New port facilities could help grow Washington revenues

Washington state legislators will be meeting in a special session to deal with the growing gap between projected revenues and expenditures, a policy dilemma that has been rendered more acute by the state Supreme Court's order that the government increase educational spending by $1 billion. At present, the outlook for a bipartisan solution is not good. Unfortunately, Washington state politicians, much like their federal counterparts, seem locked into two conflicting positions: 1. Increase tax revenue through higher tax rates or new taxes; 2. Cut government spending. While some compromise between the two positions seems required to address the state's fiscal crisis in the short-run, a longer-run solution must make faster economic growth a public policy priority.