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Washington State Health Insurance and the Economy

February 12,2010

Letter to the WA State legislature

I am deeply disappointed that the State Senate struck down I-960.    Representative Dunshee ,  I probably won't change your mind, but I vehemently disagree with your party's move to make it easier to increase taxes and fees and also to cover your tracks.  I commend you Senator Hobbs for voting no on SB 6130.  Washington State health insurance doesn't need any more taxes or fees.

Media reports state  that over the past 4 years, you guys have increased spending by over 32 percent . It's rather obvious to me that you  overspent funds expecting revenues to keep up and set yourselves up for this fall. 

Rep Dunshee, I also take issue with your jobs bill.  Borrowing additional money when revenues are down and when entitlements and other obligations that you already have undertaken aren't being paid for is a less than intelligent move.

I have not heard of any engineering/economics study that shows that the energy savings that you think will be generated will have a reasonable payback period. and a return on investment.  For this to make sense for Washington state, the present value of energy dollars saved must be greater than the present value of dollar spent including interest, By using formulas to calculate the time value of money flows out and in   Also, one must take into account that school  buildings  that become energy efficient can be closed in the future due to shifting populations and budgetary needs such as the record of the Seattle school district and so a percentage of those dollars could eventually be wasted dollars.

Government's job is not to create employment for the private sector by adding to the state's deficit and increasing interest obligations. You can't borrow enough money to hire people for the long term because you are dealing with the symptom and not the fundamental problem with our economy.  You are providing a band aid  when what you need is major surgery.   In your plan, what the tax payers are left with is more debt, and more interest payments at a time when revenues are decreasing. This is a time for government costs should decrease       

Do you really want to create family wage level jobs in our state for the long term or are you guys just giving lip service?  When the private sector is hurting, the best thing that government can do is certainly not add to their burden, but instead reduce them. Instead of increasing taxes, cut them.  Instead of adding regulations  reverse onerous regulations and make it easier for  employers to be profitable so that they can hire more people.  What you have done to the health insurance plans by adding mandate after mandate is a big reason why  the insurance rates are escalating so high.  

Certainly do not pass a card check bill that will pressure employees to join unions and repel businesses to want to move to WA state.  Profitable companies will move to states and countries where they can be assured that they can get a return on investment.  The lesson from Boeing's move to South Carolina  is obvious.  Our state hasn't done enough to make businesses want to stay here or feel welcome here. 

I believe the answer is to MAKE WASHINGTON STATE THE MOST ATTRACTIVE STATE IN THE NATION AND ONE OF THE BEST PLACES IN  THE WORLD TO SET UP OR MOVE A BUSINESS.   Businesses are growing everywhere in the world so why not in WA State? We should be on the forefront of company ceo's minds both large and small as the best place to do business. We need to not just rely on the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  We have got to compete with the Texases, the South Carolinas, of the world and  have a welcome mat for businesses. We should give incentives such as tax breaks, right to work laws,  and promised regulation stability in exchange for commitments to locate here and stay and grow here. We should be funding and creating the best education and training for workers and their families.    If you create the right business climate, then  companies will be added to the B&O tax rolls ,workers will be addee to the real estate tax rolls and the  sales tax revenues will increase.  This is how to get state government tax revenue up and NOT THE WAY YOU ARE DOING IT.     

I go to a church that sponsors one of the largest private schools in the state.  What do they charge high school students to attend there?  Under 6000 dollars per year  and even less for jr high and  elementary grades.  What do you guys budget for public schools per student?  I heard it was just under $10,000.  What percentage of the school budget pays for  classroom teachers  versus school administrators and other levels of bureaucracy?  How do parents feel about their local school?    A very high percentage of private school parents are happy with their children's education otherwise they wouldn't be shelling out the thousands each year on top of  the school levies.

You guys should be giving tuition vouchers to parents to let them decide where to best send their kids. Give the inner city minority kid  the same options that the rich suburban kids get.  Why do you politicians continue to defend a public schools monopoly when they continue to generate less than stellar results at excess tax payers expense?  Are you afraid that the public schools can't compete with the private sector? Who is paying you off to maintain a substandard system at our children's expense?

Educational among other monopolies are illegal in the private sector and for good reason. In just about every human endeavor, competition breeds excellence at a fair cost while monopolies allow entities to grow fat and lazy.  Who of you will have the common sense to do right by the kids and give them a choice and not a one size fits all solution .  Give tuition vouchers for say 85-90% of what you pay for each public school student and this can be a win- win situation for everybody involved.   

Bottom line, I am for bigger, stronger government, but created in the right way. When the private sector flourishes, then the governments services can follow BUT NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. DON'T KILL THE GOOSE THAT LAYS THE GOLDEN EGG.  


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