by CalWatchdog Staff | May 24, 2013 11:05 am
May 24, 2013
By John Seiler
Governments tell us we need to pay high taxes to them so they can protect us from criminals. And one of the most liberal Democratic areas in the country is Oregon. It’s a heavily Blue state, last voting GOP back in 1984 when Ronald Reagan won every state except Minnesota. It’s the left-most member of the Left Coast.
In the Beaver State, all major political positions are liberal Democratic: governor, both houses of the state legislatures, both U.S. senators, and the majority of U.S. House members.
In the new “Rich States, Poor States” ranking by the American Legislative Exchange Council of how big government is, Oregon ranked 7th biggest government of the 50 states. So they’re no slouches in providing a lot of government to protect and serve us.
But this just happened:
JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. (CBS Seattle) — An Oregon woman was told by a 911 dispatcher that authorities wouldn’t be able be able to help her as her ex-boyfriend broke into her place because of budget cuts.
Oregon Public Radio reports that an unidentified woman called 911 during a weekend in August 2012 while Michael Bellah was breaking into her place. Her call was forwarded to Oregon State Police because of lay-offs at the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office only allows the department to be open Monday through Friday.
“Uh, I don’t have anybody to send out there,” the 911 dispatcher told the woman. “You know, obviously, if he comes inside the residence and assaults you, can you ask him to go away? Do you know if he’s intoxicated or anything?”
Incredible. Remember, this is high-tax, liberal Oregon. And if women can’t get government protection from rapists, can the women at least get a refund of the tax money they paid for promised protection that never materialized?
So, are Oregon’s budget problems because liberal Democrats, who run the state, are too stingy with taxation? No. You probably already guessed why the state has budget problems and can’t protect defenseless women against rapists. Walter Russell Mead explains:
Oregon Catches Pension Bug
Yet another state is preparing for a major hit by the pension storm. Oregon’s pension fund for public employees is now in a $16 billion hole caused by the failure of its investments to come anywhere close to the 8 percent rate of return the state was predicting. Now lawmakers are forced to choose between contributing billions of taxpayer dollars to close the pension gap or fully funding the state’s school system.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has the details on exactly how the state got itself into this mess. The main culprit, as usual, is a set of overly generous benefits that actually allowed some state employees to earn more in retirement than they did during their working days:
— Workers hired before 1996 get a guaranteed annual return on their account of 8 percent, regardless of the actual performance of financial markets. In some years when market returns exceeded 8 percent, the entire growth amount was credited to member accounts — as much as 21 percent in one year. As a result, workers shared in the fruits of economic booms without losing out during busts.
— Some retiring workers can choose an option known as the “money match,” in which the pension fund doubles the money in a retiree’s account and converts it to an annuity. With accounts swollen by generous credits of investment returns, the option can result in a substantial retirement benefit.
It’s the same old story. Government taxes us for “services” it can’t provide because our tax dollars actually are going to retirees living it up at our expense.
We’d be better off just getting rid of government entirely and paying for services, including private police protection, ourselves.
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