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Newspaper Editorials Heat Up Over State Budget Crisis

By Josh Feit November 1, 2011

Lots of bloviating from ed boards. But few solutions.

We hauled out a pair of competing left/right editorials on the state's budget crisis for today's ThinkTank with the 99 Percenters at the Washington Budget & Policy Center calling for an end to corporate tax breaks and the free-marketeers at the Washington Policy Centers calling on state workers to take a benefits cut.[pullquote]The endless debate between supply side and demand side economics continues.[/pullquote]

The endless debate between supply side and demand side economics continues, with competing budget editorials at the Columbiancalling on state workers to up their contribution to health care from 15 percent to 25 percent, and the Tacoma News Tribune, calling on state legislators to go after new revenue.

The TNT's editorial is angry, and documents the depressing cuts that are in store if the legislature goes through with an all-cuts budget—"Gregoire’s scenario simply erases the entire Basic Health Program, throwing 35,000 Washingtonians off medical insurance."

However, they offer few specifics on how to raise the $2 billion and cover the budget shortfall other than calling for taxes, which requires a two-thirds vote of the legislature. Good luck.

The Columbian puts a number on their beef with state employees—$52 million—but again, good luck. A) The unions are refusing to reopen contract negotiations (changing the health care coverage split would require a new contract) and B) $52 million isn't $2 billion.
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