Obama, Republicans have “very different” plans for this year’s budget

Obama, Republicans have “very different” plans for this year’s budget

Republican Senator Rob Portman (OH) spoke out against the budget the White House sent Congress. He said the Republicans have a “very different” plan for the budget.

“[Obama] could have laid out policies that would put us back on track to balanced budgets and more economic growth,” Portman, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said. “He could have cut waste, made our government more efficient and effective, and done all in his power to ensure that every single dollar of the taxes we pay is spent wisely. But he didn’t, and that’s why this new budget is so disappointing.”

Portman added that the proposed budget “raises taxes by $2.1 trillion,” and creates the “highest income tax burden on American families in our nation’s history.”

It also “includes $1 trillion in new government spending,” and it will never balance out: “not in five years, not in 10 years. Not ever.”

Obama has said that the country “can actually afford to pay for all of this” in spite of the growing national debt.

The Republicans’ “very different” budget plan focuses on efficiency and minimizing the deficit.

“Our budget will cut waste,” Portman said. “It will spend smarter, putting efficiency and effectiveness of government at the top of the agenda. It’ll recognize that you already pay enough in taxes, and instead propose pro-growth policies that create an environment where good paying jobs can thrive. It’ll put us back on the path towards the kind of balanced budgets you have the right to expect.”

The ultimate result of this year’s budget debate remains to be seen.

Enough Seems to Not Be Enough

Enough Seems to Not Be Enough

The real problem in Oregon is that government just doesn’t have enough money.

At least you’d think that’s the problem from listening to Oregon House Democrats.  Never mind that Oregon has the sixth highest gas tax and the 17th highest total automotive taxes and fees among the states.  Disregard the fact that Oregon businesses are hobbled by the effects of the impact of the tax increases imposed by measures 66 and 67.  Apparently this recession was just too much fun for some and we just can’t stand letting the economy expand and grow out of it.

Middle class Oregonians have spent over half a decade laboring under the yoke of a stagnant economy.  After six years of recession – and even longer of Democrat rule – the Governor brags in his fourth inaugural address that we’ve finally gained back the jobs we lost during the Great Recession.  Really?  Is that supposed to be some sort of consolation prize?

What about our crumbling infrastructure?  What “crumbling infrastructure”?  I challenge anyone to drive South through California or just about any other state and let me know when you return – if you return – how the roads compare to Oregon’s.  I’m sure we can improve them, but they’re a far cry from crumbling.

And, if they are in such bad shape, why are we not prioritizing resources and executing simple, necessary fixes with the limited transportation dollars we have?  Instead, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars on studies for a temple to light rail.  When the dust settled, we were left without a bridge and a more than $180 million dollar hole in the wallet.

So, here we are in the winter of 2014-15 and the middle class finally gets a break on the price of gas.  Through circumstances not under the control of anyone in this state, Oregon gas prices are teasing the $2.00 a gallon mark.  Thanks to a bit of squabbling at OPEC and some fracking here and there, everyone – rich, poor, individuals, families, and businesses – has been given a graceful lift.  And now the party in power wants to take it away.

We middle class Oregonians finally get the break that we need to get back on our feet and jump start our economy.  And then some want to take it away.  We middle class Oregonians will remember.

State Representative Mike Nearman (R-Independence) is one of those middle class Oregonians that just loves low gas prices.

Government revenue to be lower than predicted, watchdog group blames governor

Government revenue to be lower than predicted, watchdog group blames governor

SALEM, Ore.–

Revenue for the State of Oregon comes up lower than the government forecasted, and some critics see a trend.

“The state released it’s latest look into it’s crystal revenue forecast ball and once again the amount of money coming into the state or Oregon will be lower than predicted,” according to the Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation.

“It seems this is about all we have come to expect over the last few years as forecast after forecast has been wrong.”

The Foundation urged voters to watch the figures because, they argue, lowballing the forecast is a way employed to cover wasteful spending.

The Governor, however, told state agencies last week that the cuts come as the result of Oregon’s struggling economy.

Gas prices to reverse price trend, dropping substantially

Gas prices to reverse price trend, dropping substantially

Oregon’s gas prices, consistently ranked in the top four in the country, seem to be set for a major price reduction along with all others in the country.

“A national survey says the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has dropped another 9 cents over the last two weeks, to $3.37, bringing the decline to 34 cents over the last 13 weeks,” a recent USA Today report stated.

Reasons for the drop in price include the decreasing price of ethanol and the lowered cost of production for winter gasoline.

The national average gas price has reached a seven-month low, and the Oregon average price has reached a five-month low. States bordering the Pacific Ocean – Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii – have the highest gas prices in the country.

Drivers in all states except for Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Nevada are paying less for gas than they were a year ago.

AAA is also predicting gas price decreases. “Gas prices most likely will average slightly less in 2014 as refineries continue to expand production capacity and increasingly rely on North American crude oil,” a year-end AAA post stated.

“Gas prices should average slightly less in 2014 if everything goes as expected, but most drivers may not even notice because the difference could be relatively small,” AAA spokesman Avery Ash said.

Though gasoline prices are predicted to continue dropping and remain relatively flat for some time, the price paid at the station may not decrease noticeably due to increasing taxes.