Karl Uppiano

County Executive “Regains” Budget Authority

Last Tuesday evening at the meeting of the Whatcom County Council, the County Executive Jack Louws asked for, and received permission to re-allocate public money between various accounts without prior authorization from the council. The council did demand quarterly reports for review. This is about a month after the council discovered and reverted a misallocation of more than a million dollars by the previous county executive. I have a problem with that, which I shared with the council: Honorable Council Members, I am very uneasy about your decision to vacate your authority over the Executive’s budget constraints. I do not think a quarterly report after the fact is an acceptable substitute for an active oversight and approval process. Are you going to be able to reverse questionable or improper allocation once the money has been spent, and the deed is done? As the saying goes, “It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.” It is already difficult enough for the people to keep government responsible for our actual needs without running off into the weeds so frequently. We rely on our elected representatives to help us do that, and it feels as if we just lost another round in that …

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Sequestration Crisis? You’ve Got to be Kidding!

The blue line on the chart shows the projected federal government spending for the next eight years without sequestration. The red line shows the projected spending with sequestration. The space between the lines is what all the caterwauling, posturing, demagoguery, howling, wailing and gnashing of teeth is all about. You’d think the red line was going to drop precipitously tomorrow. Gimme a break. Methinks they doth protest too much. This doesn’t stop the increase; it merely reduces it by a barely perceptible amount. This doesn’t make government responsible or sustainable. The entitlements today might help some people, but that doesn’t even begin to make up for the people who will be hurt when the bill inevitably comes due — landing on you or your kids in ten or twenty years. It’s hard to say when the crash will occur. I’m thinking sooner than later. This is rampant government malpractice on parade.

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