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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Squeezing Toothpaste Becomes Analogy For Washington Budget

Justin Henry

To raise taxes, or not raises taxes? That is the question. Washington Democrats have been hinting at yes. Republicans like Senate budget chair Andy Hill say it’s a last resort.

Hill started the toothpaste analogy.

“I’m the kind of guy who with toothpaste, I squeeze the tube as absolutely empty as I can get it and then I cut it open and scrape out the rest,” he said. “I think that’s the way I would approach budgeting this year.”

House budget chair Ross Hunter, a Democrat, grimaced.

“I think we’ve squeezed the tube pretty dry and I have not seen a practical solution to an entire budget that doesn’t involve some significant additional revenue,” he said.

Hill couldn’t resist a response.

“For the last four years I’ve heard that tube of toothpaste has been squeezed all it can be squeezed,” he said.

This is a debate we’ll be hearing some version of for many months to come.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."