I was first elected to the legislature in 2002, yet I am still surprised by the political “blame game” that occurs at the end of most Legislative Sessions. [To see a brief YouTube on this subject, click here.]
Last week, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber spoke to the House Republicans and requested an additional $275 million in tax increases. He promised that if Republicans joined the Democrats in voting for tax increases the additional revenue would enable the legislature to help publicly funded K-12 schools, community colleges, universities and youth mental health programs. In other words, “it’s for the kids.”
I reminded the Governor that:
- The Democrats control the spending priorities and drafted the State Budget;
- There is a $1.91 billion (12%) increase in the 2013-15 Budget over the current one; and
- If he’s only asking for less than 2% of the $16.5 billion State Budget, then surely he could find such a small amount in the State Budget “for the kids,” without raising taxes on Oregonians.
I also reminded the Governor that, notwithstanding the $1.9 billion of additional revenue, he and his party are once again holding the K-12 school budget hostage, and acting like a tax increase is required to fund it. It’s an obvious set-up. If the Republicans fail to agree to the proposed tax increases, the Democrats will, once again, play the “blame-game,” and accuse Republicans of neglecting children, hating schools and abandoning seniors. This is a transparent and unfortunate case of playing political games instead of focusing on actually helping the kids and other Oregonians. (Click here to read entire article)
– Oregon Representative Dennis Richardson
Lane Solutions Replies:
Rep. Richardson couldn’t be more correct. Like Martha and the Vandellas sang, this time for the Democrats there’s “Nowhere to Run to Nowhere to hide.” They’re in charge of the Oregon House, Senate and Governor’s office. They can spend where and when they want to. They can spend every cent “For the kids.” But they chose to spend it to subsidize health insurance for families of four making up to $94,000/year. After all – unlike kids, these moms and dads will vote.
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