Democrats saw the COVID-19 emergency as a chance to go on a drunken spending spree.
Even as Joe Biden was trying to max out near limitless credit, blue states were coming up with equally atrocious ways to blow wads of cash.
But now the COVID-19 spending party is over—and one blue city is waking up with a hangover.
For the past decade Seattle has been growing and tax collectors have been raking in more and more dough.
Then COVID-19 hit along with the Marxist Black Lives Matter riots.
Power drunk blue city officials had more reasons than ever to spend like the party would last forever—and plenty of “emergency” COVID funds pouring in to grease the wheels.
But reality just slapped them in the face with a $117 million dollar shortfall in the 2023 budget.
“This has been a slow build, many years in the making, where the city’s expenditures have begun to exceed revenues,” said Seattle Budget Director Julie Dingley, who took on the unenviable task of running the city’s budget office earlier this year.
It turns out back in 2019 the prior budget director was warning of a financial train wreck ahead, but nobody wanted to listen.
“At first, it was by sort of modest amounts and the city has been able to close the gap over the years using one-time methods,” Dingley said. “But then you come to COVID, and COVID really blows it wide open.”
It turns out making all kinds of promises—like investing $100 million into “BIPOC” (black, indigenous, and people of color) communities without actually having a funding source doesn’t work real well.
Now the city has backed itself into a corner.
But, in true leftist fashion, the city council’s budget chair claims “Austerity is not the way out of a financial pinch. As a city, we can’t cut our way to prosperity. It only weakens the economy in the long-term.”
It will be super interesting to see how they manage to pull $117 million out of thin air—especially during a time when people have been fleeing blue cities due to onerous COVID-19 restrictions and vast areas that were absolutely ransacked by rioters.
No doubt, a whole bunch of big blue cities are about to have their budget directors become well acquainted with a calculator—and it’s not going to be pretty.
Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.