Message From Oregon Democrats: It’s Not Our Fault and We Need to Increase Taxes


The news headlines over the past couple of weeks chronicle the dismal outlook for Oregon’s current and future economic climate. With over 160,000 private sector jobs lost, another 40,000 plus new entrants to the workforce unable to find jobs and record home foreclosures, Oregonians didn’t need more bad news.

Michelle Cole, Oregonian reported:

“Budget cuts ordered by Gov. Ted Kulongoski will soon hit home for thousands of Oregonians: The Department of Human Services has started notifying seniors and people with disabilities that the state can no longer afford the services they receive.

“. . . Approximately 2,400 letters were mailed Thursday to Oregonians who get more than 20 hours per month of state-paid in-home help, such as bathing or preparing meals.

“’We are sorry to tell you that those services will end on July 31, 2010,’ the letter says. ‘The reason for this change is that Oregon’s poor economy has resulted in reduced dollars for important public programs.’”

The Gazette Times.com reported:

“Budget cuts ordered by Gov. Ted Kulongoski will soon hit home for thousands of Oregonians: The Department of Human Services has started notifying seniors and people with disabilities that the state can no longer afford the services they receive.”

Betsy Hammond, Oregonian noted:

“Parents, principals and teachers are aghast that Portland high schools may have to ax one-tenth of their teachers in the next few weeks as the school district grapples with a $19 million state funding cut. “

The Associated Press reported:

“Oregonians by the thousands are using up the last of their unemployment benefits, many after as long as two years.

“So far this year, more than 14,000 Oregonians have run out of jobless benefits, the state Employment Department reported Friday. That includes about 3,000 people drawing benefits from a temporary state extension that ends the week of July 4.

“By November, the department said, more than 64,000 additional Oregonians face exhausting their benefits.”

The Associated Press also reported:

The state’s foreclosure rate unexpectedly jumped 20 percent in the first quarter, making it No. 3 in the country. Oregon still ranks far behind longtime foreclosure champs Nevada and Florida. But the rate of increase has put it in the top five. . .
“’It’s a situation that is getting worse,’ [state’s senior economist, Josh] Harwood said. ‘It will only get better when we see better job growth, which we’re not expecting through the end of this year.’”[Bracketed words supplied]

And finally, the Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC.com) noted:

“Portland contractors say they are starting to see work trickle into their offices, but not to the point that they are ready to start hiring more staff.

‘The Associated General Contractors of America last week reported 294 out of 337 metro areas in the U.S. lost construction jobs between May 2009 and May 2010.‘In the Portland area, that one-year loss amounted to 5,300 jobs, an 11 percent drop that local contractors hope is leading to a turning point.

“While little signs show that work is picking up in the private sector, Portland-area contractors say they are seeing a slight uptick in the number of public projects. . .”

Twenty-four straight years of Oregon Democrat governors. Twenty-four years of unprecedented growth in government spending and tax increases. Twenty-four years of unchecked growth in the number of public employees, their salaries and their benefits (PERS and healthcare). Twenty-four years without the slightest understanding that the health of Oregon government is secondary to the health of Oregon’s economy.

And yet, as we near another election, Oregon Democrats are using variations of points in a newsletter lately published by Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland). The Buckley newsletter is too long to reproduce but following are the salient points:

1. It’s not the Democrats’ fault (therefore it must be George Bush’s fault).

2. They acted responsibly by cutting the budget by $2Billion dollars. (Actually they increased the budget by about $14 Billion and the “cut” they describe is really an additional $2 Billion they didn’t spend.)

3. Oregon is entitled to a continued federal bailout because the Democrats need more money to spend.

4. A sales tax would not have prevented a recession but it’s still a good idea to enact one so that the Democrats have more money to spend.

5. Oregon should repeal the “kicker” law because the Democrats need more money to spend.

6. Oregon needs to repeal the taxpayers’ initiatives limiting tax increases so that the Democrats have more money to spend.

7. Public employees are not the cause of Oregon’s funding crises. (This despite the fact that public employee healthcare costs exceed the private sector, the PERS system is threatening to bankrupt many of Oregon’s smaller communities and perhaps the state itself, and the number of public employees have increased while over 200,000 Oregonians remain unemployed in the private sector.)

8. Oregon needs to look at increasing taxes on corporations and individual so that the Democrats have more money to spend.

Oregon’s Democrats still view the current economic crises in terms of its effects on government rather than its effects on Oregonians. That view reflects the dominance of the public employees unions as the financial arm of the Democrat Party – government spending must increase to maintain the health and power of the public employee unions.

But Oregon remains a default Democrat state – absent a reason to vote for Republicans, Oregonians will vote for the Democrats. Until the Republicans set forth a clear, cogent and collective plan to improve Oregon’s job picture through economic growth, Oregon will continue to return the Democrats to power – after all, they have the money (public employee unions’ financial contributions) and the message (something for nothing and the rich will pay).

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  • Ron Marquez

    …..”But Oregon remains a default Democrat state – absent a reason to vote for Republicans, Oregonians will vote for the Democrats. Until the Republicans set forth a clear, cogent and collective plan to improve Oregon’s job picture through economic growth, Oregon will continue to return the Democrats to power – after all, they have the money (public employee unions’ financial contributions) and the message (something for nothing and the rich will”…..

    Once again, folks, Multnomah and Lane Counties are the key. With 30% of the state’s registered voters and 76% Democrat registration, the governor’s seat will be decided here.

    Republican strategists, How will you sway the voters in these two counties to vote Republican ?

  • valley p

    “Twenty-four years of *unprecedented growth in government spending* and tax increases. ”

    I hate to break this to you Larry, but no state wide taxes were increased until last January, and that only applied to around 5% of Oregonians. We did have a large tax cut in the 90s to our property taxes, which shifted funding responsibility for schools to the state, and explains a big part of the state spending increase.

    State government income tracks personal income and the idiot tax otherwise known as the lottery. That’s pretty much it. The state collects money based on the same tax rate as it did 24 years ago.

    • Anonymous

      You should really go stick your head back in the sand.

    • Casandra R.

      Well if the tax rates haven’t increased in 24 years, then maybe the spending should have been kept where it was 24 years ago as well. So, let’s start by rolling back the number of State employees to where it was 24 years ago and we will be on our way to a real solution. God forbid that we raise taxes – just look at the damage the Democrats have done with the tax dollars they already have taken from us. It would be like pouring more booze down the throat of an alcoholic and claiming it was going to stop the drinking!

      The real travesty is that the Governor’s cutbacks are intentionally calculated to hurt the elderly, the disabled and the children in order to manipulate public sentiment. The Democrats figure that focusing attention on some poor old sick man or woman who will have no assistance due to budget cuts will deflect attention from the fact that all those public employees are still sucking from the tax funded troughs. It is not going to work. This time we are voting against the Democrats, because just about anybody else on the ballot would be better than what we are living with now.

      • eagle eye

        “Well if the tax rates haven’t increased in 24 years, then maybe the spending should have been kept where it was 24 years ago as well.”

        This statement is, let’s just say, astounding. Do you understand nothing about population growth, economic growth, inflation and their effect on tax revenues at constant tax rates?

        • Cassandra R.

          Hilarious Eagle Eye! Yes, I understand it perfectly. Population growth = MORE people paying income and property taxes. Economic growth = MORE gross income and MORE real estate subject to taxes. Inflation = HIGHER salaries and HIGHER real estate values, all subject to taxes. RESULT = Substantial increase in State tax revenues. So Eagle Eye, since you are so smart, why don’t you explain to me why State Government growth and spending have not been satisfied to get along on all the additional tax revenues that have come flowing into the State coffers from the additional income and property taxes that economic and population growth have brought to Oregon. Times up! It is because the greedy State government, under the disastrous control of the Democrats, has grown expotentially at a much faster rate than the economy and the population growth rate justifies. The problem in Oregon is out of control SPENDING; it is not tax rates that are too low.

      • a retired professor

        I guess I must be one of “those public employees still sucking from the tax funded troughs” as you so elegantly put it. At least I was. So let me ask you a question. You’d like to roll back the number of state employees to where things were 24 years ago. Should we roll back enrollment at the public universities, like the one where I worked, to what they were back then? Enrollment this Fall at UO will be something like half again as large as back then. Even with Oregon’s rock-bottom support for higher education — spending per student at UO and OSU is down there with Mississippi and West Virginia, the poorest states in the country. So should we just tell a third of the students to get lost?

        By the way, whether you think we’re trough suckers or not, people like me (before I retired recently) still expect to get paid.

        • Cassandra R.

          Oregon’s higher education system is facing the same problems that other states are facing. The waste of resources is huge. Just like all the rest, Oregon refuses to give top priority to the true educational aspects of the State’s university/college system and instead squanders money on salaries for football and basketball coaches and fancy sports venues. Cut back on enrollment? Absolutely, that can happen and reduction of the student bodies by one-third sounds just about right! Are you going to tell me, Professor, that all of those kids in the public universities today are serious, hardworking students? The taxpayers are weary of subsidizing a bunch of kids who think college is nothing more than 4 years of party time. Then we have the students who can barely read or write or speak English that the taxpayers have to pay to coddle along so that they can pin a farcical college degree on their wall after 6 years, if they don’t drop out. That is Affirmative Action at work – one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on the American people! It is insulting to talented minority students to treat them like second class citizens who aren’t bright enough to compete without Big Brother holding their hand. Getting a college degree needs to return to being a privilege, not a right – like it has become. And what is wrong with making every student pay for the college education he/she receives? In the past lots of kids have gotten student loans to go to college and have also worked while they are taking classes. Having something invested in your education makes it much more meaningful. Stop the handouts!
          As for the faculty, let’s start having some accountability. Worthless professors need to go and great professors need to be rewarded. But that isn’t the way it works. No one opposes paying public employees a fair wage for doing a good job and that includes professors. But when did it happen that paying public employees their wages and benefits became the be-all and end-all function of State Government and the actual value of the services they rendered became irrelevant?

          • a retired professor

            Terrific then, let’s close the weaker campuses starting with SOU and EOU, then move on to OIT and WOU. That will take care of a quarter of the students. The conservative legislators from those places will love all the money they’ll be saving the state. Instead of being in there with Mississippi and W. Virginia, we can join Puerto Rico.

            A wonderful political platform. Maybe you should take it up with your guy Dudley.

            Oh, but you also want to just plain end state subsidies for higher education. No more public universities in Oregon. Terrific! UO would survive, parts of OSU might barely.

            By the way, it was hilarious how you tried to rewrite your comment for eagle eye’s benefit.

            You really take the cake, even for these here precincts!

            Are you sure you’re not a saboteur for the Democrats?

          • Cassandra R.

            Professor, tell me exactly why we need to have a college or branch of the university within 50 miles of every sizeable town in the State. By your own admission these are the weaker parts of the University system. These outlying institutions are an extravagance that the State cannot afford. What is wrong with having only OU and OSU? Oregon is not a large state. A bigger system is not necessarily better. Don’t we want these two institutions to be really excellent? Let there be Community Colleges supported by the surrounding areas if that is what the people want, but stop trying to stretch the State’s higher education dollars so thin to the detriment of the entire system. Spreading around the higher education dollars throughout the State hurts the primary institutions like OU and OSU. Legislators should not be allowed to grab scarce higher education dollars to support branch universities in outlying areas just to promote their own political careers.

            Your idea of “subsidy” and mine are different. Evidently your concept of taxpayer subsidy is that the taxpayers should pay for the full freight for any kid in Oregon who wants to spend 4-6 years hanging out at a State university or college. I suggest that every student should pay the costs of tuition, room and board and books. But, not even private colleges and universities are able to cover all of their operational costs with student tuitions and fees. I don’t mind the State covering the gap between student tuitions and fees and the costs of maintaining a strong university system in order to achieve excellence. These tax dollars should be spent for the purposes of achieving, academic excellence and enticing private enterprise to the Oregon because of its well educated work force. Our tax dollars should NOT be spent for purpose of giving State Legislators pork barrel projects for their home districts, winning the Pac-10, retaining college professors who are not producers, giving lots of constituents jobs at the local university branch and handing out a free education to any kid who walks through the door.

          • a retired professor

            You’ll have to convince the rural Republican legislators to close the smaller campuses, and then convince the Portland area Democrats to close Portland State. Just be prepared to have half as many college students. Good luck with selling that!

            You are really mistaken if you think the state is currently paying “full freight” for the public college students. It’s more like 1/3, probably 1/4 at UO. The rest comes mostly from tuition. They are low-cost programs, too. Close to the bottom in the country — # 45 or 46 or 44 — in spending per student.

            You may think the public college professors in Oregon are overpaid, but they are close to the bottom in the country. It’s no wonder that so many of the best leave, or don’t ever bother to come here.

            You can say that the athletic programs are a waste. I won’t give you a big argument, but the fact is, little of the money comes from state funds. At UO, none. Maybe you think the priorities are screwed up. Again, I won’t argue. Your argument is with the fans and the donors — notably Phil Knight. Maybe some day he’ll want to make a big splash supporting academics.

            Excellence in Oregon public higher education would be a great thing. But the way things are set up, and with the stingy way Oregon supports the system, mediocrity is the best anyone can expect.

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  • John Fairplay

    Oregonians gave Democrats super-majority control of the Legislature in 2008 and things got demonstrably worse for free Oregonians and the government-dependent leeches despite a tremendous increase in government spending. I’m not convinced, however, that things are bad enough yet for Oregonians to wake up and realize that electing the same people to office and expecting a different outcome is insane. Oregonians have shown a certain resilience over the past quarter of a century, however, and may be willing to endure even more hardship in order to continue their embrace of an economic system that has failed every time it’s been tried.

  • Jan

    All previous legislative largesse needs to be revisited. There are way too many streams of dedicated revenue without accountability for how the funds are spent or the effectiveness and need for the programs in today’s economy.

    Past legislatures thought they would be flush forever and they gave away tax funds we need back in the General Fund to cover basic state services today. All dedicated funds need to be recalled and reallocated. The cigarette excise taxes, the MSA funds, the alcohol excise taxes all need to be funneled back into the General Fund now.

  • Bob Clark

    I might add the Democratic party also seems too focused on winning federal government dollars, and not enough on export trade. Oregon has lots of geographical strengths, such as timber, Agricultural, and some technology industry. If Oregon were to decrease its income tax rate by 10% and deregulate things like land use restrictions and renewable energy mandates, it could most probably generate far superior economic growth helping to maintain if not grow public services such as education. The superior growth would come from a significant expansion in exports because of a more competitive, business friendly environment.

    Instead of pursuing such a path, however, we look more destined to follow the fixed pie approach of competing for limited if not shrinking federal surplus dollars.

  • a retired professor

    “Until the Republicans set forth a clear, cogent and collective plan to improve Oregon’s job picture through economic growth”

    But they don’t have such a plan — unless you count Chris Dudley — all they have presented lately is Sizemore, Mannix (who wasn’t such a bad guy, and came closest to winning), Saxton. The last Republican who could have won, Dave Frohnmayer, got semi-trashed by his own side, with a fringe rightwing candidate siphoning off enough votes that Barbara Roberts won. Dave wasn’t perfect, I know him way too well to ever say that, but he was better than anything the Republicans have been able to come up with since.

  • Duh?

    Democrats disguise tax increases as fee increases, the result is the same. Anyone registure their care this year? The was at least a 50% tax increase whether they call it a fee or anything else.

  • Worth repeating here, thanks Rob, conservatively speaking

    Although it would probably be political suicide here in Oregon, it would be great to see Dudley propose financial sanity like newly elected Governor Chris Christie has enacted in New Jersey. The guy has moxie and he is doing just what we need to do here in Oregon….Face reality!
    We have all (exaggeration) come to love New Jersey’s Republican Governor’s candid style, his no-nonsense tack on state economics and the state budget, and his take-no-prisoners approach to the leftist blowhards weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth at his cutting government spending in New Jersey.

    What many didn’t know (who didn’t spend a lot of time over the Independence Day Weekend watching the news) is that he held the line, and signed the smallest budget in a half decade, closed an $11 Billion deficit WITHOUT increasing taxes, reducing spending by nine percent, and generally adhered to the principles of limited government (at least, the first baby step in that direction) and personal property rights. Major cuts in spending included cuts to the sacred cows of leftist ‘progressive’ activists, including public indoctrination…er…education, mass transit, and municipalities (intra-state wealth redistribution). Every department in state government was cut. The Governor vetoed the Democrat tax increase. June 28th was the date of passage, and it’s great news for New Jersey and for America!
    #13 Rob DeHarpport on 2010-07-06 10:51

  • Mark

    I need a bath. Who will help me now?

  • Jack

    G*******************. Cut Tax’s and Cut Regulations on the Private Sector Job Creator’s ***********************.

    🙁

  • Fred Starkey

    Oregon is a DRUG State: Delusional people are in abundance.
    Their premise: Taxes + Bureaucrats = Prosperity.
    The 2nd premise: Investment without savings, Jobs without Investment, and Wealth without work.

    Sorry, the TEAT is dry. Govt. employees might have to actually get a job in the competitive market sector: that is if anybody would hire one of these lazy, useless people. The Ball Game is Over.
    Claiming Suckling Rights won’t work: The Tides will not recede: reality has arrived.

  • Anonymous

    Ok so yet another left wing jerk says our taxes are too low.

    v-dean/valley idiot couldn’t spit it out but his point was.

    “Oregon property taxes are too low and our income tax rate needs to be increased.”

    And
    “government spending increases are caused by taxes that are too low.”

    Retired professor’s rhetoric is no better.

    He’s never seen any conservative alternative to the entrenched Democrat dominated bureaucracies.

    He says there is no alternative.

    Yammering on about Sizemore etc and playing the BS about nothing including Dudley would be better than Kitzhaber?
    Any Republican would be an enormous improvement for Oregon.

    The replacement of every Democrat appointed board and bureacracy management heirarchy is the only way we will every fix Oregon.

    These stupid Democrats posting here who pretend the status quo must be preserved are really traitors to our fine State.
    Their preference is to avoid the takeover and purging of their failed tyranny.

    A dart thrown at a phone book that hits any genuine common sense conservative would provide a better governor that these dishonest Democrats would ever support.

    Their long track record of Barbara Roberts, Kitzhaber and Kulongoski appointing the incompetent conflicted people to every board and bureaucracy management must end.

    The decades of hijacking agencies to advocate their left wing agendas at the expense of sound goverment has done enough damage.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Democrats by nature are not introspective people, thus they will almost never admit forthrightly when they have been wrong. They will either not admit it at all, or will do so in a backhanded way and try and blame a Republican even more.

    The perfect example is Bush2

    Can Republicans admit he spent way too much?

    Of course, they do so here all the time. Bush2 spent way too much and that was one of his biggest failings.

    It is also probably the main issue Democrats ran against.

    Will a single Democrat ever say anything about Obama?

    Nope, not on your life.

    Obama has spent trillions on the economy, it sucks, and everyone can see that little fact pretty clearly.

    Will Democrats admit that? Of course not.

    Thus they can never correct course upon making a mistake. They are incapable of introspection, thus unable to admit fault. That is also why the left tends towards the more authoritarian extremes of government, both here and internationally.

    That is also why Democrats are in serious trouble for the upcoming elections.

    Their blindness is an asset, Republicans would do well to understand that and use it.

  • valey p

    “Democrats by nature are not introspective people”

    Wow. I didn’t know we had that common trait, but then again that is probably because I am not as introspective as you are.

    “Can Republicans admit he spent way too much?”

    Oh please…not this one again! How many times will you go to this well Rupert? Bush was a lousy president. He cut taxes and then raised spending and blew the surplus he was handed. Yes we all know. His record is etched in our brains. There were no Republican/conservative complaints about this when he did it. No tea party. Few Republican votes against his tax cuts. A handful of Republican votes against the Iraq war. Few Republican votes against Medicare Part D. He spent too much? Yeah he did. On the wrong things. And he broke the economy and failed to win the wars he started. In short he sucked. The only 2 people left who think he didn’t are you and Laura.

    “Will a single Democrat ever say anything about Obama?”

    Yes…every day. Read the darn papers or watch cable. You can’t possibly miss Democrats criticizing Obama for not fixing everything Bush the squanderer broke by now. Maybe you would need to be a bit introspective to admit to it though.

    “That is also why the left tends towards the more authoritarian extremes of government, both here and internationally.”

    Yes sure. That is why the left fought against Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, Somosa, Nixon and Cheney. Its why we marched in the streets to maintain Jim Crow laws. Its why we love the Danes and Dutch, because they are brutes. Its also why we support the ACLU and Amnesty International. Because we love authoritarian governments. But clearly we are not introspective enough to see our own contradictions.

    “That is also why Democrats are in serious trouble for the upcoming elections.”

    That remains to be seen. Given the huge majorities Dens have, there is bound to be some losses. But you are counting chickens prematurely again. Keep nominating borderline nut cases to run for Senate and allowing Boener and Steele to shoot their mouths off and you might not win as many seats as you think. And worse, even if you do…what is your governing program? Cut spending? What are you going to cut? SSI? Nope. Medicare? Nope. The military? Heavens no. Payments on the debt you ran up? Can’t do that. What is left? About 15% of total federal spending. Which pays for everything useful the government does, from port security to food inspections to park rangers. Best of luck cutting your way to a balanced budget. Ain’t gonna happen, and if you think otherwise you are more naive than I give you credit for.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >That remains to be seen.

      Ahhh ha ha ha ha

      Oh my God you are funny.

      You are so stunningly predictable – you can never admit straight up to any error on the part of a Democrat.

      I mean when you get into “the left marched against this and that” BS its so absurd. You really don’t know those guys were heros of the left, Mussolini in particular.

      Castro – Hero of the left.

      Che – Hero of the left, I can go out right now and see any number of kids in Eugene running around with Che t shirts right now.

      Lenin and Stalin – Heros of the left. Your buddy Pete Seegar absolutly loved the genocide of Stalin.

      Mao – Hero of the left.

      Pol Pot – The left was crazy for him, so much so the UN was funding that genocidal maniac into the 80’s

      Get real – you guys own modern day authoritarianism just like you own the national debt. No amount of history revisionism will change that.

      Bottom line

      People don’t like what you guys are selling.

      People don’t like the spending and they don’t like the dictatorial style.

      Remember Dean – You were the guy who said we would have a 40 year Reich of Democrat rule unless BO screwed up.

      Well, he has gotten just about all he has asked for and people are not impressed.

      The guy’s a loser, face it, more and more of the country seems to have.

      • valley p

        “You really don’t know those guys were heros of the left, Mussolini in particular. ”

        Funny. Then why did the socialists kick him out of the party in 1914? Why did he himself write that socialism was dead? Why were his blackshirts beating up communists, socialists, and anarchists? You need to read something other than Goldberg.

        “I can go out right now and see any number of kids in Eugene running around with Che t shirts right now.”

        Interesting. I have not seen a Che t-shirt in years. I’ll be on the lookout at the country fair. But I’m curious. If you do go into Eugene, and you do see a bunch of kids, presumably who were all born long after Che’s demise wearing t-shirts with his image on them, how do you know they are lefties? Because they are kids? Because they are in Eugene?

        “Lenin and Stalin – Heros of the left. Your buddy Pete Seegar absolutly loved the genocide of Stalin.”

        Uh…no and no, they aren’t and he didn’t. But don’t let that stop you.

        “Get real – you guys own modern day authoritarianism just like you own the national debt.”

        You should have stopped with the get real part. You have gone off into Rupert’s fantasy island again. I can’t reel you back in. Have fun out there.

        “People don’t like the spending ”

        Oh really? Tell me which spending they don’t like. SSI? Medicare? Military? Debt service? National Parks? Food inspection? Airplane safety? Farm subsidies? You really are that naive.

        “You were the guy who said we would have a 40 year Reich of Democrat rule unless BO screwed up.”

        Uh,,,you are misremembering again. What you keep remembering is your past claims about what I didn’t say. But, now that you mention it, your base is a declining demographic. Good luck with that.

        “The guy’s a loser,”

        Yes, clearly. He has never accomplished one blasted thing. Its amazing he still thinks he is president. He should just quit. It worked for Palin.

      • valley p

        Here is a good one for you Rupert, from Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute no less:

        “According to an April New York Times poll, 76 percent of Americans think “the benefits from government programs such as Social Security and Medicare are worth the costs of those programs.” And amazingly, the percent only drops to 62 when the sample is restricted to the 18 percent of people who say they support the Tea Party movement!”

        Got that Rupert? Your Tea Party supports spending on SSI and Medicare. Now which spending are you going to cut again?

        • Cassandra R.

          Well one compelling reason that the majority of Americans may support spending on Social Security and Medicare is because we have all been forced over our lifetimes to make substantial contributions (over and above all the income tax we have paid) to these programs with the promise that the funds were going to be there for us in our old age. Aah, let’s see, did they call it the “lockbox?” Well, the big spenders in Washington D.C. didn’t bother to put it in a lockbox and instead they spent it – and left a lot of people holding the bag and wondering why they were made to contribute all the money over the years to programs that are now facing bankruptcy. Maybe the majority of Americans would like to get back at least part of all that money they thought was going to be there in their old age.

          We can compare the Social Security and Medicare payments we all had to suck up, with what goes on with the government employees. Federal employees have their own specical retirement program. You can bet that program is not underfunded like Social Security is. And, the State employees who contribute next to nothing to their retirement and medical care and yelp and whine every time someone suggests they should be contributing more – they got themselves a “contract” with the State that will make the taxpayers dig in their pockets and keep their retirement funded even it is takes every cent they make. Doesn’t sound fair to me!

  • Anonymous

    so mental deanvp,

    You obviously want Kitzhaber to be the next governor.

    Why?

    • Ron Glynn

      The Problem is simple. Democrat Lawmakers and Bureaucrats are in bed together with the Public Employee Unions. Also, add in the waste,fraud, and abuse. That part is unknown, but it is significant. I saw it going on for 26 years while working for Public Government.

  • Nobama

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