Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

If I hung around “taxes killed my dog” legislators I’d get more ironic comments

Guest blogger Matt Loschen explains why his blogging career is doomed to failure: an altogether unhealthy admiration for public office holders — in this instance Larry Springer, his State Representative.

Last week Larry was speaking to a big group of feisty and pretty well informed activists, many of whom work for his reelection cycle after cycle (full disclosure: this includes me). Defending his work during the legislative session, he patiently explained that Washington State’s tax revenues had dropped through the floor, so all that was left to do was cut.

I love Larry’s patience. He was, however, proud of how HB 2261 (the recently passed expansion of basic education) was going to improve education. Larry is a farsighted and optimistic guy. Then he explained why all the revenue options they looked at to offset the cuts “didn’t poll well”, including both sales tax hikes and an income tax, so they rejected both. Bad news — but you’ve got to appreciate Larry’s practicality.

So then we asked “You just passed education reform. You’re going to have to come up with billions more per biennium by 2018 for education. Sure, things are tight now, but what’s the long term plan to make that happen?” An he answered, “You’re absolutely right, and I have no idea.”

See, he’s honest! Isn’t that great?

Seriously, this isn’t meant to knife Larry…I’m sure if I hung around “taxes killed my dog” legislators I’d get many more ironic comments, and this would be a funnier blog post. As is, this isn’t as funny as it is terrifying. The upshot is, the state is rudderless. If we’re going to fund education so our children end up (at the very least) smarter than we are, we’d better help Larry with some new ideas.

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