Why spend a billion now when state needs to cut?

Two things stand out in the media reports on the budget woes of Washington state.

The first is that Christine Gregoire has reported $1 billion needs to be cut from the state budget. As a result there are protests from people that understandably fear the loss of their jobs. While the governor states the fiscal cuts are going to be extremely painful, she is going ahead with a $1 billion project of building the tunnel to replace the viaduct. There will not be a vote taken from the people of the state of Washington on this issue.

Perhaps I am trying to compare apples to oranges here, but it seems to be the extreme example of a politician who has a pet project in mind. This project takes precedence over the needs of the people such as certain state run agencies that oversee the care of the infirm or elderly. Jobs that include public safety like police, and jobs that include prison security, and I am sure the list could goon.

It would appear according to media reports that our governor wishes to cut enough jobs to pay for the tunnel under Seattle’s waterfront.

I personally am an advocate for the construction of this tunnel and I think it is the best option. My question is why can’t this project wait until peoples’ jobs are more stable and the economy recovers.

This reminds me of the Kingdome being replaced in spite of people voting no on this issue. Also giving Boeing a huge tax break to stay here, and then taking the difference out of the unemployment fund which people had paid into over the years. Yes this happened!

We need to ask where the money will go from the sale of the existing land under the old viaduct once it is removed? Will it be applied to the cost of tunnel construction? Will the city of Seattle or the state try to make it a waterfront tourist attraction on the backs of the taxpayers?

My point is that while government officials are voted into office they should do what is best for the people who vote for them. Christine Gregoire is lording over all of us at our expense. She wants her pet project to go ahead no matter who or how many of we little peons it hurts. Trying to cut $1 billion on the backs of good workers who wish to serve and make a living honestly. She then turns around and wants to spend $1 billion on a tunnel that could wait.

These actions garner further distrust of leadership that has gone awry and out of touch with the public needs and trust.

I generally vote Republican but, like many citizens of this state, I have grown cynical and distrustful of leadership in either party due to the underhanded and dishonest management of my tax dollars.

Myron (Hap) Whalen


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