Everything that’s wrong with the public discussion over government funding and spending can be summed up in this Seatte Times editorial seeking charitable donations to help fund Medic One training. (Well, maybe not “everything,” but it sure is indicative of how totally fucked up our tax system is.)
MOST King County voters assume their vote every six years for the Medic One levy covers the full cost of emergency medical service. This levy, reasonably separate from the county’s beleaguered general fund, covers basic operating costs of a service that is the gold standard in the country.
As many county residents readily tell you, this is the best place to have a heart attack; survival rates are higher than any other place, with Rochester, Minn., close behind.
… DONATIONS will be accepted by phone, 206-744-9425 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Quality training and medical research is a worthwhile investment.
So if the service is so valuable and so well run, why should we be reduced to begging for money to help fund it? And by the way, the reason the general fund is so “beleaguered” is that so many essential services like Medic One have been pulled out of it, that there is little flexibility remaining in how to prioritize general fund services, and little popular support left in funding.
Furthermore, if they’re going to insist that tax increases remain off the table, isn’t it time for the budget hawks at the Times to stop writing about all the services they support, and start suggesting what services they think we should cut?