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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Unbalanced Budgeting: New Report Says Initiative 1185 Would Slash Jobs and Hinder Economic Recovery

Posted by on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 5:15 PM

There are two sides to a balance sheet, but you wouldnt know it looking at Washington states recent budgets.
  • Washington State Budget & Policy Center
  • There are two sides to a balance sheet, but you wouldn't know it looking at the work of Washington state's Great Recession budget writers.

The Washington State Budget and Policy Center issued a new report today on the potential budgetary impact of Tim Eyman's two-thirds-supermajority-reimposing Initiative 1185, and well, the prospects don't look too good.

The private sector has added 64,000 jobs since June of 2009, but our state and local governments have shed nearly 18,000 additional jobs over the same time period. That's 18,000 people who aren't spending their paychecks, and who aren't providing essential services in education, health care, child care, and other public sectors. Over that same period budget cuts have cost 66,000 Washingtonians their health coverage, and 22,000 people their disability benefits. And so on.

Our state and local governments continue to shed jobs even as the economy improves.
  • Washington State Budget & Policy Center
  • Our state and local governments continue to shed jobs even as the economy improves.

During the worst recession of the post-World War II era, the supermajority law has given a small handful of lawmakers the ability to block legislation to raise the additional revenues necessary to bolster Washington’s economy. As a result, policymakers have been forced to slash funding for health care, schools and colleges, and other public investments that create jobs and support a strong state economy.

[...] As long as Washington state is saddled with the onerous supermajority law, the state will not be able to make job-creating investments in transportation, public safety, health care, and education. If I-1185 is allowed to cement the law into place for another two years, those investments will continue to erode, forcing the next generation of Washingtonians to accept fewer jobs and limited opportunities.

Our gubernatorial candidates can talk all they want about outgrowing our current budgetary crisis, but our longterm structural revenue deficit makes that impossible. I-1185's undemocratic two-thirds supermajority requirements locks in the austerity status quo, and austerity is a recipe for economic stagnation and decline.


Comments (23) RSS

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Thanks for bringing this up. I don't know how I-1185 is polling, but I'd have to think most voters wouldn't support it if they knew how it would alter their lives.
Posted by floater on August 23, 2012 at 5:33 PM · Report this
Shame even Inslee rejects your wet dream income tax. And how come the "99%" is only the 34% on election day?

Btw weren't you claiming we'd be Somalia by now with all these "cuts" (ie. slower growth in state spending). And how are u going to fill the $1 billion hole in Seattle's excessive retirement benefit plans?

Keep dreaming ladies. The good people of Washington roundly reject your income tax proposals.
Posted by Sugartit on August 23, 2012 at 5:55 PM · Report this
"Thanks for bringing this up. I don't know how I-1185 is polling, but I'd have to think most voters wouldn't support it if they knew how it would alter their lives."

That's what the loony left said the last three times. This state apparently likes Dems but only with their balls in a vice.
Posted by Sugartit on August 23, 2012 at 6:00 PM · Report this
Btw why hasn't Seattle turned into Mogadishu on the Sound after 4 years of so-called "cuts"? Haven't seen a Technical in sight unless you count Somali soccer moms weaving in Landcruisers down MLK at 45 mph without using turn signals.
Posted by Sugartit on August 23, 2012 at 6:06 PM · Report this
@1 Was polling at 56% last month. But won't have a real clue till after the conventions and real polling, and campaigning starts.
Posted by Large Hardon Colluder on August 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM · Report this
A two thirds majority requirement actually creates a veto for the remaining 1/3.

That is antithetical to democratic governance.

Posted by codswallower on August 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
I totally agree, but that first graph is a data-vis diaster.

The small circle is much too small for the data given. They're using area to display the difference of the two amounts, but they used the length of the diameter of the circles as the proportion of the difference. Since area is proportional to radius squared, the circles are too much different in size.

I agree with your point, but whoever made these charts need to read some Tufte.

It should look like this:
Posted by Mr John on August 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM · Report this
The line chart appears misleading. The drop in the brown line appears equivalent to the rise of the blue line, but in fact the increase in private sector jobs outstrips the loss of public sector jobs nearly 4-to-1 in numerical terms. In addition, it looks like the dip in private sector jobs was never that big.

I'm no fan of the super-majority rule, but this chart seems to argue for smaller government, not against it and appears to give the pro 1185 camp grounds to shout "distortion!"

Also, Washington state is in a catch-22, because higher taxes means more regressive taxes, so increased public revenue are actually both populist and anti-populist at the same time. Eyman wins, public's screwed no matter which side wins on this initiative.

Or am I missing something on both scores?
Posted by Centrists Rule the World today on August 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM · Report this
@8, I think it's because the chart is showing the percentage change in each sector. Since the private sector is bigger than the public sector a ~3% gain is about 4 times bigger than a ~3% loss in the public sector.
Posted by Mr John on August 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM · Report this
Teslick 10
Yes, but even if 1185 wasn't on the table, any tax increase would probably be thrown out via iniaitive (soda tax) anyway...
Posted by Teslick on August 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM · Report this
Gay Dude for Romney 11
What is the sense in comparing private sector growth with public sector growth? The two are not peers. The pubic sector is essentially an enclosed and surrounded island within the private sector.

The private sector generates growth through free enterprise and generates tax revenue, the more growth the more generated revenue.

The public sector spends the revenue by the private sector. It should grow no more than, or less than, the growth required to service the needs of the people, defend our shores, and protect our health and environment. Granted, I acknowledge that Republicans forget how expensive it is to run a society.

If the public sector grows outside needs of these parameters, it risks creating an artificial economy based on inflated currency, unfunded liabilities, and inevitably broken promises to the American people.
Posted by Gay Dude for Romney on August 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM · Report this
"A two thirds majority requirement actually creates a veto for the remaining 1/3. "

Yet 2/3 of the great state of Washington vote for that system. Why do you hate democracy?
Posted by Sugartit on August 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM · Report this
lauramae 13
The private sector jobs created are certainly not equal to the public sector jobs lost. It would be interesting to break down the jobs in the private sector between living wage and minimum wage jobs.

And Gay Dude, for fuck sake, please provide the evidence that public sector WORK protecting you, educating you, maintaining the roads you use to drive to work, and infrastructure to make sure it all happens safely has some how been lavish. Keep it to Washington State too.
Posted by lauramae on August 23, 2012 at 7:28 PM · Report this
notaboomer 14
stranger want to talk about this?

Ambassador Crocker arrested for hit and run, DUI in Spokane…
Posted by notaboomer on August 23, 2012 at 7:51 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 15

minority-imposed austerity.
Posted by Max Solomon on August 23, 2012 at 8:59 PM · Report this

Only a discombobulated liberal would consider job gain of 48,000 with most of those jobs coming from profit making enterprises at the expense of tax payer funded agencies!!

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 23, 2012 at 9:28 PM · Report this
@11: I hate to dignify you by responding...but, fuck that's stupid even for you.

Ever hear of multiplier (effect)? Govt spending has the potential to create many private sector jobs.
Posted by gnossos on August 23, 2012 at 9:40 PM · Report this
Does anyone know for certain (by anyone I mean an attorney, not the conservative trolls above) whether if the State Supreme Court decides that a two-thirds majority is unconstitutional, that won't have to be litigated each and every time an initiative is filed? In other words, will that stop Eyman's 2/3s initiative-filing for good?
Posted by sarah70 on August 23, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 19
Given the reality that MOST eligible voters can not be bothered with doing so, and hence 24% make the vote that effects the remaining 76%, I say 2thirds is just about right as it's a better voting average than the common citizen can be bothered with. MY POINT: if the common man can not be bothered enough to get involved, they live with the results of their non-involvement.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn on August 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM · Report this
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Posted by rickyyad on August 23, 2012 at 11:35 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 21
Spam clean up #20!!!
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on August 24, 2012 at 7:24 AM · Report this
@7 - Nice catch. I can't believe people still think they can get away with that.
Posted by colinrichardson on August 24, 2012 at 7:26 AM · Report this
I also want to point out that the Fig. 2 uses a percentage scale and has 2 different figures tracked and plotted using their own percentages, instead of using the actual number of jobs for each. If it were re-plotted using actual jobs, the decline in public sector would only appear to be about 1/3 the relative increase of private sector. I can see that percentages are sometimes useful, but I think it's not helpful in this case.
Posted by colinrichardson on August 24, 2012 at 7:48 AM · Report this

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