This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 5, 2013 10:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Middaugh's hot rants. The next post in this blog is Die-hard dinosaurs. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

A snapshot of the City of Portland debt clock

Since we established our City of Portland debt clock in 2007, we've tried to keep its data as accurate as possible. Whenever the city has released new numbers on its bonds and retirement debts, and whenever the census bureau or the Portland State population experts have issued new population estimates, we've changed our base data and growth assumptions. It's not an exact science, but our projections have been pretty good over the last five years and change.

And as of today, our clock shows that the debt per capita is well over $11,000:

As we put this blog into archive-only mode starting this afternoon, we will stop updating the clock -- at least until our hiatus is over, a year or more from now. This post is to serve as a reminder of where we left off, and a starting point for the day, if it comes, when the clock is reprogrammed and started anew.

If you'd like to follow, in real time, the massive borrowing in which Oregon government is engaged, go here (a site called i-dealprospectus) and search for Oregon bonds. Another good resource on the subject is here (an outfit called emma). When the politicians put it on plastic, the evidence can usually be found at one or both of those two sites. And the sales documents that are posted there (called "official statements") are a treasure trove of information about our rapidly deteriorating public finances.

Many thanks to our long-time friend and technical wizard, Jake Ortman of orty.com in Bend, who's the best friend a website operator ever had. He made the debt clock, and indeed this entire blog, possible.

Comments (8)

The debt counter is the best illustrater of Portland's continued concept of "Sustainability."


Jack - You are great...I may not agree with you on everything but I'll miss your blog. Good luck with your book...you will do amazing. Thanks!

You do know that we are not going to be able to keep up on all the stuff you have been covering without you around.

The nice people who bought my house in Portland must have felt something funny when that $11K burden landed on each of their shoulders.

Then again, they are from California -- so relatively speaking, they are still ahead of the game. I wonder if they've paid their Arts Tax yet.

There will be no escape. One can avoid the city tax mess. But even in unincorporated anywhere USA, there is still the county/state/federal tax to pay. Fees to exist. The math doesn't pan out well for the average citizen. We're all gonna pay our pound of flesh...via tax and via currency/purchasing power/wage devaluation.

The baby boom will 'get' their retirement dollars promised in the 401k and PERS, but it won't buy jack s**t.

Real vs Nominal dollars are a bitch...happy retirement!!!

Save accordingly...

Alan Greenspan: "We cannot guarantee the purchasing power"




"We can guarantee cash benefits as far out and at whatever size you like, but we cannot guarantee their purchasing power."


Crazy talk. PERS? Savings? Money? Wha?

This is just the former chairman of the most powerful privately owned central bank in the world...on the record:



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