Thursday, August 26, 2010


I am State Representative Dennis Richardson and I write newsletters for Oregonians interested in what can be done to make Oregon a better place to live and work.

Today, the Oregon’s State Economist released the Quarterly Revenue Forecast that shows a reduction of $377.5 Million in expected revenue for the remaining ten months of this biennium.

To read the entire newsletter, go to


  1. This news scares me to the core as I fear what has happened over and over again...cuts will be on the backs of people with disabilities, the elderly, and children. These the most vulnerable lose services again!!!!

  2. Oregon has added more agencies and departments in the last 20 years than we need. Too many agencies. Too many state expenditures to support those agencies. If you consolidate agencies you will cut an enormous amount of expense.
    Then cut the "perks" and job benefits of State employees and put them on a level with the private sector. These exotic pensions and cadillac health insurance plans are only for state workers. The private sector cannot even compare, yet all of my taxes pay for them. Who's going to pay for me? Only me. The earnings are not on a par with the private sector.
    And finally -Adopt a tough immigration policy here instead of welcoming the illegals here. We cannot afford to continue as a "santuary" state. It's bankrupting our schools, hospitals and jails. A common man could fix the mess this state is in. We need to throw everybody out in Salem and start with people who know how to run a business.
    Rosanne Wilson
    Hillsboro, OR

  3. We should try to undo the mess they made passing those two propositions taxing gross income and raising corporate taxes. I heard that Nike is moving out. Here in Klamath Falls more and more businesses are struggling while state workers have all the benefits and retirement that is unreal. Regular business people never get a paid day off or sick leave. It has gotten ridiculous. I work 6-7 days a week in my business with no benefits but what I can do myself. My corporate tax just doubled because my business is a LLC. It seems that the state is trying to tax everywhere it can. They need to STOP NOW. We own some state of Oregon bonds and I am wondering how safe they are if PERS bankrupts the state and the kids are hardly ever in school and are not passing their tests and are dropping out by the droves.

  4. Here's an article on innovation / invention for your consideration from @GOPLeader. Now what if we had an Innovation Ombudsman or someone to help the garage inventor grow into the next Tektronix? Wouldn't that help Oregon's economy and trickle down to revenues?

  5. We need leaders that will promote more volunteerism. I put in over 500 hours each year helping at a local park, but there are not too many others doing this. The small group of volunteers save a lot of government expenditures and still provides an excellent park.

    People receiving government checks (unemployment, welfare, food stamps, etc) should be required to volunteer at least one day a week to help somewhere in their community if they are physically and mentally able to do so.

  6. repeal 66 &67
    Do everything possible to attract business and stop being a welfare state.

    I have never received a job from a poor person!

    Reduce Pers payments by 50%

    Stop government spending period (not all) for 4 years.

    Get the professional government officials out of office. No more full pensions

    Get the unions out of Government

  7. It really is very simple: the politicians have to be held personally accountable for their excessive spending on behalf of their constituents; interesting how the politicians that have taken an oath to represent me will spend my money with no conscience whatsoever....and exceed the revenues expected....then expect me to bail them out of THEIR bad decisions. Hold them personally financially liable for their spending orgy! If we did, we'd all be amazed at how quickly all of our elected representatives would absolutely be fiscally responsible!

  8. I am listening to someone who had 9 children?? That is socially irresponsible even if you can afford them! I'm glad I read your profile before I ventured any further!

  9. Business in America has already made the tough choices, cost cutting to the bone. Government has not therefore the recovery is not happening. Private business is accumulating cash supposedly and government continues to bleed cash. Lets contract out most services the govt. provides creating jobs in the private sector. Examples: Road work, Snow removal, Prison management, parks, building inspections, health care to DD and seniors, printing, human services, on and on and on.

  10. commonsensedecisionsAugust 26, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    Three things need to happen:
    1. Oregon needs a sales tax - there's just no way around it. And we need our gas tax to be increased, or we'll have roads that look like some in the Midwest and South. A very small percentage of that gas tax increase should go toward the emergency fund for invasive species that was created by the 2009 legislature - because transportation is a vector of invasives.
    2. Oregon needs to look closely at the utility of its government functions AND consider consolitation. Regarding the latter, the legislature should consider consolidating natural resource agencies. Many other states have excellent models in which the forest, fish, wildlife, and parks agencies are consolidated. It makes sense that this be considered for Oregon.
    3. Oregon should require zero-based budgeting by agencies - and budgets that are based on true performance outcomes. Agencies should receive funds to produce products and services, versus the focus on filling positions.

  11. We need to, both as a state and as a country, look at the Fair Tax ( Check it out for yourself and see how it will change our country and state for the better. Our tax system is corrupt and broken, and our Senators, Congress, and the House aren't concerned about changing it, or they would have. Our politicians need to quit talking about changes and start making them.

  12. Rather than cutting the public services, (i.e. schools, police, fire, etc.)get rid of the State motor Pool.,,,make all state employees drive their OWN PERSONAL vehicles and pay them the standard mileage payment that the private sector pays their employees for driving for business. This will not eliminate an expense in its entirety, but it will dramatically reduce it. No cost of Vehicles, no cost of Insurance, no cost of maintenenace, no cost of fuel.... simply pay the Mileage and THATS it.... I am sure the savings would be in the Millions... MANY state motor pool vehicles are missused anyways for personal driving!!! Stop cutting the throats of the general public and let the state employees take a cut,,, after all they still have thier jobs and still get their PERS which is SO much more than most of us currently have and have waiting for us at retirement.

  13. As a business owner and employer, I am on the verge of moving to another state. The tax situation that was foisted upon us by those who know nothing of what its like to own and run a business. The mind set of tax the evil corporations and fostering of class warfare, will undoubtedly hurt Oregon for years to come.

    I personally work 80+ hours a week in my own business and my taxes have effectively doubled. The idea of hiring somebody isn't even a consideration at this point because it would create an even bigger loss. I'm not some million dollar company either and it is us, the small business owner, that employs Oregon.

    Decrease my tax burden at the business and personal level and the state will realize more revenue. Stop state departments like ODOT from being allowed to exceed their budget by 1 billion dollars (yeah, that's with a B). Stop DHS from excessive spending and loosing millions of dollars. Control the illegal immigrant situation that is brewing rapidly in this state, as they consume resources of all kinds.

  14. Cut regulations on rural lands; open up logging, cut regulatons on agriculture, fishing, mining. Let us get back to using and replenishing and natural resources. Demand Electric car technology to get away from foreign oil. We need to harvest state lands as well. This is what supplied property taxes for education. Too much government and regulation. Let us get smart again and put people back to work in real jobs.

  15. Many people are in financial hardship. It is ESSENTIAL that Oregon recognizes this FACT and responds appropriately and in a TIMELY manner.
    All services should be DECIDED and voted by the people.......In the past, a few have decided what an Oregonian should pay for and the taxes were levied........Please remove ALL unnecessary services........keep only the Police and Fire Services at this point.......It is clear that the Legislative and Administrative Oregonian aspect of Government are not as necessary as people would believe and it is no longer is viewed by many as "top heavy".........No matter how much money someone has - there is still a need to budget........Please take a realistic look at what is "coming in" and do NOT spend more than what is coming in......If people want to get upset about recs/pools/libraries closing then let them..........It is important that the Oregon Reps demonstrate to the rest of the USA that it is important to be fiscally responsible and ONLY spend what you have and not spend what is PROJECTED to come in.........If this is NOT addressed what will happen is - there will continue to be a HUGE downturn of the Oregon economy and an exodus from this state to states with less taxes and states that look CLEARLY at there budget and forecast it diligently.......

  16. What a shame that Kulongowski can dig the hole we are in then walk away, and leave another financial failure as a governor trying to get a second bite at the apple. What Oregon needs is the Tea Party approach to reducing the size of government, becoming as business friendly as possible, and recognizing the reality that reducing business tax rates increases business tax income.

  17. Lets revitalize the lumber industry. The Federal stimulus has expired, forest fires and bugs are destroying the forest. What kind of Forest management is this by the State and Federal? Timber revenue used to be huge for Oregon and now negative cash flow is the norm. What a waste of a natural Rescource.

  18. I don't have a job or any luxuries of unemployment benefits. I can not pay my child support and does this state do to help me??? Terminate my drivers license and now wants me to go to jail. SCREW This STATE and the entire government system. Thank OREGON

  19. I doubt Richardson or anyone from his staff will really read this, and if they do, it will be to gauge sentiment expressed in the sound bite responses.

    No one will say anything to refute the aburdities, such as "Oregon's tax structure is driving business out." It is not. Measures 66 and 67 didn't drive anyone away nor put anyone out of business, and the first thing the representative might do is point out Oregon's low rank among the states for taxing business.

    Nike is not leaving. Intel is expanding. So are solar panel manufacturers in Hillsboro and Gresham. So is Greenbriar. So is Vestas. So is Keen.

    But what the legislature can do is re-structure the state tax system to eliminate income tax as the sole source of revenue. A sales tax might be part of the mix, although a VAT makes more sense. Elimination of the capital gains tax might be an option, as is lowering tax rates for businesses and low income people. The state needs a revenue system that hedges the possibility of one or more sources going flat.

    But it won't. No one, including Rep. Richardson, will even suggest it. You watch.

    When state's financial health is in the state it's in, the times can be an opportunity for change, for the people and legislators to state what services they want and what they will pay for them.

    But what the legislature can do is undertake systemic tax reform

  20. I think that ALL people who receive a state pay check should get a 5-10% pay cut. Across the board, no exceptions.

  21. Here is the typical example of why our state and nation are going under quickly: We just started requiring all contractors to take a class in lead paint removal and made it a legal requirement to be certified before doing any construction of over 20 sq. ft. (I think). This is a huge expenditure of time and money and the truth of the matter is that there is so little lead paint that has not been covered or removed 10 years ago that this utterly pointless. It is unnecessarily fueled by fear. Life is full of risk and we should encouraged people to be knowledgeable (internet makes this nearly a no cost effort)instead of legislate risk out of life. Politicians by nature want to act as if they are protecting the population against themselves. Another new law: All wood stoves not EPA certified MUST be replaced by one that is certified and the old one must be destroyed. Very few people use wood where I live but it is nice to have as a back up in case power goes out. My 84 year old mother likes to use her wood stove when the winter is so cold that the furnace doesn't quite do the job and it helps her keep her power cost down. Just like the lead paint law, this one comes when normal upgrades and lack of available wood have made the problem very insignificant without government intervention. It is one of a million requirement that cost us money and time and really accomplishes very little. Ask any small business person what is the main problem with trying to make a go of a business and they will say the same thing--too many difficult and costly permits, fees, taxes, and regulations--too much red tape. The government or politicians feel that they have to dictate how to do everything and if you don't do it right there will be a fine. ---instead of enforcing the already sufficient requirement to use a permit and have work inspected by qualified insptectors paid by our tax dollars--are they not qualified? do we not trust that they checked a contractors work? Do we not have penalties for not following the permitting laws but instead say we are going to have a new law and enforce it instead? It is all so narrow minded and painful to think about. Like the saying goes--The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing in government and they have no control over either but they are going to fine the public if they don't control themselves.

  22. I wrote to the Representative and I did get reply back from him. That does speak loudly to me, even if I don't ascribe to partisan politics.

    This biggest issue I see that gets in the way of growth in our state and country is this: Politics. It has now become neighbor against neighbor. This "My way or the highway!" nonsense solves nothing. Does it matter if someone is a conservative or a liberal? We are in a state of crisis. This is not the time to put out newsletters campaigning for the next election. If you want to win the next election, do something positive instead of pointing fingers. As a Registered Nurse, if we behaved the way politicians do, we would have patients dying left and right while pointing fingers. If we behaved like politicians, we would be fired.

    One of the fixes that our state can employ is welfare reform. Although there are many families that need this assistance to survive, there are too many that "hang on" because it's beneficial for them to do so. For instance, create a welfare system that pays for the average size family, not the mega sized family. Too many people are rewarded for the number of children they have which encourages them to have more. Pay for optional sterilization. If a woman on welfare wants to have a tubal ligation, then pay for it! Do you know how many mothers come through the hospitals that are drug addicts, that state they can't pay for a tubal, want a tubal, but can't get one because the welfare system wont pay for it? More than you can know. So instead of a one time procedure charge, these women keep having babies. They are honest in saying they wont be changing their ways but the state wont help the problem.

    Make the adoption process more accessible and easy for families to adopt. One of the reasons Oregon has such a low "return rate" on adoptions is because of the difficulty of the adoption process. It turns people away knowing that the process to adopt is going to take an excess of 24-36 months to complete an adoption. We have too many children in foster homes that need good and loving families, but because of the system wont find one. Make adoption for gay and lesbian families complete. In other words, let both parents adopt like a heterosexual couple can. This adds strength and stability to the family unit. Until every child has a home, the battle cry of "A child deserves a mother and a father" is useless. An alternative family is better than no family!

    Include ALL tax paying Oregonians in the process. Do you realize that gays and lesbians pay more taxes as a family on state and federal levels but are the least welcomed and least represented class? I say this sincerely to you, if politicians would welcome Gays and Lesbians and their families into the full American birthright, you would find more Gays and Lesbians coming to the Republican Conservative cause. I can speak for myself when I say I would be a Tea Party/Fiscal Republican if I could be. I am anti abortion, small government type of man. But how can I support a party that constantly wants to tell me and my family we do not matter? How can I support a party that wants to take my higher taxes, give me less representation, and expect me to be happy doing so?

    Reduce income tax and institute a sales tax. Let me explain why. Those of us who do have jobs and do pay taxes carry the load. If we leave income tax at the levels they are and have a sales tax, we are paying even more. If you institute a sales tax, everyone is paying equally for goods and services. Even if someone is buying less, they are still adding money to the pot and doing their part.

    State employee's need to step up and say that they receive too much compensation for their jobs. Cars, insurances, pay, etc are out of touch with what the average Oregonian makes and is compensated for. The efficiency of this state is sad.

  23. Those who are governed least are governed best.
    Unfortunantely, it takes new laws to fix old ones.
    For years, I have advocated a system quite a few states have regarding property tax. I have worked for Oregon & Arizona Depts of Revenue. In Oregon, folks with back-taxes get their property auctioned off after yrs of non-payment. The statutory interest is high...which is kicking the citizen while they are down. In AZ, the tax LIEN is auctioned to private buyers after 1 yr of non-payment. The auction buyer bids the rate down, so...1) the county gets paid off, 2) the property owner may redeem easier with a lower interest rate (as low as 0%) & 3) the bidder invests THEIR money at a return they are satisfied with, (say 6%).
    It is one of those rare occasions that things work well for all 3 Parties: gov't, property owner, & investor.

  24. The jobs have shipped out of the U.S. to the cheapest workers available at any given place and time in the world. We are in a self created Depression. The safety nets of food stamps and unemployment (or doubling up with elder generations who own their homes in the more fortunate state of retirement) have merely disguised this as a "Recession". Why?
    We allow those of our (still-permitted-to-be) "citizens" who are blessed with the means to be of inclusive service to their own people and nation to make their profits--abroad--by economically betraying us all instead--with no consequences whatever, except more wealth. It is a two-tiered system of citizenship: U.S. citizens, and wealthy "citizens of the world" with U.S. residences--plus the fiscal freedom to strip-mine the world's cheapest available "human resources". Only one thing will break this up: drag the latter--screaming and kicking--back to the family table and make them sit down and eat with the rest of us!
    We need Nobless Oblige laws. You ship work, you should pay punitively, painfully higher taxes--enough to warrent bringing the work back. Then people would have jobs and not houses in forclosure. Join your own nation or get the hell out. It should no longer be an option--or the country will do a Titanic. The nose is already pointed down.
    Tax breaks should only be for those businesses that keep work at home and do profit sharing with their workers. Tax breaks given to corporations seeking a temporary good deal from various sucker states before dumping them in search of the next sucker should have to pay fines and back taxes for being deal breakers after making tax payers pick up the tab for roads and infrastructure leading to their white elephant sites. The freebies for playing in our yard and leaving refuse and yet more unemployed behind must end. That is where the real welfare is located. Then we whine about feeding the reminds me of a parable:

    When the widow put her mite in the offering of the temple--after the Pharisees dumped their rattling gold, Jesus reminded them that God doesn't care about what hypocrites gave at the office--only what they had the power to give--and held back. And it will be counted against you in heaven. Buddhists, of course, call it karma.
    Native Americans, on the other hand, say the usurpers have had it coming for a long, long time--and fully expect this country to tank. (Unsharing, unbridled greed will eventually buy a democracy out from under its people and make it crash; our unwillingness to put the bridle on the runaway is based on the national fantasy of joining the wealth caste by winning the lottery!) There isn't a representative anywhere with the guts to inforce fiscal citizenship. That's why we'll fall.
    Sorry, but true. Greco-Roman modelled democracies collapse after the 200 year mark; with no economic systems of checks and balances, power shifts from the people to the over-priviledged. The Bicentennial was in 1976. We're past our self life already. It's over.

    What comes around...goes around, eh? Got your life jacket on yet? You're gonna need it.

  25. Interesting comments. I've read them all so far. I trust Rep. Richardson will read them too.

    I agree with those who suggest we crack down much more severely on illegal immigrants. Follow Arizona's example.

    I also agree with those (many) who suggest government workers (mostly state and Federal governement workers) get paid too much and receive too many and too costly benefits. I'd not however make cuts across the board. I'd require all those workers earning more than $100,000 annually to take at least a 10 per cent cut in pay and a 25% cut in benefits. I'd require those making between $50,000 and $100,000 to take a 7.5% cut in pay and a 12.5% cut in benefits. The formula I suggest should be designed so that nobody's compensation is cut below someone's who was making less before the cuts are instituted -- something like the graduated income tax works.

    The suggestions to stop paying for elective abortions, adopt a sales tax, RESTORE productive timber and fishing industries (putting them out of business was short sighted), contract with private business for many services now provided by government, ending the marginally justified regulations governing new construction and safety, and many others, were good and should be examined carefully before deciding they aren't worthy of being considered.

    Those who complained about the high taxes on business were right on. I don't operate a business (am retired and never was a business owner). No business pays taxes anyway. Only people pay taxes. The taxes my employer pays keep him from hiring more workers who pay taxes at a higher rate anyway. Or, they require him to raise his prices which, in turn, causes his customers to pay higher taxes in the form of higher prices.

    Punishing businesses for moving their production to lower wage paying foreign counries is a bad idea. The main reason production was moved to a foreign country is to allow the business to keep its products priced at a level consumers will pay. Union demands and management concessions are what priced U.S. made products out of the market and drove production out of the country.

    Frankly, although there are solutions, I'm not optimistic we'll find them. It's been obvious for a long time that most government policies, whether adopted by Republican or Democratic administrations, have not been adopted with sustainability in mind. We just see a "need" and decide government should address it, regardless of its cost. That mentality has to change and I don't see it happening.

  26. We need to clean house meaning that there should be no help for illegal immigrants in the State of Oregon. We should only give minimum care to the "anchor" babies and send all of the family out of our state. No more handouts. Our PERS system needs to be redone dramatically and the people currently receiving PERS retirement benefits need to realize their benefits are going to be cut. It is ridiculous how much money some are making--more than they made when they worked. Staff cuts need to be make--the government sponsored vehicles need to be removed--I see people in them all the time going to the grocery store and doing non-work related things. Too much waste in the big staffs that are being manned. Cut the teacher's aides and let the kids help like we used to do. Make the school districts more accountable with their funds received. The law enforcement funding should be increased with some of the money saved by other staff cuts. We need patrols on the roads and in the communities. But that doesn't mean adding office staff also. Just patrol officers and drug enforcement officers. It seems the common sense has gone by the wayside. Quit giving contracts to only union members. Put jobs out for bid. We need to help those in need that are US citizens but we don't need 3 people to do the job of 1 person. One person paid at full time wages can do a better job of 3 part-time people. Continuity and knowledge is the key to good service. Cut the waste and there is plenty of it.

  27. St. Rep. Dennis RichardsonAugust 27, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. I read and take notes from the comments readers of my newsletter make. It will take creative ideas and the political will to implement them to right Oregon's ship of state.
    Keep the thoughts and suggestions coming.
    Dennis Richardson

  28. To me, the root cause of this mess is so simple as to be elementary - - - the Adjustable Percentage Rate on mortgage loans and credit cards. I now "enjoy" a percentage rate of 16% on my VISA card when it started out at 5%. Doing the math on this is so easy - - - you can't double and triple mortgage payments on homeowners and then expect that their wages will double and triple to follow suit. That NEVER HAPPENS!!! Every bank in America should KNOW THAT! The APR has KILLED our economy, pure and simple. Any first grader with simple math can see that. And then the bank CEO's take millions of dollars in bonuses when they are the ones that created this mess in the first place. How do they sleep at night knowing that? I am presently paying down my credit card balance as fast as possible and, until the banks go back to a FIXED RATE of not ONE PENNY MORE THAN 5%, I will NEVER have ANOTHER CREDIT CARD from a major bank! I even wrote a letter to the CEO of Wells Fargo and proposed some changes that would fix this sordid mess. Of course, nothing changed at all as I knew it wouldn't (heck why should he change it, he got HIS 11 million, why should HE care about the peons---just keep the paying through the nose). OK, I'm done. I'm a 70 year old senior citizen who really doesn't matter much to those in the ivory tower, so I know nothing will change. I love my country but deplore the direction it's going in. Thanks for reading my rant.

  29. There are several things I think should happen. We need a sales tax period. We brag about being one of the few states without this tax, but maybe we should consider that it is because other states have figured out it distributes the taxes more fairly. Any sales tax legislation would have to be coupled with a dramatic reduction or removal of personal income tax. Tourism is one of our largest industries. It makes zero sense not to take advantage of this resource. Property owners can not continue to carry the burden for everyone on schools and the like. A sales tax is unpopular here, but if coupled with a reduction in personal income tax, and marketed like the folks who sold the tax on the weathy, we may have a shot at something that would actually work. Another huge issue that we may not see until time passes is that 2% tax levied against business owners and the wealthy. I personally know of several very wealthy folks who moved their business headquarters to Vancouver and moved their primary residences to Vancouver. Condo's in the 300-400k range that were sitting empty in Vancouver near the water front are now getting competitive bids. These folks are maintaing luxury residences here in Oregon and calling them summer homes. Really? Who then picks up their tax burden while they continue to enjoy the beauty of the state, but call Washington home? Business is struggling especially anything related to building or Real Estate. My family has had a long time lumber business since 1962 and may be faced with the real possiblilty of closing their doors. They have already had to lay off nearly all employees. They once employed over 150 and are now down to 10. You can't tax business at a time when they are barely holding on. The layoffs will just continue and the shortfall will get bigger. Last but not least, our state government keeps growing. We must stop this huge growth especially when private business is shrinking and personal incomes are shrinking. The government can't keep spending more while good folks are losing their homes and can not find any meaningful work to support their families. This seems almost criminal to me. I hear from lots of teachers who are losing their jobs that new curriculum keeps coming every year and old curriculum just gets dumped. We don't need something new every year. It is absurd. The government though meaning well, is inefficient and has 2 or 3 people doing the job that one person does in the private sector. The benefits are better than most Oregonians get in the private sector and those PERS issues are sucking the life out of the budget and the tax base. It can't on. Someone with real courage is going to have to step up and suggest some unpopular ideas like a sales tax in order to dig us out of this hole. Most government leaders are afraid to do this because they are afraid they will get voted out of office. Someone needs to put personal ambition aside and do the right thing.

  30. ODOT is out of control. When I look at the "road improvements" that include very expensive plants along sidewalk areas and in the middle of the roadways (such as Rogue River Highway leading into the South of Grants Pass from Rogue River), I get angry. Not only did tax money pay for those extravagant improvements, the local government has to pay even more to MAINTAIN them. And they aren't even pleasing to the eye. (Then our auto registrations increased astronomically to help pay for all this, which no sensible tax payer wants to support.) When high rolling days are over, cut the budget. WE DID.

  31. Measure 74! Formerly I-28. Vote YES for Measure 74. New Revenue Income for Oregon:
    $1 Billion in new tax revenues1
    It is estimated that I-28 will generate $1942 Million Dollars every year in new taxes. These new taxes will fund several key programs without stressing your wallet. This new tax revenue is in addition to the 2 billion of existing tax revenues generated by I-28. Together that’s over 3 billion in additional taxes we can use to fund needed programs. I-28 will create over 11,000 new jobs for Oregon and create safe access to medicine through a State regulated and controlled dispensary system. For more info:

  32. K-12 effective curriculum and instuction employing continuous progress. In Oregon see Arthur Academies. They do it on 80%of what traditional public schools get and all their kids read. I have included the research in my articles at the url.

    In addition, evaluate each government job to determine if it is necessary and efficient.
    Evaluate each agency and program for the same.
    As with education, eliminate nonsense.

  33. First let's get rid of "Spokespersons" in bureaus and make CEO of bureaus handle all communications. Let all bureau heads receive same salary as private counterparts with no bonus given. Break up large bureaus such as ODOT, for easier management.Remove all legislature's and governor from pers or all pensions, same for supreme court justices..

  34. I've read the blogs and we need to keep it simple. No sales tax is needed. Let's do it like we did in the old days. Spend within our means. We are in a recession. Let's spend within our means. The schools are suffering, of which they should be of highest priority, because of all the governmental spending waste.

    For our state? Here are the priorities:

    1) Public safety (Fire, Police, Emergency Responders)

    2) Education (GOOD education. Not all that touchy feely stuff)

    3) Commerce. Without commerce no jobs. I'm sorry, I love green, but tree huggers do NOT create jobs.

    Want a prosperous state? Make it easy for businesses to come here and thrive here so that jobs will be created. And then?

    Oregon's jobless rate will plummet.

    'nuf said

  35. I've read all those those highly and most "educated" blogs. We need to do this:

    1) Fund our first responders
    2) Educate our children (not the touchy feely stuff)
    3) Promote commerce. No commerce? no jobs. Want a prosperous state? Cut the crap. Tree huggers do NOT make jobs!

    point made

  36. I always want to know who decides these essential services?
    I kind of think eating is essential, things like utilities and shelter and medical care are essential.
    Basic needs.
    Essential services are police?
    The public schools have not been much more than propaganda centers for years. they turn out good little worker drones for the factories of the rich.
    Parents of the poor are resourceful and can teach their children to feed themselves and build a fire to cook and heat the space they find to live in.
    Why do we need more police to protect the rich?
    Why do we need to keep the prison factories open? For the rich?
    Most poor people live pretty well with out the police. The police sure don't rush to help in the poor neighborhoods?
    Attitudes from our local police are "no humans involved". Police protect the rich.
    My plan: Less police, less regulation and less politicians.
    Seems to me we do a lot to protect the rich, they have the education to write the laws and the credit to borrow money for big business.So they are the most threatened.
    I say kill the politicians and police.
    The rich should fear the poor, they have been milking us for years, now they have no where to turn to maintain their lifestyle.
    The lifestyle is all important to them.
    Prisons to house "non violent" prisoners are not essential.
    Why are so many police on the highway "essential"? I do not think we need them, YOU don't either, but the big RICH insurance companies have convinced you that you NEED them.
    Since the rich want to cut "non essential" the poor, like public transportation, (which THEY never use since they have their nice new luxury SUV.
    Let them.
    After they fall...
    Let them live in their cars since they have no real marketable skills.
    Let them live with tooth aches and broken bones because their is no preventive medicine.
    Let them live under a bridge.
    Let them test their survival skills, poor little hothouse flowers.

  37. My husband receives PERS as his retirement and he worked hard and long for that benefit! Instead of cutting PERS for those citizens that worked for it, we should be putting limits on those receiving welfare benefits! Every other car license plate I see is from California..those from that bankrupt state have figured out they can move here and live off us hard working people easier than they can in Calif. It should be mandatory in order to receive welfare, they should have to work for their checks. There are lots of things that can be done to help beautify and improve our state that the able-bodied ones on the welfare roles could be doing to earn their keep. And those that refuse to work should be denied. My husband deserves his PERS. These people are going to bankrupt our state like they did California.

  38. I am a nobody living in Oregon. I go to work, I have debt and I pay my bills. My children are young adults and we still try to help them out now and then.

    From personal experiences over the course of the past 10 years here's what I see.

    Illegal immigration needs to be handled for exactly what it is....illegal. We cannot afford to continue to pay their way. We need to crack down on employers who hire illegals.

    Unemployment requirements need to change...if there is a job available and you refuse it, you don't get unemployment benefits.

    Welfare benefits are too high.....what is the incentive to have people get into the work force when they are on welfare? I have worked with many of these individuals who have been required to go to work (under a subsidized program) the majority of them get their daycare paid for by the state. They get free health care. They don't show up for work and really don't want to work...why...because they get as much benefit from the state (or more) for staying home and not being productive citizens. We need to decrease the benefits to these people to the bare minimum so they have an incentive to get a job.

    If welfare recipients have children in school...they get free breakfast, and free lunch...decrease the amount of food stamps these families get during the school year.....they are only responsible to feed their children 1 meal during the week and of course the weekends....the maximum for the family would only need to be paid for 3 months out of the year as opposed to all year. This savings could possibly offset the cost of the programs to the schools or even the federal government (which of course is all our money anyway).

    Stop taxing business who is the core of our economy (without business, we have nothing). Start looking at the line by line items of each agency (it may even be worth paying bonuses to state employees who come up with ideas that save hundreds of thousands of dollars)

    Decrease the benefits and wages of state employees and recipients and see what we all have to do to make it work....we become very resourceful when we are forced to.

  39. My family makes over $250,000 a year and our taxes are not as high as they should be. We don't need this much money for just two people, and I don't think anyone does. I say raise taxes on the rich. We should also be taxing the benefits that state employees and others receive.

  40. For the latest evaluation of Oregon's taxation standing:

    No review of our financial nightmare is fair unless it is preceded with the acknowledgement that all of the financial chaos and pains are the result of 8 years of George Bush's 2 wars and the inexcusable removal of reasonable government oversight of the financial corporations.

  41. What are the complete,exact details on State legislators' pay, benefits, office subsidies, etc. The real total, per each legislator. Is there any room for cuts here? If our other PERS employees need to take a decrease, maybe these fine elected officials need to lead the way.

    Rep. Richardson please lead the way. What funds are you paid, or that you manage, comes from state coffers? Here is a chance to show real LEADERSHIP.

    Thank you in advance.

  42. may I suggest that you(Rep Richardson) view the last airing of 60 Minutes Sunday 8/20/10. See what is said about CHINA....and whqat they are doing the the United States of America spying and stealing our most garded information which will continue until they own us (close) and you want to have OREGON do business with them.......ARE YOU INSANE NO VOTE FOR YOU......

  43. I have been Chairman of the Clackamas County Community Action Board, dealing with the causes and conditions of poverty in Clackamas County (including homelessness), for the past three years. I am also a member of the Molalla City Council. I have served on the Molalla Board of Education and the Carus Board of Education. I say this to lend some credibility to what I have been proposing for the past two years or more. We need to explore and develop community-based social services to supplement the provision of these services with coordinated faith-based, volunteer, community service, 501c(3), etc. organizations. Oregon Project Independence type programs and services must be extended to collaborate with, and encourage expansion and implementation of these community organizations. The simple fact is that "bigger is not better" when it comes to effective and efficient provision of social service needs. When government began to get involved in the "War on Poverty", costs of providing these services began to climb. In Oregon, DHS is second only to education in budgetary costs. Continuing the inefficiencies generated by obscene government union contracts and PERS, in addition to lack of accountability, is absolutely unsustainable during the "Great Recession" or in times of prosperity. Its time government became more objective and pragmatic, recognizing the money they are spending is not theirs, but belongs to the taxpayers - including Federal funds! We demand elected officials who will restore government of, by, and for the people!

  44. ummmmm did you guys miss that part where China DID buy us? They already own us. We "borrowed" the "bailout" money from kinda hard NOT to do "business" with them....

  45. Hi Dennis;

    This dropped and erased a long written response of mine, so I am going to write another, but only a fraction of the substance I wrote earlier:

    I'm tired of hearing ANYONE whether it be Dudley or ???? beating the Blue collar unions up. Granted, the leadership and some employees within the Union system need to be fired, reprimanded and required to clean up their attitude. But just as much do we need to rid of non-union employees.

    NOW, lets talk about another unrecognized union that makes the recognized unions look like "Mary had a little lamb" story. I'm speaking of the silent no recognization union of management/white collar/director/salaried employess, etc........
    They are so much more expensive to keep around, especially at the level of numbers that are employeed. What makes them worth so much more than the recognized union blue color workers? Could it be a slow evil of subtlity that they are Gods gift to humanity.

    I worked both sides and stepped down immediately from mgmt because too many sleep in the same bed of roses of lies. They stick together promoting their irreplaceability, the need for much more wages, benefits, stipends, retirement, etc.... then
    their lowly counter parts blue collar labor. They too are labors, just clean hand labor.

    If anyone can't see (or in denial) the us (White collar) against them (Blue collar) mentality, you been sleeping to long Rip Van Wrinkle. WAKEUP!

    Our Country/State is going down the drain due to too many spoiled silver spooned brats in charge. Citizens, we need to hire not just by education, but by common sense, integrity, and hands on experience in real life. We need to dispose of the complicated laws that government/attorneys have established and live by moral and ethical rules (from the bible). You cannot legislate morals and accountability, but needs to be taught.

    I am not saying education is bad as I spent 10 years ojt, school, and continous ed to keep my credentials, but it is embracement of God's Word that determines our destiny, whether temporal and/or eternally.

    Vote ethical and moral family value canidates in, not these liberal new age persons which can destroy our country and family structures.