Sal Peralta - Don't circle PERS wagons

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The PERS issue is interesting. The Legislature will do nothing but make a show that will look like they are doing something about PERS. The real push will be an attempt to raise taxes to cover the PERS costs.

The real problem is that PERS is now affecting both ends of the membership. Tier II (1995)and OPSRP (2003) members are paying the price for the extravagance of Tier I retirees who are happy to receive as much as they can regardless of the effect.

Don Dix

"and lobbyists representing unions hold dominant positions in state government."

Now there's a good place to start. If they are 'representing' a union, then that's their actual job. Some of those are not elected positions, so kick their entitled butt out the door. If they want to represent the union, then let the union care for them, not us.

Don Dix

The governor may have written the 'right prescription' (for Oregon), but when the 'patient' (public employee unions) refuses the treatment (and they will), who gets left with the bill? Not the governor, not the unions, but once again the taxpayers.

The only avenue out of this mess is to boot the union out of policy-making positions and Demo pockets. Otherwise, nothing will change but the ever-increasing amount of PERS liability to taxpayers.


That is the "stickler". In normal times the taxpayer (mostly Democrats) would be willing to go along with union/Democratic persuasion. In this economic era, I don't think the taxpayers are eager to fund the excesses of PERS. The people who will suffer most are Oregon students, those who need public services and Tier II and OPSRP employees who will take the brunt of reforms.

So, what is the end game? Our "leaders" don't have a clue, but it won't be good.

Don Dix


As a former Demo legislative candidate, you know the unions will do anything to protect their gold mine. It has never been about fairness, and with the players all on one side (PERS recipients), it's highly unlikely to expect real reform.

Sal Peralta

Don, yes there is reason to be skeptical, but I was pleasantly surprised to read that the co-chairs initial budget, released yesterday, includes about $470 million in PERS cost containment along the lines proposed by the Governor. They did not go as far as I would have preferred,but they went farther than I expected.


Only direct public pressure on all legislators, not just the R in our district, will act as a counterbalance to the influence of both the unions and the PERS beneficiaries. Despite the money the former invests in the legislature and the voting bloc represented by the latter, there remains a majority of Oregonians who will be increasingly, painfully affected by the cuts in services and schools that will result. We simply have to act more like voters and less like bystanders and start demanding more concrete action.
Everyone in the legislature can see the math problem, it's not like they don't know what has to be done, they just need to know voters have their back - or not - if they side with their contributors and not their constituents.

Don Dix

B.Muse -- The cuts to services and schools could come from many areas. The state chooses to cut the programs that get the most notice and effect the most people (so next time they ask for more taxes, fees, etc., those previously cut programs can be used as examples to increase the budget).

And if one could actually find a politician that represented the voters (and not special interests) -- you're looking a a one-termer, for sure.

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