A budget is where priorities meet realities. At least that's how it should work.
The problem with government is that it gets to write the rules--about tax rates, fees, and even what counts as a balanced budget. That makes it easy for politicians to pretend everything is a priority and every moment a crisis demanding greater sacrifice from taxpayers.
The Freedom Foundation is a tireless voice for priority-based budgeting in state and local government. We work with responsible policymakers to craft sound, balanced budgets. We expose irresponsibility and gimmicks. We helped launch performance audits in Washington State as well as the model for health savings accounts eventually adopted into federal law.
We work with elected officials and citizens to make government budget writing transparent and to focus it on real priorities, cutting spending on programs that are unnecessary, counterproductive or unconstitutional.
The principles are pretty simple: taxes should be as low, simple, and fair as possible and budgets should be balanced.
The Freedom Foundation's Theodore L. Stiles Center for Liberty advances the rule of law and a legal climate where individuals can exercise their fundamental liberties and government is limited to its proper role.
We seek to defend individuals against government encroachments upon their rights; unite lawyers who believe that the purpose of the law is to protect liberty; promote a judiciary that embraces its obligation to interpret the constitution; and expand the public's understanding of the rule of law.
We accomplish these goals through public interest litigation, filing amicus curiae briefs in state and federal courts, hosting events on significant legal issues, and publishing resources about the state constitution and the state courts.
Students and parents in Washington State are not getting their money's worth, especially given how much the state spends per pupil. Stagnant test scores and embarrassing graduation rates are the results.
We analyze reform efforts and recommend solutions to bring Washington students a World Class education system to meet 21st Century needs.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident...." The Declaration sets the United States apart from other nations. Our independence was won by blood and toil, but was motivated and elevated by principles that, if ever true, are true today.
The Freedom Foundation is pleased to anchor our policy work on the principles that made this nation great, and to offer educational programs and presentations on these "first principles." Look for upcoming programs on our events calendar or contact us for a speaker at your event.
Property rights are intertwined with all other human rights. From works of art to loaves of bread, people produce the things because they are able to own and use resources.
Government exists to protect rights, including the rights to own and use property. Yet power corrupts, and government grasps for more and more control. One of the most powerful ways to increase that control is to extend it to the land we live on.
The Freedom Foundation stands up for property rights and property owners in Washington State. Most powerfully, we empower property owners themselves to build coalitions, confront local governments, and--often--win.
One example of this was an attempt to restrict waterfowl hunting across a broad swath of Thurston County. We helped the Washington State Waterfowler Association, together with other hunters and local land owners, to stand up to the County. Ultimately, officials backed down in the face of massive public outcry. Watch the video to find out more.
Unions support big government. Big government supports unions. But what about the rest of us?
Most Americans don't like being told what to do. Yet many government employees are forced, as a condition of working, to pay dues to private union organizations. These union monopolies overcharge workers and spend huge sums of money on political campaigns and lobbying. And, since union power comes from government, union lobbyists always push for bigger and more powerful government.
In fact, government unions are the biggest lobby in Washington State for bigger government. Their undue influence drowns out taxpayers, but taxpayers have had enough. Just like citizens in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Washington is ripe for change, for reforms that protect workers and taxpayers alike. The Freedom Foundation is the leading advocate for that change.