In the years before Republicans took control of the Senate with the Majority Coalition Caucus, Democrats held control of both houses of the Legislature and the governor’s office, so there was nothing stopping them from increasing the tax burden on constituents rather than better spending the money they already have.
State Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, is among the reasons why this practice has been slowed in recent years. As a chief budget writer, he’s helped craft legislation that creatively and efficiently funds government. The Democrats, meanwhile, would rather tax you more than manage your money better. The best example is in the House’s proposed budget, which includes $8 billion in new taxes the Democrats were unwilling to support with votes.
Sure, there was a certain amount of political gamesmanship in the Senate’s demand for a vote on the individual taxes rather than rubberstamp approval of its proposed budget, but such maneuvers are useful and illuminating when the other side seeks to impose new taxes they themselves are unwilling to support publicly.
No one should be pleased with the routine special sessions required in recent years as lawmakers on each side of the aisle have been slow to find budgetary compromises, but consider the alternative: Democrats repeatedly increasing your taxes because it’s easier than finding reasonable solutions.
A pair of protesters demonstrated at Braun’s business in Chehalis last week. It was a stunt meant to oversimplify the current situation in Olympia, and it was conducted at the expense of facts or reason.
Democrats are reluctant to compromise because for years they never had to. Republicans are now insisting they do so, and the process of reaching a bipartisan solution has therefore been time-consuming.
The direct criticism of Braun is insincere and incorrect.
Braun has been one of the best representatives of the 20th Legislative District in history. His background in business has provided the expertise needed to protect the taxpayers of Washington from unnecessary money grabs statewide. Meanwhile, he’s provided incredible support and results for local projects and initiatives with the help of his counterparts State Reps. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, and Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis.
The special sessions do indeed cost taxpayers money, but it’s a pittance when compared to the costs of a Democrat-controlled government left unchecked by a conservative chamber of the Legislature.