Conservative anti-tax proponents pushing initiatives like I-1053 and I-1107 on this year’s Washington State ballot are pushing lies about our ever-expanding state government. The fact is that the percentage of our state’s resources (as measured by collective personal income) devoted to public services like education and health care for seniors and children continues to decline.
The following is taken from a post by the Washington State Budget and Policy Center and deserves wide distribution to help educate the public:
Despite the claims being made by Initiative 1107 and Initiative 1053’s proponents, Washington actually devotes a smaller share of its resources to public services like education and health care than a decade ago. And given the magnitude of the recession, the state will likely continue to devote a smaller share of its economy to public services than before.
Typically, economists measure changes in government spending over time by analyzing how much of a state’s total personal income – or the sum of its collective resources – goes for public services. But as the graph below shows:
•The share of our resources that are spent on education, health care, public safety, and other important services has actually dropped since the late-1990s;
•As of June 2010, state spending in the current 2009-11 biennium is projected to fall to about 5.4 percent of total personal income in Washington – lower than the 6 percent share that went for public priorities the late-1990s.
This percentage will decline even further due to the recently-announced, 6.3 percent across-the-board budget cuts.
In other words, a smaller share of our collective resources is going to public priorities like educating our kids or providing health care than before.
And it is declining.
The post adds a link to get more detailed information. See the full report by Andy Nichols entitled Budget Claims Lack Context, Belie Deep and Painful Cuts.
I urge Washington Voters to vote No on Tim Eyman and Oil Industry giant BP’s Initiative 1053 – which would give 17 out of 147 Washington State Legislators veto power over our state budget. Vote No on I-1107 which would repeal a short term tax on bottled water and soda. The American Beverage Industry is bankrolling this effort.
For more information on the initiatives on the November ballot go to http://www.protectwashington.org/ and http://www.stopgreed.org/.