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Washington State's Last Republican Governor has Some Advice for Gregoire.

By Sandeep Kaushik February 14, 2009


spellman2Former GOP Governor John Spellman: Raise Taxes

Support for a saner, more balanced approach  for dealing with the growing state budget deficit—one that would include consideration of tax increases—is coming from some unlikely places. For instance: John Spellman, the last Republican governor of Washington State, appeared on TVW recently and pointed out that when he confronted a crushing revenue shortfall—a $1.6 billion deficit at a time when the entire budget was $6 billion—he implemented a large tax increase that ensured government continued to provide adequate levels of key services. 
Spellman served one term as governor, winning election in November 1980. He took office the following January and immediately confronted a budget shortfall comparable to the current $6 billion (and likely to rise) shortfall.         "I didn't get elected to balance the budget. I got elected to serve the people, and at a certain point you've got to do what's necessary —raising taxes," Spellman tells host Austin Jenkins on Inside Olympia.      
Spellman added that Governor Gregoire ought to consider abandoning the "no new taxes" pledge she made during last year's campaign against Republican Dino Rossi. "You better consider it, and if I were there I suspect that we would be planning on it," Spellman says. Later in the conversation he added that were Gregoire to abandon her pledge, "I think it's doing what must be done... I'm sure she meant it when she said it, I hope she would be successful in going ahead without taxes, but I have a big question mark about that."  

Watch the video here (clip starts at 38:47).

As I argued earlier this week, spending—not cutting—is the way to deal with the shattered economy.

Josh reported yesterday that legislators in Olympia are mulling over sending a spending package  to voters.  


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