Governor’s budget suggestion box about as useful as most suggestion boxes


If you wonder why more governors don’t follow Gov. Chris Gregoire’s lead and create an online suggestion box to solicit cost-saving ideas for voters, just take a look at the most popular suggestions on her Transforming Washington’s Budget page.

You’ll find such bright ideas as “cut government waste,” “require proof of legal residency,” “limit salaries” and “English only.” What you won’t see anywhere near the top of the list are realistic, specific proposals that reflect a willingness to accept the kinda dramatic cuts in government services that would make a substantial impact on the budget… you know, things like “slash state funding of K-12 education,” “shut down the state ferry system,” “privatize the state universities,” or, you know, “raise our taxes.” Most of the suggestions either wouldn’t save much money (for example, the state doesn’t own the land or buildings housing most of its liquor stores, so there’s nothing to sell off), and/or wouldn’t be possible (ie, federal law prevents the state from taxing tribal casinos without their permission).

Meanwhile, the number one suggestion, which admittedly would raise a significant amount of revenue while cutting costs, presents its own legal and political hurdles. And while Gregoire’s office assures the pothead community that she’ll consider “Legalizing Marijuana” as a “legitimate idea,” it’s hard to imagine this governor actually following through.

One thing this public suggestion box does illustrate, is that as frustrated as voters may be with the current budget crisis, they don’t really want smaller government. They just want government to be cheaper. And that something-for-nothing attitude is, of course, at the heart of our structural deficit.


  1. 1

    SJ spews:

    Sadly, the poll was designed by someone who was ,,, well confused, (maybe a pothead).

    As near as I can figure the things, they allow you to registers as often as you want under different names and then, even under one name, to offer as many ideas as you want.

    Where I grew up, we were told to “vote early, bite often.” This poll uses that system.

    The to make this more fun they let you vote on whether you like or dislike an idea. Of course this si complicated by the fact that ideas can coe up under multiple different “ideas.” EG I counted all the “legalize MJ” ideas and found three variations. I did the same for welfare reform and found twenty variations.

    Summing up all the votes for MF vs the same for welfare reform ..

    MJ ~ 35% while welfare was ~93%.

    I know I spell poorly but may I amke an attempt at “amateurish?”

  2. 2

    rhp6033 spews:

    “One thing this public suggestion box does illustrate, is that as frustrated as voters may be with the current budget crisis, they don’t really want smaller government. They just want government to be cheaper….”

    Gee, the way we got cheaper products here in America wasn’t through any miracle of production or efficiency. It was through outsourcing of entire industries to nations who are willing to pollute their environment and pay their workers pennies a day.

    So I guess the way to get “cheaper”, but not necessarily “better” government, is to outsource government to China. They’ve done a bang-up job for us on the production front, as long as you don’t mind some lead in your child’s toys. or the carcinigins in your drywall. I’m sure we could settle for a government which simply rubber-stamps the wishes of the highest bidder, and makes policy according to the wishes of the wealthy, politically connected, and influential elite.

    Unless, of course, we’ve already tried that?

  3. 3

    Chuck spews:

    She has been talking of a special session in August, I think she could save money there if she waits till November when we kick her…no the libs tax increases right back in their faces! This would be an immediate savings.

  4. 4

    lauramae spews:

    I think the site is designed to give the illusion of asking the public for ideas and then to ignore each and every one of them.

    They may have hoped that something political might burble up to the surface that the politicians could point to as “the will of the people.” Oh they probably didn’t count on that one rising to the top.

  5. 5

    worf spews:

    Um, SJ, your specious math doesn’t work in this thread any better than it did in the other one. Are you trying to apply the “big lie” theory to mathematics, or are you just… stoned?

  6. 6

    Michael spews:


    I think the site is designed to give the illusion of asking the public for ideas and then to ignore each and every one of them


  7. 7

    SJ spews:

    @5 Worf

    Perhaps my math might not work in Klingon, but as far as )I( can see it works fine in Human.

    You wanna take a kick at it? Go ahead.

  8. 8

    worf spews:

    Christ on a crutch, SJ. Lee already successfully (and quite comically) destroyed your specious reasoning on the other thread. I’m not going to waste my time rehashing his salient points. You might do well to go back and actually read his points, but then you would have to admit that you’re wrong, which you don’t seem predisposed to do.
    I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. Go away or I will taunt you for a second time!

  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 Washington residents have received billions of dollars in state tax cuts over the last 3 years. It’s amazing they still expect to receive state services.

  10. 10

    SJ spews:


    since you have trouble with english, I have translated my remarks into standard Klingon:

    HerghDaj tlhappu’ SuvwI’na’

    Daq vetlh qa’ (In that spirit:)

    SoH tlhobta’ (You asked:)

    jIH [don’t] neH Daq [talk] Daq SoH ghobe’ latlh SoH [empty] [headed] [animal] Soj [trough] [wiper] jIH [fart] Daq lIj [general] [direction] lIj SoS ghaHta’ [a] [hamster] ‘ej lIj vav [smelt] vo’ [elderberries] jaH DoH joq jIH DIchDaq [taunt] SoH vaD [a] cha’DIch poH

    my reply:

    lIj SoS chenmoHta’ muSHa’ Daq [a] SIQ. ‘oH vetlh qatlh SoH ‘oH wov [as] nagh?

    ‘oH vetlh qatlh SoH ‘oH wov [as] nagh?


    Worf soH ‘oH wa’ [impressive] SIQ DIr

  11. 11

    SJ spews:

    The sad thing about this device is that a good survey tool would likely be useful!

    This is what you get for free!

  12. 12

    Chuck spews:

    @9 Which tax cut are you referring to? The only tax cut I have seen is when I go to Portland to stock up on booze once a year or so?

  13. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @12 The billions of dollars of sales taxes the state isn’t collecting anymore because of the recession, numbskull. Or do you wish to argue that state tax collections have increased over the last 3 years?

  14. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    We need to get some first-grader trolls on this blog. These kindergartners don’t get it. The most rudimentary facts fly over their little heads.

  15. 17

    The Riddle of Steel spews:

    Remember all you democrats out there, this is your two time governor at her finest..


  16. 18

    John Brown spews:

    I’d like everyone to vote for my idea “Records Request” that eliminates the required legal notice listings from newspaper pages. Although it is a guaranteed source of revenue for the print media it is a big waste. No one reads newspapers much these days and the original intent was to keep the public informed. This doesn’t happen. It’s time to move it online even though it takes a slice of the pie away from newspaper owners–who might need it but certainly are not entitled to anything. Same guys that got the tax break last year, sheesh.