Context is key on taxes and spending

David Goldstein beautifully parses the pundits’ (and politicians’) pronouncements on state budgets, taxes and economic growth here. The highlights:

  • General fund spending under Gov. Gregoire has merely followed the same trend established during the 1990s
  • As a share of the total state economy, Washington’s 2007-2009 budget actually represents a reduced investment – that is, a smaller share of state resources than any of the six budgets that directly precede it.
  • A reasoned approach to measuring taxes and spending looks at it as a percentage of personal income. Washington currently ranks 36th nationwide…and falling…on that scale.
  • Washington boasts the most regressive tax structure in the nation — one in which the bottom 20% of wage earners pay 17.6% of income in state and local taxes while the wealthiest pay only 3.1%.

There’s more – take a look.

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