During this latest round of efforts to lessen the effects of the one billion dollar state budget shortfall, Governor Gregoire claims to have cut the WA state budget by 10.5 billion dollars.  However, that is not entirely true. 

In a textbook example of political spin,  Governor Gregoire is using a pie chart as part of her attempts to convince the public to let the state put a 500 million dollar sales tax increase on the ballot.   She claims to have cut 10.5 billion from the state budget since 2008.  But according to a detailed report from Northwest Cable News Network,   the so-called reductions and savings are actually a variety of smoke and mirror images.   Over one billion of these alledged cuts are actually automatic spending increases that did not happen.  In numerous instances, the state was able to automate, or streamline numerous processes and because of that, money budgeted was not needed or spent. While Gregoire claims cuts were made in higher education,  the state actually got much of the money back because tuition went up at WSU and UW and other state schools--INCLUDING CBC-this year.   Her budgetmakers also included a 69 million dollar cut from the State Parks Program--even though they raised fees for users to offset the cost.