Don’t Go to the Well With a Leaky Bucket

I am not certain, but it seems I heard a wise old fellow say that once.

I’ve got to hand it to them. The transportation special interests have done a marvelous job convincing everyone that the buckets are just fine. Don’t worry about that water, er, money, all over the floor. It’s doesn’t really amount to much anyway, we’re assured.

Clyde Ballard and the House Republicans have been raked over the coals for blocking a transportation “revenue package” – the new lexicon for tax hike. They stood firm in their negotiations for efficiency improvements. Virtually all the news accounts talk about these efficiencies as vapor – like there is nothing really to them, and why don’t these silly conservatives just get out of the way so we can get on with the business of raising the peoples’ taxes, anyway?

Well a certain project comes to mind: the Dupont interchange on I-5 south of Fort Lewis. On this unique project, a private company completed construction in one half the time, and at one half the cost the state had projected it would take. Hmm. This suggests that perhaps we should have a really hard look at efficiencies. Is anyone talking about doubling the transportation revenue stream, er, taxes? No. Not even close. But the Dupont interchange proves it is possible to double the bang of our transportation buck! Now that’s a big deal.

Instead of asking the hard questions, Governor Locke and his allies in the legislature were content to simply try to put more water into the bucket. Never mind the leaks. Failing to demand accountability from an inefficient and ineffective Department of Transportation is not the mark of a leader. The people of Washington deserve better than that.