The recent budget battle in Olympia only reinforces the urgent need to grow our state's economy. The stalemate was largely avoided by a small improvement in tax revenue, showing that the only way we can afford our commitment to education and other vital state services is by promoting a healthy, growing private sector.
Fortunately, the Pacific Northwest has the opportunity to create jobs and economic prosperity through trade and exports, even as the U.S. economy remains stagnant. Over 40 percent of Washington's economy is derived from export and trade; if encouraged by our elected officials, rather than discouraged, this figure could easily grow and create lasting benefits for our communities.
There are proposals right now to expand our trade and export facilities, which would increase tax revenues and create tens of thousands of jobs.
Private investors are ready to spend the sums necessary to expand our infrastructure, to increase our capacity to export coal, along with other products like lumber and agricultural commodities.
We should be welcoming this, not throwing up pointless roadblocks. We cannot afford to pass up this opportunity to make our great state a leader in America's economic recovery.