In the Oct. 30 story, “Gregoire changes tone on taxes, cuts,” Washington’s Gov. Chris Gregoire is setting a dangerous precedent by blaming Wall Street for the state’s bleak financial situation and changing her position considering tax hikes to manage the current state budget deficit of $2 billion. Exploiting a widely publicized populist movement as means to justify a budgetary shortfall has become a reoccurring trend. To read that our governor is adopting this position is disappointing, and appears only as a weak attempt to shift blame from the state’s prior mismanagement of the budget.
Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, and the GOP’s budget lead, himself claims “that even before the recession, state government was growing at an unsustainable rate.” In reality, all Americans, including our state politicians, were riding on a false wave of economic prosperity. Obvious warning signs were deliberately ignored, and money was spent that was not our own.
As a leader of our state government, Gregoire has a moral obligation to share the responsibility for the state’s current financial situation, and by shifting blame to Wall Street, she only weakens her position in the eyes of her constituents, regardless of political affiliation.