State and local government budget cuts and layoffs, combined with the sharp falloff of federal investment, are slowing down the tenuous beginnings of economic recovery and threatening to derail it altogether.
Since 2009, Washington policymakers have slashed billions of dollars from the state budget, harming individuals, schools, and communities. Those cuts have hurt the economy and cost jobs in both the public and private sectors. Had policymakers balanced cuts by raising an equal amount of new revenue over the past three years, they would have saved or created up to 40,000 jobs across sectors throughout the state.
Now state policymakers are faced with another budget hole of $1.4 billion that could grow to $2 billion. Washington’s economy will produce more jobs and rebound more quickly if policymakers raise taxes rather than cut spending further. Ending corporate tax breaks and maintaining investments of $2 billion in education, health care, and services for struggling state residents would result in 9,000 to 17,000 additional private and public sector jobs.