Today’s fiscal insanity award goes to Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, who says “We don’t have enough revenue” even as the Governor proposes spending increases of 20%. That’s right, a 20% increase in one fiscal cycle — and Mr. Courtney says it’s not enough. Can you say “huge tax increases”? How many of Oregon’s citizens got a 20% raise last year? Yet Mr. Courtney says even if you did, it belongs to the state — that and more!
Courtney, a Salem Democrat, said it’s a good thing the Legislature’s work is well under way on all these policy issues; crafting a state budget – and trying to get the tax increases tied to some of the session’s spending promises – remains a daunting challenge.
“I’m scared to death about the budget,” he said. “We don’t have enough revenue today. I don’t know how we’re going to get there.”
He’s working on tax increases when the state already has 20% more to spend than last fiscal cycle. But it’s not enough. How many of the citizens you represent Mr Courtney have enough revenue themselves? Of course, they’re at a disadvantage as they can’t just help themselves to more whenever they want.
Remember this, Mr. Courtney, just a few months ago?
Oregon would spend 20 percent more in the next two years, including a $1.1 billion increase for education and a $700 million jump in health care and human services, under a budget unveiled Monday by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
A 20% increase in spending isn’t enough? We said when Democrats gained control of both houses if they demonstrated fiscal responsibility and holstered some of the uber-left views they could control the state for a long time. So much for fiscal restraint, as that ship has sailed under the stellar leadership of Mr. Courtney.
We never thought we’d have to state the obvious, but a 20% increase in spending should be enough to satisfy even the most diehard tax-and-spend person. But not Mr. Courtney, as under his leadership Oregon Democrats are back to tax and spend, and spend and spend. Irresponsible doesn’t begin to explain his actions — carefree, reckless, harebrained, rash, untrustworthy, unethical, disgraceful and absurd only scratch the surface of his wanton disregard for fiscal responsibility as he leads the state toward disaster.