This Washington

PubliCola TV: The 2010 State Budget. Conservative Version

By Camden Swita April 16, 2010

Editor's note: Lefty version here.

PubliCola sat down with Paul Guppy, vice president for research at the Washington Policy Center, a conservative think tank in Seattle, about the the state budget passed by the legislature last week—which includes $757 million in taxes and $840 million in cuts to cope with a $2.8 billion shortfall


Along with citing the GOP speaking point that state government has grown 30 percent in the last decade—a point my grumpy editor challenges here—Guppy also reiterated the standard conservative line that raising taxes is the worst possible move during a recession.  But he did go on to make a more nuanced point:

The term "cuts" is misleading in Democratic press releases about the budget (liberals have been trying to thwart criticism of raising taxes by pointing out the cuts they made dwarf the new revenue). Guppy say most of the "cuts" the Democrats made this session were actually decreases in future program funding, not straight-up reductions in current spending.

Guppy would also like the Legislature to review and overhaul the very structure of the state's budget and revenue structure. Unlike Remy Trupin, director of the Washington State Budget and Policy Center (see yesterday's Cola YouTube Q&A with him here), Guppy doesn't think this means establishing an income tax. Rather, he favors increasing efficiency in service delivery and reducing state personnel costs, which would include getting tougher on unions.
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