Republicans announce three Slim Down Solutions

As Oregon families and small businesses brace for lay-offs and reductions in wages and benefits, Senate Republicans are calling on state executives and elected officials to help offset the state’s worsening economic situation.

Republicans are advancing three Slim Down Solutions to reduce the state’s financial burden and help balance economic hardships. By reducing the cost of state government, these solutions will help protect critical programs serving elderly and disadvantaged Oregonians.

The Slim Down Solutions proposed by Republican state senators are as follows:
1. Reduce CEO salaries at all state agencies;
2. Expand the governor’s proposal for a “work holiday” from 8 days to 10; and
3. Reject the recommendation to increase legislator pay this session.

“There’s an injustice when working class families and small businesses are suffering while state employees enjoy hefty pay increases and rich benefit packages,” said State Senator Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “We should adopt the same spirit of sacrifice and belt tightening that Oregon families are currently facing.”

Governor Kulongoski handed out pay increases in 2008 to agency directors whose salaries already ranged from $100,000 to $135,000 a year. Some directors received raises of more than $30,000, which is more than many Oregonians earn in an entire year. Union workers, among the Governor’s biggest political supporters, received substantial increases. The recommendation for pay increases for state legislators came in 2008 from a non-elected commission chartered to review pay levels for state officials.

“That the Democrats are suggesting raising taxes and borrowing money while state employees are getting massive raises is an insult to working class Oregonians and small businesses,” said Ferrioli. “The reality is we can’t afford fat cat government salaries and big government any longer.”

Pay increases granted by the Governor this past year will cost tax payers $258 million in this coming budget cycle. Meanwhile, the Governor’s budget proposes $2 billion in tax and fee increases and slashes services to seniors.

  • cc

    If the R’s don’t thrash this all over the media, they’re worthless as politicians.

    TeddyK has given them a freakin’ GIFT and they’d better make the most of it. There’s nowhere to hide for the party of Obrother and the fun’s just beginning.

    BTW, have you paid your self-employment taxes?

    I have – I guess I’m not qualified for Treasury Secretary.

    • Jerry

      They are worthless. None of this will happen. They are weak and powerless and foolish.
      I wish it were not so, but it is.

  • Steve Plunk

    I bet if I chartered a non-elected commission they would recommend I get a pay raise too. That kind of political cover isn’t going to fly in a recession.

    The Republicans need to beat the war drums on tax increases during a recession. Only an idiot thinks that would be a good idea. An idiot or a Democrat.

  • eagle eye

    So, 2 extra days with no work/no pay; rescind pay increases for legislators; reduce government executive salaries. How much money is this going to save? The article says pay increases will cost $258 million for the budget cycle. How much of this will CEO pay increases save? My guess is a drop in the bucket.

    Is this really the end of “big government”? Or is Ferrioli just grandstanding?

    Can the Republicans come up with some real plans to cut state government? Or is this really all they have?

  • anon

    The great Depression was one of the catalysts to ending alcohol prohibition. The government saved enormous sums since it no longer had to enforce prohibition. Legalizing alcohol brought in new income tax revenue from the lawful production of alcohol. And society has learned to cope with those who abuse alcohol.

    Legalizing marijuana and other recreational drugs now could have all the same beneficial effects.

    • snow

      I’ve thought so too. Even though i don’t use any, there are lots who do. If those items had to pay the same tax as tobacco users, Wow,

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I agree with CC.

    Republican rank and file got out front on S-Chip the last time around and it was vetoed twice. Stupid George Bush had the odd notion that it was irresponsible to fund a programs expansion with taxes on a product with declining sales (tobacco).

    If Republicans cant hang this albatross of Teds right around his neck they are just ridiculous. Increasing taxes on health insurance, to subsidize those without is clearly punishing responsible behaviour and rewarding irresponsible.

    We are always told sustaining government services is hard in bad times. This is probably true, in bad times revenues do fall, but this is hardly unique to government. However government demand does rise precisely when income falls, and this is unique to government. However, it is precisely why it is the height of irresponsibility to be expanding government services right now, when there can already be expected increased demands and decreased revenue for what services are already in place.

    Boy, I’m mean. Well, too bad. I was born a mean bald white guy and now close to 50 years later I still am a mean bald white guy.

    I have zero sympathy any family of four making $84,800 ( see 1 ) that want to come take food out of my kids throat to pay for their damn insurance which they probably didn’t buy because they were too busy picking out a flat screen TV.

    As for where to cut in government, its pretty simple.

    Rescind all government pay raises including cost of living increases. Any whiners can be exited to the real world where they will promptly see the realities everyone else is facing. I see no reason government workers should be getting raises or cost of living increases when everyone who pays their salary is suffering. Keeping your job should be enough, its more than a lot of people. I’ve made less this year (2008) than last year (2007), my health insurance has gone up largely due to mandates, and my property taxes have gone up. Sorry if I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the DMV workers raise or the Building planners cost of living increase.

    note 1 $84,800 equals four times the poverty level which nationally was $21,2000 for a family of four in Feb, 2008,, the factor of four was what they were trying to expand S-Chip to the last time around up from its current factor of two or $42,400)

  • Rick Hickey

    A Bill being introduced requiring Employers to use E-Verfiy would insure that new Employees Name, date of Birth and S.S.# match, therefore only Americans or legal immigrants would get new jobs and Millions$ in Taxes would finally be paid.

    Two examples of how this would help…

    KGW-TV, Construction company owner Vega, an Illegal Alien, just got caught paying workers under the table with $25 Million in biz and a min. of $8 Million in Taxes not paid. This is just one company and E-Verfiy would reduce this racketeering and force employers to hire Americans and pay their share of taxes.

    CNN-Lou Dobbs, Over 1,300 Illegal aliens went to Amelia’s Tax & translating service in Colorado using Fake S.S.#’s, they got a Tax Refund of $2.7 Million via eitc. So far no one is going to Jail.
    How many of these services are happening in Oregon?

    If these 1,300 illegals could NOT get a job via E-Verify this would not have happened.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg as Bear-Stearns calculated in 2005 that over 5 million Illegals are cheating us out of over $25 Billion/yr. in Taxes, working for cash only.

    Over 100,000 Employers now use Free & fast E-Verify, 12 states require its use and it is 99.5% accurate. No one has been fired that was allowed to work since program began.