Inslee breaks no-new-taxes pledge within 24 hours of becoming Governor
In the opening sentence of our January letter to supporters, we wrote: Do you trust Jay Inslee to keep his no-new-taxes promise? We don’t.
Well, that sure didn’t take long. Within 24 hours of becoming Governor, Jay Inslee held his first press conference — and displayed the same lawyeristic weaseling that Gregoire mastered.
As today’s Seattle Times wrote: While running against GOP candidate Rob McKenna last year, Inslee said, “I would veto anything that heads the wrong direction and the wrong direction is new taxes in the state of Washington.” The key word in that promise is “new.” Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee pivoted Thursday on his campaign pledge not to increase taxes, saying that extending existing taxes due to expire next year would not break his promise. Extension of taxes not an increase, Inslee insists.
He went on: “These do not raise taxes. They do not raise taxes on people over the existing level that, in fact, are being paid today. And since they do not increase taxes they are not a tax increase. That is a numerical, mathematical conclusion that Huskies and Cougars, no matter where you went to school, can agree with on a mathematical basis.”
The verbal gymnastics are impressive.
And now that Inslee has shown “flexibility” on raising taxes, the Legislature will help “stretch” him even more. Inslee’s flip-flop just rang the dinner bell for taxes among the pro-tax crowd in Olympia. Thanks to Inslee’s signal, it’s gonna be like pigs at the trough for the next few months in Olympia.
Candidate Mike Lowry said “taxes only as a last resort” and proposed higher taxes on his first day. Gregoire in 2004 said “now is not the time to raise taxes” and radically increased taxes in the 2005 legislative session. Gregoire in 2008 said “I’m not going to be raising taxes” and then took away the 2/3 protection and raised taxes $6.7 billion.
Taxpayers feel like Charlie Brown running at the football, and Democrat Lucy pulling it away again and again.
It’s almost like Gregoire whispered to Inslee “when you break your no new taxes promise, do it early so voters have four years to forget.”
And to think there are still people out there who wonder why our tax initiatives keep passing by wider and wider margins.