The math is pretty simple. You cannot erase Washington State's $2.8 billion budget shortfall by just trimming more and more fat from government spending. It will not work—unless by "fat" you mean entire state programs such as, say, Basic Health, which gives some 60,000 low-income residents access to rudimentary health care. (And even if you did cut that program, the outcome would, like many similarly drastic proposals, come with some pricey blowback—in this case, skyrocketing costs to hospitals and the public from people using emergency rooms as primary-care facilities.)
This is why state lawmakers and the governor believe the only way to balance the state budget is by combining cuts and significant tax increases. But here in Seattle, over at the offices of the state's largest newspaper, the Seattle Times, the thinking—or, perhaps more accurately, the obsession—is all about one thing: fighting new taxes tooth and nail.
Ever since the budget crisis came into focus, the Times has been lambasting lawmakers in Olympia with a series of angry, Tea Party-ish editorials that first argued against any tax increases whatsoever and then, when that position became untenable, argued for very limited tax increases and a slash-and-burn approach to finding budget savings.
Find out what state legislators think of the paper's "Balancing the Books" series, who now wants to shake whom by the lapels, and what Times editorial page editor Ryan Blethen had to say about all of this, HERE.