OLYMPIA -- Listening to the discussions over state budgets over the last several years, one might have thought that Washington state spending was growing faster than Usain Bolt on steroids.
At least, that seemed to be the position of some Republicans who pointed to rising costs and employee numbers as they argued to cut both.
A new map from the Tax Foundation, a think-tank which supports lower, fairer taxes, indicates that's not the case. At least not when compared to the spending of all the states over a span from 2001 to 2011. Washington ranks 43rd in the nation in terms of the growth of government spending, in "real dollars, per capita" which helps adjust for inflation and population growth.
It went up about 19 percent. That compares with 22.5 percent for Idaho and almost 24 percent for Oregon.
For a larger version of the map, click here.