Sometimes, you just have to do the right thing…
The last time the state had a comparable budget shortfall was in 1981-1982, when Republicans controlled both houses and the governor’s mansion. The Republicans raised taxes to help deal with their budget woes, and come the 1982 elections, Democrats were elected back into power in both the House and the Senate. Two years later, Republican Gov. John Spellman was voted out as well. In 1993, majority Democrats had to raise taxes and cut programs to deal with budget problems, and in 1994, lost their majority in the House and hung on to a one-seat majority in the Senate.
Gregoire said that history lesson shows it won’t be easy.
“There’s no easy way out of this,” she said. “And you have to look past the political consequences, and do what your heart and your head says is the right thing to do.”
And if the right thing to do is raising some taxes to help the state through these tough economic times, as both Republicans and Democrats have reluctantly done in the past, let’s hope that Gov. Gregoire is able to lead the legislature toward it, the political consequences be damned.