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by Senator Doug Whitsett 3/30/10

Our progressive democratic government is simply out of control at all levels. Their rapidly expanding entitlement programs are a Ponzi scheme that, if not reined-in, will bleed this nation dry.

Those in charge are exhibiting near complete disregard for our state and our federal constitutions. They are displaying unreserved indifference to the will of the people that they were elected to represent. They have even begun to label those of us who disagree with or abhor their actions as dissidents. Some are suggesting that we may be right wing terrorists. Others speculate that we may be racists.

They appear to be unable to comprehend that the people they represent are genuinely concerned with their uncontrolled and unsustainable spending that is bankrupting our states and our nation. They deny that we should be upset that in the face of the worst recession since the 1930’s our federal, state, and local governments continue to levy new and expanded taxes and fees that further oppress our economies. They dismiss our concerns that we have no way to pay for the expanded entitlements they insist on creating .They persist in defending the stifling, job killing regulations that have caused the near destruction of our private sector economy. They maintain and accelerate their absurd plans to replace earth’s fossil fuel driven economy with non-nuclear renewable energy as well as their claims that the fundamental change can be accomplished without creating world-wide poverty, hunger and misery. They continue to assure us that regulation of everything that moves or breathes is required to save our environment even though the United States’ environment is second to no place on earth. They deny the reality that only wealthy nations can afford to invest in protection of the environment.

Only private sector wealth can create the family wage jobs that generate the tax revenue required to support government services. We all know that public sector jobs are not sustainable without that private sector source of tax revenue. Yet they continue to escalate their effort to redistribute America’s rapidly diminishing private sector wealth. Wealth cannot be created by the government taking from those who work to give to those who will not work. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

The progressive democrats do not appear to comprehend that it is their own actions that are systematically destroying the economic wealth and the moral fiber of this great nation. Their celebration of the recently passed ObamaCare is a classic example of their lack of economic understanding.

That bill effectively nationalizes one sixth of the United States economy, purportedly to save our economy large sums of money. However, the ink on Obama’s signature was barely dry before publicly owned companies began to file sharply reduced earnings projections that are the direct result of provisions of the bill. Those earnings reductions can only result in either increased consumer prices or reduced job opportunities. The companies are required by the Security and Exchange Commission to promptly file changes in earnings projections under penalty of fines and prosecution. In the classic “shoot the messenger” response, the Congressional progressive democrats are now summoning these corporate leaders to committee hearings to explain the audacity of their actions.

The fact of the matter is that we the people have allowed our government to become our master rather than our servant. And government has not become a good master; rather, it has become more like an abusive dog owner.

Picture an owner that uses a chain to choke their dog nearly to death, and then expects, and receives, the dog’s gratitude and affection when that pressure is temporarily released. Consider in your mind the image of that dog licking the hand of the abuser and groveling at their feet.

How does that image materially differ from what our government is now doing to its citizens? Moreover, how does the image differ from that which existed when our founding fathers pledged their wealth, their sacred honor and their lives to throw off King Georges shackles?

Sir Winston Churchill said it best:

If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when victory is sure, and not too costly; you may come to the moment, when you will have to fight with all odds against you; when you have only a precarious chance of survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is not hope of victory at all, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves”

After the end of World War II, Winston Churchill was voted out of office by progressive socialists that promised the people tax funded universal health care, and a cradle to grave welfare state. Their campaign slogan read “Let us face the future”. It could just as well have read “Change you can believe in

That was the tipping point from which Great Britain has never recovered. That once great empire has been reduced to an island nation with little economic global relevance.

 I believe that our nation has arrived at a similar tipping point. To continue on the current path will result in the descent into socialism. Historically, all socialist states have failed, and most have eventually fallen into communist dictatorships.

The time for we the people to take back our government is here, today. We must not be intimidated. We must speak out and demand to be heard. We must build momentum toward the November elections.

          This time, failure is not an option. We must all work together for the common purpose of restoring a strong, fiscal conservative America.



The 2009 Oregon stimulus has spent a little more than $93 million of borrowed money on deferred maintenance projects. The good news is that a number of needed improvement projects have been completed. The bad news is that  the cost of  projects like reroofing an abandoned building, painting, moss removal, and replacing light bulbs will be amortized over twenty years.

The annual debt service cost for the $93 million spent to date will be about $7 million and will total more than $140 million over twenty years. Using federal job creation accounting standards, the state stimulus has created about 600 jobs according to a recent Oregonian article.  The cost of creating a single job for a single year appears to exceed $235,000 over the twenty year debt service of the bonds.

The 2009 federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has invested more than $1.5 billion in Oregon and more than $200 million in the five counties in Senate District 28. That borrowed money has been spent almost entirely on five entitlement programs.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) has been increased by $80 per month for a family of four and has been extended to an additional 90,000 Oregonians. More than 680,000 Oregonians were receiving food stamps in January 2010.

More than 675,000 elderly and disabled Oregonians received a one-time payment of $250 to supplement Social Security, Supplementary Security Income, Railroad Retirement or disabled veterans benefits. The total payout was about $169 million.

Unemployment Insurance benefits have been extended since 2008 through the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Those benefits were due to expire this month but were recently extended yet again.  A second unemployment benefit increased the monthly payment by $25 per month.  More than 385,000 Oregonians have benefited from these programs funded by an increase in the Unemployment Insurance payroll deduction.

Finally, the Making Work Pay credit provides up to an $800 tax credit for a joint filing couple or up to $400 for a single filer for both the 2009 and the 2010 tax year. The 6.2% credit is paid in each paycheck. The credit is refundable for those whose tax burden is less than the total tax credit.

          The rational for ARRA job creation is that spending this entitlement money in the economy will result in job retention and new job creation. Although models have been created to estimate the stimulus job creation, the federal government has not determined a statistically confident method to calculate and measure how many jobs the ARRA spending has affected.

The ARRA entitlement spending has created a welcomed safety net for Oregon’s many unemployed and underemployed citizens. However, for each month that the ARRA entitlements have been available, more than 10,000 additional Oregonians have joined the ranks of the 300,000 unemployed Oregon workers. The program has done little to create the permanent private sector jobs necessary to drive a meaningful economic recovery. Private sector job creation requires investment in the private sector economy. That investment requires both capital and confidence. Both are sorely lacking under our current governance.



Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) currently has an unfunded liability of about $13 billion. Seventy percent of PERS revenue comes from investment income while the other 30% comes from employer and employee cash contributions. The PERS funding formula is based on the assumption that investment earnings will average a return of 8%. This assumption is made by the Oregon Investment Board even though the historical investment earnings over the past twenty years have only averaged about 4 ½%.

A March 22nd Wall Street Journal article by The American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew Biggs concisely states the immensity of the future PERS liability. He points out that $414.60 would need to be invested in twenty year United States Treasury bonds yielding 4 ½ % interest to be certain to be able to pay each $1,000 needed for PERS benefits in 2030.

 Alternatively, $214.50 could be invested in equities accompanied by “put options” costing $200.80 that would guarantee that PERS could sell the equities for no less than $1,000 in 2030. The total investment cost of this alternative is $415.30.

A third option is to simply invest $214.50 in equities and hope that the “market holds” for twenty years at an average 8% return on investment. Unfortunately, this is the speculative option that the Oregon Investment Board has chosen for PERS to invest the public employees’ retirement funds. In the likely event that investment earnings do not average 8% over the next twenty years, the Oregon taxpayer will be responsible for the balance because vested PERS benefits are constitutionally guaranteed in Oregon

By 2015 the PERS employer taxpayer contributions will be an unsustainable 30% to 35% of payroll even in the event that investment earnings do average eight percent. Taxpayer contribution will be much more oppressive than that if investment earnings do not average the predicted eight percent.

Fiscal conservatives have been sounding the alarm on this ticking financial time bomb since PERS reform was last addressed in 2003. Your progressive democrat legislative leadership has refused to even address the impending PERS financial collapse.

Please remember, if we do not stand up for rural Oregon no one will.


Best regards,



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