Washington Gov. Gregoire Wants to “Buy Back” Spending Cuts

January 13, 2010

Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) proposed a state budget earlier this year that closes their gap between revenue and spending with program cuts. However, she said yesterday that she hopes to “buy back” $780 million of cuts with more federal aid and taxes on out-of-staters.

Gregoire said the state cannot live with an all-cuts budget like the theoretical one she presented in December. That no-new-revenue budget, which she was required by law to deliver, called for elimination of health care, scholarships and preschool for poor families.

Instead of that approach, Gregoire said she’ll deliver a budget proposal to the state Senate Ways & Means Committee this afternoon that will rely on $780 million in new revenue and $1 billion in cuts.

The new revenue will come from a mix of federal aid and new taxes, Gregoire said. She did not go into detail on any tax increases during her 40-minute speech.

In fact, Gregoire said she’ll propose some tax incentives to promote job growth.

Tax incentives usually grow nothing, depending as they do on political favoritism and taking from one to give to another.

The legacy of state overspending now requires hard choices. Gov. Gregoire should offer a real choice between threatened programs and hire taxes from state residents. A choice between spending cuts and taxes on other people isn’t exactly as genuine.

More on Washington State here.

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