Jay Inslee is running for president in 2020. Who? The governor of Washington State. It’s hard to keep track of the hordes of people vying for the Democratic nomination, so I thought it’d be useful to offer an overview of what the governor has been pushing here in the Evergreen State.
The first thing about Jay Inslee is that Climate Change occupies the top 100 spots in terms of issues of importance to him. And that will likely be the main issue he runs on as he campaigns. I say likely because, if he has any campaign advisers worth their salt, they’ll point out that Climate Change is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to issues Americans are concerned about.
Inslee has pushed and pushed and pushed various Cap and Trade and other taxation on greenhouse gas schemes. He’s tried to push it through the legislature, through executive action, through Initiatives on the ballot (the most recent being I-1631, which lost 56-44 last November). Just yesterday in his State of the State address, he gave dire warnings and urged the legislature (again) to take action. One thing you can say about Jay Inslee when it comes to Climate Change and the tax dollars it would bring in: He Persisted.
But that’s not all. His most recent budget, which he submitted in December ahead of the current legislative session, proposes a whopping 20% increase in spending (this is on top of the last budget, which had a seventeen percent increase). As is the case with many politicians, Inslee has an insatiable lust for taxpayer dollars.
Please note in the graph above from the Freedom Foundation the enormous increase in spending in just the past eight years. This 20% increase is on top of all of that.
So what’s in this budget that calls for nearly $4 billion in additional spending? Saving the Orcas comes in at $1.1 billion. No. That’s not a joke. There’s even more money for schools, because Washington courts decided to pretend to be legislators and ruled that the state wasn’t spending enough on education a few years back. It should be noted that Washingtonians were just slapped with a giant property tax increase (as much as 31%) because of this ruling—but no matter: we need more money for the children! He’s also calling for “free” college tuition as well as a “public option” for insurance.
How’s he going to pay for all of this, you ask? Tax the “rich,” of course! He wants a 60% increase in business taxes—because business owners can afford it, an increase in taxes on the sale of real estate to cash in on ballooning real estate values, and, making yet another attempt at the tax Democrats have been salivating over for decades: an Income Tax. They call it a Capital Gains Tax, because an Income Tax violates the Washington State Constitution, but the IRS has declared Capital Gains Taxes to be Income Tax, so this will face a court battle. The same one Seattle lost a year ago.
To those of you who live in sane states, you’ve likely had your socks shocked off. I’d like to add a few more honorable mentions, however, to give you a flavor for who Jay Inslee is, politically speaking.
Washington State has a 100% vote-by-mail system (no, there are no polling places). To make it that much easier on the poor people who are voting on their couches in their pajamas, he got funding passed for postage-paid envelopes for the ballots.
He also really hates Trump policies. When the president was trying to go after “Sanctuary Cities,” Inslee took executive action, declaring Washington to be a “Sanctuary State,” and he fought back against the repeal of Net Neutrality by passing state Net Neutrality legislation.
Finally, while no one can deny the Puget Sound area’s booming economy, thanks to large corporations, it should be noted that during Inslee’s tenure, Seattle now has the largest homeless population outside of L.A. and New York City, and the term “Seattle-ization” now exists as describing a circumstances your city should avoid if at all possible.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of Inslee’s “accomplishments,” but with the short outline here, are you surprised the Cato Institute ranked him as the worst governor?