Yesterday I watched Her Royal Highness Christine Gregoire’s press conference marking the end of the special legislative session. (Honestly, the things I go through in order to write this blog! You all should be paying me, but I digress.)
I don’t agree with HRH on much of anything, but I do admire her skill as a politician, something that first struck me during the 2008 gubernatorial debates with Dino Rossi. I noticed at the time that she was very disciplined about sticking to her talking points; yesterday, she exhibited the same skill by turning each question back to one of a handful of talking points. Of these, the one she mentioned most by far was that three-year-olds from disadvantaged families would continue to have access to subsidized preschool.
It’s a good strategy. If you have to talk about raising taxes new revenue sources, you have to sugar it up somehow and who can resist a cute three-year-old in need? Only a miserable excuse for a human being (or a Republican!) would object to helping three-year-olds, right? One snag; early pre-school programs for disadvantaged children don’t confer any long-range benefits to the children they’re designed to help.
Why, then, are these early childhood programs included in the State budget at all? Because it makes the liberals in the State legislature feel good to do so. They get to feel good about helping toddlers and, since it’s the thought that counts, they don’t feel the need to hold themselves accountable for delivering results.
Don’t you think it’s time Washington voters started demanding a return on their investment?
Random questions: What are our “State values” that HRH mentioned so many times? Did we vote, because if we did, I missed it.