In Support of a Responsible Economic Response to COVID-19
Whereas Washington state is facing twin public health and economic crises due to COVID-19. As of July 2020 the state unemployment rate was 10.2 percent as we head into a double-dip recession,1 and this doesn’t include underemployed Washingtonians or temporary layoffs that may become permanent; and
Whereas more than 1.2 million Washingtonians have applied for unemployment insurance since March,2 and it’s exceedingly clear that neither our national nor our state economic recovery will be V-shaped; and
Whereas everyday people, not corporations or CEOs, are the real job creators who drive the economy, and the economy cannot simply be ordered reopened, and Washington is at risk of becoming trapped in a negative feedback loop of collapsing consumer demand, closing businesses, and lost jobs without economic intervention; and
Whereas Washington is expected to have at least an $8.8 billion revenue shortfall through the 2021-2023 biennium,3 and our state has the most upside-down tax code in the United States, where lowest-income households pay up to six times more of their income in taxes than the wealthiest; and
Whereas austerity budget cuts do not improve unemployment, participation from the private sector, or increased participation in the state’s economy,4 in addition to causing more pain for already-struggling people and families. We know that states that cut their budgets during the Great Recession saw a slower recovery and worse long-term results than states that actually increased spending and investments.5 Instead, increasing investments in critical services and infrastructure injects capital back into struggling economies, creating jobs and driving spending and economic growth.
Therefore be it resolved that the X urge the Washington State Legislature to avoid making cuts to the state budget, which are proven to worsen economic recoveries during recessions, and to instead stimulate growth by protecting and increasing investments in critical services, providing relief for workers, families, and small businesses, and saving Washington’s economy by raising taxes on the wealthiest households and corporations.
Adopted by the X organization July X, 2020
1 August 2020 Economic and Revenue Update, Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, 8/17/20 2 Initial unemployment insurance claims for week of June 21-27, 2020, Washington ESD, 6/18/20 3 ‘Everything is on the table’ as WA stares down a $9B shortfall, Crosscut, 6/17/20
4 Austerity Is Hammering State Economies, Center for American Progress, 6/21/12