Durkan's Austerity Budget Is All About How the Rich Oppress the Poor



Austerity? You’re kidding, right? Some dumb street festival funding gets cut and that’s “austerity”?


Man, Durkan is like the human embodiment of particle/wave/observer duality. She’s simultaneously a gooey leftist hellbent on destroying the free market AND a heartless capitalist crony turning widows and orphans into the street. Depending on the politics of the observer.


Yes!! This!! This thinking is why the Democrats can neither solve any of our nation's problems, nor hold power. The problem is that the rich are too rich. We've been sending wealth and wages up to them, and taxes down to the rest of the people for the past 40 years. The Democrats are every bit as dedicated to this project as the Republicans (they just prefer a slightly slower pace).


@1 nails it, as usual. This isn’t “austerity” by any valid meaning of that word. But let’s be clear: Durkan didn’t use the word “austerity,” now did she? It does not appear anywhere in the quote Charles provided — although he did put it in the headline, as if she’d actually used it. He seems to have picked it up from the other critics he quoted.

So, in the spirit of @1, let’s play Charles’ game, and combine a few different things that were said into one thing, for greater clarity and meaning:

“Discontinuing some dumb street festival funding is how the rich oppress the poor.”

Putting it that way, you can just feel for yourself the bone-crunching oppression of Durkan’s fascistic austerity!


Democrats hide it much better. Republicans give tax cuts at the federal level; Democrats give away your tax dollars at the local level.

Our two party system is a sham; they will only tighten the noose to try and keep outsiders out from running the government.

Democracy? no. This is a 2 party system controlled by an Oligarchy.

Look in the past 20 years; how many Bush's did we have? right.. now how many Clintons did we almost have? right... how many kids does Trump have?

Oh dear lord.


How the rich oppress the poor. Yawn.

The problems in this city and our society in general are complex and multi-faceted. But Charles seems to break it down, always, to the evil rich people taking advantage of the blessed poor people. Not all rich people are evil, not all poor people are blessed. And the mayor is just trying to do her job, the job she was elected to do.



When a literal handful of individuals possess as much wealth as the roughly 3,720,000,000 people in the bottom half of the global economic ecosystem, including two of the wealthiest individuals in the entire history of human civilization who just happen to live in our own back yard, what ELSE is one to think but that the rich, the super-rich, and the ridiculously hyper-rich are taking advantage of everyone else?


I thought the rich oppressed the poor by severely limiting who gets housing and making them drive hours each day just to labor to serve them. But yeah, I guess not supporting play streets* does that too.

note: huge fan of play streets. and perspective.


Sorry, y'all, focusing on 'play streets' is a distraction. Read again Durkan's own words:

"“My budget is also rooted in a difficult reality: After years of significant growth, city revenue is reaching a plateau... So we have to live within our means. Is our economy still strong? You bet it is — with all the opportunity and challenges that a strong economy brings. But as we project city revenue out into the future, there are clouds on the horizon. We are entering a new era of budget realities"



She's warming up to it. She'll never actually say "austerity*, because that word is poison now. But, the cuts are coming. Start with something small we can all kibitz about until we're bored ("Play streets"), and then we'll get tired, then the shit will hit the fan.

No money for homelessness, No money for small businesses, No money for fixing the streets, No more money for Metro, No more money! ~~~Where did it all go?

How much is Amazon paying in City/ County/ State taxes? Are we all benefitting from all that largesse, and the backbreaking work of the low-paid "Pickers" in the newspeak "Fulfillment Centers" slaving with monitored pee breaks just ship you that $10 LED doohicky right to your door?

Austerity is Class War, folks. Plain and simple.


Something to ponder for you “it’s austerity!” types.

Boston has roughly the same population as Seattle
Boston’s city budget is roughly half what Seattle’s is.

On top of that Boston has hundreds more police officers than seattle does, and seattle desperately needs more police.

Go figure.


@8, They may be in our back yard, but why so upset about the City's minor budget cuts? Who are you to say we should get more from them and not the other 3 Billion? How selfish. Time to cut back for 3 Billion.


@10: “Sorry, y'all, focusing on 'play streets' is a distraction.”

Then you should complain to Erica C. Barnett and Charles.

‘She'll never actually say "austerity*, because that word is poison now.‘

Maybe she will, maybe she won’t. The point here is she hasn’t, despite Charles’ insinuation she did.

(And maybe the reason she hasn’t used the word is she thinks it’s not appropriate?)

“No money for homelessness,”

Her budget has actually increased funding for homelessness, and made some temporary funding permanent.

“No more money for Metro,”

Metro is King County. Seattle does finance routes which serve Seattle, but Seattle is (and should not be) a primary source of Metro’s funds.

So, do you actually have any evidence at all that Mayor Durkan wants to stop fixing potholes (?!?), or did you just pull all of your assertions straight out of your ass?


The Tax money the State, County and especially this City is getting is a flood of cash, never ever been higher. And it still is! Mayor Murray went on a drunken sailor spree that increased the City budget by a third. The chickens are now coming home to roost and we can't keep spending like the City is a 1%er. Technically it has that 1% wealth, but we the people who are paying are getting Tax exhaustion and can't afford another Murray spending spree much less his original one.


She should just increase the income tax. Oh, wait. Alright, how about a capital gains tax? Oh yeah. Well, just raise the B and O taxes, that sounds fair. Businesses that are losing money will pay, while extremely wealthy companies (like Boeing) get a break. Sounds great.

The city can't raise taxes the way that most cities can. Basically our hands are tied by the state. You want to change something, change the statewide laws.


@13: Don't blame ECB - she's actually read the budget and has a good perspective on the expressed priorities. Mudede just does the whole logorrhea thing and thinks he's making an argument.


@15, Yeah, more new Taxes, that will solve it! Do you get a paycheck and try to live within your budget? Or do you just spend, spend, spend?


Wait is this the same Charles the got owned by the daily wire dude on stage in Seattle?



Boston is still 20% below its 1960 population peak-- it already has its physical infrastructure built out, and still has a surplus of older housing stock.

Seattle blew past its 1960 population peak 20 years ago and is now 20% above it. Seattle has to build out new physical infrastructure and public services where Boston does not, which would be more expensive even without skyrocketing construction costs due to the housing boom.

Seattle and Boston have somewhat similar populations, but that's pretty much where their similarities end. Their economies, histories, and present civic challenges are wildly different.



Ya, but double? DOUBLE!?

Look, we all know the city is run like shit. Why would be any surprise that they have a bloated budget and shit hole of a city?


As to the article...

It's kind of tedious watching Charles publicly struggling with the Madonna/Whore complex he's established around Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan, with wealth as displacement for sexuality.

Freud is usually a lot more entertaining than this.



OK, if all you can wrap that fine head of yours around is spending per capita...

You can lay out quite a bit more than Seattle and do a lot worse-- look no further than Tacoma, a sparkling city of 200,000 lovely people with an annual budget of $3 billion. That's DOUBLE the per-capita spending of Seattle! DOUBLE!!


Robin Hood is the hero I need.


What's the Crank's evidence that this 'streets to playground' stunt is at all popular? True to form, she implies moral superiority and public support for something that fits her 'urbanist' vision. But the truth is in the details.


svejk, don't get me wrong about the street festivals. They are popular, and they are fun. But I don't see why the local business districts - which have the most to gain from events like this - don't sponsor them? Why should that be a city program? That's what I think is dumb.

Certain departments of the city have a headcount that is frankly indefensible. City government now occupies the entirety of the Seattle Municipal Tower, and good chunks of the 901 5th Avenue Building, the Columbia Tower, and the Bank of America building. The Mayor is right to want to trim it back, because the recession of 2007 showed the pain and chaos of doing it in a crisis situation.

What I am really hoping she will do is address some of the disasters of the Murray Administration, like the IT fiasco. I know why they combined the various city IT departments - many of which have highly technical IT needs - in favor of one inefficient mega-department (to build an empire and shift general fund IT expenses onto departments like the utilities, which in turn pass them on to their customers, many of whom are not Seattle residents) but I don't think that's ethical, and may not even be legal. What they should have worked on - what they still need to work on - is streamlining the various Personnel processes and departments. That's the classic bureaucratic nightmare right there. Anyone who doesn't work for the city would believe how ridiculous the hiring process is.



Good one.


We can't afford to have play dates in the street because we have to make the Coliseum more blingy for the millionaires who play with balls.


The government should get out of the business of stealing money, and spending that stolen money.


@11 We should all be getting tired of failsons, reverse white flighters, MyNorthwest, and slog comments (like yours) that harp on the "Boston is 2x the size but half the budget as Seattle" boloney... I'm starting to think that despising City/Public-Owned Utilities goes hand-in-hand with not understanding them


As soon as I saw Brett and the Crank quoted - all credibility went out the window