Monday, July 24, 2006

The Saxton Follies

Ron Saxton's hard charge to the right goes on, apparently unabated by the fact that rightwing conservatives don't win statewide office in Oregon:

But Saxton says he would bargain aggressively with state worker unions to get concessions on salaries and health benefits if workers want to keep their richer pension plans. And he says he would look at privatizing government services when public personnel costs are significantly higher than in the private sector.

So state workers are supposed to give up salary and health benefits in order to get the retirement they were promised? People who work for state government aren't worth less than those that are in the private sector. But that's exactly what Saxton intimates here. As if teachers and firefighters aren't quite up to the calibre of say a person who makes microprocessors for a living.

And since when did the Bush plan of privatization become something Oregonians are looking for? At the federal level we've watched the disastrous Bush Administration privatize sectors of the military and other parts of government, only to find incompetence and massive waste/fraud by contractors.

Those advising and supporting Saxton say that their ideas appeal to those who find government expensive and wasteful. I'm curious if those same backers could write a list of 10 state government programs that are wasting money or are unnecssary. Or that could be better managed through privatization.

Somehow I doubt it.

Platitudes are how conservatives get by politically these days. Just looking at what's gone on at the federal level--its pretty obvious that conservatism has no place running government.