Seattle's Sound Transit Hostage Situation

Joe Fain giving himself a high-five after stealing money from the Seattle region to fund wasteful highway projects in rural and suburban Washington.

Talk like this pretty much sends me into a frothing rage:

"In order to get, you got to give. There’s a recognition that Sound Transit 3 is very important to our Democratic colleagues, just like finishing some of these incredibly important mega-projects are important to some of the commuters in our districts. So we’re comfortable giving the voters in the ST area an opportunity to vote on whether they want to increase their transit service as part of this larger statewide package."

That's from State Senator Joe Fain (R-Auburn), making the point that the largely Democratic three-county region under Sound Transit's auspices has to do some horse-trading to get the funding they desire. That's politics.

And frankly, that'd all be well and good if we were actually getting anything. In truth, all we get  is the right to tax ourselves to build what we need, at no cost to anyone outside the three-county area. What we give is our actual money—billions and billions of dollars—shipped out to the far corners of the state to fund their low-productivityhigh-liability highway projects. They'll let us spend our own money on what we want, but only if they get a cut. Somehow they're able to support this with a straight face, as though they're doing us a favor.

The Puget Sound region already subsidizes most of the Republican-dominated areas of the state, and it's ironically the "local control" conservatives that are holding that control hostage to the needs of their own constituents' gas-powered fiscal profligacy.

The best part? They didn't even give us the full taxing authority we asked for. You can count on us getting it eventually—as long as we pitch in a little more of our own money to buy them some fancy new rural interchanges and extra highway lanes.