Representatives see constituents as ATMs

Twenty-one million dollars is not a lot of money?

I watched a program on the mindless idiot box (that’s a TV for you uninformed folks) where it was reported that $21 million is not a lot of money. This is the amount that could be saved by the elimination of just a handful of the various boards and commissions that operate through the use of our tax dollars. Now, I don’t do this much so get ready for it – I applaud Gov. Gregiore for her action here.

The governor eliminated 78 programs by use of executive order. A much better use of that power than a certain resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has exercised of late. She sent a further list of some 50 boards and commissions to the Legislature to cut. No surprise that they would not do as she asked. One honest legislator was heard to say: “Everybody has a pet commission, once you get to a $9 billion deficit, and you look at the amount of savings versus the amount of political pain you have to take, the juice is not worth the squeeze.” Huh, “the juice is not worth the squeeze.” Amazing. Here’s a news flash to all you juicers in Olympia – $21 million is a lot of juice to the average citizen you are supposed to be representing. You people need to get things in perspective. Here are just a few of the 400-plus boards and commissions we are paying for:

• Cemetery Board – Folks are just dying to get on this one.

• Cosmetology, Barbering and Manicuring Advisory Board – Looking good.

• Commission for Efficiency and Accountability in Government – I can’t stop laughing.

• Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board – Huh?

• Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers – A lively crew.

• Humanities Washington – feel good waste of money.

• Legislative Ethics Board – uh, yeah right.

• License Plate Review Board – Now this sounds like a fun one.

• Live Horse Racing Compact Committee – as opposed to the Dead Horse Racing Compact.

• Migratory Waterfowl Art Committee – Its for the birds.

• Organized Crime Advisory Board – advises the governor, House and Senate on tax policy?

Is there a “Transportation Arts Committee” out there, too? There must be; it can go too. We are supposed to be looking at the road ahead of us when we drive so we don’t need to spend money on art for the shoulders and overpass roads.

So, true to form, instead of cutting and saving our wonderkids in Olympia are spending more and adding taxes. The House budget has an increase in spending of $1.5 billion and the Senate wants to spend $1.8 billion more than last year. Good work folks. I mean, after all we only have a $2-plus billion shortfall at this point. Let’s see if we can get it higher, shall we?

New taxes on gas, bottled water, soda pop, cigarettes, candy and gum. And an increase of the sales tax is also in the works. But they say that this increase is only temporary over the next three years…geez, I’ll buy that one. These people don’t see us as constituents; they see us as ATMs with legs.

Tim Personius


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