This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 5, 2007 8:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Lech Walesa Boulevard!. The next post in this blog is The tradition continues. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Drop in the bucket

Our survey of local governments' long-term debt, which has already covered the City of Portland and the Portland School District, today turns to Multnomah County. The county goes to the Wall Street well every year to issue "tax and revenue anticipation notes," whereby it borrows money against upcoming tax collections. The notes are short-term -- repayable in about a year. When they borrow the dough, county officials have to disclose the government's finances in an official statement, and this year's is here.

From that document, we gather that the county has $336,913,160 in long-term debt outstanding, including $170,908,160 of pension bonds, which are used to pay county employees' retirement benefits through the state PERS system. In addition, the county estimates that it's got $44.7 million in obligations outstanding for health insurance benefits for retirees. The grand total comes to $381,613,160. With a population of 701,545, that comes to $543.96 per resident -- less than half the $1,211.84 per capita debt owed by the school district and truly chump change compared to the $7,516.02 per resident racked up by the City of Portland.

But if you're keeping score at home, with the city, school district, and county aggregated, we're up to $9,271.82 of long-term debt per head, or more than $37,000 for a family of four.

For the record, here's the debt clock for the county:

Comments (2)

Check these nice charts too.

When growth/wealth is illusory the only thing that matters is the effectiveness of propaganda and the Consumer Confidence Index. The charts above show a 25 year road toward serfdom. Let's take a poll to see whether the little debt slaves (frogs) feel the heat rising yet?

The level of sympathy for the boomers as they age will surely turn as sour as that for a granny that has spent her and her dead husband's life savings at a video poker machine. The bus boy folks will be too busy looking out for themselves and identifying unique market opportunities to give a damn.

I wish Mr Wheeler luck. I think he is doing the right things, but has a huge uphill battle with finances.

However, he is light years intellectually ahead of the mean girls.

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