Budget & Taxes Publications

Budget & Taxes Publications

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.

April 05, 2012

Financing Pensions

This proposal essentially lures money from private-sector workers and companies into the bankrupt state pension systems. Our state and local government pension systems are already heading toward bankruptcy.
November 18, 2011

So tell me again why we're doing this'

A fascinating exchange during a recent select committee hearing in Olympia offers an insight into how things get done -- or not -- in the Legislature
November 16, 2011

McKenna understands the difference between an increase and a shortfall. Do his critics'

Unless revenue projections for the next biennium fall below $28.2 billion, we'll still wind up collecting more revenue than the state ever has. How is that a shortfall?
October 31, 2011

Washington has nation's highest minimum wage -- and youth unemployment soars because of it

The numbers prove what your gut should tell you -- when you increase the cost of hiring workers, fewer workers are going to be hired.
October 19, 2011

Public and private pension systems are like apples and oranges

If you're going to compare one the other, it might help if you applied the same accounting procedures to both
March 01, 2011

Gov. Gregoire gets an 'F' on state's budget

There is no way to sugarcoat this: This is the worst biennial budget we have ever seen. The state continues to spend too much, tax too much and go into too much debt. Gov. Christine Gregoire has repeatedly delayed meaningful action to solve the 2009-11 budget deficit. Her failure jeopardizes the state's credit rating.
February 18, 2011

Financial State of the State 2011

Gov. Gregoire and Democrat leaders have crafted a financially irresponsible budget. They are postponing necessary spending reductions, perhaps hoping for a miracle of sorts. But in political eschatology, it’s the day of reckoning.
February 01, 2011

Top 10 Ideas to Cut Waste, Balance the Budget and Stimulate the Economy Without Raising Taxes

The Freedom Foundation presents its Top 10 Ideas to Cut Waste, Balance the Budget and Stimulate the Economy Without Raising Taxes
January 27, 2011

Hey Big Spender 2011

Which legislators want to spend more of your money? Check out our list of those who are proposing new or increased taxes and fees and see exactly how much more they are willing to take from your wallet over the next ten years. Sheesh. Do you think they're living in the same economic reality we are? This year we have broken the Big Spender list into individual tax and fee lists, rather than combining them. We hope this added layer of information is helpful for citizens.
December 12, 2010

Open letter to Governor Gregoire: Ideas for changing the state's budget course

Yesterday, Bob Williams and I sent an open letter to Governor Gregoire calling on her to stand up and be the courageous governor that Washington needs. We offered some specific steps that need to be taken to start repairing our state’s broken budget. You can read the full letter for more details. Here is a summary of our suggestions and comments.
November 15, 2010

Washington Voters Reject State Income Tax Proposal

Washington State voters overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would have imposed the state’s first income tax, one limited to wealthy residents. Initiative 1098 would have levied a 5 percent tax on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year or households earning more than $400,000, while cutting some property and business taxes. The rate would have been 9 percent on individual incomes greater than $500,000 and household incomes greater than $1 million.
October 25, 2010

Judge Declines to Invalidate Governor's Climate Change Executive Order

OLYMPIA—A Thurston County Superior Court judge has declined to invalidate Gov. Chris Gregoire’s executive order on climate change. Today Judge Paula Casey signed a written order memorializing her October 8 ruling in this case.
October 22, 2010

Only a belief in magic explains Democratic governors' accounting

When it comes to state budgeting, it appears that many of our nation's governors are studying at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It's only too bad that their role models are those who focus on the dark arts of deception and deficits. The fiscal trickery of governors across the nation is leading us to a budget disaster independent of the budget problems of Washington that get all the attention.
October 19, 2010

A Changed Charlie Crist

Time was when Charlie Crist was a model of fiscally responsible government. And sadly, gone are the days when Charlie Crist put the people of Florida ahead of special interests.
September 13, 2010

Performance Audit Tools for Higher Education

For many years, public higher education institutions have been open to run their educational and business operations with very little, if any, oversight from the public or those within the state who control their funding. The general public has very little knowledge of the fiscal or classical education programs of these institutions.
August 30, 2010

Sunday is Washington's Cost of Government Day

Olympia – After Sunday, August 29, citizens can start working for themselves. The typical Washingtonian toils for 241 days—more than two-thirds of the year—to pay for all expenses of government at all levels, including regulatory burdens.
August 26, 2010

Economists predict Initiative 1098 would devastate job growth

Olympia – Economists at the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University found the state income tax that is proposed in Initiative 1098 would lengthen and deepen the current economic downturn by destroying private sector jobs, reducing residents’ disposable income and prolonging the state’s high unemployment rate.
July 28, 2010

68 Washington public agencies and municipalities fail to report lobbying expenses

OLYMPIA—Today the Evergreen Freedom Foundation filed complaints with the Public Disclosure Commission against 68 public entities for either improperly reporting lobbying expenses or failing to report them altogether, based on discrepancies between expenditure reports filed by lobbyists and those filed by public agencies. Most of the agencies are cities, counties, ports and utility districts.
July 21, 2010

State faces fiscal day of reckoning for state employee contracts

THE Office of Financial Management (OFM) is currently negotiating 23 agreements for state employees. Considering the governor's budget office forecasts multibillion-dollar deficits for the next eight years, now is the time for the governor and legislative leaders to demand major labor concessions.
June 18, 2010

Oregon Raises Taxes, Budget Situation Worsens

Oregon voters in January approved significant personal and corporate income tax hikes. The predicted increases in revenue have failed to materialize, however, and now the state is bracing for extensive budget cuts. Oregon’s June revenue forecast predicted tax collections through July 2011 will come in $577 million shy of the budgeted amount. Nearly all of the decrease is due to lower-than-expected personal income tax collections.