The Seattle Times editorial board insists that “Seattle must move forward on tunnel now,” despite concerns that current legislation would leave Seattle on the hook for cost overruns from the portion of the project being built by the state. We simply can’t afford to delay any further, argues the Times, not even to fix and/or clarify an unfair and possibly unenforceable provision that could cost local taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
And yet, when it comes to the salaries and benefits of unionized King County government employees, it is suddenly the interests of taxpayers that is the cause of urgency, with the Times arguing that there just isn’t time to study the comparative wages of government workers with those in the private sector:
Governments have a tendency to study matters to death. A study feels like a delay tactic, a way of hoping healthier revenues return and the heat vanishes from the need to reduce worker costs.
See the difference? Big, expensive highway project worth billions of dollars of private contracts — the most expensive alternative of any Viaduct replacement option proposed — and the Times throws caution to the wind, local taxpayers be damned. But the livelihoods of unionized, government workers… well, we just can’t afford to take the time to study if they really are as pampered and overpaid as the Times implies. (Or perhaps, we can’t afford to learn the results?)
So yeah, it’s hard to believe that the virulently anti-labor Times truly has the taxpayers’ interests at heart in demanding union concessions, when it seems so eager to hang us out to dry on tunnel cost overruns.