A point that is particularly galling is that for all of the Republicans talk about being "ignored" and how all of this was necessary because the Democrats wouldn't incorporate any of their ideas - it's simply not true.
A side-by-side of the two budgets has been posted here - it's even reasonably legible (thanks Publicola):
If you don't have a lot of time - scroll to the bottom; it's only eight pages. The "Grand Total" line? $208M - that's the difference between the original budget and the only that had to be developed in secret and introduced with a coup because Democrats can't be trusted.
And that $208M is the difference in the CUTS. To be very, very clear about this, the Democrats had agreed - in addition to the four-year-budget and all - to $564M in cuts, and the Republicans want $773M. BOTH budgets are all-cuts.
And even that $208M is a fiction. Look a little further up page eight, under "Natural Resources". The only difference between the Democrat column and the Republican column is the $67M assigned to "MTCA Related Shifts". MTCA stands for "Model Toxics Control Act" - defined here (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/9406.pdf
) and "innovative CITIZEN MANDATED toxic waste cleanup law".
So one-third of this $208M - this totally unreconcilable gulf that required the Republicans to throw the legislative schedule into chaos and complicated every political dealing for the foreseeable future - one-third of that is achieved by taking the money that was being used at the direction of Washington State citizens to clean up hazardous waste.
You want to guess whether the problems of dealing with that waste are going to get any cheaper while this program is zeroed-out? You think that cleaning up toxic waste is just another big-government scam?
There was no point to this. The budget the Republicans introduced isn't some pure expression of fiscal sensibility that had to be nailed to the door and accepted as revealed truth. This doesn't make sense when looking at the very limited policy disagreements between the two bills.
This was an expression of political power. Those behind it - to paraphrase Jon Stewart - "Have mistaken not getting everything they want all the time with being oppressed."