This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
Washington voters could hardly have been crueler to the Legislature’s Democrats.
On Tuesday, the electorate left the Democrats in charge of the House of Representatives and Senate – although with shrunken majorities.
At the same time, the citizens repealed new taxes on soda, bottled water and candy that had barely – and only temporarily – balanced the budget.
After those taxes were enacted, increasingly pessimistic economic forecasts had thrown the budget into a $500 million-plus shortfall through June. The shortfall for the 2011-2013 biennium had been estimated at $4.5 billion. The repeal of the new taxes added $272 million to what was already a dire fiscal crisis.
Deliverance might have come in the form of the new income tax proposed by Initiative 1098. But the voters drop-kicked that idea into British Columbia, rejecting the initiative by a massive, don’t-ask-me-again margin.
They also slammed shut the door on other new revenues sources by passing Initiative 1053, also by an overwhelming margin. I-1053 restored a suspended requirement that any tax increase must be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature or be put to the voters.
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