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Gregoire stops by, bemoans failure of federal jobs bill

Post by Kim Bradford on June 25, 2010 at 8:57 am with 11 Comments »
June 25, 2010 8:57 am

Gov. Chris Gregoire stopped by yesterday to tout her new plan to reset state government (look for our take on the effort in Sunday’s paper; we’ll post the editorial here Saturday evening.)

While she was here, we talked about the failure of the Democrats’ jobs bill in Congress. Gregoire, as well as many other governors, has been counting on the bill to deliver billions in state aid. Washington penciled in $480 million in additional Medicaid money to help balance the state budget that begins July 1.

The package that Republicans defeated yesterday had a fraction of that, but still might have saved the governor from having to make across-the-board cuts. Gregoire now says that she’ll give Congress until its August recess to revive the aid, or she will start hacking state programs.

The federal aid was supposed to kick in after December, but waiting that long to make cuts isn’t an option. “For every layoff I do now, by December, I’d have to do two,” Gregoire said.

Gregoire noted that the failure of the bill also hurts Washington in a couple of other ways: It would have extended benefits to the long-term unemployed (“Those are people who will be coming right back in our door, needing Medicaid assistance, food stamps…”) and saved the sales tax deduction for another year.

The sales tax deduction is a matter of basic tax equity – it gives residents in states like Washington the same tax treatment as provided residents in states with income taxes. But Congress won’t restore it to the federal tax code because 1) it would then have to actually account for it long-term and 2) it makes a handy pawn to win votes for other spending measures.

Interestingly, the House and Senate felt strongly enough about one piece of their jobs bill – reversing a 21 percent federal fee cut on doctors who take Medicare patients – to break it out and pass on its own. But don’t hold your breath for the sales tax deduction to get any such special treatment.

Behind the scenes
Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. nwcolorist says:

    You have to believe that the Gov has an alternate budget ready right now if the Congress fails to come through. It’s a realistic possibility.

    And, “The package that Republicans defeated yesterday…”

    Really Kim, the Democrats have large majorities in both the Senate and House. It’s not the Republicans that are mucking things up.

  2. PumainTacoma says:

    This from someone who felt it necessary to spend $10,000 to refinish a table? Why did she have to refinish the table this year? Companies are deferring maintenance (cosmetic maintenance of a table) why can’t Gregoire? She talks about jobs and yet stands on a line with high paid workers who bemoan getting overtime and health benefits. I do not see her cutting the fat out of the budget at all. She can surely outsource work sooner rather than later, and stop griping about how her deck looks. Listen people have to cut back, period. Even the governor. I don’t care if $5,000 was donated for a table, keep the coffee rings on the table until there is money to spend on cosmetic work. And don’t ask the working public to cough up more for “some” that choose not to work. People belly ache about not have an added 365 days of unemployment pay, while driving around in new cars, buying cell phones and watching cable TV. Times are tough, tighten your belt, and stop complaining.

  3. tubbythetuba says:

    “The package that Republicans defeated yesterday…”

    LOL, Kim… mean the package the DimCrats couldn’t muster enough votes for.

  4. billyizme says:

    Hmmmmm, where are our powerful Democratic senators and congresspeople ?
    Where Super Patty ? The Amazing Maria ? The All Powerful Norm ?

  5. tubby, the vote had 57 out of 100 for it. Republicans would not let the vote be by majority. They filibustered it, making it need 60 votes. So, yes, the Republicans defeated it just like they will defeat anything that is for the good of the middle class. Doctors getting more of our tax money, that’s OK, but unemployed who are actively looking for work, not worthy.

  6. tubbythetuba says:

    tuddo, there was one Democrat holdout, too

    Also seems that the Republicians had an option that did not add to the national debt…but, noooo…can’t have that, can we?? Bush’s spending was crazy, but BoBo’s is three times as much debt so far….how frackkin far should we go?

  7. johnearl says:

    Who is BoBo?

  8. tubbythetuba says:

    JohnEarl……President Obama (are you old enough to remember BoBo The Clown?)

  9. tubbythetuba says:

    As regular as clockwork, the Democrats will propose, let’s say, a 10% increase in a program. Now, if the Republicians approve of the plan, or want a little earmark of their own, the ‘Crats whine/piss/and moan that they were “blocked” or the bill was “cut”…..*sigh* Liberals acting as usual, I’m afraid.

  10. Maybe the governor will have to start hacking programs like the rest of the taxpayers have had to do. I know it is hard for politicians to live within their means, but if the electorate have to do it,so can they.It would interesting to know what new taxation device will be brought up next.You can be sure there will be meetings to find a way to make it happen.

  11. Tubby, I thought it was “Bozo”, but then, a clown by any other name…So Christine bemoans the porkulus bill that Frank-n-Dodd & Co. force fed all of us.This is the ripple effect of states playing the financial version of “musical chairs”. The music stops, don’t want to be left standing with unfunded mandates payed for by “fill-in-the-blanks” currency backed by our “trading partners” who’s language can be understood best by another former gov.- Gary.

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