Governor Inslee and Democrat legislators remain stubborn in their refusal to support GOP tax cut proposals designed to help lower- and middle- income households.
Actions by Governor Jay Inslee and the Democrats in the Washington State Legislature will cause the privilege of driving in Washington State to be even more expensive in the coming days and months – and this is intentional, as they proudly implement their reckless liberal policies in the coming days and months. When the Democrats jammed through their party-line $17 billion transportation package last March, their Senate Transportation Committee Chair Marco Liias (Edmonds) falsely proclaimed it was funded “without punting the cost to working families.” Yet next week those who require a wide variety of services from the Washington State Department of Licensing will experience the biggest increases in fees in state history.
Senator Liias also conveniently forgets that a major part of the funding for the Democrats transportation package comes from funds extracted from consumers through their ineffective “Cap and Trade” energy policy – which is projected to cause the price of gas to rise by an estimated 46.4 cents a gallon in the coming weeks and months. The Democrats’ transportation package was the first in Washington history which was not passed with bi-partisan input and support because the liberals in the legislature chose to ignore responsible Republican suggestions to fund the transportation package by using surplus revenue and not dramatically raising fees to hurt lower-income workers the most. (Click to read full Shift Article)
The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released its latest report today showing that Washington taxpayers will generate an additional $1.5 billion in tax revenue, above existing projections, . Here are where the parties come down: Republican lawmakers have repeatedly called for tax relief (gas tax, sales tax, property tax, and/or B&O tax) to help lower-and middle- income households pay bills as prices on all goods are climbing due to liberal inflationary policies. On the other hand, Governor Inslee and the Democrats who control the legislature have chosen to ignore these concerns and have decided to use the money instead to increase the size and power of state government (despite it doubling in size during the nine years Governor Inslee has been in office).
After the good financial news, Republicans repeated their calls for a short virtual special session of the legislature to provide relief to Washington’s working families. Senate Republican Leader John Braun said, ““It’s ridiculous for the Legislature to be sitting on a growing mountain of cash while families across our state are struggling to afford the basics and watching their buying power shrink because of inflation. I’ll say it again: Our Legislature should meet now to suspend the state gas tax for the rest of this year.”
As the Washington Policy Center points out, the greedy actions by Washington Democrats (more state employees mean more union dues, which means more money from the unions to fund Democrat campaigns) are an outlier, as even other Democrat-controlled states have recently provided some tax relief to their citizens. Evidently the Democrats who control Washington believe the voters will never realize they are being ripped off by the majority party and thus they do not need to respond to the financial concerns of our state’s residents. (Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council report, Senate Republican Caucus media release, and Washington Policy Center)
Here is yet another contrast on how extreme Washington Democrat lawmakers are in their refusal to help struggling low- and middle- income families with any type of tax relief, as Colorado’s Democrats announced today that their revenue surplus will result in a $750 refund for each taxpayer in the state. Colorado state government is run by a Democrat governor and a Democrat state legislature just like Washington State. Yet clearly Colorado Democrats are less concerned about selfishly using surplus revenue to grow the size of state government then their Washington State counterparts. (Axios)
Evidently President Joe Biden does not believe Governor Inslee’s false argument that government should not reduce/suspend gas taxes since it would not impact the price at the pump. It has been reported that the president is expected to ask Congress to suspend for three months the federal 18-cents-per-gallon gas tax as part of his plan to help Americans afford skyrocketing fuel prices. Yet according to Governor Inslee, a reduction/suspension of the gas tax would not reduce the price at the pump because oil companies would immediately raise the price of gas whatever the amount of the suspended tax was adding to the cost. Governor Inslee has never explained why states with lower gas taxes (which is all but three of them) have lower fuel prices.
The governor has also made the false argument that if lawmakers suspended Washington’s 49.4 cent gas tax that the state could not afford to fund existing transportation projects. Yet the Republican legislators who support a reduction/suspension of the gas tax (SB 5897) point out there is plenty of surplus revenue to bridge any disruption in the collection of the state gas tax. Unfortunately for lower-and moderate- income households, Governor Inslee believes it is more important to fund the Democrats’ greedy desires to expand the size of state government (despite it doubling in size in just the past nine years) then it is to help those who are struggling due to the rapid increase in the cost of gas. (FOX Business News, CenterSquare, Washington Legislature Bill Summary, and House Republican Caucus media release)
The second murder in two days at a Seattle homeless encampment occurred in Ballard over the weekend. At first the death of a 37-year-old man, who was found on Saturday, was not ruled a homicide, but the Medical Examiner ruled he died from a previously undiscovered gunshot wound to the head. Early Monday morning, another man was shot and killed at a homeless encampment in West Seattle. So far there have been 24 homicides in Seattle in 2022, and the death toll could easily surpass the 41 murders investigated last year. (Seattle Times)
Bodycam video of slain Everett Police Officer Dan Rocha’s interaction with his suspected killer was released and it shows the two scuffling before the officer was shot three times. Officer Rocha was questioning the suspect about the guns he was transferring between cars in a Starbuck’s parking lot. Police dispatch informed Officer Rocha that the suspect had another felony warrant and was in violation of his probation by possessing the guns. The scuffle took place after Officer Rocha informed the subject he was under arrest. The suspect has 13 felony convictions and 43 misdemeanor convictions dating back to 1985. (KING5 News)
Crime in Spokane has climbed 29.6% since the passage of the Democrats’ anti-police legislation during the 2021 session. Small businesses and retailers have been hardest hit, with a 92.9% increase in commercial robbery and a 41.7% increase in commercial burglary. Vehicle thefts have jumped 71.6% in the past year since criminals know the Democrats’ legislation allows them to flee police since the Democrats prohibit law enforcement from pursuing suspected criminals, even if police know the vehicle the suspect is driving is stolen.
Just a few weeks ago, Senate Democrat Leader Andy Billig of Spokane was criticized by many of the city’s community and business leaders for failing to bring up for a vote SB 5919, which would have fixed the state’s irresponsible police pursuit laws. Despite there being enough Republican and Democrat votes to pass the legislation on the Senate floor (and it had already passed the House), Democrat Leader Billig decided no vote would be taken since it was not supported by a majority of Democrat senators and the special interests which fund their campaigns. (Spokane Police Department Crime report, CenterSquare, and Washington Legislature Bill Summary)
An environmentalist refuses to back up his extremist claims that the Chinook salmon will soon be extinct on the Snake River. Washington Policy Center’s Todd Myers often likes to make environmental extremists put their money behind their political hyperbole. Recently he has placed bets on whether the number of Chinook salmon going through the Snake River dams would increase. While many in the environmental crowd have said the Chinook was destined for extinction in three years, Myers bet them that the numbers would increase this year as they have for the past few years.
Normally Myers bets $50 on such wagers, but Scott Levy of the anti-dam group Bluefish insisted on $5,000. Myers took him up on the bet with the loser making a $5,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity. With two months remaining on the Snake River run, the number of Chinook salmon has already surpassed last year’s totals. Myers has asked Levy for proof of his donation to Habitat for Humanity. As Myers writes, “Despite repeated emails, I have not heard back from him.” (Washington Policy Center)
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