Last week, both State House and Senate passed their budget proposals for this year. That leaves lawmakers negotiating on the final version with only a week left in the 2016 legislative session.
The Democrat-controlled House plan dips into the state’s emergency fund, pulling out a whopping $317 million from what is supposed to be a “rainy-day” account. The liberals in the House also propose over $100 million in tax increases, including a tax on bottled water (which voters have rejected in the past).
Alternatively, the Senate’s plan doesn’t grab any rainy day fund money. Instead it “uses budget cuts and other measures opposed by many Democrats to save money, such as merging the pension plans of some firefighters, teachers and law enforcement.”
In other words, it’s the difference between a reckless plan that could hardly be described as a budget versus a responsible budget that respects taxpayers. Sound familiar?
This Throw Back Thursday, we’re taking a walk down memory lane to the last time House Democrats proposed a “budget” that wasn’t really a budget. In fact, during the last legislative session, Democrats did not appear to have enough votes to pass the revenues it would take to make their spending plan an actual budget.
House Democrats’ “budget” called for new revenue (read “new taxes“) to the tune of $1.5 billion. That figure would have grown to over $2 billion in the next budget. One of the new taxes Democrats wanted to impose was a state income tax, on capital gains.
The House Democrats’ “budget” followed Jay Inslee’s lead on making state government bigger. The House Democrats wanted a spending increase of $5.2 billion, nearly equivalent to Inslee’s budget proposal. Of course, both new spending plans concentrated on rewarding the Democrats’ million-dollar campaign donors—including the Washington Education Association (WEA), the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)—with nearly a billion dollars in pay raises.
The House Democrats’ “budget” was never a serious plan. That’s something even the Democrat leaders admitted. When Democrat House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan was asked if the House would vote on bills to raise taxes to cover the proposed spending he admitted that they did not.
While it may have not been serious, the spending plan Democrats proposed in 2015 did define everything that has plagued our state after decades of the Left’s “leadership”. The House Democrats’ budget did not prioritize Washington’s working families, and it certainly did not prioritize education. Rather, Democrats prioritized their special interests and million-dollar campaign supporters above all else.
This year, House Democrats appear determined to do it again. They have proposed an unsustainable budget that irresponsibly dips into our state’s rainy day fund and increases taxes to cover spending increases.
Democrats are playing the same game. And, once again, it’s at the expense of working families.