Saturday, July 01, 2006

McIntire: lying asshole (still)

It would seem those factions working against Don McIntire's TABOR initiative have successfully managed to give the acronymn a negative with the public. There's enough information out there on the mess it created in Colorado to keep the disaster of TABOR in the public mindset.

This puts McIntire in the unsavory position of having to lie about his initiative.

A rainy day fund is no doubt a popular idea in Oregon. I think its well overdue.

If Don McIntire decides he wants to put a rainy day fund initiative on the ballot-I'll personally carry the petition sheets and gather signatures. And I'll do it for free.

But not only is there no rainy day fund, according to the Oregon Center for Public Policy, McIntire's TABOR makes it harder for the legislature to create a rainy day fund:

Initiative Petition (IP) 6 would place an arbitrary spending growth scheme in Oregon’s constitution. Although proponents refer to it as the “rainy day amendment,” IP 6 does not create a rainy day fund. By including unemployment insurance in the scheme, IP 6 would make recessions worse and undermine any rainy day fund that the Legislature may later create.

Had IP 6 been in effect in Oregon during the last recession:

*Four out of every five dollars of the increase in spending promised under the limit would have been spent on unemployment benefits, forcing schools, health care, and other public services to shoulder deeper cuts.

*State services for which demand rises in recessions, such as the Oregon Health Plan, would have been incapable of keeping up with rising needs.

These cuts would have happened even if Oregon also had a rainy day fund, because unemployment spending uses most of the allowable increase, and spending from a rainy day fund is also limited by the IP 6 TABOR scheme

This is one of the inherent problems with TABOR. It uses a simplistic formula and doesn't take demographics into account. With the state being responsible for prisons, schools, unemployment insurance, etc, there is no accounting for demographics. Increased prison populations and/or increases of elderly population are a huge factor in state budgets. TABOR doesn't allow for it.

McIntire's TABOR spending trap is spending growth based on a population growth plus inflation formula. Again, very simple and seemingly straight forward. But there is also no consideration for good economic performance in the state. When the economy does well, its extremely difficult for the state to reinvest in things that had been cut during a recession under TABOR. The formula doesn't allow for it.

For example, if the state had to cut the Department of Transportation budget during a recession, when the recession ends TABOR doesn't allow for that money to go back into the budget. The formula doesn't account for the economic recovery. So as Colorado discovered--bridges and roads end up in a disastrous state of disrepair.

Lying about what TABOR is the only way McIntire can possibly get this thing on the ballot.