Letters to the Editor

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BUDGET: State needs to make deeper cuts

Letter by Jim Bjorkman, Puyallup on June 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm | 14 Comments »
June 7, 2010 9:18 am

Since 1999, the state’s total spending has gone from $39.4 billion in the 1999 biennium to $69.6 billion in the current biennium – an increase of 77 percent.

Since 1999, the state population has increased 14 percent. Since 1999. the Seattle consumer price index has increased 27 percent. Taking the 1999 spending amounts and factoring in population and inflation, we should now have state spending of $57 billion.

Instead we have $69.6 billion in spending or more than $12.6 billion more or 22 percent more than what population growth and inflation account for. On top of this, the state’s unfunded pension liability has increased from $1 billion to $8 billion during this time period.

Then the real kicker is the last budget of $69.6 billion was balanced with close to $5 billion in federal one-time stimulus funds.

So now our governor is going to go around the state this summer telling us how much the budget has been cut and that there is nothing left to cut. This is the same governor who in 2008 when running for office told us there was no budget deficit (oops: $8.9 billion deficit) or that she would never raise taxes (oops again) in a recession.

The taxpayers of this state cannot afford this anymore. We have no money left to pay so state employees can get annual raises and get nearly free health care benefits. It is time that the state budget faced the same cuts we in the private sector have had to make.

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