Jay Inslee appeared on KIRO Radio’s The Dori Monson Show following his State of the State address. Monson kicked off the interview by playing a clip of what Inslee promised on his show as a gubernatorial candidate. Back in 2012, Monson asked candidate Inslee, “Do you pledge to my listeners that as governor you will not raise taxes or support tax increases in this state.” Candidate Inslee answered, “My plan is very specific, it does not propose or support tax increases, in general taxes.”
Monson pointed out that candidate Inslee pledged no new taxes, yet Governor Inslee proposed over $1.4 billion in new taxes. He asked Inslee, “Did you lie to me and my listeners two years ago?” Despite the simple facts presented, Inslee denied that he lied. He responded, “No… I did exactly what I said I was going to do.”
Inslee—steering the subject away from Monson’s pointed question—offered the state’s job growth, efficiencies in state government and the closure of tax “loopholes” as evidence. He went on to accuse the state Legislature of failing to close his “loopholes.” According to Inslee, it’s that failure that brought about the state Supreme Court’s contempt ruling last fall and forced him to introduce historic taxes.
Ironically, Inslee boasts of the state’s job growth while attacking the very industries that create jobs with a cap-and-tax scheme and capital gains tax. Inslee refuses to recognize that reality by declining to name even one of his 130 polluters when confronted by Monson. As for Inslee’s efficiency claim, Shift has already proved that false (here and here).
Monson informed Inslee that he does have enough money—due to the fact that the state to collect an unprecedented amount of state revenue, even adjusted for inflation—to meet the funding requirements of the McCleary decision. And, our green governor was forced to concede that revenues are going up.
However, Inslee refused to back down on his insistence that the state Legislature should not overturn the Washington Education Association’s (WEA) Initiative 1351—despite the fact that the state cannot afford I-1351’s added costs. It appears that Inslee is reverting back to his strategy during the 2014 elections: appease the WEA at all costs.
Monson drove the interview back to Inslee’s no-new-taxes campaign promise by stating a fact we here at Shift pointed out in the past: Inslee knew about the McCleary decision as a candidate, yet he promised voters he would not raise taxes. Not one to take responsibility, Inslee pointed the finger at the Legislature.
Inslee told Monson that he did not know that the state Supreme Court would hold the state in contempt of the McCleary decision or that the court would issue a citation for the state’s mental health funding. However, as Shift reported, the court’s contempt ruling does not impact the state Legislature’s monetary obligation to meet the McCleary decision—as much as Inslee might find it convenient for raising taxes. Additionally, state Senator Andy Hill proved that—when the budget is properly prioritized—it is possible to fund mental health with the state’s current revenue.
Perhaps the most telling point of the interview came when Inslee informed Monson’s listeners that “you usually want to put a charge on something you want less of, and that’s pollution.” Of course, by that logic, Inslee’s charge on capital gains means he wants people to save, invest and earn less.
You can listen to the full interview here.