Taxpayer Action Day on January 14 was a rousing success. This is the same day that the Washington Education Association chose to walk out of their classrooms and hold a “Day of Action” in Olympia – so we were far-outnumbered – their 20,000 to our 200! But, numbers are never the entire story and we were glad to be in Olympia representing the vast majority of taxpayers who were working on the 14th and who agree that our state government should spend less and tax us less.
Russ Walker and CSE super-activist Elizabeth Bookspan at Taxpayer Action Day in Olympia
The day began with a rally at the Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol grounds with inspiring speeches from Bob Williams of Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) , Russ Walker from CSE and several others including some of our state legislators (Lois McMahan, Mike Carrell and Marc Boldt). The afternoon continued with a presentation of EFF’s civics program for high school students and visits with state legislators.
At 4:00 pm we gathered to listen to Governor Locke’s State of the State Address followed by commentary from Bob Williams (EFF) and Paul Guppy (Washington Policy Center). The Governor’s speech was shorter than normal and as Paul Guppy noted, was lacking in bold ideas. The bottom line is that Washington State has a $2.4 billion dollar hole in our state budget that needs to be fixed. Although the Governor promised to do so without general tax increases, it became apparent as his speech continued that his definition of general tax increases excludes many other taxes and fees which he proposes to raise. As Bob Williams pointed out, this is definitely a year for conservatives and smaller-government advocates to be on guard. We must be vigilant in expressing our opposition to new taxes and in holding our elected representatives accountable.
Taxpayer Action Day is only the beginning of the fight this legislative session!
Some of the WEA’s thousands who walked out of their classrooms to ask for tax increases.
Russ Walker, Northwest CSE Director talks to a reporter following the Taxpayer Action Day rally