This week, so we are told, the Governor will expose his budget to public scrutiny, of which there should be plenty. The far left will, as always, cry that there is not enough money for all sorts of questionable social programs. The moderates will be thankful that the basic safety net funding is almost adequate. The Senate R’s and their brethren on the far right will articulate the wasteful, over spending of a progressive cabal that looks at children and only sees union members, at roads and wonders where the bikes and electric cars will drive, and at Montana’s dirty air and just know, there is a K-12 funding opportunity somewhere among the soot and warming climates.
We here at the Wire do consider the operational end of state government to be our key audience, but our recent Google Analytics report shows we actually have a wider reader audience. So, with an interest to always inform and advise, we thought we would put together an index of key Oly-talk and interpret the terms and words for real people.
Governor’s proposed budget- n. a document that is 90 percent politics, 10 percent fiscal guideline and 100% dead on arrival in the State Senate.
Revenue-n. Tax, involuntary extraction of money from citizens and businesses, a component of a deliberative body’s sophisticated redistribution of the commonwealth.
Tax-n. see “revenue.”
Investment-n. Not to be confused or used interchangeably with “revenue.” Purchases of tangible or intangible items that, overtime are intended to either increase the value of the original purchase price, or prolong the life of a depreciating object.
Tax Break-n. A forgiveness of an imposed revenue provision. Supposedly implemented or granted to encourage or incent certain actions by businesses or individuals who originally would have paid the tax/revenue. Antonymic phrase-”killing the goose that lays the golden egg.”*
Tax Preference-n. A kind and publicly tolerant term for “tax break.”
Tax Exemption-n. An unkind but accurate term for being exempt from paying otherwise imposed taxes. See “tax break” and “tax preference.”
“Rare as a snowball in Hell”- a phrase used to describe the number of tax exemptions originated by legislators rather than lobbyists.
*“Killing the goose that lays the golden egg”– v.-a phrase describing what progressives do when they repeal a tax exemption from fiscally fragile businesses. Business (geese) with delicate interstate or international competition can also be killed with uninformed repeal.
McCleary-n. Name of a small town west of Olympia known for its “Bear Festival.” Also the name of renowned plaintiffs in a lawsuit that determined the state legislature needs to put more money into K-12 education. (See “taxes”)
1351-ad., n.- The year most commonly given as the end of the Europe’s “Black Plague,” or “Black Death.” Also the number assigned by the Secretary of State to a successful, unfunded (see “taxes”) initiative that pretends to reduce class sizes in K-12 education but actually, only sticks adult bodies in the classroom arithmetically reducing the ratio of students to adults, regardless of the adult’s preparation to be in the classroom.
Budget Short Fall-n., a phrase meaning the previous state budget was poorly constructed and did not accurately estimate either spending needs nor available revenue. Known to most responsible citizens as “over spending.” As one longtime Olympia player explained, Budgets don’t fall short, they’re budgets. Money falls short when too much of it is desired. (See “taxes”)
Over spending-n. A phrase that accurately describes situations when private or public entities spend or plan to spend more money than they have. Not to be confused with the vernacular and confusing phrase, “budget short fall.”
Enhancements -n., v.- term used by shy legislators who really mean they want to spend more on some inefficient public program.
Reforms or Program Reforms (not to be confused with “efficiencies”)-n. v. An action taken by a policy group to allegedly refine or make a public program more efficient or cost effective. Specific examples are not available because “reform” is merely a term or phrase, and no specifics about the detail of any reform is available at this time…again. (But it sounds cool!)
Approps-(pronounced as if it had a long o-appropes)n-nickname for the committee in the Washington State House of Representatives that is the first step of the giant redistribution of the state’s wealth. See “revenue.”
MCC-Majority Coalition Caucus-n. Something that will never exist in the House of Representatives as long as Frank Chopp is Speaker, or even if the R’s take control and the moderate R’s join the minority D’s to run the place. (see-”Rare as a snowball in Hell”)
Carbon Tax-n. A revenue proposal that will tax the citizens of one of the cleanest states in the Union to send some esoteric message to China to stop building coal plants. Oh, and it looks like the tax proceeds will be used to fund K-12 education (this week) without any reforms! (see “tax” and “reforms)
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