Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Elected Democrats taxed and spent, other news, water is wet.

Seattle: You can always count on the west coast to bring the stupidity.

OLYMPIA — The state Legislature kicked off three months ago amid widespread predictions that the Democrats in charge would increase taxes, spend more money, and cater to the demands of political allies. The predictions were right. The Legislature passed a $26 billion operating budget, a nearly $3 billion increase over the current one, and an $8.5 billion transportation package — the largest in state history. To pay for it all, lawmakers made it more expensive to smoke, drink, drive and, for some people, to die. Tax increases will raise the cost of cigarettes by 60 cents a pack, liquor by $1.33 a liter and gasoline by 9.5 cents a gallon over the next four years. In addition, lawmakers reinstated an estate tax on the wealthy. The Democrats also handed labor unions and environmentalists some of their biggest legislative victories in years, boosting unemployment benefits for thousands of seasonal workers, approving the first-ever collective-bargaining agreement with state employees and passing one of the nation's toughest car-emissions standards. ....No one contends that the Democrats' budget is sustainable. Even before the plan was approved, projections showed the state could face another $1 billion shortfall two years from now. It's true the Democrats addressed some pent-up needs, said Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane. "But I don't think this has been a Democrats-gone-wild session."
Have fun paying the taxes.

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