Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

And What Was Your Point Again-

Posted by Adam Graham on April 22, 2007

Tom Paine writes over at 43rd State Blues something I’ve been thinking about for a while:

The Seattle PI had an interesting story this am about Washington State’s budget. It’s done on a 2 year cycle and comes to $33.4 Billion or appx. $16.7 billion a year. This for a state appx 4.2X the population size of Idaho.

But Idaho’s 2007 state budget is only $2.1 billion, appx—
AND we have an income tax. Washington State has NO income tax; but somehow their budget is nearly 8X times that of Idaho.

The same can be said for Montana. Here’s a small population state with appx. 2/3rds the number of people (950K) as Idaho, but they have a state budget SURPLUS of over $1 Billion. But Montana has NO state sales taxes (except in designated tourist resorts

Someone writing in the comments tries to partially defend Idaho while extending the same point:

Well, in fairness Washington has a substantially higher sales tax (and sales revenue) than Idaho.

Actually, no their tax rate is 6.5% (food exempted) with a local option tax that varies between 1 and 2.4%. The local option wouldn’t effect state budget.

That said, there’s no doubt Idaho could use a major tax overhaul. Republican policy has been to band-aid, and then band-aid again, ad nauseam. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t think this is a bloody mess?

Of course, people think it’s a mess because it is. However, what do Democrats propose to it. Grant every item on the IEA’s massive wish list? Raises taxes even further. What this seems to point to is a Laffer Curve moment which the Democrats can’t do much about.

So raising taxes and giving the teacher’s unions more money will solve this how? The Democrats have got no plan and Republicans sadly aren’t talking about it.


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