Dori’s list of government budget cuts to cover any 976 transit deficit
As we’ve heard from public transportation activists, it’s supposedly the fault of the voters who passed I-976 that people with disabilities cannot get around on transit. I say that government does not prioritize — it wastes hundreds of millions or even billions every year. If they eliminated even half the waste through budget cuts, there would be plenty for people with disabilities to take transit.
So, I sat down Tuesday night and thought, “Where could we save some money in government?” Off the top of my head, I came up with a list.
Budget cuts at the state level …
Evergreen State College has a dramatic enrollment decline. There was a huge drop after the video came out showing students holding administrators hostage in a ridiculous takeover of the school. It is now roughly the size of a 3A high school, but its budget is about $60 million a year. Would the taxpayers be asked to fund the most radical conservative Right-wing college in America to the tune of $120 million per biennial budget cycle? Of course not. Evergreen State should not be a public college. It should have to privatize. Wouldn’t that money be better spent helping people with disabilities ride the bus?
… at the county level
What about the fact that King County Executive Dow Constantine has three full-time sheriff’s personnel who drive him around, including when he abuses the Executive Protection Unit privileges to go to bars? Between the salaries of the three employees, the overtime pay, and the gas, that costs the taxpayers at least $400,000 a year. Do you think maybe that $400,000 a year would be better spent helping children with autism have access to transportation?
Additionally, how many King County employees would you guess are making six figures? Five years ago when I did a salary survey, King County had over 2,000 employees making six figures a year. I’m sure that number is even higher today.
… and at the city level
Ed Murray added 1,000 employees to the City of Seattle payroll. Is Seattle dramatically better today? Did he bloat city government just so he could give six-figure jobs to his friends? Those extra positions cost $100 million per year. Do you think that $100 million might be better spent to offer transportation to people who are blind?
Government can often be a scam and a racket. Don’t get me wrong, we need government. We need it to provide the basics — schools, jails, public safety, parks, transit. If government just provided those things, you could slash the budget and save billions. But instead, we’ve got to drive Dow Constantine to the bars, we’ve got to add 1,000 people to the City of Seattle payroll while the city continues to go dramatically downhill, and we’ve got to fund the most radically leftist university in the United States.
I want to offer this perspective, because I guarantee you that no one else in Seattle media will. I will always remind you of the massive waste in government, the massive budget cuts that could be done. The one time that we fight back against government and say we want to cut our taxes, we are shamed for cutting funding for important things.
The problem is not the voters. The problem is not 976. The problem is Evergreen State and Dow Constantine and Seattle’s bureaucracy and all of the other many areas of waste in government. When they cry poverty, I cry baloney.
Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.