Oregon, Where the Light of Reason is Flickering

So now that the DEMS have full control of the Oregon State government, the Governor is proposing 10% annual growth in the state budget. 10%! Here are the ugly details. They will save nothing””put very little or no money into a Rainy Day Fund. Plus they are looking for new sources of revenue in the form of raising business taxes (eliminating the biz kicker), raising business fees (hike in corporate minimum tax) and placing a new fee on everyone’s car insurance payments.

That’s just to start.

Meanwhile, PERS costs for schools are going up (hidden in the 5th and 6th paragraphs). So the public unions continue to do better and better while costs keep going up on the rest of us and we get to be the guinea pigs for all of their social experimentations. Where do I send my thank you card?

Senator Ben Westlund just re-registered as a DEM. Expect him to run for state-wide office soon–successfully I’ll bet. Seantor Smith is running scared. And the hits just keep on coming…

…They’re planning for the end of the world in a basement somewhere in Portland.

…Apparently Neil Goldschmidt is living in France now. That figures.

…So after defeating efforts to eliminate CIM/CAM in the Legislature last year, State Superintendent Susan Castillo is now going to push a bill next year to… eliminate CIM/CAM.

The anti-Measure 48 folks said over and over that we don’t want to be like Colorado. Well, it turns out Colorado may want to be like us. Poor bastards.

LIGHTS OUT

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Posted by at 08:36 | Posted in Measure 37 | 12 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • iop

    The Certificate of Initial Mastery was a gargantuan failure that blew away a lot of teacher energy and tax dollars. I pray we do not re-invent failure by errecting a new malfunction instruction program.

  • Happypacy

    To trudge a bit further into the world of cliche’s…
    How about “ignorance is bliss”. Ignorance being the voters who were misinformed into thinking that the Republicans were no better than the Democrats when it comes to spending. They were swept in the wave of voters who wanted to send a message by voting them out of office. Well, they got their wish and now what do we have…instead of a bunch of perceived spenders you have a bunch of real tax and spenders!! Not only do they spend like drunken sailors, they will tax the ba-Jesus out of us–as you have pointed out! Guess, the more appropriate cliche’ would be “be careful what you wish for”.

    • CaptAnon

      Happy,

      If people were well informed about M37 and passed it, then i think you can also say they were well informed about this years measures and canidates. you can’t have it both ways…. saying that they were tricked or ill informed when measures/canidates you support get soundly defeated. that’s not aimed at you, but to everyone in general… because i read that all the time in these forums.

      Secondly, people need to look at reality when it comes to the budget. first and foremost, they don’t budget annually. they budget bi-annually, meaning the budget increases are for two years of operations. so 5% a year (10% over two years)increase is not bad at all. in fact, it’s good. especially when considering that health care for everyone is going up at a MUCH HIGHER RATE THAN inflation. it is well over 10% a year. also, any capital projects are going to have much higher costs than a mere 5% a year increase. the cost of steel, which is necessary for any buildings, roads, bridges etc, has gone up over 300% over the past year or two. so that will blow up any budget. the cost of pertrolium products suck as tires, fuel for cars, and even blacktop for paving has gone up exponetially as well. it’s gone up what, like 30 cents a gallon at least since last year?

      PERS was drastically changed in 2003. new employess are on plans that are now virtually like 401K plans. PERS is no more. and the benefits that are being paid out to retirees currently can’t be touched as determined by the courts. so people need to quit crying about PERS and throwing out all the erronious information about it. as time goes on, the PERS liability will deminish because those who have money in the system will retire, and those who have retired will be dying off. so get a grip on reality and stop crying. also, don’t forget that public employees gave up raises and had thier salaries frozen in the 1980’s in exchange for stable benefits. they stopped getting salary increases and instead traded that for the guaranteed 8% PERS, which was done away with in 1996 and then had Tier 2 destroyed in 2003. its amazing how the memory of people fades when they want to complain. the private sector was getting raises, inflation was out of control, interest rates were sky high, and the public employees agreed to get no pay raise, which in essesnce was a pay CUT. you should be thanking them.

      so please people, look at the budget realistically and not through the glasses of conspiracy theories and anti-government propaganda.

      • Steven Plunk

        I must disagree with the Captain about the state of affairs.

        Ballot measures can be a mix of straight forward proposals and clever tricky ones so it is possible to have it both ways at times. That doesn’t mean all conservative proposals are the straight arrow ones but I certainly feel more comfortable when a citizen initiative puts one on the ballot rather than the legislature.

        The Governor is proposing a 20% increase over two years so even if we look at it as 10% over one year it is still too much. I can’t get over how goverment wants to grow no matter what is happening. Business tends to think more strategically and play things more conservatively in times of uncertainty. In Jackson county the library system will close this spring even as three new library buildings are being built. Now I understand the capital approved for construction can’t be used for operations but why build when you can’t afford to staff it?

        I’ve also heard about the price of fuel and steel and how that is killing budgets. It’s a load of manure. I’m in the trucking business so I know about the price of fuel and steel is high but makes up very little of a building’s (or similar project) cost. This is simply an excuse for higher prices charged but contractors who are so busy they don’t need to competitively bid. Thanks to OTIA every road builder has enough work they don’t need to offer anything other than overpriced bids. Other capital programs (like Rogue Comunity College’s) have commercial construction firms on the same grvay train. A little thinking and planning could have saved us all a lot of money.

        PERS is not fixed. PERS is better than it was but it is not fixed as evidenced by the increased cost for school districts this year. A recent discussion with a government finance person clued me in that we can expect more increases for other governmental agencies in the future. PERS is taking a huge share of every governmental budget in Oregon. That is how I judge it, it is still bankrupting all of us so I can hardly thank public employees and their unions for that.

        As far as public employee pay I’m sick of hearing how they can make more in the private sector. Then go! There are people lined up to take these jobs because they are well paying, have benefits beyond what is fair, and you can’t hardly get fired. Teachers (not all but many) especially irk me. They generally come from the bottom third of college students and many find themselves teaching as a fall back position. They want to be treated as professionals but fail to live up to any professional standards. Spend some time listening at your local high school and you will have a hard time telling the “professionals” from the students until you see them physically. I have been apalled at the way they act like 17 year olds when they should be setting an example.

        There are many things wrong with the Oregon government and it has nothing to do with the straw men of conspiracy theories and propaganda. Reasonable people have reasonable complaints that need to be addressed.

        The current administration is living beyond it’s means and that will come back to haunt us in years to come. Some of us have to put a voice to the folly of tax and spend policies. We need to do it often and loud.

      • Matt Wingard

        Let’s be very clear. CaptAnon is not very bright and he may be the reason so many Oregonians have no clue what is going on. THE BUDGET IS GOING UP 10% EACH YEAR OR 20% FOR THE BIENNIUM.

        CaptAnon: Please know what you’re talking about before you post. It makes you look foolish.

        …and 10% annual growth in state government is ridiculous. It can not be justified.

        • Steven Plunk

          Matt, I have to respectfully disagree. The Captain is as smart as anyone else here. His posts are articulate and well written even if I disagree with them.

          The debate we have going here is a very serious one and we should keep in mind what the stakes are. I hate to speculate about motives of those who post but I would expect each of us to have a stake in what goes on in Oregon government.

          The Captain is probably making his case as a prosecutor would and it is up to us to expose the weaknesses in the case presented. The vigorous debate will in the end expose fact and fiction as well as what will hold up to logic.

          In the mean time keep up your good work by spreading the information and what it means to all of us.

  • Jerry

    Matt – could not have said it better myself. Like a lot of businesses, we are moving from Oregon due to the crazy tax and spend political landscape. We are sorry to go, but go we must! We are gone – to Arkansas – the Natural State, after living in Oregon for over 30 years.

  • Brian

    Does anyone here actually understand inflation and it’s impact on the cost of running a business or government? i.e. if inflation is 3% a year, then a 6% average increase in spending for a budget cycle is really a net gain of 0 because inflation eats up the added cost. throw into the mix those items which push costs up even more, such as fuel and steel, and healthcare and land, and supply and demand influences on products, and it’s not unreasonable to see costs increase more than inflation. like it or not, as the capt said, steel and petro products have caused construction projects to skyrocket. anyone tried to reroof thier house after Katrina hit last year? or even do an addition to thier home? prices soared WAY above 3%. and the building boom was going on elsewhere which caused a shortage of quality workers which does what? any one?? increase costs because of increased demand! correct! oregon has a lack of skilled workers which does what? causes salaries to increase to find, and keep workers. government eomployees are paid…. below market! that’s right! and why? because the reduced pay is offset by?? stable and predictible benefits! good job class! an increase in building projects across the state does what to the budget? increases it! perhaps even faster than inflation! correct! the Pro-measure 48 people wanted to cap spending based on what? population plus inflation! which much of thier materials said was what? about 5% a year! correct! so a 10% increase over a 2 year period is just fine. taking into account the increase in variables as mentioned before, even a 8% increase a year is reasonable!

    if you can’t possible fathom ANY reason why growth in gov spending could, or should go beyond 3,4, or 5%, then you aren’t living in reality.

    • Steen Plunk

      Brian, inflation as reported includes the increases in materials cost that you are trying to add back in a second time. Fuel is included, wood products are included and so forth. Some things actually go down in price so the inflation figure presented is a good measure.

      As far as living in reality I would say inflation plus population growth is a realistic as a way to measure excess government growth. Productivity increases in the private sector yet we are not expecting any productivity increases in government? See that’s something that was left out of the equation, productivity gains. So yeah, realistically the formula could work.

      The other fact not being talked about is that PERS is the main cause of increased government spending. That is a fact that public sector supporters will not acknowledge.

      So I understand the impact inflation has but I also understand how government agencies are using it as an excuse for poorly managed programs. The Governor’s 20% biennial increase is the evidence that Oregon government is not living in reality.

  • Matt Wingard

    I’m about to give up on some of the posters here. Make your case all you want but stop claiming the government is growing 5% or 8% a year.

    IT’S 10% PEOPLE! The governor has proposed a 20% increase for the biennum…that is 10% A YEAR!

    This is WAY beyond reasonable growth to accomodate the thngs you all keep talking about.

    I’d love to get a 10% increase in my income every year.

  • homer12

    As long as the money floods in, who cares if it be too much. Success is making politicians make fool-foolish decision which equates to failure in the long run.

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