Today, Washington State’s over-reliance on sales tax means that our state is among the worst in the country at recapturing revenue even as the economy rebounds from recessions. Washington ranks as the most “upside down” (regressive is the technical term) state in the country for taxes, way “ahead” of Florida, Texas and Arizona.
Der Spiegel, Germany’s version of Time magazine, reports that this year German consumers will be forced to pay $26 billion for electricity that sells for less than $4 billion on the open market. More than 300,000 German families a year have their electricity cut off because of unpaid bills. There’s even a name for it: energy poverty.
State revenues keep ticking upward, and the latest monthly collections report by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council says state coffers are now $115 million ahead of where forecasters predicted in late June. That boon is still small compared to the $1 billion to $3 billion shortfall assumed by Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget office, which assumes the state will be putting at least $1.5 billion of new funds into K-12 public schools next year to answer a state Supreme Court ruling.
Democrats are more focused on making policy to appease their various social groups and Republicans are more focused on fighting both new and existing policy because smaller government is the core philosophical commitment of their base. New policies usually expand the scope of government responsibility, funding, or regulation.
With ballots scheduled to go out in just over a month, political campaigns and festivities are in high gear. On Saturday, in what has already become one of the premier annual state political events, Rep. J.T. Wilcox held his 4th Annual Salmon Bake outside Yelm. Over three hundred and fifty guests spent a beautiful evening on the Wilcox family farm. House of Representatives Republican leaders and candidates were there in force, but there was also a bipartisan theme.
In 1975, the Code of Federal Regulations had 71,224 pages. By 2013, the number of pages had grown to over 175,000. In just two years, from 2010 to 2012, the EPA increased its oil and gas regulations by 45 percent. Although no one can measure the effects of regulations precisely, RegData solves this problem by measuring the number of restrictive terms instead of just concentrating on the number of pages of regulation.