Sunday, November 21, 2010

Power For The People: A History of Seattle City Light

Yesterday Mind Over Matter host Diane Horn interviewed me on KEXP Radio FM 90.3 about my history of Seattle City Light. Click here to go to the station archives and select November 20, 2010 and 7 am. Then you choose your media player.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deficit cutting

What a boring topic amid a week of news about presidential trips abroad, the GOP taking over the House, and, as always, the pundits proving that if you give people enough money they don't mind making fools of themselves. One item caught my eye and some other notice was the list of suggestions by two members of the deficit commission (not its official name) on how to trim federal spending.

The first reaction of readers and viewers is probably "how will this effect me?" and "will I get hurt?." Any time spending gets cut or taxes get raised people scramble to take positions that hurt them less. Individual citizens look at how much it will cost them in more taxes or some lost benefit. For the politicians it's all about "will this hurt me in the next election?" To be sure, the list of proposals includes things that impact nearly every American whether a government employee, a defense contractor, a Social Security recipient (current or prospective), or anyone who depends on those checks from dry cleaners to car dealers. And anyone who depends on dry cleaners to car dealers.

Watch the scramble of interest groups (nasty name for anyone taking an interest in government) as they try to avoid their share of the cuts that are really necessary if my grandson hopes to retire to someplace besides a blue tarp in a vacant lot. And when the government cuts get down to agencies watch - and marvel at - the artful arguments why they should not be cut. Everyone will have a case.

The good thing about these proposals is that they seem to hurt everyone which is what is needed.