Conservative News & Commentary

Apr 18, 2012 — by: T. Jefferson
Categories: Economics, Government

Today's Herald and News featured two articles about how rising tuition might lead to lower enrollment. Then at the same time the school is facing fewer and fewer dollars coming from Salem which means it is having to make tough choices to cut services and some personnel.

This is what the Herald and News and OIT call a budget shortfall.

As mentioned several times in this blog, budget shortfalls are caused by two things — not just one. When looking at budget one must look at the revenues and look at the costs. Both articles in Herald and News focused solely on the revenue side of the equation. The Herald and News was all to eager to report tragic news that state funding is decreasing for OIT and how that translated into higher tuition for students. Students are being told they need to bear a larger burder for their own education. Imagine that?! And yet each article was whisper quiet about ever-increasing rising costs (even when cutting jobs).

How can this be? Here is the dirty little secret at OIT: all faculty and staff are state employees. This means they all are part of the Oregon State Pension Fund (PERS), and get lavish health care options. Moreover, there was no wage freeze at OIT. Don't you worry, everyone got their scheduled increase according to plan. Come hell or high-water, state employees are due their annual pay increases no matter what the economic conditions that surround them.

So the next time you hear about the woes of our beloved school on the hill, remember that these are fake tears. When we know OIT Is getting serious is when they actually cut costs and stop them from increasing. Just because someone served another year is no reason in the world to pay them more money. This is the departure from reality that no one wants to talk about.

Time to start talking. OIT employees, we dare you to come join the rest of us, in the real world, who have lost our jobs or don't get a raise when revenues decrease. Yeah, I didn't think you would. 


  1. Empty Pool ~ Apr. 19, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    You wrote: "Both articles in Herald and News focused solely on the revenue side of the equation." I'm not against much of your criticism, but your incorrect biases trouble me. The article clearly talked about the savings from cutting the swimming pool and associated costs and labor. Additionally, many OIT employees have furlough days, which equates to a pay cut (I don't know if this only covers the hourly workers). As I suspect you know, the inflationary policies of the federal government are one of the biggest challenges to our economy. Arguing against pay raises as a solution to inflation just pushes the middle class towards the lower class, and won't fix the problem. It seems to me that much of the 'conservative' influenced local economic argument amounts to a self-inforced austerity which would impoverish our county more (placing the most burden on low-income people) while not touching the real problems. Look upstream instead of down, that's my advice. I sinceredly hope OIT's real secret isn't that they choose to abandon Klamath Falls and move totally to Wilsonville due to the boarded-up, backwater atmosphere here. It may be better for OIT, and perhaps you'd smugly be happy to be rid of those State employees, but a vacant campus would make Gottschalks look like a storage unit in comparison. I sure hope they get that pool running again! #
  2. P. Henry ~ Apr. 19, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    Hi Mr. Pool. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment. The problem I was trying to emphasize is that pay raises shouldn't happen just because the calendar year changes, but that is exactly how government works. That is an unsustainable model by any measure. And now we are at that point where this model is breaking and the expectation is to go to the taxpayer and increase rates or make students pay more. Someone else, anyone else needs to pony up the money to keep the unsustainable model in place of so that ever increasing state employee costs (wages plus benefits plus retirement) can continue to rise and rise and rise. P. Henry #

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