Let’s get Spending Under Control

Oregonians pay and pay only to get a pathetic return on our tax dollars.

Consider this: The combined 2015-2017 General Fund/Lottery Funds Budget of $18.89 billion added $2 billion more compared to 2013-2015. But even a 13% increase wasn’t enough for government agencies, and it wasn’t a one time fluke.  SOURCE

As Senator Doug Whitsett pointed out in a recent newsletter, Oregon all-funds spending increased by more than 90% over the last 15 years. Yet our state population and inflation increased by just over 51% (population by about 16 % and private sector inflation by over 35%) during this time. Putting it bluntly, state government spending has grown more than 2½ times faster than private sector inflation or the Consumer Price Index over the last 15 years. Health and human services entitlements have more than tripled since 2002 and increased 250% since 2007. SOURCE

Are our schools’ outcomes 2-3 times better than in 2002? Is our unemployment 2-3 times less than 2002? Is your pocket book 2-3 times more prosperous than 2002?

On the contrary, our state leads in food stamp usage, lagging economic growth, and last-in-the-nation graduation rates. Clearly, we’re headed in the opposite direction, and even an extra $2 billion isn’t making a difference.

Oregon Needs Change

Oregon has a spending problem, and it’s only going to get worse if we continue to send the same political party of the a tired and out-of-touch political class to the governor’s office.

The tragedy of the 2015 Legislature and Governor Kate Brown’s rubber-stamp reign is that nothing was done to confront our spending addiction and prepare for the impending budget challenges of PERS and state employee health care. Nothing.

Bud Pierce believes we must do better. Oregon can no longer be burdened by double-digit growth of the state budget and sacrifice job growth and our children’s education opportunities.  

Bud Pierce believes that the answer to out-of-control spending is leadership rather than rubber-stamping.

Bud Pierce believes the state government in one-party Oregon is the only sector of the economy that hasn’t been refitted for the 21st century. We simply can’t pay almost as much to administer our state government as we spend to fund our schools and expect to be competitive.

So how does Bud Pierce plan to accomplish all this?
Here’s how:

  •  Shrink state work force by not replacing retiring state workers.
  • Cut growth in state budget by half.
  • Establish a commission to examine state programs and recommend closing or consolidating programs with an up-or-down vote on the commission’s findings by the legislature.
  • Zero-based budgeting. Make every state agency and program justify its spending—not simply its proposed spending increases—every budget cycle. Close down the programs that have outlived their usefulness or are failing to make a measurable difference.
  • Fix PERS once and for all and address the Cadillac health care plans for state workers so Oregon taxpayers are not on the hook for PERS pensions and health care coverage that they will never see in the private sector. Pursue separate solutions to the PERS and Cadillac Tax issues—say, reducing benefits to below the level that the Cadillac Tax kicks in—or institute a "total compensation" approach to pay benefits for the state and schools to reduce public sector compensation costs and increase choice for public sector workers.
  • Replace the Kate Brown rubber-stamp with a Bud Pierce veto pen.