Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mrs. Gregoire earns an F

Stefan Sharkansky at Sound Politics points out that Mrs. Gregoire, who calls herself governor, earned an F for fiscal irresponsibility among the 50 states of the US. The list at Cato puts her near the bottom. But their narrative makes me sick, because it's true:
Christine Gregoire, one of the worst new governors in the nation, was elected in 2004 in one of the closest and most contentious elections in Washington history--a controversial Palm Beach-style recount made her the winner of the gubernatorial race by only 129 votes. Famous for being the lead negotiator in the $206 billion shakedown of cigarette companies known as the 1998 multistate tobacco settlement, Gregoire quickly took aim at state taxpayers upon entering office. She's raised multiple taxes already: the cigarette tax (by 42 percent), the gas tax (by 34 percent), the state's liquor tax (by $1.33 a gallon). And she resurrected the estate tax, too. Gregoire even helped the legislature overturn the law that required a supermajority to raise taxes in the future. All of this to fuel her spending binge, which expanded the general fund budget by more than 8 percent in fiscal 2006 alone. Tax activists have placed a repeal of the estate tax on the ballot in Washington, and Gregoire has already stated her opposition. In the meantime, she was quick to propose new ways to spend the $1.6 billion budget surplus this year. With a legislature controlled by her own party, perhaps the only check on Gregoire's big-government ambitions in years to come will be the usually feisty tax activists in the state.
Good for our tax activists. Tim Eyman, let's keep after them.

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