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Oregon lawmakers’ cost-cutting ideas target government employee pay, benefits

Thursday, May 18, 2017

By Saul Hubbard

The Register-Guard

SALEM — A small, bipartisan group of lawmakers Friday released a long list of cost-­reduction ideas, an effort to close part of ­Oregon’s $1.6 billion budget shortfall without cutting key services.

The wide-ranging list would curb public employee pay, and health and pension benefits, ­[and] reduce the number of state government jobs…

Because they would mean ­financial hits to public employees, many of the ideas also are politically toxic for majority Democrats…

But some Democrats hope to leverage the significant cost-­cutting measures into Republican support for a major business tax increase…

Steve Demarest, president of SEIU Local 503, the state’s largest union, calls the proposals “outrageous,” pointing out that many of the ideas would affect public employees directly.

“This is an effort to scapegoat people who have dedicated their lives to public service when we should be doing something about our out-of-whack, lowest-in-the-nation corporate taxes,” Demarest said in a prepared statement Friday…

We Respond & Your Comments

OMG! It’s an outrage! Asking workers employed by an entity that’s financially upside down to pay part of their pensions! It’s the Black Plague, Haymarket Riots and Valentine’s Day Massacre all rolled into one toxic dose of abuse!

Maybe some of you have been involved in a troubled business. You may even have had to take a pay cut or been laid off. Did you whine, moan and bedwet? No – because you’re adults who know that life isn’t always pleasant.

Now let’s look at the Democrats’ Grand Strategy. Here it is:

  • Dig a gigantic budget hole by spending like there’s no tomorrow;
  • Threaten to cut off essential programs (especially for The Children) unless Republicans agree to new taxes;
  • Use current spending levels, less some painless cuts, as the platform for new excessive spending;
  • Repeat as needed.

There it is, folks – playing out before your very eyes.

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