schmudget has moved to our new website ( If you're not redirected automatically, click here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Governor has unveiled a new online tool that allows us to dig into the budget and decide how it should be balanced.

As a bona fide budget wonk, I should be a big fan. An online calculator could be a useful public education tool and it's important to understand various trade-offs involved in budgeting. But I'm not a fan.

Why? Because any reasonable budget-setting process should consider both sides of the equation - spending and revenue. The online calculator set up by the Governor's office only allows spending cuts. Where there should be a place to explore various revenue options, it simply says "The Governor is committed to not raising taxes." Public consideration of revenue options is not permitted.

During the last big budget crisis, the Seattle Times gave us a more comprehensive calculator. It would be great to see an updated version.

* * *
By the way, I received a congratulations from the calculator for successfully balancing the budget. What was my trick? I eliminated all spending on "the Health of Washingtonians."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good idea! I'm with you! Let's eliminate the huge wasteful "Health" spending.