Death PenaltySocial Issues Taxes
I know there is always the feeling that the State generates way more tax revenue that it needs and that much of it is simply wasted. At the Federal level, that is an easier argument to make. But the State budget is a tiny fraction of that and there the State does not a lot of good (and inevitably some bad) with its revenue.
I am sure we could go through the budget and find a few things that do not truly need to be funded. But I figure if they were truly not worthwhile, then either citizen groups would have already raised hell or one of the parties would have fought to de-fund it.
You could probably convince me that money spent on the Legislature is probably not getting much bang for its back. Maybe we should convert the State Capitol into condos and sell them to the people who truly appreciate that building — you know, lobbyists. (Just kidding. Sort of.)
I am not a big fan of higher taxes. No one is. But I also do not believe government is inherently a huge waste of money. Government provides crucial services to a lot of people who need it, even though many of us do not even realize it.
Given how many areas are under-funded, based on citizen complaints, Contempt of Court rulings, and just plain talking to ordinary people, it is difficult to claim (with a straight face) that the State of Washington is truly over-funded.
The State needs to increase revenue, but also needs to change its tax structure to be less regressive and more consistent during economic downturns.