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Lacking Leadership on Our Budget

by JoeAtkinson
on 9/12/2012 @ 12:48pm
I'm just wondering, where's the leadership on budget issues?Our budgetary mishaps and mistakes (along with severe projected future shortfalls) have been common knowledge for well over a year.  We now have just 3 months to address a 12 million dollar budget gap!Very little has been done when early action may have saved dozens of good police, fire and city service jobs.  All that is being proposed so far is the same old fund shifts and unfilled vacancies that led us to this dire situation.  I have been sitting in wait for months to hear what the plan is for next biennium, but we have nothing, thus far, and it's almost October!.  I'll continue to wait, but the longer we procrastenate, the worse the cuts to jobs, services, roads, safety and general progress will be.This apparent lack of leadership can have far reaching consequences on our city and our people for years to come.  This is not a new

by Jesse on 9/12/2012 @ 1:29pm
Um... I understand that there actually is an agreement on the budget and that's why nobody in the public has heard anything on it.  That is, they don't announce anything because they're waiting to see if or how many layoffs they may or may not need to make to come in under the wire near the last minute.

I mean, that's what I remember reading... Does that make sense?

by Jesse on 9/12/2012 @ 1:41pm
Here's the latest from the TNT:

by JoeAtkinson on 9/12/2012 @ 2:06pm

I think we linked the same article.

My main point is that it's almost October. It's much more difficult to fill a $12 million dollar gap in three months as opposed to twelve months (which is why 'fund transfers' now are the only option). I would have favored at the least a limited early action adjustment (understanding that our outlook may keep changing). This would have resulted in significant savings next biennium, where we face a $60 million+ hole. Not sure on the math, but I think that borders %20.

Quoting the same article:
"Broadnax’s budget proposal Tuesday deals only with the current year’s budget gap. City officials are separately working on a 2013-14 budget plan, which is expected to be unveiled in October."

I'm sure there's plenty of work going on behind the scenes, but it's almost October! The sooner we act, the less layoffs there will be. Let's get more information to we, the people!

by low bar on 9/13/2012 @ 1:55pm
Freedom isn't free. So start paying your state income taxes WA. 

If wages would go up for once in America's history, WA could have a state income tax and balance budgets. 

You can't balance budgets with only cuts and closing loopholes. 

The middle class wage earners need to have their wages increased and have a small, smart state tax code written up. 

Problem solved. 

Freedom isn't free. Firemen don't run up burning skyscrapers for not. So pay for freedom. 

Raise taxes on franchises and corporations in WA. Cut taxes on small business.

You want to be lazy and have a Jamba juice franchise instead of coming up with your own small business plan? Then that laziness should get taxed. 

You want to be lazy and have a Staples franchise instead of coming up with your own small business plan? Then that laziness should get taxed.

That laziness should get taxed and used to fill the budget gaps.

It's not rocket science.  

by fredo on 9/13/2012 @ 4:43pm
Topic is the Tacoma City budget deficit.

Identifying the topic isn't rocket science.

by low bar on 9/13/2012 @ 7:47pm
"Topic is the Tacoma City budget deficit. Identifying the topic isn't rocket science."

Where in those two sentences can readers see a 'topic addressing response' and not a 'low bar addressing response'? 

Don't ya think responses to topics usually address the topic?

Apparently identifying the topic is rocket science....for fredo.

surprise surprise

I wish entry level trolling would help fill the Tacoma budget gap because fredo would have helped achieve that weeks ago:)

butt hurt noob.

So to help fredo identify the topic I'll have to add the following...

fredo, telling us what the topic is, isn't not the topic, ok?

The topic the Tacoma budget gap...for and to which your bird brain obviously doesn't have anything to address, because apparently you thought the topic was telling everyone what you thought the topic was.

Which isn't the topic. Get it?

So back on topic. The middle class needs help to fix the budget gap in Tacoma, because lawd knows the 1% won't help.

Apparently the 1% think freedom is free...

by Jesse on 9/14/2012 @ 7:59am
See?  You can't tell a staff for an entire year that they may lose their jobs or people will bail who you don't want to bail.  You have to wait till near the last minute to announce the plan.  It's not a "lack of leadership" as Joe Atkinson states above - it's just good solid business practice.

by NineInchNachos on 9/14/2012 @ 8:22am
thought it was 60 million ?

any way the scoop doesn't sound to worried

by NineInchNachos on 9/14/2012 @ 9:04am
also Jake Fey was worried about the budget forever you guys.  That's why you should vote for him... because he worries about the budget before jumping ship to the senate. 

by NineInchNachos on 9/14/2012 @ 9:06am
also... does this help?

by low bar on 9/14/2012 @ 11:02am
"However, Fitch noted Tacoma's economy benefits from the presence of large, stable employers in government, healthcare and education as well as a strong focus on economic development."

its all probably simple arithmetic. The 1% can't increase profits each year in the face of a growing population of the lower class. People are living longer and also producing more offspring then there are jobs.

The answer is a nationwide one, not a Tacoma one.

We need a new, new deal. Not necessarily new leadership. But a new plan.

USA post WWI went into a depression.

USA post WW2 did not.

Figure out why.

It was a technical change.

USA post AQ front will need a technical change.

by JoeAtkinson on 9/14/2012 @ 1:10pm

Yes, I too voted for Fey because he did worry about the budget a lot, yes, even though worrying did not actually equate to like, doing or saying anything at anytime when it may have mattered...Wait a minute. I think I've been had.

We do get to vote again right? Is there any good reason to vote for Walker? At least Fey took the pay cut in solidarity w city employees. I guess Walker's 75K+ a year part-time non-profit director job plus 50K+ as a councilmember (salary & per diem) just isn't higher enough than the average Tacoma family (can we say %90?) to stand in solidarity with all the families about to lose a good city job or take severe pay/benefit cuts.

I may sit this one out... Haven't decided.

by JoeAtkinson on 9/14/2012 @ 1:22pm

And here of course is the latest story. This is not a surprise. Unfortunately the delay in action, and determination to not act prior to receiving two grants (that lock us into more long-term spending) will have the most impact on city services and hard working middle-class and poor families. Sorry to say, but I would have favored Arellano's early action plan, which even in a limited form may have saved many good jobs by making some tough decisions early.

I still haven't seen the actual 13-14 budget and revenue projection numbers. Anybody have them?

And Jesse, I'm not sure if I agree with your assessment that serving the Kool-Aid by telling us everything is fine while things get worse, and the resulting consequences of increased layoffs, is a sound business practice. I think a lot of municipal employees have been very nervous these last 18 months.

by Jesse on 9/14/2012 @ 1:58pm
I didn't say that the layoffs were a sound business practice.  I said that waiting to tell people they're going to lose their job until the last month or so is a sound business practice if you're comparing the alternative of letting them think they may be let go for a full year or more.

Perhaps, considering you ran for office, you could tell us just how this process should have been handled differently. I'm not looking for hollow complaints either - how about some suggestions or actions better taken than what actually transpired?

Please explain this: " receiving two grants (that lock us into more long-term spending) will have the most impact on city services and hard working middle-class and poor families." I don't understand how grant money spending is a bad thing.

by low bar on 9/14/2012 @ 2:34pm
I would think letting your staff know a year ahead of time so they can get their affairs in order and get a head start on networking for other employment would be a business virtue.

But maybe business has no virtues.

Well, what do I know, I'm just a red white and blue bleeding American that understands fairness and that families that depend on employment shouldn't get ambushed all of a sudden by a department head's idea of sound business practice.

by Jesse on 9/14/2012 @ 2:50pm
If you let your staff know a year ahead of time that their department is going to shrink, you take the choice of who stays and who goes and you put that into the hands of the employees.  

Knowing your department will be shrinking causes everyone to look for work and if an employee is pretty sure they'd be in the pool of people leaving, it causes them to slack off.  The people with the best resume's get job offers sooner than those without and you get attrition of those you may not want to lose.  

That is why it's sound business practice to not let them know so far ahead of time as to diminish the managers options in this manner. Hell, the manager may come up with a plan at the last minute to save everyones job but if the top employees have already left, it doesn't matter.

Is all of this "fair" to the employee losing their job? No. But the manager's first goal is the best survival of the business and losing a job is never "fair" anyways.

by low bar on 9/14/2012 @ 3:19pm
"the best survival of the business"

well if corporations are people my friend, then survival of business is survival of people. and survival of people means making sure everyone is in life boats before the titanic goes down. Thats if you are a captain worthy of commanding a ship in the first place.

Ships sink. Ships can be rebuilt. But peoples lives I would think are more important than a stupid ship that was sailed poorly.

"it causes them to slack off"

As if department heads slacking off didn't lead to the problem in the first place.  

by Jesse on 9/14/2012 @ 3:31pm
"well if corporations are people my friend, then survival of business is survival of people. and survival of people means making sure everyone is in life boats before the titanic goes down. Thats if you are a captain worthy of commanding a ship in the first place."  -- low bar

If you had the right staff, you never would have hit that iceberg in the first place but you went and told the entire staff that there's a real threat of losing the ship going through that last portion of the trip so your best shipmates got off at the last port of call to work on another ship.  Since then you had people driving the ship that shouldn't have been, you lost the entire ship.

"As if the slacking off of department heads didn't lead to the problem in the first place." -- low bar

I disagree.  It's the economy that's causing these economic cuts.

by cisserosmiley on 9/14/2012 @ 3:34pm
JoeAtkinson wrote
"Yes, I too voted for Fey..."
but I recall Mr Atkinson running against Anders Ibsen in the west side/n. end which is a seperate voting area than fey @JoeAtkinson are you a lier or a carpetbagger ?

by low bar on 9/14/2012 @ 3:37pm
"It's the economy that's causing these economic cuts." - Jesse

The economy is like sea. Department heads have to do more for their pay then just see to operations. They have to be aware of financial icebergs as well as what markets are doing. Not only steering the ship is needed. Supplying the ship is necessary. You can't just cut crew and think you're going to get to your destination. 

Ship goes down. Ship can be repaired. Lives are lost because Captain blames economy, those lives can't be retrieved. 

"It's the economy that's causing these economic cuts."

The economy doesn't whisper in a department head's ears and tells them to ambush the crew.  

How many department heads read the WSJ? I know when I worked for the Tacoma Worksource, the department head had a PhD in religious studies. She hardly struck me as a person that reads WSJ. In fact I one day was called into her office and as I knocked and entered the fist thing I saw was her tilting back her head to get the last crumbs out of a bag of chips.

by NineInchNachos on 9/14/2012 @ 4:02pm
I pledge to keep drawing absurd cartoons as the ship goes down just like the musicians on the titanic. 

by Anders on 9/14/2012 @ 5:29pm
@cisserosmiley: I assume Joe meant that he voted for Jake in the State House race, not for City Council. Be respectful, please.

Hi Joe, I can certainly see your frustration. This is a big shortfall. And yes, besides the bad economy the city does share responsibility for our current fiscal situation. If we had made comparatively smaller cuts back in 2008 or 2009 when the economy was starting to go south, we wouldn't have had to make anywhere near the painful decisions we have to now. I'm in complete agreement with you there.

In defense of my colleagues who were on the council back then, we're a council-manager form of government, which means we are very reliant on staff for information from which we can make policy judgments. Many of the more questionable budget decisions - such as deferring parking bond debt service until 2014, or believing that closing vacancies would be sufficient to contain long-term costs - were either unilateral decisions by Eric Anderson, or presented to the council in such as way as to obscure the reality of the situation.

I'm not saying that to make excuses; we're resolved to dig our city out of this hole no matter what. I'm just saying that it's hard to make informed decisions when your chief source of information is lying to you. That's why the council fired Anderson last year, and I would have cast the very same vote had I been there myself. We're fortunate that TC Broadnax is a truthful partner in the budget process.

As for why we waited for federal grants to save police/fire jobs rather than laying off hundreds of people right then and there? I suppose we could have axed those positions and called it a day (at least before the next round of cuts for 2013-2014). But as a policy-maker, I have the responsibility of maximizing services for my constituents. Grants are temporary; but they give us breathing room to realize long-term efficiencies, and other adjustments, that can create permanent savings without cutting services.

I also believe wholeheartedly that the people of Tacoma should own the budget process, rather than be passive spectators. That's why we pushed the City Manager to host over a dozen town halls throughout the city to incorporate the public's suggestions - a process we will repeat after the 1st draft of the budget is released in October. If we just hacked and slashed away people's jobs at the beginning of the year, there would be absolutely no public process to inform our decisions.

This isn't a budget process that we will solve by axing whole departments with simplistic across-the-board reductions. We'll solve it through careful, strategic cuts; employee concessions; revenue options; and organizational efficiencies all rolled up into one. That requires careful and deliberate judgment, and substantial citizen input to get right.

As the process unfolds later in October, I welcome you to get involved and show up to more of these meetings. If you have specific suggestions for how we can realize savings, I'd be more than happy to hear them. Call or email anytime.

Take care and Happy Friday everyone,

by NineInchNachos on 9/14/2012 @ 5:57pm
Thanks Anders!   My suggestion: fire the police chief and the police spokes person who tried to cover up the sleepy-time advil PM amber alert failure.  Maybe T.C. can get the police chief of San Antonio in here

by low bar on 9/14/2012 @ 7:27pm
I'd like to know how its the economy's fault. Do the accusers mean the local economy? 

Because if they mean the national economy I'm not seeing it with the DOW soaring yesterday and markets being up. 

And if the economy is good then the feds can get the grant money from Wallstreet to fix the Tacoma budget gap and firemen can be ready when the port of tacoma stinks so hard that it bursts into flames. 

Try fixing that smell before you fix the budget gap, then maybe Tacoma can get the transplant bloom every other city in the PNW is getting. 

Economy fixed. 

Whatever. Its all meaningless now. Eva Mendes is getting married.

by fredo on 9/14/2012 @ 8:36pm
I overdrew my checking account.

No big deal.

It's the economy's fault. hahahaha

by JesseHillFan on 9/14/2012 @ 9:53pm
Think of crazy or sane ways in which the city of Tacoma could save a lot of money.Suggestion 1 have many city workers get around by bicycle or public transit instead of their own city supplied cars.Less police cars and more police bicycles.Sell off a bunch of police cruisers.Sell off Police Yachts (multi-million dollar boats).Sell off the Nissan LEAF fleet and get the mayor a bicycle.

Suggestion 2 have the city of Tacoma clandestinely print counterfeit T Bills to make up for the shortfall.(really crazy sick bird idea)

by NineInchNachos on 9/14/2012 @ 10:05pm
Jeff's Ice Cream  man once told me his idea of City of Tacoma repaying debts with a new local currency.I think it could work.

by JesseHillFan on 9/14/2012 @ 10:34pm
Another set of suggestions how about a telethon on TV Tacoma in the manner of the old movie Or how about a carnival in which people get to have the mayor or council members in the dunk tank for a fee and a few other good games,Tacoma exhibits and games like a fair (hint a mini Puyallup fair) with maybe even a freak show.Or how about you can be the mayor (for a $1,000) for a dayon TV Tacoma (even Robert Hill when he gets out could be the mayor for a day.

by Jesse on 9/15/2012 @ 7:46am
"I'd like to know how its the economy's fault. Do the accusers mean the local economy?" -- low bar

When money doesn't circulate around the economy or housing prices are down, less taxes are collected.  When less taxes are collected, the gov't has less money.  When the gov't has less money, they have to cut things or raise taxes to make up the difference... and there's your budget crisis.

Did I really have to just explain all this?

by fredo on 9/15/2012 @ 8:01am
The city council has been negotiating salary and wage packages with public workers that are entirely based on what people in other areas make and  on overly optimistic forecasts of future revenues.

What other cities can afford to pay their workers has zero bearing on what OUR city can afford. Furthermore, what some optimistic economist says the revenues in the next biennium or any future interval will be has no bearing on our ability to accomodate payroll obligations.

Fantasy world say hello to the real world.

Salaries and wages should be set at what Tacoma can afford to pay and not a penny more. Furthermore we should be using the most conservative forcasting available and even then should be wary of signing any wage agreement that doesn't have language embedded in it that will allow the council to rewrite the terms if the economy demands. 

by Jesse on 9/15/2012 @ 8:11am
"What other cities can afford to pay their workers has zero bearing on what OUR city can afford."  -- fredo

Not true.  Tacoma is in competition with other municipalities/businesses for workers.  You have to pay the going rate or you'll get the least wanted workers, high turnover (which costs a fortune on it's own BTW), or no qualified workers at all.

by fredo on 9/15/2012 @ 8:28am
Jesse, there might be some key workers with hard to find skills for which your point might be true.

But for the vast array of rank and file city employees they are pretty much interchangeable and no pay premium is required to keep them working. With national unemployment at 8.3% and Tacoma unemployment even higher, you aren't going to have any problem with high turnover. People don't quit government work in a down economy.

For example: Tacoma's best pot hole filler is probably not much better than an average pot hole filler from anywhere in the country. We don't have to pay a premium for his "expertise." Furthermore, is a city employee really going to sell their Tacoma home and take their kids out of local schools just so they can move to HorsesBreath Montana to make an extra $2000 per year? Doubtful.

Please use common sense. 

by Jesse on 9/15/2012 @ 9:18am
My point is absolutely true with the skilled labor force.  Just try and get a job at the city.  Your skills have to be specific and they even bring that philosophy right down into jobs that really shouldn't require much in the way of training - causing the qualified pool to shrink and the pay to go up.

by JoeAtkinson on 9/15/2012 @ 11:01am
@cisserosmiley, I do live in the 27th Legislative District and have for some time. I live here because of the many good hearted & engaged people in all parts of Tacoma. I've lived and worked briefly downtown, worked on the S/Eastside for 4 years (@ BB Bail while a UWT student), I've lived on the S end for some time, and now the N end. Am I a some type new-wave inner-city carpet-bagger? Maybe, but my motivations are not political.

Thanks too Anders for chiming in & answering my question via email. I however still strongly believe the past councilmembers knew (or should have known) exactly what they were doing when they instructed CM Anderson to cut without actually cutting any actual services. No hard choices were made then (and little even up to now). In my opinion, the CM did what the council asked with everyone banking on an unrealistic quick recovery. He then of course took all the the blame and was fired, unfairly I would attest. I say: let's elect a strong mayor to minimize this shadow accountability and elect a leader with vision.

I really like CM TC (very bright and personable) but he has 'no' experience working with a city of the size and scope of Tacoma.

@Jesse, I think I side with 'low bar' in thinking that it's always better to be straight with your people you employ. As Anders alludes to, that type of thinking contributed to the challenge we face.

Jesse, you asked two very fair and direct questions, so I will briefly answer. I've not the time nor the energy to lay out some budget plan that will have no meaning. City staff and the council are going to do what they have to do, and have all the data and information, I don't. Of course, at this point an all-of-the-above approach is the only option for 13-14. But keep in mind, in OCTOBER (month 10 of 12) real savings and reductions for 2012 will have very minimal impact on the remaining deficit this year. It's 'too late', so gimmicks like robbing Peter to pay Paul (fund transfers) are now the ONLY option for the 2012 shortfall.

Revenue enhancements, layoffs, wage & benefit freezes, across-the-board cuts and service reductions (maybe even program elimination) are all on the table and being considered:( None of these are good options.

So to answer your question (as I stated in posts above) I would do the same thing that's being done, I just would have just done it MUCH SOONER! Even January would have been better then just really starting now, but there's no will on the council to take the risk of telling it like it. I'm not sure if any tough choices have been made this year as of yet. Being slow & thoughtful is going to cost the employees and the citizens of our city who demand affordable services.

Early action layoffs and concessions (CM Arellano), though not good by all means, may have saves many jobs down the road. 12 million in savings in January means 12 million extra in our pocket for the future. If your Comcast bill is $100 a month, and you cut it off in January, by now you would have saved $1000. Waiting to act has failed us miserably. We elect leaders to be leaders and make the hard choices. My wife may have been mad at me, but I cut Comcast Internet & Cable when the state cut my pay and raised my health insurance costs. If I didn't, my mortgage would have not been paid, and I would have had to fire myself from living in N Tacoma.

The fire and police grants are great and should have been a clear victory, but the fire grant in particular locks us into current levels of spending for I think four+ years. If we only could have taken some cost savings measures sooner... Since fire is the largest part of our budget, you can see the implications Jesse. This guarantees that city employees will take the brunt of layoffs and concessions, as fire now has no reason to even negotiate. The projected future spending spike (that needs unprecedented capitalistic growth to be sustainable) is in large part due to past contracts negotiations and promises. That is a very tough issue to deal with that contains at this time no viable solution aside from gutting all other parts of city government (including police).

I encourage you to Google "Tacoma budget presentation" and look at the graph displaying dramatic future spending increase forecasts. These are not service increases based on population growth (Tacoma's residential development has been misguided, costly and stagnant), these are 'you get less service at a much higher cost' increases. This type of mismanagement will hinder Tacoma's growth for a decade if fixed right away. Longer if we delay action much more.

And the sad part is, the HUGE unrealized potential of our city to be an economic powerhouse in the region. Love or hate our Seattle Mayor, that city is seeing a huge revenue increase as they make the necessary steps that actually focus on getting people and business to the city, while Tacoma has failed to move forward in the midst of great potential and opportunity.

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 11:45am
"@Jesse, I think I side with 'low bar' in thinking that it's always better to be straight with your people you employ." 

suck on the consensus jesse. 

"When money doesn't circulate around the economy or housing prices are down, less taxes are collected." - Jesse

are you serious? less taxes are collected under dumbass bush tax codes and, well, the big elephant in the room: WA absent state income tax. DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Money is debt and the debt is circulating just fine as any entry level noob can see. 

Housing prices are on the up and up. 

Oil is the culprit. And thats why the USA needs a technical change to get out of the woods if the 1% don't want to help.

Freedom isn't free Mr Romney. So pay your taxes.  

by Jesse on 9/15/2012 @ 4:50pm
"are you serious? less taxes are collected under dumbass bush tax codes and, well, the big elephant in the room: WA absent state income tax. DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" -- low bar

You can be right when you change what reality is.

by Jesse on 9/15/2012 @ 4:55pm
"I think I side with 'low bar' in thinking that it's always better to be straight with your people you employ. As Anders alludes to, that type of thinking contributed to the challenge we face."  -- JoeAtkinson

There isn't a person alive with political aspirations that would say publicly that waiting to tell someone at the last minute that their job is going to be eliminated is "ok" is good business sense.  It's about as non-politically correct as you can get - but I stand by my stance - it is indeed good business sense.  It isn't fair or PC, but it's good business sense.

Otherwise, great post Joe.

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 7:41pm
It maybe good business strategy, but it's not good economic sense nor good human resources practice.

Not when staff get ambushed and later have to take that experience with them back into the workforce.

I'd say it pollutes the workforce and makes the job of the next department head that much more difficult because they have workers now that know what to expect in return for their industry.

Ethics are not to be sequestered.

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 7:54pm
I guess the old guard knew what needed to be done when Adam Smith wrote "we can't trust businesses to look after anyone but themselves so we must handcuff them".

Thanks for making the case for the necessity of politics, policy and government regulation, Jesse. 

Good to see Mr. Atkinson speaking from the right side of history. 

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 7:56pm
"Otherwise, great post Joe." 

Whats with all the smugness Jesse? You got French ancestry?

by fredo on 9/15/2012 @ 8:30pm
  Joe, I agree that leadership is lacking on this issue.

This is an issue of extreme gravity and we have a council which is only capable of taking baby steps. The problem is as plain as the nose on your face...bloated union and other overly generous salary and benefit policies of the city council. But council doesn't want to offend any union types so they spend all their time talking about chickens, marijuana, sister cities, pea patches, and tree canopies. Anything to try to stall the inevitable.  

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 8:59pm
Gezus fredo, why don't you ever want to talk about bloated CEO's and their bloated careless bloatedness? Didn't we just bail out a bunch of bloated non-regualted a-holes recently?? Or are we supposed to just forget about that? 

Far as I can see government workers have never needed a bailout. Because they work via regulations. A government worker's salary is nothing compared to Donald Trumps. So quit whining about a government that provides you with secure transparent service at half the price.

Freedom isn't free. So pay your taxes and shut up. 

Dialectic says you're fired fredo. 

by NineInchNachos on 9/15/2012 @ 9:05pm
Are you like me?  Have you been laid off from long term employment without any warning whatsoever?  Is your family on a tight budget?  Has your favorite Video Store (Stadium Video) gone tits up... Has your neighborhood Library Branch (Martin Luther King Jr. Library) been sold off for a few lousy bucks to patch budget holes? 

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don't walk, run!  ride your bike!  drop stuff off or just grab whatever!  IT'S ALL FREE!  leave messages on the community bulletin board!

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by fredo on 9/15/2012 @ 9:08pm
topic is the city budget

Nevertheless, your contention that government workers have "never needed a bailout," that's not true. the Obama administration passed a $700,000,000,000 stimulus job program in 2009 that mostly went to keep government employees on the payroll. It would be fair to call that bailing out some government workers. .

by NineInchNachos on 9/15/2012 @ 9:17pm
getting the sprawling Multicare and Franciscan Health Care industrial complexes to pay a tiny bit of their city taxes is a good baby step to patching budget holes.

by NineInchNachos on 9/15/2012 @ 9:17pm
if only we could find a way for the mega churches to pay their fair share... those guys are sucking money out of here like GANGNAM STYLE

by fredo on 9/15/2012 @ 9:37pm
  The best thing for the city to do is for Mayor Strickland to call a press conference and announce that the union contracts the city previously agreed to are actually not affordable and certainly not sustainable and that if the unions don't agree to very serious downward modifications that the council intends to place the city in bankruptcy and have the contracts nullified by a judge.

Admit it was a poorly thought out policy decision to guarantee to pay workers at the 70th percentile and move on.

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 9:38pm
"that mostly went to keep government employees on the payroll" -- fredo. lies as usual on feedtacoma. SOP. 

Are you talking about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that congress passed? 

"the Obama administration passed" - fredo (liar). 

Congress passed it. Not the Obama administration. 

If you mean the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act we can go over the data to see how it affected the economy if you want fredo, but your position is not going to like it. 

Lets be clear that if Wallstreet hadn't gambled with American's 401ks we wouldn't have needed government to step in.

by NineInchNachos on 9/15/2012 @ 9:39pm
somebody was saying that Tacoma Parks, Tacoma Water, Tacoma Rail, and Tacoma Power  are totally independent from the overall budget..  

by fredo on 9/15/2012 @ 9:41pm

Obama Administration wrote the legislation and asked the congress to pass it. They did.Then the money went to bailout government employees. This is my understanding. It was basically a jobs programs for teachers, fire fighters, etc.

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 9:47pm
Don't listen to fredo's lying ass. You can track the Act here for yourself:

by fredo on 9/15/2012 @ 9:58pm
 " Funding for federal contracts, grants and loans"

Thanks for the link low bar. Just like I said, the money went to pay for bailout of government worker jobs. It's right there on page one of your link. those "grants" went to employ laid off government workers.

Fredo's GOVERNMENT WORKER BAILOUTS claim proven by... low bar! 

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 10:07pm
And why did they have to provide funds for government work?? 

Because freedom isn't free!

Here's the diff between the 'bailouts' that fredo is so intelligent to describe as being similar: 

Government bailout goes to servicing the American people and American families. 

Wall street bailouts go to providing CEO's with golden parachutes and vacation homes in the Caymans. 

by fredo on 9/15/2012 @ 10:35pm
 " as I can see government workers have never needed a bailout." low bar

 "Government bailout goes to servicing the American people" low bar.

Nice inconsistancy. In one post you declare that government workers didn't get a bailout then a few minutes later you declare that the bailout for government workers was to service American people.

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 10:50pm
the 'bailouts' was in quotations. they're called irony quotations. unsurprising to see fredo also has zero sense of sarcasm. another indicator fredo's entry level IQ. 

fredo = noob (of the most nonredeemable kind).

by fredo on 9/15/2012 @ 11:16pm
  Oh, your claims are just "sarcasm?"   

You said government workers didn't get a bailout and I proved that they did get a bailout. That's not sarcasm, that's lowbar getting caught in one of his own lies.

by low bar on 9/15/2012 @ 11:23pm
The sarcasm was that 'bailouts' didn't apply to both of fredo's apples and oranges comparison of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Wall street bailouts.

That's fredo caught red handed trying confuse the discussion with apples and oranges again, and a heaping of falsehoods on top.

Still waiting for fredo to criticize the golden parachutes of wall street CEO's. Let's be fair and balanced right fredo? Isn't that the motto of you and your's? Lying sack of $%#@

by JesseHillFan on 9/16/2012 @ 1:52am
Only if the city had listened to the advise of the traveller mumble about investing in gold and silver coins several years ago today it would have been fabulously rich.

by fredo on 9/16/2012 @ 7:42am
 " fredo's apples and oranges comparison of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Wall street bailouts." lowbar

hahahha, that was YOUR comparison. I never suggested any discussion of the bailouts whatsoever. YOU raised the topic and YOU suggested the comparison.All I did was prove that the Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a way to bail out government workers jobs with billions of taxpayers dollars. You claimed that government workers didn't get taxpayer bailouts and I disproved this.

As a courtesy to Joe Atkinson and the others who might want to discuss the Tacoma budget deficit why don't you discontinue posting your mostly irrelevant and incoherent narrative?.

by low bar on 9/16/2012 @ 8:54am
Fredo you wouldn't know how to prove gravity if you fell down a flight of stairs.

Fredo the AAR isn't a bailout no more then The New Deal was a bailout.

It's funny to watch atheist Ayn Rand devil worshipers like you Fredo try to dodge the fact that you're all after golden parachute taxpayer money.

The Tacoma budget is an easy fix. Get after the Ayn Rand devil worshipers on wall street and close their loopholes. Then grant the money otherwise going to Romney-hood to families in Tacoma who really need it.

Either way the discussion is moot since there isn't a state income tax in WA.

by Jesse on 9/16/2012 @ 9:50am
"Whats with all the smugness Jesse? You got French ancestry?" -- low bar

I actually meant it when I said Joe posted a great post.  No smuggness intended.

by low bar on 9/16/2012 @ 2:29pm
Ce que chante la corneille, chante le corneillon, Jesse