Two quick comments on the Seattle Times editorial board's latest call for legislators to balance the state budget by slashing pension benefits for state workers: 1) The Blethens can't manage their own fucking pension, let alone advise others; and 2) The editors' insistence that slashing pensions sets our state on a "sustainable path" suggests that they are either idiots or liars.
The only reform that can possibly set our state budget on a sustainable path is tax reform. We've been slashing spending for years, and still the budget gap grows. Not even an economic recovery can set things right again, because in the long run we have a tax structure that over-relies on taxing a base—the sale of goods—that has been steadily shrinking as a portion of the overall economy for more than a half-century. And as state revenue shrinks as a portion of the state economy, so does its ability to meet demand for state services at a constant level. It's simple math.
I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't have a debate over pensions and other priorities and reform, but until we're willing to put revenue back on the table, the entire budget debate is bullshit.