 budget. The difference is that Republicans want to make education funding a priority and pass a budget with no new taxes, while Democrats—following Jay Inslee’s lead—want $2 plus billion in new taxes.
It was a show probably more appropriate for today, as the Democrats’ budget is truly an April Fool’s joke on the taxpayers of Washington state.
To explain the liberals’ strategy, Shift explained how House Democrats’ budget is built on three big lies:
- Washington State must raise taxes to fully fund education and meet the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.
As Shift reported, the truth is new taxes are not needed to meet the constitutional obligation to fund our schools. Senate Republicans’ budget proposal released yesterday proves that fact. With the state projected to take in $3 billion more in revenue during the next budget cycle (2015-2017) than it is currently spending, lawmakers have more than enough money to fully fund K-12 education—if they do something that Democrats have avoided for decades, and make education the first priority in the state budget.
The reality Democrats won’t admit is that they need more taxpayer money to reward their million-dollar campaign donors—the Washington Education Association, the Washington Federation of State Employees and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)—with nearly a billion dollars in pay raises.
- Democrats have presented a responsible budget that makes up for years of budget cuts worth $12 billion.
The truth is, in the last six years, there have been no significant spending cuts. Democrats base their claim on the fact that they have been unable to spend as much as they wanted through the years. To put it simply, if Democrats ask for $5 billion but receive $2 billion, they count that as a $3 billion cut.
- Republicans will have to slash social services to balance the budget without new taxes.
When state Senate Republicans introduced their budget yesterday, they proved this false. Their budget relies on existing revenue and common-sense spending strategies to create a truly responsible budget.
You can check out Shift’s full discussion with Carlson here (minute 7).