Atkinson talks about borrow-and-spend proposal

Senator Jason Atkinson stood up on the Senate floor Wednesday to talk about the potential pitfalls in a borrow-and-spend economic stimulus proposal. “We should not be bonding for rain gutters and carpet, we should be borrowing for things that last.” Watch the rest here:

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Posted by at 10:09 | Posted in Measure 37 | 13 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Kathryn Hickok

    This is worth a few minutes to watch for the simple reason that real-world people are standing ready to do real-world jobs in Oregon. Government red tape too often keeps the two apart.

  • Steve Plunk

    Kathryn’s point is on the mark. I find it ironic that after government ruins the economy through needless regulations and high taxes it is the same government who thinks they have the answers for fixing the economy.

    Sen. Atkinson should insist all Republicans take a hard line on this nonsense. If they stand for something they will earn our respect.

    • dean

      Steve…except it was a Republican led govenment that ruined the economy, and the people just replaced it with a new government to see if they can patch the many holes in the ship of state. The only irony is Republicans now voting against government spending, which they were all for when they were in charge.

      Yes…by all means take a hard line. And follow it to political oblivian.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Steve…except it was a Republican led government that ruined the economy,

        Really? Seemed like Bush inherited a slight recession from Clinton and was doing pretty well economically until about two years ago when the Democrats took over congress. As for the financial mess, good luck on that one, Bush didn’t write the CRA, you guys did.

        At any rate when Republicans took over congress when Clinton was pres, we went from Clintons massive deficit proposals to supposedly a surplus.

        When Democrats took over congress two years ago we went from a pretty robust economy to the rat hole we are in now.

        Hmmm, what to make of that?

        I guess its just….well…. ironic. Bush gets a pretty good economy going even in the wake of 9/11. Republican congress got rid of Clintons massive deficit proposals in 1994.

        >The only irony is Republicans now voting against government spending, which they were all for when they were in charge.

        Actually Bush was criticized very heavily by Republicans for his spending. Obviously you have assumed others have the same partisanship you do. Republicans do tend to criticize their leaders, Democrats never will.

        That is why we have Daschle being nominated for HHS secretary while Obama supposedly is against lobbyists.

        That’s why we have Charlie Rangle running ways and means, when he is an admitted incompetent at understanding tax law, which he writes.

        That’s why we have a Treasury secretary who cant run Turbo Tax and supposedly had no idea one pays taxes on self emploment income.

        And Democrats say not one word. Surprising? No. Democrats are mindless, what is corruption one day is acceptable behaviour the next. Deficits once bad are now essential. In short, Democrats do what their masters say, there is no thought, only lock step parroting.

        But…. to get back to irony…. The real irony is that Democrats in large part ran against Bush’s deficits and now they cant wait to run them up even higher!

        Hmm, now what’s the difference there?

        Oh yeah, I got it. Conservatives and a lot of Republicans condemned Bush for his deficits. They still do, because they actually cared about the issue.

        Democrats also condemned Bush for his deficits, but now for some weird reason they love deficits. Why is that?

        Gee, if I wasn’t such an optimist, I would say Democrats didn’t give a rip about deficits, but only cared who was getting to spread the candy around.

        I guess when it comes to Democrats, deficits that are bad one day, are good the next. Napoleon is always right after all.

        Maybe this is what you were talking about when you said that liberals use of shifting standards and constant excusing of anything their leaders do is not a sign of hypocrisy, but rather an indication of liberals vast creativity. Its all very fun really, the most amusing aspect being the lefts interest in having any of this stuff being taken seriously!

        >Yes…by all means take a hard line. And follow it to political oblivian.

        Obviously you don’t have a lot of familiarity with public sentiment for stimulus packages. I think the popularity at least for Obama’s shopping spree is running somewhere around 40%, right around what it was for Bush’s bailout plan.

        Probably the closest thing to a sure bet, if one believes the polls, is to vote against any stimulus plan that comes down the pike!

        • dean

          The “popularity” of the stimulus package matters a lot less than what the economy is doing 2 and 4 years from now.

          Bush inherited a slight recession, a budget surplus, peace, and a Republican led Congress. He inherited a lot else, but I’ll let that pass. Clinton and Bush each had 6 years to govern with a Republican Congress, and 2 with a Democratic one. How did they match up on economics?

          Under Clinton, 3 jobs were created for every 1 under Bush (Bureau of Labor Statistics latest report)

          Clinton ended with a 128 billion surplus, Bush with a 400 billion defecit not counting the 700 billion wall street bailout (TARP).

          Federal spending under Clinton increased 12% in his 8 years. Under Bush, 35% is the number.

          Measured against GDP, Federal spending DECLINED 3% under Clinton and WENT UP 2% under Bush

          Incomes went up at all levels under Clinton. They went DOWN for the middle wage earners under Bush from 2000-2007

          The Dow Jones index was 2000 points higher when Clinton left office than when Bush left.

          GDP growth averaged 3.6% per year under Clinton, 1.4% under Bush.

          Both presidents governed under the CRA, which was passed in the 1970s, so what that has to do with anything is still a mystery to me.

          The Bush economic legacy will be hanging over the Republican party for a generation, as Hoover’s did. If I were you I would be depressed about all this, or find a new set of facts.

          • You are dead to me.

            Take a guess at who was in Congress during all of Clinton’s term?


            Kill yourself, dean. Now.

          • dean

            Whoever you are, your tone is as intelligent as your historical knowledge. Clinton had a Democratic majority Congress his first 2 years. I would say look it up, but that would require some minor brain function on your part.

          • Steve Plunk

            You are not winning this. Rupert did a fine job of pointing out the realities.

            If you notice I never mentioned one party or the other when I say government ruined the economy. Both can do it quite well. I support the Republicans since they ruin it less.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            This is just the traditional diversionary tactic Dean. Not a lot new here. No one ever argued that the Clinton economy wasn’t good.

            You cant argue the basic point, that odd congruence between the effects of Republican and Democrat congresses under the two presidents. So, now you are launching into a discussion of Bush v. Clinton.

            Dean Weasel number two – diversionary tactic arguing something never contested.

            Your next step will be Dean Weasel number one – Feigned inability to read, saying you don’t know what my point is. I have restated it here in the second paragraph, but you will still insist you can’t fathom what my point is.

            >Both presidents governed under the CRA, which was passed in the 1970s, so what that has to do with anything is still a mystery to me.

            Yes, I imagine it would be.

            You might also want to try putting down your partisan hat a little bit and try actually thinking about something before popping off.

            A law can be in effect under many presidents, of both parties and still be bad law. Obviously since you exist in the simple world of everything Republican is to be condemned and everything the Democrats do is to be lauded or excused.

            Bush should have killed the CRA or at least not expanded it. Clinton should have done the same. Two presidents can do something bad, at least Clinton has admitted the issues with CRA, along with Robert Reich. You are just so partisan you cant ever criticize anything done by a Democrat thus you can’t conceive of a Republican ever criticizing a Republican. Its limiting intellectually, so why you cling to it I will never know.

            Do you even know what I am referring to when I say your motto is “Napoleon is always right”?

            I really don’t think you do. It means anything your masters, the Democrats, say or do you will defend.

            I think that’s why you think that somehow because a law existed under two presidents it then becomes washed in holy water. You think I would never criticize something Bush did simply because you are incapable of criticizing anything Democrats do.

            I find that absolutely fascinating. You assume others have the same partisanship, and thus the same intellectual limitations, as you do.

          • dean

            Rupert…you are the one who suggested Bush was doing fine on economic matters, and you were the one suggesting the Clinton record was not so good. I’m just saying deal with the facts of the matter. Its hard to find a single major indicator where the economy under Bush + Republicans 6 + Democrats 2 was better than under Clinton + Republicans 6 + Democrats 2. Its a set of facts….not a partisan opinion.

            Beyond that, your new/old point about me never criticizing Democrats is not worth taking up. I did not criticize the CRA because I happen to think it was good and necessary law. Red-lining was a documented problem. And there is no evidence that the CRA had anything to do with the economic meltdown, which we have debated before, and which you still have not provided any evidence for. The CRA existed under 5, not 2 presidents. 5…2…what’s the difference? The difference is the law worked as intended for 2.5 decades prior to the mortgage meltdown. What changed? New financial instruments, prolonged low interest rates, faster international capital shifts, and lax regulation. Some of this started under Clinton and he missed opportunities to make adjustments. But the entire bubble and meltdown happened under Bush. He had plenty of time and a Republican Congress at his disposal to make changes, which he did not because he was a market fundamentalist. He thought the system would self-correct. And well it did. Magnificently so I would say.

            I’m evidence based…not ideologically based. Its hard for you to see that in me because everything you look at is through ideological glasses, so you just assume that in others. My only master is reality.

            Show me the facts and give me a reasonable interpretation. I don’t use holy water and don’t trust in it.

          • John in Oregon

            Dean you said *The “popularity” of the stimulus package matters a lot less than what the economy is doing 2 and 4 years from now.*

            That’s well worth looking at more closely. Depending on what kind of package gets passed the politics here are not difficult to calculate: The possibilities are:

            *O* If the Democrat spending stimulus package is seen as a success, the Democrats will be the winners regardless of whether the Republicans “buy in.”

            *O* If the Republicans “buy in” and the Democrat spending stimulus package is seen as a failure, the Republicans will be blamed.

            *O* If the Republicans oppose the package and the Democrat spending stimulus package is seen as a failure, the Republicans will be blamed.

            *O* If the Republican tax reduction stimulus package is seen as a success, the Democrats will be the winners regardless that the Republicans produced it.

            *O* If the Republican tax reduction stimulus package is seen as a failure, the Republicans will get the blame.

            *O* If the package is seen as a corrupt failure — one loaded up with gifts for special interests that had little or no connection with promoting economic recovery — then it will generate fury at *anyone* who supported it.

            That’s your longer term scenario, around 2 to 3 quarters out. The other scenario, near term, fits under your phrase “The “popularity” of the stimulus package”.

            The polls are showing a collapse of support for the Democrat spending stimulus package. My thoughts are this reflects the recognition that the spending package is loaded up with gifts, goodies, and payoffs for special interests. Nervousness consistent with no one knowing what the hell the Government will do next.

            We have another reliable leading indicator to guide expectations for the mid term through the end of 2009. January stock market performance has been an indicator for the economies direction the rest of the year. “When the S&P declines in January, the index loses an average of 2.4% in the next 11 months, according to data going back to 1950 from Ned Davis Research. When the S&P climbs in January, the index posts an average gain of 12.3% in the next period.”

            Based on investors evaluation of conditions on the ground right now, the stock market wrapped up their worst January on record with a final plunge on Friday. “The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished January down 8.84% on the month. *Previously, the worst January for the Dow had been that of 1916, when it fell 8.64%.* Friday, the Dow dropped 148.15 points to 8000.86 after briefly dipping below the 8000 mark.”

            Another example of what is making people nervous is the SCHIP expansion just signed by Preaident Obama. This expansion will provide free Government controlled insurance to *poor children under 30,* families *earning less than $80,000 to $100,000,* children *already privately insured,* and *people illegally in the country.*

            The Governor of Hawaii declared an emergency and halted an identical program as it was bankrupting the state in less than three months.

            The impact is far reaching, requiring Oregon to raise taxes for matching funds to enroll children who were already insured privately. Out of every ten children added to the SCHIP rolls, six already had private coverage. Only in government is a program deemed to “work” when it covers four uninsured children for the price of ten.

            The SCHIP expansion will also punish hard work. A single mother of two earning minimum wage goes to school and increased her earnings by $30,000 would find no change in her net income: She would pay an additional $4,000 in taxes and lose $26,000 in SCHIP and other government benefits.

            But that’s not the worst of the economic downward pressure. As Congress moved to implement President Obamas’ control of executive pay, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank stated the compensation restrictions *would apply to all financial institutions* [including those not getting Government money] and might be extended to *include all U.S. companies.*

      • Sybella

        He did it with the help of all those democrats you love so much. I sure hope when you get home your mother runs out from under the porch and bites you

  • John in Oregon

    The comments by Senator Frank Morse, Senator Jason Atkinson and Representative Dennis Richardson are important tho I suspect miss two marks.

    The current financial crisis is simply not unparalleled in our nation’s history. Two historic presidents serve as examples, the FDR Great Depression and the Carter 70s stagflation serve as examples.

    In both cases a Republican left the foundation for later Democrat excesses, Hoover by raising taxes on investors and trade protectionism and Nixon by energy rationing. The current situation is not much different from both examples unless we the people find a way to take an off ramp from the current path.

    Six to eight weeks ago respected local financial experts predicted a DOW of 10,000 by February. Those predictions were based on the reasonable past history of clearing bubbles like the current credit bubble problem.

    That clearly hasn’t happened. I would argue that indications of a recovery hasn’t happened largely because consumers, even those in a position to buy, with cash are taking a conservative wait and see position on investment and spending. No one knows what the hell Government will do next.

    Two examples are illustrative.

    The most recent statistics show a economic decline for the fourth quarter of 2008. In a public address President Obama noted a 3 percent decline for October through December. The actual fact is the decline was slightly over 1 percent for the quarter. Three percent ONLY IF the downturn had been all four quarters.

    This could have been Obama wanting to put the darkest face on the downturn or just a mistake. I’m not sure which of the two would be worst.

    At the same time the Administration is wagging its finger at Wall Street for nearly 20 Billion in year end bonuses. Left unsaid is that these figures come from a New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. revenue report showing a 44 % dive (to 18 Billion) in bonuses for 2008.

    Also unsaid is the nearly $50 million Congressional bonus. For each of the 535 an extra $93,000 in petty cash to spend.

    In less than two weeks in office, the Administration has managed to stoke and kindled if not actually yet ignited a world trade war.

    *US EU trade war looms as Barack Obama bill urges ‘Buy American’*
    “The prospect of a trade war between the US and Europe is looming after “Buy American” provisions were added to President Barack Obama’s $820 billion (£573 billion) stimulus package.”
    Telegraph Co. UK

    “Canada and other U.S. trade partners have warned that that’s precisely the type of protectionist tit-for-tat that *turned the stock market crashes of 1929 into the Great Depression.”*
    Toronto Globe and Mail

    Yet the Administration advances the California tailpipe emission limit of 43 miles per gallon by the 2015 model year. Never mind that the Insight, Hondas new third generation hybrid using the latest technology is only 40 MPG. In less than the design build timeline the auto industry must meet the 43 MPG tail pipe emission standard for every vehicle in the fleet while Honda currently has not one.

    Meanwhile California State Assemblyman Dan Logue has introduced a bill to suspend AB32 — the so-called California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. AB32 has crippled our (Californias) ability to compete in the global economy. Our prosperity is not just impacted by neighboring states, but by other nations. Competitors like India and China cheer our environmental regulations.

    On the east coast Connecticut state representative John Piscopo, has introduced a measure “to repeal global warming legislation that was passed based on the assumption that global warming is caused by human action.”

    In the South David Sanders writing a series of articles for the Arkansas News Bureau on the intimidation tactics and belittling words of those in global warming alarmism. Sanders reports that the Arkansas regulatory costs both in terms of dollars from the state budgets and lost revenue, and economic consequences in terms of lost jobs and lost economic development, were “dramatically underestimated.”

    The goal here is not to debate the merits of AGW. Nor is it to show that Government is a central cause of the current financial crisis that water is well under the bridge.

    Rather I remark the discussion here is that in the hands of Government the wrong steps, pulling the wrong levers of power can turn a credit bubble into the next Great Financial Depression.

    I perceive the readers here are among the most politically informed. And that is perhaps the greater point. How many here were aware of the facts I noted above?

    Some few years ago I wanted to follow legislation being hammered out in Salem. I intended to follow and comment only to find the legislation crafted in the party caucus behind closed doors. The content of the legislation known only to a select few politicians, privileged lobbyists, and focus groups. .

    Yes I understand that many have simply unplugged. Who could blame them? The people say no and the politicians do it. Vote no on light rail funding, its built anyway. Demand enforcement of property crime laws, the politicians find a smoke and mirrors way to say not really.

    Did you know knew that Portland is seeking $22,000,000.00 in stimulus pork for Bridge Repair? This on the heals of nearly a half billion in state spending less that 5 years ago to repair bridges?

    Did you know knew that Portland is seeking $52,000,000.00 in stimulus pork for Sewer Capacity Reconstruction?

    Did you know knew that Portland is seeking $65,000,000.00 in stimulus pork for Paving and bicycle boulevards?

    Did you know knew that Portland is seeking $75,000,000.00 in stimulus pork to extend the Portland streetcar across the river to OMSI?

    Did you know knew that Portland is seeking $86,000,000.00 in stimulus pork for, the development of some parks, and 10 miles of multi-modal trails?

    Where do I go to know what is happening in the halls of Government? What news source, legacy or new? That’s the task for Senators Morse, Atkinson, Representative Richardson and the rest of us. How do we get a reliable and informative public information source for the bowels of the Capitol?

    One last parting shot. Sam Adams. Now I won’t debate here that Adams should or should not resign. Nevertheless amongst the threads of the story I note the following little facts.

    *O* Adams office hired with a handsome salary and fat benefits the Portland Mercury reporter who was investigating the Beau Breedlove story.

    *O* Breedlove’s lawyer, Charlie Hinkle, also represents the Oregonian.

    *O* Wade Nkruma, a former Oregonian reporter resigned from Adams staff.

    *O* Sam Adams current boyfriend is an Oregonian reporter.

    What kinds of influence might those relationships have upon media reporting?

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