Letters to the Editor

Irresponsible state spending | Federal Way letters, March18

I attended the town hall meeting March 13 at Federal Way City Hall presented by State Sens. Tracey Eide, Karen Keiser and Claudia Kauffman.

The senators took a few minutes to explain the committees they were on, the associated budgets and how difficult it was to try and balance the budget shortfall. I contend there is no shortfall and here are a few reasons.

According to the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, from 2004 to 2008 the governor and Legislature increased spending by 33 percent. The state revenue forecast for 2009 is higher than the revenue the state actually collected last year, so state tax collections are increasing even in this slow economy.

Initiative 900, passed by the voters with 57 percenty approval, mandates the state auditor to conduct performance audits on various state agencies. So far, Brian Sonntag’s office has found several billion dollars in savings from just a few audits, and in some cases, illegal use of taxpayer funds by these agencies. Little or no effort has been made to incorporate these savings.

Recently, the state sent out several thousand $1 checks and followed that up with several thousand 1-cent checks for reasons that, despite explanation, cannot be justified.

The issue of an income tax was raised at the town hall that some legislators are proposing putting on the November ballot. California and New York have an income tax and a sales tax, and both have large budget shortfalls. Incorporating another tax won’t solve the problem.

The point of this is that the budget shortfall is not because of a lack of revenue, but because of excessive and irresponsible state spending.

Tom Heunisch, Federal Way

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