Two-Thirds of Washington Voters Want State to Cut the Fat


"We're not in a budget crisis because we're spending more. Lawmakers cut $9 billion last year. "

How convenient you only go back 1 yr Dom. I guess the morons who enjoy your writings might not notice that statistical fib.
Go back to 2005 and you see spending has increased 31% under Gregoire, the highest increase in 16 years.

Nice try Dum.
Yawn... Trolls are up early today.

I heard this story yesterday Dominic, but I wanted to know the details:

How were the questions worded?
What was the sample size and regional bias?
What are the margins?

I'm having trouble digging this stuff up. Anybody?
I'd be curious to see what the budget deficit would be with public employees paying the same percentage of their health care that private employees do. And stop this boondoogle that is Sound Transit, buses are more flexible and less expensive, plus people actually use them, heck even put some money into making bus shelters nicer. All the public art provisions can be cut on an emergency basis if taxes can be raised on the same basis. And show me the results of the new auditors findings, that the auditor has sufficient funding, and that they use the findings. Then, and only then will I agree with raising taxes.
"Trolls are up early today."

Is that what you call facts?
"What are the margins? "

I seem to remember 2-3%. So yes, the Dems are fucked if they impose an income tax on ALL of us (which you know is where this will go).
Dom, you need to find some friends who actually pay taxes so you are not so clueless to the perspective of real Washingtonians.....
We have heard from state employees that their cost of living raises were canceled last year. Other benefits may be in danger of the budget axe.
"their cost of living raises were canceled last year"

Poor dears, how will they ever survive?
I can't find hard numbers on the State's budget, just rolled up percentages and pie charts. The closest I found is this:…
Can we force people to comment only after they have registered? Please? The trolling on slog is getting out of control.
Like the jerks around were I live, some people are surprised that public employees are paid anything more than minimum wage and not horse-whipped at the end of their shifts.
@11 is right, we absolute don't want any trolls, they don't seem to understand that we celebrate diversity here in seattle and we are the most open minded intellectual people int he world so this trolling thing which borders on "disagreement" is akin to a crime, as those trolls are making us feel bad, if we have to "argue" or "debate" on issues instead of Celebrating Our Hipsterdom and Liberal Purity in Ritualistic Manner, Which a Strong Emphasis on Circling the Wagons if Attacked. And dammit, some of those trolls are asking for facts. Facts, you know, the ploy of the right wing! Horrors.
I completely agree with Cato.
"The survey of 1200 people in Washington, Oregon and Idaho is a collaboration of the Northwest Health Foundation, pollsters Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall, and Northwest public radio stations, including KPLU."

I'm no Nate Silver, but this doesn't seem like a particularly representative poll. I think the Stranger should send the interns to find the actual questions and demographics of this poll.

pray tell. doesn't it make sense to spend it, when you've got it? and then when you don't, to cut back? what's wrong with that. the people have spoken, they desire unstable sales taxe revenue, so government is providing exactly what the people's choice requires.

@2 tell me this, too, is it not true that every year the budget is balanced?

so there is no deficit in Wash. state?

(capital budget excepted, that's bonded out, etc.).

If we have a zero deficit what is your problem, dude?

third question. 31% 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 is about 7% a year growth....since we had economic and population growth in most of those years plus sales tax growth why is the increase in spending bad? The reason wwe are in the hole now is contraction in revenue due to sales tax falloffs. So, we balance the budget or cut things and raise taxes, whatev. So, we get some instability in funding programs and some instability in taxes...if you are a soda maker, boo hoo, suddenly you get a tax. Who gives a shit, really? A few folks have some taxes raised. That pvc pie maker isn't hurting because taxes are high he's hurting because the economy is in the tank but cutting spending 2005-2009 as you seem to wish or keeping it level which would be a 20% cut in real terms likely wouldn've provoked economic contraction. Your whole position that taxes just take and don't put back is ridiculous and inane, when the govt. taxes, it buys w that money so the entire economy benefits,

your position is really that all govt. spending is 100% waste. Are you a special ed school teacher like that tea party idiot woman? living off the govt/attacking govt at the same time? do tell.
@11 You can always just turn them off, but you're right.
@Trolls: It's not like registering is a huge blow to your anonymity.
"what "fat" form these priorities should the state cut?"

Certainly not education. Although, whatever money they're spending on teaching WA state journalists and bloggers how to copy edit doesn't seem to be having much of an effect.
If there are no trolls, all you have is an echo chamber.
@16. Those numbers are from 2005-2007....sorry dude, my mistake.
Not true, Raindrop. You aren't exactly the voice of agreement most of the time, yet you're not a troll and you had no problem with registering. There's a big difference.
THanks 5280, you are the reason why the looney left can never get its shit together. You'd would rather sit around and debate decorum, trolling and points of order.

Quick, look....squirrel!

Keep it up, it's the best way for Centrists to stay in power.
I have an idea!

Let's have the vote TODAY to fund the Billionaires Tunnel!

Come on, what's a couple of Billion Dollars for a vanity project for Billionaires, all borne by Seattle Taxpayers?


(i'll vote no)
By the way, how did they account for the undersampling of younger people who have no landlines?
"younger people who have no landlines?"

....and hardly pay taxes or vote?
Jesus Christ! The state is not the fucking tooth fairy! It's always the same song--we can get our tit out of the wringer if only we got rid of all that gubment waste and inefficiency. It's a lie. Should we go the way of Colorado Springs where they can't run the streetlights at night because the anti-tax loonies don't want to pay for the most basic of services? How about 50 children in your kid's classes? How about the bridges and road that are falling apart all over the state? That shit costs money, plain and simple. You want to live in a decent place with a future? Then quit bitching about paying for it.
64% of whom? they sampled 1200 people from washington, oregon, and idaho. so how many were from washington? how many of are actually voters? and yes what questions did they ask to get this response. such a piece of crap article/piece. details are needed to make any sense of this number.
and fuck this super majority bullshit.
so why piss yourself over it?
Nothing like liberals suddenly doubting KUOW when the facts don't go there way.
It's always the same song--we can get our mouths around that big money tit and turn more of the economy over to the state if only we got more access to more of your money.
Well, if we need to cut spending, it seems obvious that it should be on all the parasites who receive more tax dollars than they pay in.

So, freeze in the dark, Eastern WA.
Remember when Gregoire kept insisting the state could maintain a huge surplus, which then turned into a deficit after she was re-elected? Yeah, people remember that. I'm not saying I agree with them, but you have to admit Gregoire has pissed away a lot of goodwill through fiscal mismanagement through her two terms so far.
Shorter 'Centrists Rule' : "Waaaah!! I don't wanna pay taxes! I DON'T WANNA!! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!! WAAAAAAAAHH!
@25 - they do pay taxes. In fact, young people (20s) have some of the highest tax burdens in this state, where the sales tax hits the poorest the most and they pay indirect property taxes by renting. stop lying.
I agree with 26 shit costs money. I also want to remind everyone that shit creates jobs, nice jobs. I think a lot of people in our state need nice jobs building roads, teaching kids, and keeping the streetlights on. Okay?
"keeping the streetlights on"

THe street lights are on.

How long until someone argues that making UW students pay for their elite educations themselves will turn us into Mogadishu West?

""Waaaah!! I don't wanna pay taxes!"

Well guess what, your income tax? It won't happen.
@9 prices go up for them just like everyone else. I live with someone who works for the one of the county governments. Trust me, it's not a free ride. They're on salary and working more than 40 hours a week to keep their jobs just like everyone else. Stop being a dick.

@1 It's not like people lost their jobs and are spending less or, say, property taxes took a major hit or anything. Did you fail math or what? Hurp derp. We have deficit because it just happened. It's not the housing market contributed.
"We have deficit because it just happened"

What, is that going to be the left's campaign slogan in November?

Good luck.
making UW students pay for their elite educations themselves

If our resident troll is any indication, "centrist" = drooling idiot.
Cato and 5280: Earlier this week, I saw that one of Dan's posts (can't recall which one) had commenting available only to registered commenters. I wouldn't mind seeing them use that option more often.

Raindrop: it wouldn't be any more of an echo chamber than it already is. The trolling never actually contributes to the discussion. Besides, we have plenty of registered folks like you and David Wright to provide some divergent perspectives and opinions.
@38: You sound cranky. It's time for your nap.
Spending actually does go up the more people you have. Do the anti-tax teabagging idiots think a state with only 10 people can have the same budget as a state with 10 million people?

Tax the god damn rich, don't cut anything, and let the tea baggers shut the fuck up.
What's going on in California is the same thing as what's going on in Washington:

To illustrate the point, he looked at a sample of exactly typical 100 adult Californians:

The top 1 percent of our people--that is just one of our hundred in this example--has more income than over 60 percent of our people. The top 5 percent make the equivalent of 85 percent of the income earned by the other 95 percent of the population. If that top 5 percent is not paying its fair share of taxes, it is impossible to balance the budget.

If there is one fact that explains the budget crises and decline of funding for education in California, it is this fact. This is the policy promoted by the Democratic and Republic parties, which have consciously and deliberately raised your taxes and allowed education to decline as they cut the taxes of the rich and of corporations.

Overall, the estimated total budget deficit for all 50 states in 2010 is $180 billion. Cutting the U.S. military budget by less than 10 percent would cover the entire budget gap, saving funding for schools, social programs and more. Just the annual spending on the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan would nearly amount to the total deficits.

That's the reality of the misplaced priorities of U.S. political leaders. The money is there to save our schools--if the politicians would tax the rich and end U.S. wars halfway around the world.
"Spending actually does go up the more people you have"

Faster than the population growth? If your population goes up 10%, why would spending go up 31% as did 2005-2008?
Order: "public education, public safety, employment and training programs, health and mental health, children's services and state highways."

Public education is top?! Wow, that really surprises me. Seems like that is the one we should be taking off the State's plate first. To me, the only thing worse than thinking the government is responsible for your health is thinking the government is responsible for your kid's education.
@44 wrote "Faster than the population growth? If your population goes up 10%, why would spending go up 31% as did 2005-2008?"

Because there are things beyond population growth that drive the state budget, like the number of k-12 students and how many people we have incarcerated (remember three strikes and mandatory minimums).
After giving this serious thought, I've decided that what this issue really highlights is how difficult it can be for any of us to digest the complexity of budget issues. We need to avoid turning these issues into simple partisan sound bites and instead focus on making it easier to compare spending priorities over time and debate the tradeoffs between spending priorities in a meaningful way.

That might also allow us to have a more straightforward and numbers-based discussion around stata payrolls.

In any case, we should stop calling each other names and baiting each other. It's unhelpful.