There’s a path forward to protect our schools, health care, and the critical programs that keep our communities safe and healthy.
This morning, the chief budget writers of the Oregon legislature released their proposal for how to fund schools, health care, and public safety over the next two years.
While the co-chairs of the Joint Ways and Means Committee have recognized that it’s critical to put more money into the things that matter most—K-12 classrooms, senior care, and help for struggling families—there’s still much more to be done to make sure the budget isn’t balanced solely on the backs of the middle class.
There’s a way to stop cuts to things that matter most, protect retired seniors, and make sure large corporations and the wealthy are paying their fair share.
In order to protect the priorities that all Oregonians value, we’ve identified more than $700 million that can be used now to hire back teachers, lower class sizes, protect senior health care, and ensure that critical services are there for families when they need them.
Our proposals include $278 million in government savings, nearly $300 million by capping tax breaks for wealthy households, and using some reserve funds now.
By cutting tax giveaways to the rich, using tax dollars efficiently, and utilizing some reserve funds now, we can save hundreds of millions of dollars that could instead be spent protecting our priorities: education, health care, and public safety.
In contrast, the proposal released today balances the budget on the backs of middle class families and retired low-income seniors on fixed incomes. The legislative budget proposal doesn’t require a single dime more from big corporations or the rich, who’ve continued to prosper even through the ongoing economic recession.
Their budget also does nothing to go after the Wall Street fraudsters who are responsible for the economic meltdown. And their budget leaves nearly $600 million in available funds sitting in a bank account, rather than being used to protect classrooms and critical services.