A Seattle Times columnist has taken Tri-Cities to task over what he says is hypocritical opinions over federal spending.

Danny Westneat published a column in Saturday's edition of the times, entitled "Why Does Tri-Cities Hate It's Government Jobs?"

In the column he claims politicians, candidates and leaders, from Doc Hastings, to Clint Didier and others have continually blasted government overspending, all the while receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in funding?   He claims we're hypocrites for accepting all that federal money, and that the government props up our local economy.

However, as we pointed out to Mr. Westneat in a reply we emailed to him,   he never explains WHY the government is spending so much money here.   It seems we have a little pile of toxic, radioactive waste sitting in 167 tanks at Hanford.    Regardless of why it's there, it needs to be cleaned up.

Like many West-siders who condemn nuclear power, energy and "the bomb,"   he failed to realize back in World War II,  the U.S. had one goal in this area:   built the atom bomb before the Germans could.  That's why we smuggled people like Oppenheimer out of the country before Hitler could get the ultimate weapon of destruction.

But getting back on course here.  Westneat offers all sorts of stats and supposed proof that we bite the hand that feeds us, all while ignoring the massive efforts to diversify our local economy.     He says more than any other congressional district, we supposedly benefitted from The Stimulus; while our political leaders condemned it.    However, most of those stimulus created jobs went away, remember?   And again,   he completely ignores the fact that Hanford has to get cleaned up.  It's not going to go away.

Nobody asked for the 167 tanks, it's simply a by-product of a part of history that nobody really wanted, but we got it, and now we have to deal with it's "after-waste."

It would be nice if he had talked to TRIDEC or the Regional Chamber of Commerce before running his "computer" or mouth.    Click here to read his column.  And by the way, his email address, should you feel compelled to respond in a CIVIL manner, is:

dwestneat@seattletimes.com

In our reply to Mr. Westneat, we suggested that when the West Side figures out how to drill a hole in the side of a mountain (the Highway 99 project)  without blowing hundreds of millions of state dollars - much of it taken from the EAST SIDE - then we will be more willing to listen to his criticism.