Oregon Governor Kulongoski’s proposed 2007-09 budget shows an increase of 20% to 14.9 billion — an increase even The Oregonian called “gargantuan”. As the Democrats gained control of the legislative branch during the last election as well, will they rubber-stamp the governor’s reckless plan?
Oregon made national news for their budgetary problems in the recent past, with many in the state calling for a “rainy day” fund to help the state during poor economic times. But the Democratic Governor doesn’t seem too bothered about it — it’s full spending ahead (and ignore that iceberg ahead — we’re unsinkable!). There’s so much money right now (from an improving economy), he could put a billion towards a rainy day fund and still have huge (but perhaps not gargantuan) increases in spending.
But saving isn’t a priority (neither is fiscal responsibility). It’s spend everything you’ve got, plus call for more tax increases! (Some groups still want more of citizen’s money according to the article — “… school advocacy groups were quick to say it’s not enough, requesting $240 million more”). A 20% increase in spending isn’t enough?
How much of a raise did you get last year?
Governor Kulongoski has long passed the icy waters of fiscal irresponsibility and is full-steam ahead toward the looming iceberg of fiscal recklessness. It appears Oregon Democrats are back to tax and spend (and spend, and spend) — a disaster for the citizens of Oregon. The basic problem of the classic tax-and-spend position assumes you work for the government and they have the right to take as much money as they want (as they know better than you do how to spend money).
But with the recent elections for Congress, will the national Democrats inherit this reckless spending posture? Republicans have demonstrated they aren’t fiscally responsible (Oregon Democrats don’t appear to be either). If Speaker Pelosi shows fiscal restraint, and leashes (at least a little) her uber-leftist views, the Democrats could have a long run in control of Congress. But if she follows the traditional tax-and-spend (and spend and tax some more) model Oregon is returning to, don’t plan on decorating much, Madam Speaker — you won’t need the office long. Voters put you in the speaker’s chair, they’ll remove you just as fast.
Right now, neither party seems to have the smallest fraction of fiscal responsibility. They both complain about the other, but after regaining control themselves feel free to spend citizen’s money as if it was limitless.