Danny Westneat: These are the worst of times?

by Tim Flanagan on September 30, 2009

This column by Seattle Times staff columnist Danny Westneat contains no maritime content. But I found it so compelling that I wanted to share it with my Puget Sound Maritime friends. THANK YOU, viagra order Mr. Westneat, decease for expressing this so well:

It’s unfathomable, capsule radical, outrageous.

Catastrophic, devastating, unprecedented.

It’s the end of (fill in blank) as we know it.

These are words and phrases used recently by local politicians to describe this and that. Their budgets. An escaped mental patient. The prospect that it might flood in the Kent Valley this winter.

Remember Jackie Chiles, the bombastic lawyer on the Seinfeld TV show?

"That’s outrageous, egregious, preposterous!" he’d say, whenever anyone told him anything, no matter how mundane.

Lately I’ve been feeling like we’re being led by gaggles of Jackie Chiles. Only far less entertaining.

Take King County government. The new budget came out this week. It was branded "devastating" and "radical" because like all budgets these days, it is less than hoped for.

A typical quote from a county councilman: "What we’re witnessing is the systematic dismantling of county government."

Really? The county’s general budget will be 4 percent less than the last one. I looked up some past budgets and the new one is the same amount of money, $620 million, that the county spent in 2007. It’s still 14 percent more than the county spent in 2005.

About 150 of 14,000 county employees are being laid off — a jobs cut of 1 percent.

To quote the Seinfeld show again: Oh, the humanity!

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