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Washington Gov. Inslee: When Dems Re-Take Washington, We’re Going to Hike Taxes

‘We will have to restore the balance of our fiscal condition’
By Grabien Staff

If Democrats regain Control of Congress and the White House, the first thing they'll do is raise taxes.

That's the promise coming from the Democratic governor of Washington, Jay Inslee. 

The pledge of raising taxes struck CNBC hosts as so startling, Squawk Box host Joe Kernen simply muttered in response, "Wow ... wow ... wow." 

Gov. Inslee, who is currently attending the Davos World Economic Forum, said that despite the apparent success of the Republican tax cuts, they're "punishing" taxpayers in high-tax states like his. 

Inslee shot down the suggestion the law might force his state to make their tax rates more competitive, saying the state will state will instead be forced to run bigger deficits.

"It is going to increase deficit spending in our state," he said. "So instead of having an infrastructure program to build a new infrastructure that is sadly deficient in our country, that it was given to essentially a deficit program and is going to increase our deficit and retard our ability to make investments that are so critical."

Americans, Inslee said, will need to elect Democrats so that taxes can be raised higher.

"At some point, America will have to do what it has done on many occasions after Republican governors -- or presidents -- have come in, we’ll have to restore the balance of our fiscal condition," the Washington governor said. "It happened when Bush blew up the deficit and we’re going to have to do that again, where we have another Democratic administration to fix this deficit."

"To run the kind of deficits we are running is dangerous and I wish the Republican Party would have listened to its own rhetoric for years and when they were promoting a balanced budget amendment, and the first thing they do when they get in power blow up the deficit and put that debt on my grandchildren," he added.

Here's a transcript:

INSLEE: “Well there are a couple of lessons that were not happy lessons from that, and I know there are some corporate leaders that are happy to get a tax cut. We understand that. We’re all happy at Christmas time in that regard. However, there are a couple of things in it that are concerning to us governors. One of which is, it is going to increase deficit spending in our state. So instead of having an infrastructure program to build a new infrastructure that is sadly deficient in our country, that it was given to essentially a deficit program and is going to increase our deficit and retard our ability to make investments that are so critical. Number two, the way it was done is unfortunately it punished a lot of states that have had good economies, including California, New York, Washington, and punished my taxpayers. I’m not very happy about that, to make my taxpayers pay a disproportionate --”
SORKIN: "-- But it’s going to force you to reduce your tax —“
INSLEE: “There’s a concern that this will put more of a burden on municipalities because this will dry up the ability to finance infrastructure from the federal government. So all is not rosey in this particular plan and at some point, America will have to do what it has done on many occasions after Republican governors -- or presidents -- have come in, we’ll have to restore the balance of our fiscal condition. It happened when Bush blew up the deficit and we’re going to have to do that again, where we have another Democratic administration to fix this deficit.”
SORKIN: "That’s a hard platform though to run on --"
INSLEE: "-- It is --"
SORKIN: "-- Raising taxes --"
INSLEE: "It is. And I’m not saying that is part of the necessity of it. But the point is, to run the kind of deficits we are running is dangerous and I wish the Republican Party would have listened to its own rhetoric for years and when they were promoting a balanced budget amendment, and the first thing they do when they get in power blow up the deficit and put that debt on my grandchildren. So what I’m expressing to you is not everything is perfect in that tax law."
KERNEN: "Wow, wow, wow, that's all I can say to that is, Wow."

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