It's All Gregoire's Fault

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Governor Gregoire is throwing around a lot of blame these days for the budget problems -- where "problem" is defined as "we are going to, as we have done every year, increase spending this year, but less than we want to" -- trying to make people feel guilty for the mess we're in. But it's a mess she knowingly created. It wasn't even an accident or an unfortunate set of unforseen circumstances. She knew this would happen, she said it would happen, and she didn't take her own advice to prevent it from happening.

I've noted many times in this space that Gregoire said in a State of the State address, well before the recession:

Our state budgeting has been like a roller coaster. We spend when we have a surplus and we struggle to make painful cuts when the economy slumps. It's time we even out the road. When the roller coaster, while it's fun at an amusement park, it is no place and no model for state budgeting. By treating our budget like a family's budget, we will ensure stability, we will avoid tax increases, and we will avoid Draconian cuts.

Three years ago, soon after the recession started (and well before we knew how bad it would be), Gregoire said:

Just like families, we are making wise investments for the future and we are saving for the less prosperous times. For too long state government has spent in the good times, and then made painful cuts when our economy would slow. We're getting off that roller coaster, and we're making progress.

Now, because of her spending when we had a surplus, we are struggling to make painful cuts when the economy slumps. She said we were getting off that roller coaster, but instead, she made the coaster speed up. It happened exactly as she said it would if we kept spending as she did.

The "wise investments" was a tiny "rainy day" fund that is long since gone. Republicans told her it should be much bigger. She didn't listen. And now she justifies it by saying it was worth throwing our budget into crisis because she made increases in education spending, as if there weren't billions of increased dollars on other things, too ... and even if it was all for education, so what? I don't think most Washingtonians think it was worth it.

You spent us into oblivion, Governor. As my song dedicated to you, back in 2008, says, "You buy me much more every year / You've got the cash to spend / Next year you'll run out / But you can worry 'bout it then."

I saw it coming. The Republicans saw it coming. But what's worst of all, Governor, is that YOU saw it coming, and you drastically increased spending anyway.

I take no joy in being right about how badly you've screwed our state, Governor, but the story needs to be told, and no amount of your complaining -- about how the people aren't giving you even MORE money to increase spending, rather than doing what everyone else has to do: decrease spending -- is going to make your record look any better. If the people deserve any blame, it's only that they gave you a second term in office.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on December 16, 2010 9:00 AM.

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