A Conveyor Belt of Socialism Running at Top Speed!

Two and half months into the 2007 Legislative Session and Democrats are hard at work making sweeping changes in Oregon. Priority bills are moving very quickly with little or no public scrutiny. SB 426 centralized control of the health care benefits of every public school employee in Oregon and didn’t even get a hearing in the House of Representatives. It passed the Senate on March 8th and passed in the House a mere 3 working days later. Again, there was no testimony taken in the House of Representatives.

Due process is a mere formality for Democrats now that they have complete control of Oregon’s government. The effect of much of what they are doing will take a year or so to be felt by the public at-large since some laws do not go into effect until January 1st. The impact of tax and fee hikes will be slow as well. Hidden taxes in your energy bills may not show up until 2008 and even then they will not appear as a line item. Your insurance premiums will creep up do to additional mandates being passed this year, but no one will ever tell you this is why.

Some of the tax increases are obvious, such as the attempt to raise cigarette taxes for health care, alcohol taxes for state police, car registration fees for roads and mass transit, etc. But most of the additional costs to you will be done by stealth””they will be factored into the cost of your next home or car purchase, etc. For instance, you won’t just pay for renewable energy mandates in your electric bill. You will also pay for it when the cost of goods and services in Oregon goes up because local businesses will pass their higher energy bills on to you in the form of price hikes.

Here is a partial list of the items on the Democrat agenda this year. Bear in mind, in only a few cases are there enough votes to stop them:

– Resolution classifying Health Care as a right.
– Government provided health care for children in families making up to $75,000 a year.
– Restrictions on loans available to poor Oregonians and those with bad credit
– Requirement that electric utilities buy more expensive sources of energy.
– Reintroduction of Grey Wolf to Oregon.
– Tobacco tax increase for health care and/or transit
– Extend commuter rail line from Wilsonville to Salem (maybe even Eugene).
– Require employer to pay for extended family leave time.
– Mandate more expensive construction costs on public buildings (translation: you pay).
– Expand public employee union bargaining rights and issues.
– Eliminate the secret ballot from unionization votes.
– Repeal Double-Majority rule for passing property tax measures.
– Expand the number of people who qualify for higher wages on public projects only (translation: you pay).
– Increase the “public-purpose” fee on all PGE and Pacificorp customers.
– Transfer control of public employee health benefits from school boards to the teachers union.
– End the charter school movement in Oregon.
– Repeal or water-down Measure 37.
– Repeal the Death Penalty (this is a formality since the Oregon Supreme Court has blocked the death penalty from being carried out since 1997).
– Block development in rural Oregon whenever possible.
– Fine retailers when customers steal shopping carts.
– Require every well-user to meter their water use.
– Restrict new well-drilling in Oregon.
– Mandate Kindergarden.

And on and on…

Brace yourself.

Thsi article is from the Wingard Report. To catch the entire Wingard Report click here.

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Posted by at 06:02 | Posted in Measure 37 | 23 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    Matt – a nice summary of what these wealth redistribution idiots are doing. Calling them socialists is a bit too nice. They are communists and fools – and neither type has ever succeeded in doing anything beneficial in all of human history.
    I am deeply troubled and ashamed to be called an Oregonian in this atmosphere of double dealing, deception, and devilment.

    • dartagnan

      “The Commies are coming! The Commies are coming! Head for the hills!”

      You right-wing whack jobs are SUCH a hoot.

      If you’re ashamed to be an Oregonian, why don’t you LEAVE for someplace more in line with your crackpot ideology — like Mississippi? You won’t be missed.

  • Homerf12

    Why work so hard when the government is working so hard fer me. Thank you mr. guv for taking away all my choices in life so I don’t have to.

  • Socialism is great…If you’re the 1/10 of 1% of the population who runs everything!

  • keen observer

    Where was the author BEFORE 426 flew through the legislature?

  • John Fairplay

    If ‘keen observer’ were a subscriber to “The Wingard Report” he/she would know the answer to that question.


    You get what you pay for, looks like the public employees unions are going to clean-up!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, no public scrutiny at all…

    SB 426 By Senator DECKERT; Senators DEVLIN, WALKER, BROWN (at the request of Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski) — Relating to benefit plans for education district employees; appropriating money; and declaring an emergency.

    1-22(S) Introduction and first reading. Referred to President’s desk.

    1-29 Referred to Education and General Government, then Ways and Means.

    2-1 Public Hearing and Work Session held.

    2-2 Recommendation: Do pass with amendments and be referred to Ways and Means by prior reference. (Printed A-Eng.)

    Referred to Ways and Means by prior reference.

    2-12 Assigned to Subcommittee On Education.

    2-15 Public Hearing held.

    2-20 Public Hearing and Work Session held.

    2-21 Returned to Full Committee.

    2-23 Work Session held.

    3-2 Recommendation: Do pass with amendments to the A-Eng. bill. (Printed B-Eng.)

    3-5 Second reading.

    3-6 Carried over to 03-07 by unanimous consent.

    3-7 Carried over to 03-08 by unanimous consent.

    3-8 Made a Special Order of Business by unanimous consent.

    Third reading. Carried by Deckert. Passed.

    Ayes, 18; Nays, 11–Atkinson, Beyer, Ferrioli, George, L., Gordly, Kruse, Morse, Nelson, Starr, Whitsett, Winters; Excused, 1–George, G..

    3-8(H) First reading. Referred to Speaker’s desk.

    Referred to Ways and Means.

    3-9 Recommendation: Do pass.

    3-12 Second reading.

    3-13 Third reading. Carried by Roblan. Passed.

    Ayes, 36; Nays, 20–Berger, Burley, Cameron, Dallum, Flores, Gilliam, Gilman, Girod, Hanna, Krieger, Krummel, Maurer, Morgan, Nelson, Olson, Richardson, Scott, Smith P., Thatcher, Whisnant; Excused, 4–Boquist, Butler, Esquivel, Minnis.

    Potential conflict(s) of interest declared by Nelson.

    Vote explanation(s) filed by Beyer, Flores, Gelser.

    3-15(S) President signed.

    3-16(H) Speaker signed.

    3-21(S) Governor signed.

    3-23 Chapter 7, 2007 Laws.

    Effective date, March 21, 2007.

    • Steven Plunk

      I believe the issue is how the house dealt with this bill. First read on 3/8 and then passed without a hearing on 3/13. Five days and no public input on the house side. Why have two houses if only one holds hearings?

  • believeitornot

    Great post Anonymous! Judging by the sizable crowds attending Westlund/Bates health care reform town halls in 17 towns across Oregon health care reform is a real issue for many Oregonians. Retrictions on preditory lenders, oh that’s socialism all right. Building light rail to reduce dependence on gasoline/oil..that’s big brother socialism too. Scary!

    • Steven Plunk

      Health care reform is an issue but the likely solution will be a socialized medicine approach. I think it fits the description.

      Building light rail is clearly in the realm of socialist projects. Large transfers of money that will benefit only a few (especially those in government offices), promises of benefits not likely to come about (saving gas), and probably corruption in the building of it. It’s Soviet socialist.

      When the state becomes the all powerful, all knowing entity then we see the socialist vision come to life. We are seeing that with the items you mentioned.

  • db lulu

    Any keen observer of the Oregon Legislature will see that this bill was put on the fast track. It is extraordinary for a bill to pass one house and be referred to committee the same day in the other house. It doesn’t just happen.

    While it may have technically met the constitutional standard, this is exactly the kind of quick-moving action that produced Democrat caterwauls about open process.

    Republicans moving bills quickly = partisan skulduggery
    Democrats moving bills quickly = efficient leadership

    But I am sure I am imagining any double standard here.

  • Bad Man

    Hey “BelieveItOrNot”………..
    Have any clue how much it will cost to run a train from Wilsonville to Salem? Take your head out sometime and just look at Amtrak – that can’t make a dime and has consistenty horrible service.
    That’s what is going to “save” you a few ballers of oil MORON!

    • Steven Plunk

      Please, name calling has no place in a civil disagreement. You made a good point and then cheapened it.

  • Jerry

    I agree – no need for name calling – but it is interesting to note that public transportation (light rail) has actually resulted in an increase in traffic on the streets. I wonder why….???? Maybe because it is a complete boondoggle. I suspect so….

  • John Fairplay

    Public transportation is just not convenient enough to be effective. While it’s certainly possible to read or otherwise profitably occupy time spent on busses and trains, it’s impossible for the vast majority of people to justify spending twice as long on their commute. Further, the bus/train system is simply impossible for most day-to-day tasks that don’t involve work commuting. Ever try to bring home a new couch or dishwasher on a bus?

    The heavy rail commuter line from Beaverton to Wilsonville is going to be a tremendous waste of time and money. Regardless of ridership figures, the line will be a money loser from the get-go. Taxpayers who have never and will never use the line are going to be forced to subsidize it for decades to come, assuming we don’t come to our senses and decommission it.

    • Chris McMullen

      Add to that the congestion, noise and pollution the train will cause. Every half hour (during rush hour no less) that stupid train will be stopping up automobile traffic in Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville.

    • Captain_Anon

      I think you will be hard pressed to provide evidence that light rail has actually increased the number of vehicles on the road. perhaps an increase in housing and living units has, but not light rail. for those who live closer in to the city core, light rail is a very viable form of transportation and actually decreases the time to commute. that may not be true for those that live in the inner city and commute out, or those that live in the suburbs and dont’ go to the inner city for work. The best mass transit system is a multi-mode system that offers comprehensive options. it’s an economy of scales system – the more you build, the more cost effective and usable it is.

      I’m not sure how the commuter rail will go. While i like light rail, i don’t think the commuter rail will help much. of that, i agree. but, i believe that when the 205 line opens, and the line going from downtown to Clackamas through Milwaukie opens, it will substantially increase ridership as a greater proportion of the population will have access. you’re right John – Convenience is key. and it will become more convenient.

      It is true that mass transit costs tax payers, but it does help in the long term. and for the poor, it is an immediat help. the thing about portland is that the majority of people want it. and support it. and therefore, it gets passed. those along the street car lines have chipped in thier own money to help pay for it. light rail is continually passed by the public. so, there is wide spread support for it. the I-205 route will come on line in a year and a half or so and you’ll see a profound increase in the number of people riding light rail. every time a line opens, there has been larger than expected ridership. the redline, the yellow line, the sky tram, the street car…. its a popular option when people have access to it.

      • Matt Wingard

        Capt. Anon:

        For the record…

        1) The poor need cars, not mass transit. There is research to back this up. A program to offer low or no-interest car loans to the poor would do more to help poor people get out of poverty, and would cost less than our subsidy for mass transit.

        2) Your assertion that people vote for light rail is incorrect. When asked, they have voted against it. That’s why they are no longer asked.

  • Dave A.

    I made a point of testifying at the TriMet public meetings against the rail line from Wilsonville to Beaverton. And I’m pretty much convinced the so-called “decision makers” hade already made up their minds on thst boondogle. It’s also interesting to note that as a former homeowner in Tualatin; none of the 30 families I knew living in the Wilsonville/Tualatin had any need or desire to use this horrid waste of tax dollars.
    Anyone want to bet this line will never get the ridership numbers TriMet has lied about in public?

  • Jerry

    You guys forgot the other thing light rail brings – all along the line – CRIME!
    It happens EVERY TIME.

  • dartag

    As someone on another blog said a few days ago, you Ann Coulter Republicans have been reduced to “the voice of querulous senility” with your tired wheeze about “socialism.” Americans have watched your crackpot ideology in action for almost 30 years and have seen that it doesn’t work — except for multimillionaires, billionaires and gazillionaires. You have no ideas, no solutions to offer — just the same old whine. You have been repudiated and (to use one of your favorite terms) “marginalized.”

    Don’t believe me? Check this out: https://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=312

    Read it and weep, you pathetic clowns.

    • Chris McMullen

      “Americans have watched your crackpot ideology in action for almost 30 years and have seen that it doesn’t work…”

      LOL! You’re a putz. Americans enjoy a quality of like far and above practically any other country.

      Gummint schools have done a great job on making lazy americans dependent on the nanny state. Hence, your Pew Research findings.

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