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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ted K.'s Ike moment

Wasn't it Eisenhower who warned of the military-industrial complex, as he was leaving office? Those words proved prophetic, but it was a shame that he waited to say them until it was too late for him to do anything about them.

The same goes for Oregon's governor's remarks of the other day. State government is too big, it's going broke, and it's paying out too much in employee benefits -- that would have been a great message three years ago.

You won't hear John Kitzhaber say anything like that. Just ask Greg Macpherson.

Comments (8)

Like Ike, I believe that Teddy K. should be commended just for saying the words, despite the fact that they came at the end of their careers in public office.

Jeez, what a worm. If he believed all that stuff he said to begin with, he should have done something while in office. Instead, he perpetuated the situation.

While it's nice to hear the governor finally step up, it's a day late and a dollar short. I don't want Oregon to end up in the position California is in - vote Dudley, it's our only chance.

Better late than never....I guess.

"Better late than never"

What you don't remember Teddy's comments on the state having to live within its means when he was running for election?

Please, this guy has been running scared of the public employee unions from day one.

Here's a bit of interesting information: Public education makes up about 12% of the state's budget--but that includes universities and community colleges.


In fact, of that 12%, roughly *half* is taken up by public universities and community colleges. That's right--U of O, PCC, PSU--they're eating up just as much budget as the K-12 system. And it's well known that the highest paid workers are not in the K-12 system--they're in the university system. And the K-12 system serves over twice as many students.

Yet, strangely, the public's wrath seems aimed mainly at the K-12 system.

Why is the public's outrage focused on 12% of the budget, while largely ignoring the other 88%?

The largest state expense? Human Services, at about $12 billion. What, no outrage about where all that money goes?

Wait: we spent over $5 billion on "economic development".

Other facts: about half of the public safety budget is the Department of Corrections. That's right--almost two billions dollars to run prisons.

So I'm stunned, really, by those (including Kulongoski, who knows all these facts) who pointedly attack "public education" as the source of the state's budget woes. If Kulongoski cared, he could save us several million in the state capitol alone.

For a more detailed budget breakdown:


Read it closely, and notice that the Department of Human Services budget, for example, is over twice as much as PERS. In fact, the State Board of Higher Education (which governs UNIVERSITIES, not the K-12 system) has about the same budget as PERS.

now, decide where to direct your outrage accordingly. And ask yourself--why did Kulongoski focus on public employee unions, knowing that the majority of state costs are unrelated to public unions and pensions?

It's not too late for Teddy to do something in his reign to respond to his cry's at the City Club.

He could rescind the $250 Million given by the state in Lottery Funds to Milwaukie Light Rail, that isn't even funded wholly by three other required funding jurisdictions; City of Portland, Milwuakie and Clackamas Co.

He could rescind the $110 Million given to a future Sustainable Biotech Building in OHSU future "campus" in SoWhat. This little $110 Million doesn't include the financing cost of the bond. The amount was hidden as an attachment in a recent, larger bill of unrelated content. Talk about our national Congress hiding funding, our legislature practices the same.

Just these two examples amounts to $360 Million, plus the debt cost, equals over $520 Million in new revenue to allocate to the really important services our state should be providing. It sure goes a long ways in resolving the $600 Million state deficit.

Come on, Ted, you can do it.

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