Lars Larson: Oregon is NOT broke!

By Lars Larson,
National Talk Show

I love my colleagues in the mainstream press, but I hate it when they lie to you. Lately I can’t turn on TV or visit a Fishwrapper news site without reading about budget shortfalls in schools and even budget cuts. Those are lies.

Let me give you two numbers that tell the tale: In the last 6 years, the budget for K-12 education has blown up by 40 percent. 6 years: 40%. That’s more than 6% percent per year and then some. Inflation has run at about one third of that.

So when you read or hear about tens of millions of dollars in “budget shortfalls”, its some creative lying by school districts, amplified by reporters and anchors you may trust. Fact is, every school district in the region has seen budget INCREASES and most have granted big pay hikes to educators.

Justlast week, the Oregon House of Reps voted in a $2 billion dollar business sales tax. It’s a tax on gross sales, so it applies, even if the company didn’t make a dime in profit. All justified by budgets that have increased at two or three times the rate of your paycheck. And remember, business doesn’t pay sales taxes…it’s customers pay them. That means you, cause those are the businesses that provide your food, fuel, energy and consumer goods. You pay.

Also, Washington state funds public education at 15-thousand dollars per student per year. Oregon’s right behind. Oregon spends more per capita on education than 36 other states. But when it comes time to jack your taxes, they’ll plead to being poorer than a church mouse.

Any reporter worth his salt would simply ask the school administrators: “how much was your budget last year and how much this year. How much of a pay increase did you give employees in the last year or two. Include those numbers in the same story with the soundbite of a six-figure administrator whining about “budget shortfalls” and the story has a whole new complexion.

Unfortunately, few reporters will do that because it doesn’t appear correctly sympathetic to education. It’s sympathetic to the taxpayers. Who cares about them?

Remember when Hillary Clinton told reporters that she and Bill left the White House “dead broke”? The next time you hear educators and their allies in government make the claim they’re suffering, think of Hillary’s version of “dead broke”.