Oregon has Dunlops Disease

Oregon’s budgetary process is like that old joke.

You know the one, two men are at a bar jawboning while perched on a couple of stools. The first man grows serious and announces that he has come down with Dunlops disease. The second man says “Oh, that sounds bad. What is that?”. The first man stands up, shows off his flabby middle and says “My belly’s dunlopped over my belt!”

Oregon has got Dunlops. The entire Oregon apparatus is used to seeing that flabby belly hanging over its belt that anything less than sustaining or growing that flab
Take son the appearance of a starvation diet

Oregon public employee unions, their bosses and private counterparts think that we are a bunch of straight men and clueless.

They claim that if we don’t ladle on the extra fat every budget season that (a) someone is going to die (B) be “left behind” or (C) government we know it will cease to exist.

We sit there like straight men with dough eyes saying “Oh that sounds bad!”

This election we have a chance to put the budget on a diet and send it to the gym for a workout for a little muscle.

Measure 48 will continue to feed the budget but at the rate of inflation plus population growth. So if population grows at 4% and inflation grows at 4% the budget grows by 8%. In the world of Measure 48 it is 4+4 = 8.

It doesn’t stop there. Lawmakers will be able to put the extra in rainy day fund or give it back to taxpayers for when we need it. Let’s face it — Oregon’s flabby budget needs to lose a few extra inches here and there.

Measure 48 would get rid of the Dunlops and save Oregonians some extra money.

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Posted by at 08:33 | Posted in Measure 37 | 32 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jason

    Oregon has had 25 years of 13% growth, that in itself is Dunloppin’ pretty big.

    Just as it takes serious discipline to reverse age old eating habits, it will take the same discipline to change our spending habits. Right now taxes (more food) are the only answer. Just look at Kulongoski toying with three new tax ideas (Sales, take kicker refund, and cigarette). Where are his three ideas to reduce savings? Where are his three ideas to make government more cost effective?

    Let’s change the status quo and work towards new ideas that will allow reasonable growth limist on spendign and encourage saving a little more for a rainy day.

    • ksw

      I think that most responsible people know that spending out side of their budget causes problems. The legislators should be responsible in this way as well. and taxpayer should have a right to say where their money goes.

      • Anonymous

        Taxpayers do have a right, and a way to say where their money should go – by electing thier state representatives.

        One think i’d like to hear, from Taft, as well as Saxton, is where exactly they think money should be cut. They, and others, continually tout cutting the budget by 10% and increasing efficiency. Those are fun and easy concepts to throw out. But i’d like to see them follow through and finish the thought with tangible concepts. where will the money be cut? what will be specifically done to increase efficiency? Not once has saxton given an answer to how he will do this. Without specifics of some kind, his campaign promises are hallow.

        C’mon, where’s the beef?? Victoria? Ron??

        • Oregon taxpayer

          All good questions. And Saxton opposes Measure 48. Even Minnis has expressed grave reservations.

          To all support it: Measure 48 will reduce the share of Oregon income that goes to state government. Maybe fine. OK. Which part of Oregon state government do you want the legislature to de-emphasize. “Fat” is not an answer unless you say where the fat is and how you will get the legislature to eliminate it. “Reduce PERS” is not an answer unless you explain how you plan to overturn Oregon Supreme Court rulings.

          I’m all ears.

          • jason

            Savings are all around….Chalkboard Project has millions in their recommendations dealing with consolodation, state auditors has tens of millions for state making better use of temps, PERS reform can be made for new hires, tens of millions in savings by controlling consultants, not renting out entire vacant floor sof building and not using it would save millions by DHS, and introducing competition for government services.

            Most states spend less per capita than Oregon, so why can’t we use the savings other states have?

          • Oregon taxpayer

            Chalboard also has recommendations for increasing, not cutting education spending. Measure 48 will take $2.2 billion out of the next biennium budget and more every biennium after that, as you know very well. PERS has already been reformed for new hires. “Millions … tens of millions … millions”. It takes a lot of those to make billions.

            As for spending less per capita, maybe, maybe not. Let’s see some real data. And by the way, “Trust fund expenditures” aka PERS payouts don’t count — that money is committed and legally sequestered.

            Again, Jason, precisely which part of start government do you want to de-emphasize, and how are your going to get the legislature to do it?

            We heard almost two decades ago how Measure 5 was going to force state government to deliver the same services more efficiently. It didn’t work that way. Government didn’t get more efficient. The only thing that happened was that state services have gone way downhill.

          • Anonymous

            I can’t figure out why people in this forum refuse to understand PERS has been completely overhauled for new hires. PERS as we know it, and as everyone hates, is GONE.

  • smr

    According to the ’05-07 “all funds” expenditures piechart at

    https://www.oregon.gov/DAS/BAM/docs/presentations/Statewide_Budget_02-11-05.ppt#292,12,2005-07 All Funds

    FORTY PERCENT of all state expenditures for the ’05-’07 biennium–which amounts to approx. $16.8 BILLION— are made in the areas of Administration (17%) and Human Services (23%).

    The ’05-’07 “all funds” expenditures report in the Governor’s Recommended Budget are similar:

    https://www.oregon.gov/DAS/BAM/docs/Publications/GRB0507/A6-AllFunds.pdf

    We need our legislators to get out their red pens and start slicing and dicing these agency budgets:

    https://www.oregon.gov/DAS/BAM/docs/Publications/GRB0507/C-HumanSvcs.pdf

    Start cutting here:

    1. State Commission on Children and Families:
    Eliminate “Healthy Start”, “Great Start” and “Childrens, Youth and Families” programs. Cut them completely.

    2. DHS
    a. 33% cut across the board, to start. When this agency learns how to manage its resources, programs can be selectively reviewed for reinstatement (and fully funded).

    b. Eliminate Oregon Health Plan

    https://www.oregon.gov/DAS/BAM/docs/Publications/GRB0507/I-Administration.pdf

    Start cutting PERS, DAS and the Secretary of State (in that order).

    The areas of Education and Economic Development also require overhauls.

    The fat in our budget is there, just waiting for liposuction by a brave legislature.

    • Oregon taxpayer

      Good budget information. One thing I would note is that the “Administration” part of the General Funds Budget — which is the part over which there is real control — is very much smaller than 17%. What the 17% “Administration” of the all-funds budget means, I don’t know.

      As for cutting PERS — how many times does it need to be repeated, that is mostly out of anyone’s control — the prior commitments may or may not have been wise, but the Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that they must be honored.

      As for the rest — good luck getting the legislature to cut DHS by 33%, and all that other stuff.

      Others will say cut state police, or prisons, or education.

      If anybody really wants to promote their pet budget-cutting projects, I suggest they run for governor on their platform and see what happens.

      I have my own pet ideas — cut administration, cut prison expenditures, cut teacher salaries, other areas where I believe Oregon is out of line — but I’m not holding my breath.

      Ron Saxton says he’s not in favor of Measure 48. I wonder what he knows?

      • smr

        Oregon taxpayer – I should have been clearer on my suggested PERS cuts. I meant the relatively large infrastructure (esp. Central Management and Customer Service and maybe Fiscal Services). As far as the actual funded (and unfunded) benefit liabilities, I agree, all we can do for now is slow the growth.

        Personally, I think Saxton came out against measure 48 because it usurps power, if you will, that has historically been reserved to the governor. He apparently has a plan, and Measure 48 may impede implementation of that plan. Just speculation.

        • Oregon taxpayer

          OK, I see what you mean. Oregon comes in high in “Government Administration” according to data I’ve seen. I would like to see it cut, if it the data mean what they seem to.

          On the other hand, these data have been out there at least since 1990. I’ve been waiting for someone to do something, but nothing ever happens.

          That’s why I’m skeptical of things like Measure 48. If someone has a plan to cut government administration and wants to tie it to Measure 48 — Saxton says he has a plan but declined to support Measure 48 — I’ll listen to a plan.

          But to vote for spending limitations in the hope fat will be cut — government adminstration, whatever — and then see the school year or state police or higher education cut — I won’t do that. I did it with Measure 5, I haven’t been too impressed with the results (except for the lower taxes, I mean I haven’t been impressed with the results for government efficiency). I won’t do it again.

  • Steven Plunk

    Why all the talk about cuts when this is a limitation on future growth of state spending? Even if we back up the levels a full biennium we are still talking about very high funding compared to previous years.

    None of us can ruly come up with where to cut until we can easily get the details of each agencies expenditures. Not budgets, budgets are general plans of what to spend for the coming year. Detailed historic data is needed to find where the waste is at.

    When it comes to making cuts we have had to rely upon the managers at each agency. To say the least they clearly have not been forthright as far as what can be cut and where the fat is. This limitation will force them to do what the legislature could not force them to do. That is why this measure has my support.

    • Oregon taxpayer

      How naive! You think if the legislature can’t (or won’t) do it, that a ballot initiative will get the agencies to run things like you think you would like them to be run.

      It won’t work that way, it didn’t work with Measure 5. All it will do is cut state services.

      Item: Oregon teacher salaries + benefits were on the high side in 1990 before Measure 5 forced cuts in school spending. They are still on the high side. All that changed was class sizes got bigger and the school year got shorter. And Oregon got a bad reputation for education.

      The only way that will change is if someone in a position to do something has a plan to take on the teachers’ unions. I’m waiting to hear that person with their plan. Karen Minnis? Ted Kulongoski? Ron Saxton?

      I’m all ears.

      Until I hear something, I’m not voting for Measure 48.

  • Sorry about the typos in this post, people.

  • Steve S

    Every time this debate rages the tax increase proponents act as if they have never heard ANY of the counltess and endless examples of wasteful agencies and policies.

    They want all of it to start all over while they run around in circles with a status quo bag on their head.

    It’ doesn’t matter what list of easy cuts and changes are offered to them.
    It doesn’t matter what efforts are put into attempts to stop wasteful programs such As CIMCAM.
    It didn’t matter during M5 debates, it didn’t matter during any of the 90s, it didn’t matter during M28 or M30 and it doesn’t matter now.
    They will turn right aroung with their echo machine spewing “all the cuts have been made”.

    Remember Barbara Roberts lecturing voters on the cuts having all been made during the M5 debate?

    So what happened when it passed and the imminent death of education and basic services was coming?

    The state implemented the biggest and most costly school reform in the State’s history.
    Pretty smart move from people whopredicted our school would be shuttered fromM5.
    The millions quickly mounted as existing school funding was diverted for CIMCAM ove the following 15 years.
    So who’s to be held accountable for this education fiscal slaughter?
    NO ONE.
    All of this is exactly why they need to be slapped with a passage of M48 and the resuling spending limit.
    We know “they” cant; run the state without their hefty yearly increases. They declare it themselves.
    That’s the point here, but others can do the job.

    Starting with getting rid of the liberal democrat status quo at the governors office we’ll see it can be done.

    • Anonymous

      your proposal, as well as SMR’s punishes those who have been kicked and stomped on enough. Education is Oregon is one of the great laughing stocks of the country. Remember when 90 school districts had to end school early in 2003? remember how over at least the last decade class sizes have increased, scores are stagnant, and oregon ranks in the lower 1/3rd in success? Trying to “teach government a lesson” by hurting our children, higher education system, elderly and poor and sick isn’t the answer! Cutting 33% of the DHS budget won’t protect kids. as it is, each social worker has how many kids on thier dockets? the paper said just the other day only about 60% of kids receive thier monthly visit to see if they’re ok. How many kids have been abused because the state can’t supervise foster parents enough or check in on the kids because of the complete chainsawing of thier budgets? The Oregon Health Plan, while not my favorite government program helps taxpayers out in the long run. those who would be kicked off would still go to emergency services where the tab is picked up by tax payers. Illegal immigrants use our ‘free health care’ system (ie emergency rooms) all the time.

      I think one of the most cost efective and cost saving ideas that could be implemented would be to cut the flow of funding to illegal immigrants. require valid ID for oregon drivers licenses, require valid id for medical services, require valid id for food stamps and WICA. i have no idea how much such actions would take, but i have a feeling that since it is estimated there are roughly 133000 illegal immigrants in Oregon and a large percentage live off of the public dime it would help a great deal.

      Look, this state has a republican house, they help set the tone for the budget. Why aren’t YOUR representatives proposing a budget YOU want? start talking to them and light the fire. you can blame the governor but blame heavily lies with the state legislature which has been laughable at best. Hell, Karen Minnis actually stands up for the loan shark payday loan industry? that’s scandelous. no legislature moves to help clarify Measure 37 and fix it? How much money is being wasted in the courts on that? We need a legislature with balls enough to make the hard decisions. to increase funding where it needs to be increased – education and state police.

      we also need population that gets responsible and stops writing idiotic initiatives that destroy our budget. The initiatives needs an overhaul so its not as measy to get measures on the ballot. it’s rediculous that we routinely have 15 measures to vote on on any given ballot. many of them are unfunded mandates. many of them take a chainsaw approach to trimming a budget that needs a scalpel to ensure we don’t hurt programs we actually want. Measure 48 is fiscally irresponsible. It WILL mean cuts once again to government services everyone wants. no, the government won’t become more efficient because of it if it passes. cost overruns will still happen. Oregon can’t control the cost of steel and it’s 300% spike or whatever it was. that means any infrastructure project had a huge increase in cost. Beavertons school district is reeling from the massive inflation to the cost of land due to speculators snapping up land in bethany. so the school districts recent bond won’t cover nearly what they had planned on it covering. steel, cement, and transportation costs have causesed huge spikes in needed construction projects like the Sellwood Bridge, the Sauvie Island Bridge, even the new I-5 bridge that is being planned. there is WAY too much that is out of the control of government that affects budgetary needs.

      the fact that we budget two years in advance hurts us as well because the forecast may be underfunding a sudden influx in inflation, or population growth for that year. we could be 2 years behind if upward pressures occurred at the right time. it’s one reason beaverton is reeling from its busting school seams.

      Measure 5 hurt a LOT of people, hurt this state, its reputation and its people. we really shouldn’t do it again with Measure 48.

      • Oregon taxpayer

        A lot of good points, Anonymous. If Measure 48 is so easy to handle, why does Saxton oppose it? Why does Karen Minnis say she has “grave reservations” about it? Why DON’T the Republicans in the House present an alternative budget? If state government can’t come up with people willing to support M48 and tell how they are going to implement it, why should voters take it seriously?

        You’re right too about Measure 5. A lot of damage was done to Oregon services. People DID die because of Measure 5, I remember. Oregon K-12 education became a joke. Oregon higher education has been in decline for decades. The proponents of Measure 5 said cutting tax revenue would force government to become more efficient. It didn’t, mainly what it did was damage Oregon government services.

        And look at the famous PERS fiasco from the 1990’s. Where were the Republicans then, warning what was going to happen?

        If people are really serious about cutting government in Oregon, show me some leadership, show me the plan on how to run the government and the leaders to do it.

        Don’t expect me to buy a pig in a poke. I did it, several times in the 1990s — Measure 5, 47, 51. That was enough!

  • Jerry

    I like the idea of cutting all spending on illegal immigrants. It makes so much sense that it is hard to believe no one is doing it.
    Anon – your comment above about measure 5 hurting people – it did not hurt anyone. Goverment is still bloated, still wasting money on all sorts of programs that don’t really help anyone or matter that much. Where to cut? Where not to cut is the question. Except for public safety everything Salem does could be cut without ill effect.
    These tax and spend people are all nuts. How did people get along in the old days when we did not have all these government programs. I will tell you – people actually took responsibility for their own lives. How novel!
    There is nothing so stellar about Oregon’s reputation, by the way, and measure 48 will not hurt it at all.

    • Oregon taxpayer

      Jerry, don’t tell me nobody was hurt by Measure 5. People died because of Measure 5. People whose medication was cut off. I remember. You can be as callous as you want about it, but don’t tell me it didn’t happen.

  • Larry

    Oregon Taxpayer: “Jerry, don’t tell me nobody was hurt by Measure 5. People died because of Measure 5.”
    ———-

    Okay, now we know who Oregon Taxpayer really is: ex-Gov Barbara Roberts. LOL!!! Don’t vote for M5!! People will die because of it!!! And then she repeated it a couple of years ago…saying she was right. Wrong, Babs! Nobody died because of M5 who would not have died anyway, mostly of old age and car accidents.

    • Oregon taxpayer

      Larry, tell that to the Salvation Army workers who collected donations to pay for medication for people who were cut off by the state government. I and others gave money, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make up the difference. Go back and read the newspaper articles about specific people who committed suicide when their medication was cut off.

      As I said to Jerry, if you want to be callous about it, that’s your right. If you want to say to hell with such people, it’s your right. But don’t try to tell me it didn’t happen. Because it did, and I remember. And I won’t forget.

    • Anonymous

      That’s one of the most cruel and heatless posts i’ve read on here. Someday, it may be your parents, or grandparents, who die because you or they can’t afford medication. It might even be your kids. But then again, i guess you won’t shed a tear for any of them because they are all going to die anyway, right?

  • Jerry

    If people died due to Measure then Oregon Taxpayer should have been there to help them. If you think the state needs more money you can always send them some. Why don’t you?

    • Oregon taxpayer

      Can’t you read? I didn’t say the state needs more money.

      I said “I and others gave money but it wasn’t nearly enough to make up the difference.” I gave the money to the Salvation Army, not the State of Oregon, because the State had reneged on its responsibilities.

      As I’ve said, show me a leader who supports M48 and will present the plan on how to do it.

      Maybe you think the guy on this board who proposes to cut DHS 33% across the baord (to start!) has an acceptable plan.

      I don’t.

  • smr

    I find the 33% cut in the DHS budget to be acceptable.
    Either families, churches and communities will step up to contribute (like they did for generations), or people who formerly used and/or abused these programs will relocate.

    No one will be dying in the streets–Oregon streets, at any rate. And as an Oregon taxpayer, that’s the extent of my conern.

    • Oregon taxpayer

      Dream on!

  • Jerry

    smr – absolutely right! I could live with a 50% cut. I could also live with all aid to anyone here illegally stopped immediately.
    PS to Oregon Taxpayer – imagine what the Salvation Army could do with all the money the state takes in for such programs. I would wager much, much more than the state does, and much, much better, too.

    • Oregon taxpayer

      Show me the leader with the plan to bring this about, and I will consider it.

      As I’ve said, I’m all ears.

      But don’t try to sell me a pig in a poke.

  • smr

    OT – it’s only a dream if people won’t wake up and realize that the state and federal governments are not money trees. It’s time to cut these programs to the bone. Let the abusers and illegals move to WA, CA or somewhere else, and we can reevaluate the appropriate levels of services and sources of funding once we’ve exported the biggest drains on the system.

    We need to incentivize people to get off the dole and get a job, or get educated and get a better job. There is no better incentive than sink or swim. Consider it a matter of life and death.

    We need families to shoulder more of the cost burden for the care of their “sick” relatives, and not just to sue when the state “fails” their now precious and misunderstood Johnny.

    We need individuals to start taking personal responsibility for their choices.

    Everybody knows someone (or knows someone who knows someone) that is a beneficiary of one or more of our “Human Services” programs. No one said it would be easy or painless to pry them off the teat. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

    The question is, how many “welfare generations” will it take for people to wake up?

    • Oregon taxpayer

      I suggest you run for governor and see how your program flies.

  • Anonymous

    I agree people need to be responsible for thier actions. I agree, that we need to get rid of people who abuse the system. But i also think there is middle ground between “Cut everyone off, and let them die. that’s evolution working” and “Everyone gets free money for as long as they want.”

    We need to have compassion for our elderly, for our sick and for our unprotected. DHS has a lot more programs than just welfare. Welfare should exist as a program to help get people jobs and off the government dole. the fact is, if we dn’t help them they will eat up more money in the long term be jail terms or picking up thier dead bodies from the park and locating relatives etc. Mental illness is a real problem that if people go without treatment, becomes a danger to the public. The US Supreme Court decided long ago that the government can’t require people to stay in hospitals or clinics unless they want to. so they got dumped on the street. some, want help, and get it and change thier lives. those who don’t, or who would get cut off, would turn out to be more dangerous street people running amuck. that requires more police officers, more overtime, adminstrative costs etc. Don’t forget the guy who died in police custody. I take the police’s version of it, but suddenly, we’re spending millions as tax payers to defend them. What if the guy had the meds he needed? may not have happened.

    What about our children? You can’t cut 33% or 50% of the DHS budget and expect kids not to be adversely impacted. Meals at schools, the foster care program, and funding for the social workers who are called to protect them. Whether it’s child advocates, or counselors to help the children adapt to foster homes, overcoming the sexual abuse and rape most of them have experienced etc.

    It’s not a matter of mere survival. These programs exist to help those who need help, but also to keep the rest of us safe. children who are raped, molested, abused etc often turn into the abusers if not helped with the emotional and physical damage that occurs from it. And that could affect YOU, and your children.

    It’s ok to want to trim the budget and cut waste. i want that too. but i also want to have a heart and compassion and help those who need it… not turn them out to the bitterness of the streets, where they can turn into monsters who then prey upon us or our children. and if you disagree, maybe one of your kids will get sexually abused or raped and then you’ll wonder why the perp wasn’t being supervised by a social worker or why he didnt’ have meds to help his mental issues. Who knows.

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