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Originally published Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 5:45 AM

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Where to cut? Mr. Budget here has it all figured out

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist

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We thought nobody would ever ask.

Mr. Wrap is looking at a handy, multicolored Seattle Times pie chart of the state’s $31 billion biennial budget, assembled so y’all can figure out what to cut to avoid paying extra taxes on basic life necessities, such as that trade-up from a Plymouth Valiant to a new Cadillac Escalade.

Good lord, some glaring wasteful spending leaps immediately off the page:

“K-12 public schools” (43.9 percent): C’mon. Most of us have not been to one of these in 30 years-plus, and our last experience there wasn’t anything to write home about. Shouldn’t this be a function of charity?

“Human services” (36.8 percent.) Who exactly are these so-called “humans,” and what “services” could they possibly need? Is a new basketball arena with vibrator seats not enough?

“Higher education” (8.4 percent): Look, it’s important to keep the U-Dub open to maintain the tax-free status for Husky football, and at least the cheese-factory and calf-birthing parts of Wazzu. But the University of Phoenix seems tanned, rested and totally ready to handle the rest of it.

The obvious point: Eliminate these three featherbedding categories just for starters, and you’ve freed up a healthy $27.6 billion, which can be spread around to fund the state’s true paramount duties: Tax breaks for airplane and software manufacturers, phone companies, apple growers, water bottlers, used-car dealers and newspapers.

Questions? Contact Senate Majority “Leader” Rodney Tom, R / D / I — Check Again Tomorrow.

More new math:

Speaking of the Budget: This new-taxes proposal from Gov. Jay Inslee, D-No New Taxes, is pretty ambitious, and before it goes any farther, one critical question: Has he run it by Boeing and Tim Eyman yet?

Mailing it In: The University of Washington will offer its first all-online degree program this fall. It’s just one more way the university can help Husky football players stay on track for their degrees when they are on the road or in jail.

BREAKING on Twitter: Shifty hedge-fund manager and devout Mark Cuban wannabe Chris Hansen has purchased an additional 7 percent stake in himself.

Meanwhile, in Some Musty Marble Building: An Italian high court has declared that it will retry Brown v. Board of Education.

Speaking of Which: After all these years, the true value of a “well-regulated militia” finally becomes clear. If those Italian socialists even think about coming for Amanda Knox, there’s going to be hell to pay.

Repeat After Us: Don’t Drink the Water: A new EPA-funded study shows that residents of the lower Duwamish drainage get sicker and die much younger than people who live in neighborhoods like Laurelhurst. Holy cow: If this gets around, it’s going to create a huge property-value discrepancy between the two areas.

Suicide, Still Painless, Part IV: Lots of saber-rattlin’ last week from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Careful what you ask for there, little man.

By the Way: That “U.S. imperialists” label is sooo 1965. Savvier uneducated narcissist dictators realize we’re too broke and lazy for that stuff these days.

And Finally: Because we are dedicated to passing along gems of public-service journalism, even from competitors, we feel obligated to share this actual headline from Yahoo News: “8 bizarre sounds you’ve probably made without knowing it.”

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

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About The Wrap / Ron Judd

"The Wrap" appears on Sundays, highlighting the absurd and providing the punch line to the week's news headlines.


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