State Rep. Larry Seaquist studies issues carefully and brings a lot of expertise to his position. However, I was disappointed to read his guest editorial (Gateway, Jan. 9).
Seaquist used such euphemisms as “streamline” and “efficiencies” and “reform” to describe the horrible damage done to state programs in the face of a four-year recession.
Voters and representatives alike need to admit that underfunding public education, public transportation, public health, public safety, public parks, our court system, our safety net for the disadvantaged and our stewardship for public lands has degraded the quality of life in Washington state.
Seaquist implies this recession means just a bit of belt tightening and is merely an opportunity for finding waste in government. That is simply wrong.
“Downsized” and “lean” do not adequately describe the state of our schools, our roads and ferries, our parks, our social service agencies. Human beings are slipping through the cracks, and infrastructure is crumbling. Expensive consequences are sure to follow.
Seaquist admits the need for “investment” in many areas but suggests no moves to find the money needed. Meanwhile, the body of dedicated state workers shrinks, and those who remain are saddled with higher workloads and unpaid furloughs that dent their own family budgets.
A few bright, professional people like Seaquist can live on their retirement income and volunteer the extra hours needed to prop up a budget-strapped government.
But you get what you pay for, and right now, we’re only paying for a second-class government.