COMMENTARY: Another of Locke's broken promises
July 17, 2003
Locke made a lot of promises this past legislative session, and few were more appealing than the promise of new jobs brought by the transportation improvement package.
On April 27, the day the new legislative transportation improvement package passed, the governor declared: "This transportation package improvement plan will create thousands of family-wage jobs when our state needs them the most."
The next day, April 28, he promised: "This transportation improvement plan sends a clear signal that Washington is open for business. This plan will help us keep and grow the jobs we already have and attract new ones."
At the signing of the new transportation legislation, Locke reiterated: "This plan will also accelerate economic recovery. The improvements will create thousands of family-wage jobs. Washington families will benefit from those jobs, benefits that will be passed on to our states economy."
Governor Locke wasn't alone in his promises. State Senator Mary Margaret Haugen declared: "This is truly a jobs program. We need to put people to work . . . and the projects in this plan will create family-wage jobs all across the state that can start this summer."
All right, the extra nickel per gallon of gas is now real. What about those new jobs? Ironically, the very first contract to be awarded in the new "Nickel Fund" transportation project went to an Oregon contractor.
Worse, analysis by Governor Locke's budget office now predicts no new jobs will be added by the gas tax package. In Locke's office, the company line has changed from promising "job expansion" to "job retention." Instead of the new jobs promised to Washington workers, this new tax will retain only current employees.
So, what are we supposed to believe? If the promise of new jobs was dangled in front of our eyes merely to get votes, what about the rest of the promises we are counting on?
In his state-of-the-state address in 2001, Governor Locke said, "Hold us accountable..." The citizens of Washington state will hold him to his word. This broken promise is a good place to startit won't be difficult for the citizens of this state to realize once again they've been had.
Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Contact: Carl Gipson, Deputy Communications Director
(360) 956-3482, www.effwa.org
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