Out of control spending?

The Washington State Budget & Policy has revised their chart tracking Washington state government spending and revenue as a percentage of personal income to include the projected 2009-2011 budget… and it’s pretty damn dramatic.


It is important to note that while state spending has remained fairly flat for the past decade, apart from a spike during the real estate bubble revenue has been steadily eroding since before the current economic crisis.  As for the current downturn, the decrease in revenue is twice as steep as previous declines, and the proposed budget cuts are substantially deeper as a percentage of the economy than any other budget over the period of time charted.

Those who insist our current budget crisis is the result of out of control spending will just have to continue to ignore the facts.


  1. 1

    Michael spews:

    Thanks for posting this.

    I’ve noticed that people who chant “cut spending” offer very few specifics on what to cut and don’t talk about the effects budget cutting will have on the state.

  2. 2

    Broadway Joe spews:

    “Those who insist our current budget crisis is the result of out of conrol spending will just have to continue to ignore the facts.”

    Or get the fuck out.

  3. 3

    CC "Bud" Baxter spews:

    Why let reality interfere with perfectly good propaganda?

    We just need someone to “catapult the propaganda.”

  4. 4

    Richard Pope spews:

    That is a helluva big revenue drop during the last two bienniums. Someone should have had the courage to do something to keep the revenue more constant.

  5. 6

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Personal income is a fair measure to compare the growth of Government spending & revenue.

    What is the impact on Personal income of the recession? What is included in “personal income”?

    Let’s disect this a bit before knee-jerk accepting this as the best comparison…or knowing if personal income will remain at current levels.

  6. 7

    mark spews:

    Goldy, you can make a graph like no other! Why do you continue to protect our insane elected?

  7. 8

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I just go my carpet cleaned for LESS than it cost me 2 years ago.

    I got my oil changed for the same price as 5 years ago.

    My income went up…costs went down.

  8. 9


    What have you taught you people? Pull back. Look at the picture. What ISN’T Goldy showing you? What ISN’T he saying? Don’t just mindlessly look at only the stats he puts in front of your face. Look at other stats. Ask yourself is Goldy being balanced in this post, or is he being more of a cheerleader for government? Is he a watchdog, or clapping seal?

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 “My income went up…costs went down.”

    Apparently you not only fuck your goats, you also eat them — by candlelight — because you obviously haven’t been in a grocery store recently.

    Many common grocery items are up by 30%, 40%, even 60%, in the last year or two. And utility bills keep going up, up, up. For most of us who live in dirt holes, nothing is cheaper.

  10. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 I would say you’re a clapping seal for those who want 1-room schools, dirt roads, and the other trappings of the 19th century.

  11. 12

    drool spews:

    Looks to me like spending hasn’t kept track with personal income. Big deal. Guess what? Neither has mine. Just because I make xxx dollars more than last year doesn’t mean I have to spend more…or the government has to either.

    What I see in the graph is as soon as the government gets more money more goes out the door.

  12. 13

    Dave spews:


    Indeed. As is typical with these charts they suffer from a lack of detail in terms of the data and assumptions used to create them. In this instance the trouble is on the right side – where the charts drop off the chart so to speak. Revenue projection going forward is estimated, and we KNOW how faulty of an exercise that has been. Far more problematic is personal income. The BPC report only references 2008 data for this – what else is there? – and so we have no idea what’s being used in the denominator for the 2009/2011 budget. As you note, this would certainly have been affected adversely and quite possibly HISTORICALLY adversely in view of the severe recession that became particularly acute beginning in 2009 as shown by the GDP and employment data.

    So, if BPC is using 2008 personal income for the spending/revenue ratios going forward, that would skew the results DOWNWARD. Again, we have no idea because BPC has provided no details or analysis, just a chart.

    One last observation: why is the chart dashed going back to 2005/2007? Presumably, everything through 2008 is known.

    This is an old tune you’ve heard before, Goldy: the devils in the details.

  13. 15

    Dave spews:

    @4 That is a helluva big revenue drop during the last two bienniums. Someone should have had the courage to do something to keep the revenue more constant.


    The onset of the revenue drop in the chart coincides with the peak of the housing bubble in 2006. The fact that we were in a housing bubble at the time was well known, as others have observed. So, indeed, the question is why, a year later, spending was being ramped up when all signs said proceed with extreme caution.

  14. 16

    Michael spews:


    Just because I make xxx dollars more than last year doesn’t mean I have to spend more…or the government has to either.

    State spending is flat. Population growth (and the population has grown) = either spending growth or erosion of state services (bad guys get out of jail sooner. Highways suck. There’s fewer state troopers around. Fewer day programs for granny so someone has to stay home with her instead of going to work.)

    Those of us who vote big D, you know the one’s that are overwhelmingly in control in Olympia, don’t want to see any further erosion of state services.

  15. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    17%. 3%. Burn those numbers into your memory.

    Washington’s poorest families pay 17% of their income to state and local taxes.

    Washington’s richest families pay 3% of their income to state and local taxes — and some of these selfish bastards complain about paying even that much.

  16. 18

    gs spews:

    The deficit already totals $956.8 billion for the first six months of the budget year, also a record for that period. The Obama administration projects the deficit for the entire year will hit $1.75 trillion.

    Great Job Obama, almost as good as this state!

  17. 20

    Winkydink, hey, it's April spews:

    re 18: You are a fucking dishonest pissant. Decades of Republican misrule brought us to this point — yet you are ready to lay at all on Obama.

    You are an ass.

  18. 21

    Winkydink, hey, it's April spews:

    re 9: No one is preventing you from posting different figures. Go ahead.

  19. 22

    Winkydink, hey, it's April spews:

    re 8: If they can do it cheaper now, maybe they were highballing you all along.

    Boy are you dumb!!

  20. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 Yes, it’s too bad President Obama has to run these huge deficits in order to save us from an economic disaster created by the GOP’s idiotic ideology and failed policies.

    Fortunately, President Obama’s efforts appear to be working: The stock market is roaring back and the economy is stirring to life; even home sales are improving!

  21. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Roger Rabbit Quiz

    Unemployment is over 19% in Elkhart, Indiana. The RV manufacturing industry is concentrated there. Read this MSNBC article, then take the following quiz. http://tinyurl.com/dlp2sw

    What caused the collapse of Elkhart’s RV industry?

    [ ] 1. Unions
    [ ] 2. Recession

    Of course this is a trick question, and the wingnuts will get it wrong, because they won’t read the article which says the Elkhart RV plants are non-union. In fact, the whole fucking city is nonunion! Elkhart’s union jobs disappeared in the 70s and 80s. The city with the highest unemployment in the U.S. is one of America’s least unionized cities! So much for the argument that unions cost communities jobs.

  22. 25

    proud leftist spews:

    The antiunionism of wingies is kind of fascinating. They still think that there is some sort of Red Menace out there, that those of us on the left read Marx’s Manifesto before sleeping, instead of praying. The world, and now, hopefully, the good old US of A, have passed the wingies by. Unions created and sustained the middle class. Passing EFCA would help most everybody, yet we see remarkable nonsense hurled its way. Strong unions = strong nation. I just don’t get the opposition.

  23. 26

    Real American spews:

    @ 19 Mr. Klinikal spewing meaningless gobbledygook?

    Meaningless gobbledygook is all Mr. K has ever posted! It is all he’s got.

    It is expected!

  24. 27

    Chris Stefan spews:

    But don’t you know we have to eliminate all taxes on the aerospace industry, eliminate workers comp, eliminate unemployment insurance, become a “right-to-work” state, cut the minimum wage, and cut the machinists pay or Boeing will pull up stakes and start building planes in Somalia?

    While we’re at it we should make sure we’re dead last in state and local spending in every budget category and dead last in everything but sin taxes. Furthermore we should have the state revoke most local tax authority because we can’t trust the cities and counties not to jack taxes on hardworking businesses.

    Yep, gotta race to the bottom or we’ll end up like Detroit!

  25. 28

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Out of control spending? We can balance the budget if we cut the following spending…

    1. Stop spending on the stupid Publican 3 strikes law. It costs us a fortune to put someone in prison for life and all it accomplishes is giving some asshole like Puffybutt a job as a prison guard since he can’t get a job anywhere else.
    2. Stop giving tax breaks to churches. They are nothing more than businesses. Let’s tax em’ like they are and put that money to good use.
    3. Stop putting people in jail for victimless crimes. This costs millions of dollars. We can use that money for more important things.

  26. 29

    Crusader spews:

    Cut spending:

    1. Stop giving the PUBIC employees union whatever they want – get rid of their pensions altogether! Break the unions!

    2. Stop spending on stupid luxuries like gay festivals and shit.

  27. 30

    Broadway Joe spews:

    You would know all about gay festivals and shit, Junior Troll Crusader. That would be your fuzzed-out face in the gay-sex photoshops Puffybutt creates, oui?


  28. 31

    czechsaaz spews:


    Why stop with the gays? (You know that people from out of city/state come to special events and book hotels, eat, drink…errr…spend money, right?) And special events book and pay for the convention center, Seattle Center, etc.

    If you’re worried about police O’time or that kind of expense let’s see where else we can eliminate “special event” police. There are 81 home Mariner games a season (PLAYOFFS! You want to talk about PLAYOFFS?). There are 8-10 Seahawks games (depends on the pre-season and post season scheduling) There’s the Seafair Torchlight Parade, the Revlon Breast Cancer 3-day @ Qwest, that big annual meeting of Microsofties @ Qwest, Sounders, St. Patrick’s Day Fun Run, hempfest, Bumbershoot and on and on.

    We could outlaw any arena shows like the Rolling Stones who come to town. Hell, lets get rid of the Block Party, who needs live music at all?

    Surely all of these are luxuries and not events that make the area a little more interesting for residents. Right?

    Crusader, you sir, are an idiot.

  29. 32

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:


    The WA State Revenue Forecast Council interim report on Feb. 19 said taxes from retail firms were down 13 percent, furniture 30 percent, vehicle dealers 27 percent, gas stations and convenience stores 20 percent, clothing 19 percent and building materials 18 percent. Tax payments from car dealers have been declining for 13 straight months.HELLO? Hint hint, spending slowdown anyone? And the Queen told us in 2008 there is no projected deficit. Search HA and see what the HA weasels were writing against Dino Rossi deficit call.

    Washington State Figures

    Year – Personal Income
    1999 – $175,491,324,000
    2002 – $187,853,404,000
    2002 – $193,498,304,000
    2003 – $197,451,578,000
    2003 – $202,942,123,000
    2004 – $218,431,726,000
    2005 – $226,585,245,000
    2006 – $245,764,517,000
    2007 – $265,738,395,000
    2008 – $277,397,233,000

    Biennium – Spending – – Delta
    1997-1999 $39,397,275,000 –%
    1999-2001 $44,535,542,000 13.0%
    2001-2003 $49,527,904,000 10.1%
    2003-2005 $53,463,296,000 7.9%
    2005-2007 $60,517,243,000 13.2% – Queen’s Reign
    2007-2009 $69,176,280,000 14.3%
    2009-2011 $69,592,333,000 proposed

    Now select Near General Fund

    Biennium – Spending – – Delta

    1997-1999 $20,082,209,000 –%
    1999-2001 $22,352,545,000 11.3%
    2001-2003 $24,545,519,000 9.8%
    2003-2005 $25,607,495,000 4.3%
    2005-2007 $30,171,238,000 17.8% – Queen’s Reign
    2007-2009 $33,655,219,000 11.5%
    2009-2011 $33,509,145,000 proposed

    Yet, the state claims greater than 70% of it’s collected taxes is derived from sales and the infamous B&O taxes. So why this chart Goldy? Another push for an income tax?

  30. 33

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:

    Golly Broadway Joe, EPIC FAIL? Can’t think of anything original? Nope yous a Donkey!

    stillbentover – abandon 3 strikes? How many relatives will be freed stillbentover? Will you need to rent Safeco Field for the party? Puddy would coff up much to see your silly ASS in jail if you did a crime!

    stillbentover – what is a victimless crime? Oh Puddy can think of one… When you pick your ASS, you lose brain matter. Victimless crime


  31. 34



    No one in his right mind thinks that the best way to measure the “proper” level of spending is against “total personal income,” despite the ludicrous assertion that this is the “standard methodology.”

    This is only “standard methodology” for liberals who want to justify increased taxation and spending. It’s a subtle version of the question-begging fallacy. I reject that the “proper” level of spending has anything whatsoever to do with the level of personal income. It has to do with the role of government and fulfilling the actual needs within that role, which can change dramatically from year to year, and are — of course — subject significantly to debate.

    But you want to undermine and cast off debate. You want to pretend that mathematical formulas tell us what we should do, instead of recognizing the fact that people — within a republican system that recognizes the rights of individuals — decide what we should do, not formulas.

    While we’re talking of “ignoring the facts,” Goldy, please ONCE just acknowledge the fact that under Gregoire — despite her assertions that we MUST NOT do this, by the way — spending increased by 33 percent. In just four years. While revenue increased only about 15 percent. (And then she lied and said there was no deficit [that her spending, in fact, created] so she could get elected … how sad is that?)

    And FURTHER, Goldy, don’t forget the FACT that income is DECREASING at the time you want to increase taxes.

  32. 35

    Dave spews:


    Personal income data showing year-to-year change (nominal figures – no adjustment for inflation):

    1999 $175491324000
    2000 $187853404000 7.04%
    2001 $193498304000 3.00%
    2002 $197451578000 2.04%
    2003 $202942123000 2.78%
    2004 $218431726000 7.63%
    2005 $226585245000 3.73%
    2006 $245764517000 8.46%
    2007 $265738395000 8.13%
    2008 $277397233000 4.39%

    The big uptick in 2006 and 2007 corresponds to the housing bubble, the 2008 falloff to the pop. The state was flush and they spent – just like households. However, the bubble as I noted above was well-known by 2006/2007, and the warning signs were ignored. The “nobody could see this coming” argument is not credible as Paul Krugman has noted, though it’s politically expedient. 2009 personal income data should show another big slowdown – this is the data that has not been factored into Goldy’s chart above.

  33. 36


    Dave @ 35: Lots of people saw this coming. One of my state reps, Dan Kristiansen (R-39), said on TVW (“Olympia On-Call”) in March 2007 that the housing market might collapse and we’d fall into a recession, so we should prepare in part by NOT significantly increasing spending.

  34. 37


    Pudge @34,

    You can disagree with the majority of economists if you want, in the same way that your side disagrees with the majority of scientists when it comes to things like climate change and evolution. That’s your right. I’m just saying that for comparative and planning purposes, percentage of personal income is the metric that is generally used to compare growth and size of government from state to state and from year to year.

    But even if you want to cherry pick data, and use taxes or spending per capita, I’ve already shown that WA state government has been steadily shrinking… data that is again, independently backed up by the conservative Tax Foundation.

  35. 38

    Steve spews:

    As someone who’s fiscally conservative, I vote for Democrats. With Democrats I get budget problems. With Republicans I’d get budget fiascos, a cratered economy, massive unemployment, bald-faced lies and a shit-load of hypocrisy, not to mention their other shortcomings.

  36. 39



    You can disagree with the majority of economists if you want …

    I will await your evidence that a majority of economists believe what you said. I won’t hold my breath, though.

    However, even if a majority of economists DID believe what you said, that’s irrelevant, because the metric itself assumes a certain philosophy of governance that is not demonstrated, or backed up in any way, by economics.

    If you believe that government should do as much as it can with the resources available, then yes, you will measure government against the resources available. If you don’t believe that, then you won’t. You are, obviously, committing the question-begging fallacy by pretending this is an objective metric that we should pay attention to: it is, rather, nothing more than a metric to measure the implementation of your philosophy. Since many of us do not agree with your philosophy, it is useless to use it as “facts” against our positions.

    But even if you want to cherry pick data and use taxes or spending per capita …

    I don’t. You’re making unwarranted assumptions. Worse than unwarranted, indeed, I already expressed that this is NOT what I would do. Again: I categorically reject the existence of a “proper” level of spending based on any formula whatsoever. Instead, I believe we should focus on the roles of government and seek to fund the needs within those roles.

    (Since I believe the role of government should be severely limited, there’s no serious fear in my plan of government growing too large against income or population or product or anything else …)

    However, Goldy, it’s odd you would even dare to think to accuse me of cherry-picking, since not only does your graph do that as I’ve already demonstrated — by begging the question as to what the proper funding level of government should be — but far, far worse, it does so with invented data.

    Your graph (which you did not create, I know, but you know what it means and are using it to push your point) uses actual proposed spending against a nonexistent forecast of income. The two proposed spending budgets in the graph are 2007-09 and 2009-11, but the BEA income numbers only cover through 2008.

    I’ve already shown that WA state government has been steadily shrinking…

    No, you have not. It has steadily grown, and under Gregoire it grew by a third in just four years.

  37. 40



    As someone who’s fiscally conservative, I vote for Democrats. With Democrats I get budget problems. With Republicans I’d get budget fiascos, a cratered economy, massive unemployment, bald-faced lies and a shit-load of hypocrisy, not to mention their other shortcomings.

    Translation: “I, Steve, have not paid attention to Olympia in many years.”

    Budget fiasco and Hypocrisy: Gregoire said we should slow spending so we don’t have massive spending cuts or massive tax increases. She did it anyway.

    Cratered economy and Massive unemployment: read a newspaper.

    Bald-faced lies: Gregoire repeatedly said we were not facing a deficit.

  38. 41

    Steve spews:

    @40 Translation: I, Pudge, conveniently ignore what happened at the Fed level when Bush had a Republican congress for six years.

    Cratered economy and massive unemployment: It’s too late for you to read a newspaper, Pudge, the damage is done.

    Hypocricy: I believe it was a Republican, your guy, who said that deficits don’t matter.

    Of course, there’s the other shortcomings.

  39. 42

    Steve spews:

    @39 “philosophy of governance that is not demonstrated”

    Bush and the Republican congress. Why on earth should we turn the state over to Republicans? Fool me once, fool me again, er, whatever. We have enough problems with Democrats, thank you.

  40. 43

    Steve spews:

    You see, Pudge, there’s the talk and there’s the walk. We’ve seen the Republican walk. When Republicans are in power, they spend like drunken Democrats. Worse, they want to throw my money at the wrong things, like misbegotten war, bridges to nowhere and unaccounted billions to Christian religious organizations, to name a few.

  41. 44

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Very well done sir.
    Goldy is sucking on the helium from his “Personal Income ought to trend with Guv’mint spending” balloon again.

    And you are absolutely right pudge…personal income is DROPPING and these KLOWNS want to raise taxes in the face of that.

    I have asked Goldy and his Northwest Division of Moonbat Lunatics at what level should these fantasy income taxes be set?? Should they be set at todays level of revenue? If so, Goldy could make a case that the change is Tax Neutral.

    But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Goldy comes right out and says his wants an additional $1.5 BILLION of revenue…right out of the shoot.
    Ain’t gonna happen Goldy.

    These KLOWNS want revenue to be a “BUBBLE-LEVEL”…back when the economy was over cooking and unsustainable!!
    Bullshit Goldy.

    Gregoire and the Legislators KNEW and ADMITTED the last Budget was unsustainable when they passed it anyway. Now the goats have come home shit!

    Gregoire her pals crumbled under Union Pressure. Time to right-size State Government.
    Stop feeding the beast and force reform.
    It’s the only way.

  42. 45

    Winkydink, hey, it's April spews:

    re 44: “…personal income is DROPPING and these KLOWNS want to raise taxes in the face of that.”

    Do you suppose 30 years of Republican union busting might have something to do with that? I know you will. because you are always telling people to take personal resposibility for things they’ve had a hand in causing.

    Very well done sir.”

    Cynical, you are a blowjob artist without peer. It was not well done. It was clumsy, dumb, and self-serving.

  43. 46

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Puddy, Crusader is only a Junior Troll. Why waste my a-list material on him?

    How are those photoshops of yours coming along, anyway?

  44. 47

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:

    BlowJob Joe, Tell us whom think right when you decide to get into the game. Crusader brings it everyday. You BTW, are a second tier almost steer!

    Puddybud doesn’t need to use Photoshop on anything. Maybe it was your lips on the Golden Goat and not proud loony?

    Do tell fool.

  45. 48

    Winkydink, hey, it's April spews:

    re 47: WTF!?!! Are you using some kind of secret language that you and your twin made up in the loony bin?

  46. 50

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Why would I bother, Dexter? All you do is sit behind your keyboard and type your hate, lies and racism, then promptly take the headphones out of your ears (with which you’ve been listening to the latest ‘truths’ of Fred Phelps and his ilk), replace them with your fingers and scream ‘la-la-la-la-la’ at the top of your ears until your mother tells you it’s time to come upstairs for dinner.

    Here’s my suggestion. Take that shiny new gun of yours, put the barrel in your mouth and slowly squeeze the trigger. See? All better. Oh, you forgot to load it! Pussy.


  47. 51

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:

    Wow this is a new low for BlowJob Joe@50. He is telling Puddy to commit suicide. Interesting. The progressive libtard mind is truly diseased. Such hatred, such accusations. When has Puddy supported Fred Phelps? Thanks for proving my point BlowJob Joe. You said the same horseSHIT back in January 2008. You carry a hardon for Fred Phelps as you continually blog about him.

    Se ya fool!

  48. 54

    Sir Eustace Tennyson D'Eyncourt spews:

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 Yes, it’s too bad President Obama has to run these huge deficits in order to save us from an economic disaster created by the GOP’s idiotic ideology and failed policies.

    Fortunately, President Obama’s efforts appear to be working: The stock market is roaring back and the economy is stirring to life; even home sales are improving!

    People who think the economy is “roaring back” after barely 2 weeks positive gains are fools and tools.

    Show me 6 months of steady, controlled growth and then we might have something.

    Short term thinkers like yourself are exactly why this country is in the hole that it is.

    Also, BOTH parties created this mess – stop being so partisan and use your brain. Partisan “party first, nation second” mindset of our government and many citizens is exactly what will destroy this nation.

    The fools on the radio(both sides) are mere tools that are looking for $$$$….nothing more – and that includes the guy running this site.

  49. 55

    Sir Eustace Tennyson D'Eyncourt spews:

    one more thing Roger Rabbit, home sales are only slightly increasing because the pricing of homes has dropped through the floor….it has nothing to do with the economy.

    braindead partisan lemmings are funny….

  50. 56

    Broadway Joe spews:

    I am what you created, Dexter.

    I am all your evil.

    I am all your hate.

    I am all your lies.

    I am the beast you and your masters awakened.

    I will not stop until you and your filth never threaten my home again.

    Suicide is the easiest option, Dexter.