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TAXES: Government services aren’t free

Letter by Christian J. Chambers, Lakewood on Oct. 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm with 209 Comments »
October 20, 2011 1:13 pm

Re: “Any new tax must spare economy, satisfy voters” (Our View, 10-2).

Every time the state Legislature meets to set the budget, there is a substantial shortfall. Each time, we rely on deeper and deeper cuts in programs to balance the budget. We must look at raising taxes or we will be left with a bunch of half-funded programs that do nothing.

We keep crying to our lawmakers that we want lower taxes, without giving up anything in return. Once the cuts starts to affect our programs or our kids’ schools, we will feel differently, but without taxes our government cannot accomplish anything.

No one wants to pay more in taxes, including myself, but I expect services from my government and am willing to pay for them. Lets raise state revenue so that we can keep the programs we have left.

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  1. tree_guy says:

    “We keep crying to our lawmakers that we want lower taxes” Christian

    Could you inform us of which taxes have been lowered? I’m not aware of any.

  2. tree_guy says:

    “Every time the state Legislature meets to set the budget, there is a substantial shortfall.” Christian

    Unfortunately for you, the facts don’t support this claim. Here are two recent budgets for the state of Washington:

    2009-2011 $70B
    2011-2013 $74B

  3. aislander says:

    Memo to the legislature: Don’t do me any favors! No more programs!

  4. Chris…..remember……when the cost of doing business increases….landlord lower their rents….

  5. 2009….$50,000 program cut funding mentors for children in foster care.

    Since we are not fond of abortions, we need to make sure that abandoned children have something more than a foster system that moves them from place to place, based on all sorts of criteria.

    Since that program was cut, one administrator volunteered to be the reduction in force so that the agency didn’t have to cut two 3/4 time caseworkers and 60 kids still kept mentors.

    You don’t have to lower taxes to cut.

    I wonder how many times that happens in the “business” world.

  6. tree_guy says:

    I’m willing to lower my rents when the occasion requires it, kardy. Are government employees willing to lower their pay when the occasion requires it?

  7. I already raised my kids, do I need to pay more taxes for yours? Don’t think so. Every time the legislature raises taxes, they hire more state workers, soon they need more taxes for the new worker wage increases. No more taxes. If you are willing to pay more, by all means do so. I’m sure you will find a willing entity to take it. For me, I want the tax rate lowered.

  8. BlaineCGarver says:

    Hey, Kard…..if Foster Kids are getting GOOD caretakers, why do they need mentors??? YOU go mentor them for free, if it’s such a good idea…

  9. David1964 says:


    I already raised my kids, do I need to pay more taxes for yours?”

    This is the kind of thinking that is screwing up this country…”I got mine, so to he** with you!”

    Calcan, who do you think helped pay for your childrens’ (and/or their friends’) public education? Who paid for the streets they played on, the parks they played in, the libraries they went to for storytime?? It was the general public, people like you and me… as well as people who were older and had already “paid their way”; people who were willing to understand that the taxes they paid provided for a better society for everyone.

  10. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    I can take care of myself. The state can’t even fix a pot hole without spending a million on planning to fix the pothole.

    Until government gets their act together, NO NEW TAXES!!!!!!!

    Our state has enough money, they need to stop wasting it. Want an example, $370 million spent on the new 520 bridge and not even a shovel has been put in the ground yet. They waste millions and won’t stop until we starve them of new food. That food is “your money”!!!

  11. Are government employees willing to lower their pay when the occasion requires it?

    What do you think State employees are doing right now, Tree_guy. They took a cut in pay this year and haven’t had a COLA in 10 years.

    Can you say the same about your rents?

  12. “Hey, Kard…..if Foster Kids are getting GOOD caretakers, why do they need mentors??? YOU go mentor them for free, if it’s such a good idea…”

    Uh….Blaine….the mentors are free (volunteers). The caseworkers that insure the kids safety get paid.

    You know little about the foster care program and obviously, less about volunteer mentoring.

  13. calcan….the paid workers are not state workers…..you’re safe from having to pay, unless you donate to charity…which I seriously doubt.

    The kids getting mentors are recipients of services from donated money, now that the state had to cut services.

    BTW….the $50K that was once funded to the agency, paid for more labor than state employees would have cost.

    The next time your house is burglarized, you’ll be glad that you didn’t pay taxes that helped keep a kid on the straight and narrow.

  14. tree_guy says:

    Big difference between my rental units and government employees. My units are in high demand, government workers…not so high. However if I had a vacancy that I had trouble finding a good tenant for, I would be willing to cut the rent by as much as half. Would government workers be willing to work for half?

  15. MadTaxpayer says:

    Why should I raise some crack whores kids?
    As for keeping these kids on the straight and narrow, BS!
    They become criminals because they want to!
    YOU AND I KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG, WHY DO YOU NOT EXPECT THAT OF OTHERS!

    Just another liberal excuse!

  16. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    This letter is sooo… 2008.

  17. Kardnos, don’t know what the heck you are talking about. I never addressed you, although that never keeps you from your “expert” opinion. And David 1964, explain to me please why I have to pay over $40K per year in taxes, and get back maybe 2 or 3 thousand. It’s my damn money, not the governments. I earned it, not them, because I make more, I have to pay more? Why? My not wanting to pay for your kids in school is not what screwed up this country, it’s the mentality that if you do well, you should have to give more of your money for state or federal agencies to waste it, and to support others who don’t want to work.

  18. If all tax payers would take the time to add up all the taxes that are collected from them,they would be shocked and amazed just how much they are paying for the services the Government is giving away.Keep on expecting services from the government until you can no longer afford them.No the services are not free and you are paying dearly for them,and the government is masters at convincing the public how badly these services are needed.

  19. Calcan…I hate to break this to you….but this is an open forum. Anyone can address anyone.

    And David 1964, explain to me please why I have to pay over $40K per year in taxes, and get back maybe 2 or 3 thousand.

    And if this is true….Calcan makes over $100K a year. This country was good enough to provide a venue for you to make your money but you don’t think you owe anything in return.

    How Conservative of you!

  20. “Kardnos, don’t know what the heck you are talking about.”

    No question….you didn’t comprehend a word.

  21. I wonder if Calcan could pull down $100K per year in….oh China…

  22. Yes…Mad…..you have hit the nail on the head. So now, just defend the Right Wing thinking that the crack whore has no right to abortion and you’ve come full circle

  23. tree…..state employees are in demand every single day the phone rings, the constituent walks in the door to a state office or an email/snailmail is sent.

    Want to guess how many times in a day? I’m betting one whole hell of a lot more calls than you get.

    When a road closes down to one of your rental spaces, you gonna get out there with your backhoe and fix it?

  24. aislander says:

    Every public-sector job is overhead; every private sector job is profit…

  25. concernedtacoma7 says:

    One program, only $50k out of $74 bil, is what kard could find. He must be getting talking points from Biden.

    The crack whore has an individual responsibility based on her actions, not the community. She made a choice to get knocked up.

  26. aislander says:

    The implied pronoun in calcan2’s 9:12 AM post is “you,” not “I…”

  27. LarryFine says:

    Speaking of “crack whores” and abortion… Why woud anyone oppose Project Prevention ?

  28. When you do not have a valid argument,it seems as if the only thing left for some writers,is to attack the other writers.

  29. It’s funny how many of you forgot the conversation that was going on before all of the ranting.
    Your taxes pay for the sewers and the fire department. The military and public schools.
    Emergency response for natural disasters to 9-11 calls to the fire department and ambulances.
    Libraries and the police.
    Parks, from state to public to lakes and refuges. Foster care and health care for the elderly.
    Protecting the air we all breath, the food we all eat, and the water we all drink.
    Roads (including those potholes) and bridges, buses and ferries.
    Oh and the military and police; prisons.
    These are programs that we ALL need, and take advantage of every second of every day.
    Unfortunately, not a single one of these programs are for profit.
    Each one of these programs, though, are jobs.
    Real actual jobs for real actual people who put 100% of their income back INTO the economy and pay taxes.
    You know, like capitalism.
    Sounds familiar, right?

  30. tree_guy says:

    jellee- pretty sure we all know what taxes are used for.

    But that wasn’t the issue raised by the letter writer. He claimed that because of budget shortfalls and lowered tax rates that we now needed to raise taxes. He ignored the fact that budgets haven’t gone down and neither have tax rates. But I guess if you are a passionate liberal it’s OK to just make stuff up.

  31. The extreme left here only attacks the source, not facts. He ruins conversation, TNT should cut him off (bb and xring will pick up where he left off).

    Nice example of attacking the source not the facts.

  32. concernedtacoma7 says:

    What fact has the left brought up here? That we pay taxes and use services provided by those services? The earth is round also.

    Why do you not comment on the authors claim? Why not agree he is wrong, budgets have not been slashed, taxes have not gone down.

  33. Calcan attacks me….and then claims I ruin the thread….

    fascinating….

  34. “What fact has the left brought up here? That we pay taxes and use services provided by those services? The earth is round also.

    Why do you not comment on the authors claim? Why not agree he is wrong, budgets have not been slashed, taxes have not gone down.

    WRONG. I not only demonstrated where a budget was ELIMINATED…I also demonstated that state workers allowed management to reneg on their contract to save the state money.

    “Taxes going down”….how do you define such? If there is less revenue in the general fund or if the rate has decreased?

    As to “facts”, “the left” can bring them up all day long and “the right” will ignore said fact or deny it.

  35. concerned…if the Tribune was going to stop anything here, your incessant whining would be a welcome deletion.

    I’d love, just once for you to not change the subject or more the goal posts when beerBoy, xring, me or others nail you to the wall on your ridiculous claims.

  36. “budgets have not been slashed”

    Perfect example of a ridiculous claim or just plain lack of knowledge of what is taking place in our State capital.

  37. “move the goal posts”….

  38. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Tax rates, not reciepts.

    Right out of the Biden playbook, you quote one program cut at the hands of elected officials (dems in Washington) and claim society is crumbling due austerity measures. State and federal gov are spending more than ever, so any claims of austerity are false.

    Typical extreme left tactic, unwilling to cut any part of the govt even if it far exceeds govt’s role.

  39. Their may be some slashing of something going on in the state capitol but it is not the overall spending nor projected spending. TreeGuy made comment on this earlier…

    1999-01_____45B
    2001-03_____50B
    2003-05_____53B
    2005-07_____61B
    2007-09_____68B
    2009-11_____70B
    2011-13_____74B

  40. Tree_guy – better start cutting you rents – State Union employees’ have accepted pay cuts and increased withholdings for health and retirement.

    Calcan2 – while you were raising your kids others who did not have kids, or whose kids were already adults, paid taxes that supported you and your kids.

    Taxed – since you can take care of yourself why not call 911 and opt out of police and fire protection.

    Concerned7 – and who uses such terms as ‘crack-whore’, dirty hippie, union thugs, etc etc etc.

    XX – Washington state population has increased from 5.89 million in 2000, to 6.73 million in 2010, while annual inflation has averaged about 2.8%.

  41. xring – and your point is…? So what if the population has increased, that does not necessarily mean that the state budget must increase also. Just a quick glance at the numbers, the increase in budget far exceeds the increase in population and your inflation cost are too high.

    By that logic, Michigan, whose population has drop slightly over the last decade, their budget should have dropped… nope… from @34B to 47B.

    To paraphrase… “It’s the “spending” stupid…” and always will be…

  42. tree_guy says:

    Inflation does tend to drive government costs up, but there are factors which should bring costs down at the same time. Most notable is increased productivity due to computers and other modern labor saving devices and meathods. For example it used to take a whole army of secretaries to run an office, now just a few people can produce the same results.

  43. concernedtacoma7 says:

    “since you can take care of yourself why not call 911 and opt out of police and fire protection”

    Many wealthy communities around America do just that. They get faster responses and it is cost effective.

  44. tree_guy says:

    Kardy, thanks for the advice on how to run my business. Unlike the State of Washington I actually have a plan in place to operate my business taking into account downturns in the economy and other factors. But if the imbecilic management style of Chris Gregoire is beneficial for you, by all means adopt it.

  45. aislander says:

    xring writes: “…and who uses such terms as ‘crack-whore’, dirty hippie, union thugs, etc etc etc.”

    I agree: one should always avoid redundant terms, and note the exceptions rather than the rule…

  46. treeguy — so first you say that I’m just stating facts that you’re “pretty sure we all know” to be true (“the earth is round, so what” was a comment).
    then you say that I’m just “making stuff up”.
    So which is it, sir? I cannot possibly be both “making stuff up”, and yet also be saying things that we all know to be true. are you even paying attention to your own thoughts? to what you are typing? i guess expecting your ilk to display rational thought is a little too much to ask for. such a righty.

  47. tree_guy says:

    Jellee, please re read my posting. I didn’t say YOU were “making stuff up.” I said your weren’t responding to the letter writer’s issue raised in the LTE. I said he (the letter writer) was making stuff up. Sorry my comment was confusing.

  48. tree_guy…..

    Speaking of making things up….why do you?

    You challenged me on an issue…I stuffed it in your face. There was nothing about telling you how to rent your slums

  49. “Many wealthy communities around America do just that. They get faster responses and it is cost effective”

    Another ridiculous statement.

    The entire premise of public fire departments were because the insurance companies were in bed with the private firms decades ago and the firefighters were too busy fighting each other for the insurance money and the buildings burned down.

    Since my fire assessment is less that $42 every 6 months…I think I’ll stick with the public service

  50. The comical part about these “independent businessmen” is that they blame the government first, whenever something goes wrong with their business.

  51. Xx – Of course, the decrease in tax revenue and jobs (increased need for services) are just irrelevant sidebars.

    Tree_guy – having lived thought the computer era I really don’t see much increase in productivity except for the amount of unnecessary paper work these labor-saving devices have created.

    Concerned7 – ‘many wealthy communities opt out of police and fire protection’ – shades of Zardoz and Soylent Green.

  52. I recall hearing somewhere that, before computers the average number of rewrites for business letters was around 4. Now it is something around 9.

    No time saved.

  53. Xx – Of course, the decrease in tax revenue and jobs (increased need for services) are just irrelevant sidebars.

    45billion to a 74billion dollar increase in the last 12 years, that is a 60% increase… dude please, the spending is the issue.

  54. tree_guy says:

    “I recall hearing somewhere that, before computers the average number of rewrites for business letters was around 4. Now it is something around 9.

    No time saved. ” beerboy

    That’s funny. Maybe the governor should get rid of the state computers so we could save money.

  55. tree_guy says:

    Kardy’s OK, he’s just a frustrated musician who probably put his g String on too tight.

  56. treeguy— fine dude, but your argument is still totally false. that was the point of my post; that we NEED gov’t. you really believe that programs havent been cut? what universe are you living in? (example, spanaway park now charges admission year-round and my taxes paid for the damn park in the first place; oh and the foster care thing) and also, you have ignored the fact that as the population increases, so does the cost of gov’t. as also has been mentioned, for every program, road, building, park…that is constructed, the cost to maintain these projects will increase budgetary demands for their entirety. you are simply avoiding reality in order to turn talking points into your world view.

  57. cuz

  58. tree_guy says:

    Tax rates are NOT going down and the state budget is NOT going down either. That’s not “my world view.” That happens to be REALITY. If you can rebut this please do so.

    The state has squandered much of the budget by agreeing to overpay state employees, therefore service levels (also known as programs)have to be cut. We could have constant service levels by allowing the government to lower state employee pay as required.

  59. Tax rates have not decreased. Tax revenues have.

  60. “the state budget is NOT going down either.”

    Ahem……

    2009 Budget expeditures….$33.5 Billion

    2011 ” ” ……$32.1 Billion

    You know, it’s really dumb to not look this stuff up….

  61. So…..treebusinessguy….you can’t find the budget expenditures on the state website to avoid making a fool of yourself AND you don’t do comedy good either???????

  62. “That shrill scream of yours is really annoying.”

    Uh…Calcon….there is no sound on these threads….

  63. tree_guy says:

    Kardnos, Washington State has a biennial budget and here are the most recent two:

    2009-2011 $70B
    2011-2013 $74B

    Regarding your problem with calling everybody names Kardy, you really ought to check that. It’s not allowed under the News Tribunes terms of service.

  64. Ahem……
    2009 Budget expeditures….$33.5 Billion
    2011 ” ” ……$32.1 Billion
    You know, it’s really dumb to not look this stuff up….

    1999-01_____45B
    2001-03_____50B
    2003-05_____53B
    2005-07_____61B
    2007-09_____68B
    2009-11_____70B
    2011-13_____74B

    What’s really dumb is not to recognize where the numbers came from… fiscal.wa.gov. Argue with them…

    second – your numbers are a subset of where ever you pulled them from. We, the taxpayer, are on the hook for the 74+ billion dollar number. One could only wish that the total budget was @35b.

    ahem indeed…

  65. aislander said: “Every public-sector job is overhead”

    Better hope you never have to call 911.

  66. aislander says:

    Overhead is sometimes necessary, but it is important to know whether that public-sector job creates more wealth than it absorbs, so that we can have an intelligent conversation about the economy…

    especially if we’re discussing ANOTHER economic “stimulus” aimed at the public sector…

  67. State expenditures by fiscal year, excluding federal funds:

    2000: $13.9B
    2001: $15.0B
    2002: $15.7B
    2003: $16.0B
    2004: $16.2B
    2005: $17.2B
    2006: $18.9B
    2007: $20.6B
    2008: $21.8B
    2009: $22.3B
    2010: $20.8B
    2011: $20.7B

    Source: http://fiscal.wa.gov/FRViewer.aspx?Rpt=Recast%20History%20Expenditure%20Statewide%20Summary

    Look at the last two years. Spending went down.

  68. “it is important to know whether that public-sector job creates more wealth than it absorbs”

    You gonna ask that when you call 911?

  69. Budget expeditures

  70. Thanks ehill….

  71. “ANOTHER economic “stimulus” aimed at the public sector…”

    You think teachers and firefighters and other government workers don’t spend their salaries in the community, buying groceries, going to the movies, etc?

    Perhaps you could go to Bremerton and ask the merchants there what would happen to them and their employees if the 10,000 “overhead” shipyard employees all lost their jobs. Perhaps you could go to Renton or Everett and ask the local merchants there what would happen to them and their employees if all those Boeing employees working on “overhead” government projects lost their jobs.

  72. Tree_guy…..maybe you can point out what you are whining about…I can’t seem to find any namecalling on my part…

  73. ehill….yeah….I’ve been trying to convince the Conservatives that state employees are taxpayers, but they just don’t see it.

  74. commoncents says:

    The state has squandered much of the budget by agreeing to overpay state employees, therefore service levels (also known as programs)have to be cut. We could have constant service levels by allowing the government to lower state employee pay as required.


    Problem with citing the fiscal.wa.gov for your argument about the budget increasing is that it can also be used to counter other arguments…such as the one you state above…

    per fiscal.wa.gov – Expenditure History – Salaries and Wages

    2007-2009 12,463,774 (in thousands)
    2009-2011 12,501,179 (in thousands)

    So, one can reasonably assume that the 2 billion increase in the budget during the last bienneum was NOT a result of agreeing to overpay state employees as you claim. This is especially true if you look at the FTE counts during same period…FTE’s increased from 10.6 to 111.9 (again in thousands) during that same period. So we have more people making basically the same amount…ie LOWER WAGES.

  75. aislander says:

    ehill: You guys are never going to understand basic economics. Taking water out of one part of the ocean and dumping it into another part doesn’t make the water any deeper, but adding more actually does…

  76. “We, the taxpayer, are on the hook for the 74+ billion dollar number”

    Inclusive of federal funding….

    I get a chuckle from all of the wailing about budgets….isn’t there a revenue side to budgets? Is it all expenses??????

  77. Not only are they taxpayers, but they are also consumers. There are two sides to every economic transaction: selling AND buying. If nobody has enough funds to purchase anything (because they aren’t working OR they aren’t earning enough), it doesn’t matter what the sales price is.

  78. “You guys are never going to understand basic economics”

    When you know you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  79. commoncents says:

    my bad..that should read FTE’s increased from 107.6 to 111.9.

  80. “Taking water out of one part of the ocean and dumping it into another part doesn’t make the water any deeper”

    Such as raising taxes on the poor and the middle class while cutting them for the wealthy.

    “adding more actually does”

    Excellent rationale for the stimulus. Nice to know we agree.

  81. aislander throws in a strawman analogy….

    Always good in an argument about numbers…

  82. aislander says:

    Okay. Do you understand that, unlike energy, wealth can be created and destroyed?

  83. I’m gonna sit back and watch ehill do the magic….

    Of course, I expect aislander to become silent shortly..

  84. “the 2 billion increase in the budget during the last bienneum”

    Oh? What increase would that be? Spending went down for FY2010 and FY2011.

  85. Oh gaaaawd…..over the cliff…..LOL

  86. “Do you understand that, unlike energy, wealth can be created and destroyed?”

    Do you understand that the subject of this thread is the state budget?

  87. aislander says:

    I know that teachers and firefighters spend money, but they are spending someone else’s money (water taken from a few feet down the beach), and their spending doesn’t stimulate the economy at large, though it benefits whatever merchants they patronize…

  88. aislander says:

    YOU made the subject the principle of whether every public job is overhead by calling me on my assertion, ehill, so we are no longer discussing the budget but rather that principle…

  89. “someone else’s money”.

    Gawd….I can’t take it….LOL

    Everyone is “spending someone else’s money”. If I buy a product or service from John Doe….John Doe is spending my money when buying from Fred Schwartz….on and on et al….

    Only aislander could believe that he originated his own money….LOL

  90. Don’t think firefighter provide a service? Don’t call 911 the next time your house is on fire….

  91. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, I pay less than $42 every six months for fire protection.

    My fire insurance is more expensive than that. Public employees therefore, are less expensive than private……right??????

  92. aislander says:

    …and, ehill, if the government is spending someone’s money (having taken it from him, that person is no longer able to spend that money as he wishes, so whoever would have gotten the benefit of that transaction that didn’t happen, doesn’t–water taken out of the ocean and put back into it…

  93. “they are spending someone else’s money”

    By that logic, no worker is spending their own money, since almost every dollar in this economy came from somewhere else.

    “their spending doesn’t stimulate the economy at large”

    So if we laid off every single federal, state, and local government employee tomorrow, there would be no impact on the “economy at large”, would there? Good lord, you can’t be serious.

  94. aislander says:

    ehill: You are correct about one thing: I never should have made the categorical statement that “you guys are never going to understand basic economics.” That is an unfair assertion, but I don’t believe it is “attacking he messenger…”

    I SHOULD have written that, based on the evidence I have seen so far, it seems extremely unlikely that you guys are ever going to understand basic economics…

  95. “having taken it from him”

    Now we’re adding drama…..good laaaaaaawd!

    Hey…islander….go buy a REAL island..one of your own and provide your own services. Then you can really complain.

  96. aislander says:

    Put another way, government spending is a zero-sum game, since no NEW wealth has been created, but private spending is a plus-sum one, since no private worker would retain his job if that job didn’t create new wealth…

  97. “since no NEW wealth has been created”

    What is the “new wealth” of a power company? (Koch Brothers)

    For that matter….demonstrate ANY “new wealth”

  98. “since no private worker would retain his job if that job didn’t create new wealth…”

    Explain the “new wealth” of a health care insurance company

  99. aislander says:

    Based on the lack of new comments, I have made my point…

  100. A health care insurance company takes recycled money and negotiates a lower fee schedule from providers (lowering the economy) and pays out a percentage of that fee, leaving the rest of the payment as a responsibility of the patient.

    For this, they make a profit.

    Where is the “new wealth”?

  101. “on the lack of new comments, I have made my point…”

    “Self-proclaimed internet victory”….LMAO

    I wonder if there is a trophy on aislander’s computer desk

  102. kardnos said…..Of course, I expect aislander to become silent shortly..

  103. commoncents says:

    please read a post in it’s entirety before you begin to attack it. I specifically cited a biennium period. And spending did NOT go down from the bieenium period before. If you look at the biennium periods and compare them apples to apples then you have this:

    FY2008 33.22
    FY2009 35.27
    Biennium2007-2009 68.49
    FY2010 35.27
    FY2011 35.37
    Biennium2009-2011 70.64

    You sourced only state spending vs. state and federal spending. I chose to include a figure that includes revenue from all sources and expenditures from all sources. I did not cherry pick or exclude any data. When you cherry pick your data then you open it up for questioning. If federal funds = federal expenditures (and same goes for local) then you can exclude them but they don’t and there are transfers back and forth. Which is why I used the total expenditure/revenue figures.

    And again, spending did NOT go up because of excessive salaries and wages being paid to state employees.

  104. I just noticed this piece of brilliance…

    “However if I had a vacancy that I had trouble finding a good tenant for, I would be willing to cut the rent by as much as half.”

    If you can’t find a good tenant at regular price you cut the price in half to find a good one??????????

    I wonder if Cadillac dealers can survive that selling plan.

  105. aislander says:

    LarryFine: It should be obvious to even the most fatuous and puerile that service providers create wealth by fixing costs and providing predictability for their customers and by selling their services for more than their cost. Our system creates money essentially by fiat, but that process is inflationary if there is no NEW wealth to justify the additional money created.

    An easier-to-understand scenario occurs when, for example, a furniture artist goes out into the woods and locates, say, a maple burl (which has no value in situ and takes it back to his shop to create a piece that someone will buy. His transporting the raw material, applying his knowledge and talent to improving it, and finding a customer to buy it adds value (creates wealth), justifying the creation of new money.

    Taking money from someone who has created wealth and transferring to, say, a public employee, creates no NEW wealth, even though that employee might represent overhead that is necessary and desirable…

  106. “SHOULD have written that, based on the evidence I have seen so far, it seems extremely unlikely that you guys are ever going to understand basic economics…”

    Thanks for proving my point. When you know you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

    “Based on the lack of new comments, I have made my point…”

    I would have responded earlier, but I was stocking shelves at my local food bank. Were you trying to make some kind of point?

  107. “It should be obvious to even the most fatuous and puerile”

    Ahem. As I said. When you know you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  108. “You sourced only state spending vs. state and federal spending”

    … because the subject of the letter was state spending. Not state and federal spending. Got it?

  109. commoncents says:

    So there are two strip malls owned by person a and person b respectively – the first one is rented entirely to private retailers and the other is rented entirely to state and federal entities. If rents are exactly the same…is the income earned by person a any different than the income earned by person b? Is the person who only rents to private retailers somehow more wealthy? smarter? a better landlord? was there somehow more wealth created?

  110. “a furniture artist goes out into the woods and locates, say, a maple burl (which has no value in situ and takes it back to his shop to create a piece that someone will buy. His transporting the raw material, applying his knowledge and talent to improving it, and finding a customer to buy it adds value (creates wealth), justifying the creation of new money.”

    Except that the customer who buys it is spending EXISTING money.

  111. “is the income earned by person a any different than the income earned by person b?”

    Of course not. That’s been my point all along.

  112. My initial response to you was only to show that state spending has in fact gone down, not up, for the last two years.

  113. the state is still spending the money regardless of source…

    second – that federal money also came from taxpayers…

  114. commoncents says:

    “You sourced only state spending vs. state and federal spending”

    … because the subject of the letter was state spending. Not state and federal spending. Got it?

    —–

    Federal Revenue exceeded Federal spending…state and local revenue was less than state and local spending. Got it?

  115. commoncents says:

    ehill – you are arguing against the wrong person. Again, read the whole post. My argument was against tree_guy and was supported using state data that he had cited as being valid data to refute a point he tried to make regarding state salaries and wages.

  116. aislander says:

    Reread the part of my post that addresses how and why new money is created…

  117. “NOT to attack the messenger, but you really don’t read for comprehension, do you?”

    Another insult from you, another sweet debating victory for me.

  118. aislander says:

    Our system creates money essentially by fiat, but that process is inflationary if there is no NEW wealth to justify the additional money created.

  119. aislander says:

    If you think you are winning “sweet…victories” by cherry-picking the points you believe you are refuting, you are welcome to revel in that illusion…

  120. “state and local revenue was less than state and local spending”

    Really?

    2009-11 Biennium-To-Date Actual Data Through June 2011: $46,742,944,000
    2009-11 Expenditure History – Operating & Capital Total State (TOT-S): $41,480,476

    Revenue: http://fiscal.wa.gov/FRViewer.aspx?Rpt=Monthly%20Monitoring%20Revenue%20Statewide%20Summary

    Spending: http://fiscal.wa.gov/FRViewer.aspx?Rpt=Recast%20History%20Expenditure%20Statewide%20Summary

  121. “cherry-picking the points you believe you are refuting”

    Once again, when you know you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  122. aislander says:

    You seem to have settled on one “message,” plus the technique of ignoring what I have written. I don’t see that there is any substance to deal with in your posts. If I see any, I will be more than happy to address it…

  123. “I don’t see that there is any substance to deal with in your posts.”

    One more time, you can’t refute the message, so you hurl insults. Yet another admission of defeat.

  124. “Our system creates money essentially by fiat, but that process is inflationary if there is no NEW wealth to justify the additional money created.”

    …such as the new wealth created for the folks who will have jobs as a result of the stimulus, and spread that wealth in their communities by patronizing their local merchants.

  125. Based on the lack of new comments, I have made my point…

  126. “Of course, I expect aislander to become silent shortly..”

    Yep. You were right.

  127. aislander says:

    ehill writes: “……such as the new wealth created for the folks who will have jobs as a result of the stimulus…”

    Sorry, but that is not new wealth. It is wealth that has been removed and then partially restored (with some sticking to governmental entities)…

  128. “…such as the new wealth created for the folks who will have jobs as a result of the stimulus, and spread that wealth in their communities by patronizing their local merchants.

    Those funds, “stimulus”, was money that was taken from quite a few taxpayers. More accurately, that money was borrowed on behalf of the taxpayer.

  129. aislander says:

    xtp…is that you?

  130. aislander says:

    I didn’t mean you, xx…

  131. “that is not new wealth”

    Wealth: Tangible or intangible thing that makes a person, family, or group better off. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/wealth.html

  132. I know aislander, not a problem…

    keep plugging, if not these guys, the casual reader is getting that government takes money from their pockets, from their homes, from the mouths of their children while telling them that the “One” knows how to spend the money better.

    Stimulus… that is funny, I didn’t know we were telling jokes… ;)

  133. aislander says:

    It is not new wealth because taking it (or creating it by unwarranted fiat) makes someone else worse off. Net: zero…

  134. commoncents says:

    which is why this country is in a world of hurt with manufacturing only making up 15% of our GDP – and more and more manufacturing entities seeking to shift work .

  135. ehill – from your own source… further down…

    Economics: Total of all assets of an economic unit that generate current income or have the potential to generate future income. It includes natural resources and human capital but generally excludes money and securities because the represent only claims to wealth.

    Because an entity transfers money from one source to your pocket doesn’t mean wealth was created nor transfered… especially when it comes from the pockets of a few other people to support the money in your “stimulus” funded pocket.

  136. aislander says:

    The trouble is, xx, when you transfer money or securities from one person to another by force, the former has lost the opportunity that money could have generated, and that opportunity is the potential for real wealth. Giving that money to someone to just spend does not allow for opportunity. Thanks for helping me clarify that in my own mind…

  137. “Because an entity transfers money from one source to your pocket doesn’t mean wealth was created nor transfered”

    So when conservatives cry that the government is transferring wealth from the wealthy to the less fortunate via taxation, they’re lying aren’t they? After all, money isn’t wealth.

  138. “Because an entity transfers money from one source to your pocket doesn’t mean wealth was created nor transfered”

    According to your cited definition, nothing to do with money or securities counts as wealth anyway.

  139. “when you transfer money or securities from one person to another by force”

    Aside from armed robbery, when has that ever happened in this country?

  140. aislander says:

    ehill: Click on your little link (no personal insult intended…), and look up “opportunity cost.” I refer to that concept in my comment above…

  141. aislander says:

    Try not paying your income tax (if you are one of the few who is still subject to it) and see if there is force involved…

  142. “Try not paying your income tax (if you are one of the few who is still subject to it) and see if there is force involved…”

    Not paying your taxes is against the law. Are you really claiming that the existence of the law is just a technicality?

    “Your honor, I know my client murdered 247 people in cold blood, but hey, the fact that murder is against the law is just a technicality”

  143. “look up “opportunity cost.”

    Talk about things that aren’t real…

  144. aislander says:

    I’m saying that money is taken by force. You dispute that? A substantial part of that is put into transfer payments to other people. Taken by force; given to someone else. That’s ALL I said…

  145. “I’m saying that money is taken by force.”

    Show me one instance of someone forcibly taking money.

  146. aislander says:

    According to the link YOU provide, “opportunity cost” is very real. Ducking the point?

  147. “You obviously are not a serious person, ehill, merely a puerile would-be provocateur.”

    Another admission of defeat.

  148. “According to the link YOU provide, “opportunity cost” is very real”

    It isn’t real any more than potential energy is the same thing as actual energy.

  149. aislander says:

    So…seizing a bank account or a business and throwing someone in prison isn’t force. I’ve had enough of you…

  150. aislander says:

    LarryFine: Analogizing “opportunity cost” and “potential energy” could only be the product of a third-rate mind…

  151. commoncents says:

    “state and local revenue was less than state and local spending”

    Really?

    2009-11 Biennium-To-Date Actual Data Through June 2011: $46,742,944,000
    2009-11 Expenditure History – Operating & Capital Total State (TOT-S): $41,480,476

    Revenue: http://fiscal.wa.gov/FRViewer.aspx?Rpt=Monthly%20Monitoring%20Revenue%20Statewide%20Summary

    Spending: http://fiscal.wa.gov/FRViewer.aspx?Rpt=Recast%20History%20Expenditure%20Statewide%20Summary

    Apples and Oranges. On your charts, expenditures are those allocated only to state expenditures while your revenue is broken down only by monies flowing into the general fund regardless of whether it’s federal dollars, state dollars, taxes, or transfers.

    Try again

  152. commoncents says:

    So investment is the only thing that creates opportunity? Spending has no impact on wealth creation?

  153. aislander says:

    Spending is part of it, commoncents, but Keynes was wrong and Hayek and Friedman were right. Spending is part of the mechanism of the economy, but is not the creative part. The furniture artist and his maple burl create the impetus for the spending, and the increase in value that makes it worthwhile. When that increase in value occurs, it justifies an increase in the money supply that does not lead to inflation. That is wealth creation…

  154. “seizing a bank account or a business and throwing someone in prison isn’t force”

    No, it’s called enforcing the law. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

  155. “Analogizing “opportunity cost” and “potential energy” could only be the product of a third-rate mind”

    Yet another admission of defeat. Poor guy.

  156. “Apples and Oranges. On your charts, expenditures are those allocated only to state expenditures while your revenue is broken down only by monies flowing into the general fund regardless of whether it’s federal dollars, state dollars, taxes, or transfers.”

    OK, then, why don’t you post something that proves that the state took in less than it spent?

  157. aislander says:

    LarryFine: I am frustrating myself and annoying the pig (who still hasn’t learned basic economics….

  158. I was busy creating wealth… yahoo… now I need to send some east to the DC zip code before they come and take it from me… by threat of force by the way.

    It is clear in multiple language for you in the IRS documents… boy oh boy what they can do to you. Ask old Wesley Snipes.

  159. aislander – I get the feeling some people are taking the word by “force” a little to literally. So I thought coercion might be the word of the day when it comes to the “voluntary tax system” we have.

    “coercion – force or the power to use force in gaining compliance, as by a government or police force.”

    hmm, I am not to sure what the issue is comprehending what you wrote and your meaning is… oh well the casual reader I am confident gets it.

  160. commoncents says:

    I never claimed that it did. The state constitution mandates a balanced budget. So the state either spends or saves exactly what it takes in. Any money saved during years where actuals revenues exceeded spending would then be saved and used in years when expenditures exceed revenues. You can find the transfer numbers in there…it’s just well hidden.

    I simply stated the $2B increase in spending from one biennium to the next(regardless of source of revenue) was not due to salaries and wages. Nowhere did I talk about revenues in relation to anything. I did not do so because the revenue numbers are not as easy to pin down as the expenditure portion. What was easy to pin down was the FTE numbers and salaries and wages as well as total spending.

  161. “Nowhere did I talk about revenues in relation to anything.”

    Oh? Then who was it that said this? “state and local revenue was less than state and local spending”

  162. “So when conservatives cry that the government is transferring wealth from the wealthy to the less fortunate via taxation, they’re lying aren’t they? After all, money isn’t wealth.

    For some reason your post got me thinking about Chris Rock and his comedy routine about the difference between being rich vs being wealthy… hilarious… the whole routine was hilarious.

    Enjoy – http://youtu.be/4m37JkkGjAY

    …and yes when the government takes money by “coercion” from a small group of people and transfers it to another ever increasing group of people that is not creating a group of “wealthy” people, it is creating an ever increasing group of dependent people. Dependent on the government for income as they have no means to create wealth via the example set by aislander for example.

  163. It is amazing how two people can read a document and come away with vastly different meaning.

    …generally excludes money and securities because they represent only claims to wealth.

    From your post ehill…

    According to your cited definition, nothing to do with money or securities counts as wealth anyway.

    Not what I said nor the definition stated that. The amount of money you have (or not) is a measure of your ability to create wealth. Just like previously said, if it is taken from someone else and transfered to your pocket, you have done nothing to create that “wealth”

  164. Aside from armed robbery, when has that ever happened in this country?

    it happens every time Congress passes a bill that takes money from a small group of people and transfers that money using the supposed services in the bill, to an ever increasing group of people.

    the armed robbers in your scanario is the Congress using the power of government to “rob” you fellow citizens of their wealth that they, using their brains and back, created… and you didn’t.

  165. commoncents says:

    Aislander – I would agree with you in regards to your defintion of wealth creation. However, our society and economic system doesn’t value that sort of action. The largest monies are made by those who create nothing or are overhead to actual wealth creation. Additionally, our tax system encourages the sourcing of wealth creation and taxes those that produce/create at a lower rate than those that simply transfer wealth. Heck, this whole world economy was nearly brought down by individuals who are paid great sums of money to shift piles of numbers (not even money anymore) from one account to another.

  166. aislander says:

    xx: I had to laugh when xtp or whomever it is used the words “enforcement of the law” (or similar) to argue that there was no “force” involved.

    calcan2: I know exactly what was going on, but it was an opportunity to make a point that might be picked up by someone open to understanding the truth. But, you’re right: when you argue with an idiot, it is sometimes difficult for an onlooker to tell who the idiot really is…

    commoncents: I think the problem is the incestuous relationship between business and government. Much of what went wrong could not have happened otherwise. But that is a BIG subject for another time. Until then, we need to encourage real wealth-building activities…

  167. commoncents says:

    Really? You’re going there? Take the whole thing into context here. That point that you just referenced came AFTER…you do know what AFTER means right?..you challenged my data and said that spending went down while only referencing the states expenditures of state derived monies and ignoring the fact that the state also SPENT money obtained from feds and local sources. When you do that they you bring into play the fact that spending of money on fed projects was lower than the revenue brought in.

  168. commoncents says:

    I still find it ironic that you attacked (and still continue to do so) a position that was similar to your own.

  169. commoncents says:

    aislander – I can wholeheartedly agree with that thought. I think those at OWS would also agree with that.

    Problem is we have to differentiate between the income earned by those that actually produce (small business owners who actually risk something) and those that are overhead and risk nothing (and I count myself as one of the latter as I simply support those that do create). I’m not sure there’s an easy way to do that.

  170. aislander says:

    LarryFine: The following is from Gov. Gregoire’s own website:

    “A budget deficit, gap or shortfall is when projected spending exceeds projected resources in a given fiscal period.

    The state was projected to have a deficit of $4.6 billion in 2011–13…”

  171. commoncents says:

    hmmm…am I missing some posts here? Unless EHill is LarryFine then I think I am as I haven’t seen any LarryFine posts.

  172. aislander says:

    When I decide not to engage further with a member, I address the post to LF. Let’s me answer without engaging…

  173. aislander says:

    …and ehill is, without doubt, a member…

  174. commoncents says:

    gotcha

  175. LarryFine says:

    … do you see the posting pattern ?

  176. aislander says:

    Yep…

  177. “They don’t care what the subject is. They sit at home with their hand in their pants grinning every time you respond.”

    Wow, that really proves your moral and intellectual superiority. Your parents must be SO proud.

  178. “when you argue with an idiot, it is sometimes difficult for an onlooker to tell who the idiot really is…”

    Very true. I suggest you look up “projection.” I think you’ll find your picture.

  179. “The state was projected to have a deficit of $4.6 billion in 2011–13…”

    … and that backs up your claim about the state expenditures exceeding revenue in the last biennium because…?

  180. aislander says:

    BTW, LarryFine: ALL those in the business of selling things, from Boeing, to the Cadillac dealer, to someone trying to find a level of rental fee that will attract tenants, will adjust prices downward until demand is found.

    Otherwise, car dealers, for example, would never have sale prices…

  181. aislander says:

    And, LF, lefties’ idea that lowering prices until demand is located is a terrible way of doing business is comparable to their stubbornly insisting that NO job that doesn’t pay anything but should be worth $75K a year if it existed, is better than a job that DOES exist that pays, say, $20K a year. At some time we need to face reality.

    We can get back to being the highest-paid workforce in the world if we make ourselves worth it. We need to be the most productive and innovative people in the global economy, with the freedom to take our ideas and put them into practice more quickly and easily than anyone else can.

    This means getting rid of stultifying regulations AND union work rules, too…

  182. the highest-paid workforce
    [....]
    getting rid of union work rules, too…

    So…let me get this straight….we will become the highest paid workforce by getting rid of unions work rules? Isn’t the “problem” with unions is that they demand that their members are the highest paid workforce?

  183. aislander says:

    You MUST know that work rules are a huge impediment to productivity, and increasing productivity is necessary to increasing salaries. Innovation. Flexibility. Freedom. We can’t tap our potential unless we unleash those things…

    As for unions’ demanding higher pay: they can demand all they want, but I’m talking about meriting higher pay…

  184. “You MUST know that work rules are a huge impediment to productivity”

    Yep. Who wants a 40-hour work week, a safe workplace, or a minimum wage, anyway?

    “As for unions’ demanding higher pay: they can demand all they want, but I’m talking about meriting higher pay…”

    Yep. Them workers are just bums.

  185. “You MUST know that work rules are a huge impediment to productivity, and increasing productivity is necessary to increasing salaries. Innovation”

    Perhaps I MUST know what you believe is true but, it isn’t supported by reality:

    U.S. productivity growth doubled from 2008 to 2009, then doubled again in 2010, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
    [....]
    U.S. workers have become so productive that it’s harder for anyone without a job to get one.
    [...]
    Measured in growth, the American economy has outperformed those of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — every Group of Seven developed nation except Canada, according to the Associated Press’ new Global Economy Tracker, a quarterly analysis of 22 countries representing more than 80% of global output.

    Yet the U.S. job market remains the group’s weakest. U.S. employment bottomed and started growing again a year ago, but there are still 5.4% fewer American jobs than in December 2007. That’s a much sharper drop than in any other G-7 country. The U.S. had the G-7’s highest unemployment rate as of December.
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2011-04-04-us-economy-jobs.htm

  186. From the same article….

    “U.S. management practices “make it easier for employers to avoid adding permanent jobs,” says economist Erica Groshen, (…) “They have temporary help they can hire easily. They’re less constrained by traditional human resources practices or by union contracts.”

    Innovation – “management practices…”
    Flexibility – “temporary help…”
    Freedom – “less constrained… union contracts…”

    for some reason I am thinking of filters… hmm…

  187. aislander says:

    Yeah, waiting around half a day for the proper union guy to arrive so a poster can be hung on a wall, while ten other people who are perfectly capable of doing that “job” stand around watching REALLY enhances productivity. And let’s not forget NYC schools’ “rubber rooms…”

    I’m sure that literally (and I DO mean literally!) thousands of such examples can be found if anyone cared to research it…

  188. I’m sure that literally (and I DO mean literally!) thousands of such examples can be found if anyone cared to research it…

    and yet, American productivity is sky high. And you still imagine that productivity is directly related to high-paying jobs (even when the evidence suggests that there is an inverse relationship)

  189. concernedtacoma7 says:

    “and yet, American productivity is sky high” while union membership and effect on the private sector drop.

  190. Voltaire says:

    Those that want to be union members complain about union members. It is sort of like the nimby syndrome in reverse. Because they can’t get it, they don’t want others to get it

  191. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Volnos, you ignored the point. Your partisan blinders obviously prevent you from any honest debate.

    Bottom line is unions add to inefficiency in both the public and private sector.

  192. ct7 – kettle = black

    Your bottom line assertion is not based upon any meaningful evidence – just anecdotes and your bias.

    The original claim by aislander was that, once union rules disappeared productivity would rise and that would lead to the return of high paying jobs.

    I demonstrated that that is a false assertion: productivity has gone up by laying people off and expecting the remaining employees to crank out as much work that more people used to do – jobs haven’t returned.

    Increased productivity is a great thing – for the stockholders – but it isn’t so great for job hunters (and those being pushed to do more with less resources who are lucky enough to still have a job).

    Jobless recoveries just fuel another bubble for stock prices.

  193. aislander says:

    Eliminating union job rules, beerBoy, was only one of my suggestions, but you chose to ignore the larger point. We need freedom, flexibility, innovation, access to domestic resources, most of which can be achieved by having less government interference in our affairs.

    But there is no doubt that government has its thumb on the scales in favor of the unions, and unions ARE part of the problem…

  194. “We need freedom, flexibility, innovation, access to domestic resources, most of which can be achieved by having less government interference in our affairs.”

    … and can ALSO be achieved with the rules currently in place.

  195. aislander says:

    Yeah, right…

  196. aislander says:

    The previous comment was directed to the philosopher, LarryFine…

  197. is their a point ehill?

  198. The point is that, contrary to the bogus claims made in here, companies can – and do – succeed in today’s environment. Sorry you missed it.

  199. aislander says:

    So…LarryFine and xx…some salmon managed to make it past the dams to spawn, but the dams are still coming down. Seems that some people believe it would be better if were easier to get upstream…

  200. No one said you can’t succeed it is just made more difficult by artificial and unnecessary barriers.

    Interesting you use Inc magazine highlighting small business success stories, in that same magazine is this article stating how the United States is no longer in the top ten countries in the world for starting a business. (World Bank does an annual survey).

    These people don’t succeed in starting because of assistance from the government, they succeed in spite of the barriers thrown in front of them. I applaud them.

    http://www.inc.com/ss/9-best-countries-start-business-right-now#0

  201. When you talk about dams and salmon got me thinking about the bears further upstream. I guess they would be considered buyouts… hostile buyouts…

  202. Maybe you’d rather move to Rwanda, Georgia, or Belarus, since they rank above us. Or maybe you prefer semi-socialist Canada, sho ALSO rank above us. I happen to prefer this country.

  203. Australia, New Zealand, and Canada all share one other common trait: national (or in Canada’s case, Provincial) healthcare. When your company doesn’t have to pay for its employees’ health care, it’s a lot cheaper to start up a business.

  204. aislander says:

    Those bears, xx, are natural, rather than man-made, impediments…

  205. excellent point sir, that does need to be made obvious…

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