The lobbyists and legislators I talked to down in Olympia yesterday indicated that there was no way out of the budget crisis—$7 billion? $8 billion—other than raising taxes. (Hell, $10 billion. Wait until those holiday season non-revenues come in.)

Indeed, Senate Democratic leadership met with a group of UW economists last week who told the state senators that Gov. Chris Gregoire's severe budet cutting approach is the absolute worst solution in times like these. 

The academics prepared a handy fact sheet for the legislators titled: "Avoiding a Herbert Hoover Budget for Washington State."

Under the headline—"Economist Paul Krugman warns that 50 Herbert Hoover budgets are now being written in state capitals and if they go into effect they will undermine attempts to revive the economy"— the U.W. brains leveled Gov. Gregoire's Dino Rossi-approach warning that: 1) Her billions in cuts could cost more than 50,000 jobs; 2) "targeted, reasonable cuts are appropriate, but massive cuts will accelerate the economic decline while reducing services and damaging programs and institutions;" 3) "Don't hire construction workers while firing social workers...The most effective stimulus is to refrain from cutting existing jobs and programs;" 4) "Deficit spending is the right response...the state should sell bonds...to cover the shortfall." 

The legislator who showed me the handy recession (depression?) primer had a copy of this book on their desk:

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