A Letter to Senator Adam Kline
Posted by Warren Peterson on December 1, 2007
Dear Senator Kline,
I caught a radio report of your dust up with Tim Eyman in the hallowed halls of Olympia over Eyman’s tax limiting initiatives and the state budget. You used the standard challenge to any candidate or budget critic. “Just where would you cut the budget; schools, health care, apple pie and mom?” Of course if a one were foolish enough to fall into the trap and identify a specific program, he’d be attacked for being cruel and harsh to whatever special interest is living off the program.
So Senator, I thought I’d draw on my experience as a former major defense program finance manager at a local aerospace company and tell you how to cut spending with little or no pain. I recall one time when costs were rising and cuts were needed, the program manager called his staff together and directed an across the board percentage cut. Each manger was asked to come back with his or her plan to achieve the lower budget. Since my budget was set as a percent of engineering and manufacturing budgets but the required work remained the same, I prepared an iron clad argument that rather than a reduction, my group needed an increase in order to do all the work called for by Finance, program, company and government requirements.
After listening to my brilliant presentation, he looked at me and said, “You know, every time I’ve had to cut your budget before you still managed to get the work done.”
And he was right.
So Senator Kline, why not challenge our well paid Washington State agency/department managers to figure out how to do the same or more work using less resources. Give them a target; say a five percent reduction. You’d be amazed how well they will do. We tax payers would appreciate it too.