Inslee’s State of the State: Lots of free stuff, little substance

Senate Republican Campaign CommitteeSession 2019

The day after lawmakers of both parties signaled a desire to work together to solve some of our state’s most pressing issues, Governor Inslee delivered a speech undermining all of it. A running theme through Inslee’s State of the State was the idea of Washington’s story. Only his speech wasn’t intended to usher in a new, prosperous chapter for our state; the only story Inslee’s address was concerned with was his own.

It’s clear Governor Inslee had one audience in mind during his speech. Not the Legislature, local government officials, or even Washingtonians – his intended audience was every single New Hampshire and Iowa liberal primary voter.

Inslee plans to run for president on the backs of hard-working Washingtonians. All of the promises he made for more and more free stuff, to shore up his progressive bonafides before primary season, will strain the budget of every Washington family, employee and small business.

The Devil is in the Details

Inslee spent the entirety of his address listing out various spending proposals all while conveniently failing to mention ways to pay for his wish list. It’s dishonest for the Governor to talk about benefits of state investments without mentioning the cost to the taxpayers.

Remember, he’s already proposed a huge tax increase on small businesses, an unconstitutional capital gains income tax, and rumors suggest we’ll see another energy tax soon. Voters have repeatedly rejected these. It’s time for Inslee and his Democrat allies to listen to the people.

Lawmakers have a responsibility to serve those who elected them, not pander to Inslee’s presidential ambitions.

There is a better way.

Inslee’s spending plan is divorced from reality

Note to Jay:  WE HAVE A SURPLUS.  It’s raining money.

With the latest revenue forecast projecting a 17% increase, and a total 23% increase over the next biennium, the last thing state leaders should be asking for is more money from taxpayers. That’s why Republican Senators are looking for ways to better prioritize state investments under current budget levels.

What is the best way to use the additional $5 billion available due to the strong economy? That’s the question lawmakers should be answering.

One thing is for sure: more taxes are not the answer.

Inslee and Senate Democrats are proposing tax increases and new taxes in search of a problem to solve. We have the budget to save our orcas, to make important investments in special education, and to begin fixing the Inslee administration’s failures at our state mental health hospitals.  In fact, there is a half billion hole in the budget that needs to be fixed because of all the mismanagement at the Inslee administration.

Overall, Inslee’s address was unsurprisingly disappointing. It was the same speech we’ve heard every single session. And soon, New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina primary voters will hear it too.

Stopping Inslee’s agenda will be a heavy lift for Republicans from the minority. But if you stay involved and Washingtonians speak out for smarter solutions, we can move Washington in a better direction.

The Legislature should advance policies that make life more affordable and provide a pathway forward to those who are struggling. All of us need to work together to prevent new tax increases on Washington families and businesses.