Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Please, give us Butch Otter

Your comparison of Butch Otter to Washington's governor, Chris Gregoire, was the highlight of my week.

As a Washington resident, I'd like to set the record straight. In Gov. Gregoire's first four years in office, she raised state spending by 31 percent. This increase did not come from a prior bare-bones Republican budget but rather that of a generous Democratic legislature and governor.

Washington has a $2.6 billion projected budget shortfall for this fiscal year. In the face of that shortfall, Gregoire gave each of the state employees a 5 percent pay raise this year. Very generous.

Compare the following numbers. Private wage and salary employment in Washington peaked at 2,432,100 jobs in March 2008. In November 2009, the private sector had lost 173,500 jobs. Her goal of 40,000 new jobs is commendable. That would replace almost 25 percent of those already lost. In contrast, Washington state had 151,300 public employee jobs including state universities at the same time. By November 2009, they had a net loss of 700 jobs.

Gov. Gregoire might acknowledge possible federal bailout funds but she can't balance a budget on wishful thinking. There are billions of education dollars available from the federal government, but only for those states which allow charter schools. Washington will not allow charter schools, so she can kiss those dollars goodbye.

If you can arrange a swap, we'll take Butch Otter.

Chuck Carlson

Gig Harbor, Wash.

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2021 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.