Pajamas Media » Red States, Including the ‘Newly-Reds,’ Excel at Job Growth


Now that state employment information for the first half of 2011 is available, one can’t help but notice which states are up, as well as a particularly telling example of one which is down.

Though admittedly the comparison isn’t apples to apples, it’s worth noting that of the 757,000 seasonally adjusted jobs added in the overall economy this year from January through June, the ten states with the highest percentage employment growth were responsible for well over half, or 390,000 of them, even though they only have about 20% of the nation’s population:

What’s more, as the economy by all accounts decelerated in May and June, the ten states above stayed relatively strong. While the country as a whole gained only 43,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in those two months, they added over 90,000. Democrats who accuse Republicans of wanting the economy to tank, please note: If it weren’t for these ten states, we might already be in the midst of another recession instead of possibly heading towards one, as Goldman Sachs and others have recently asserted.

Six of the ten (Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming) have been conservative strongholds for decades. Montana, though its governor and two senators are currently Democrats, has been a red state in all but one presidential election since 1972. The final three highlighted above — Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin — were previously governed by Democrats who were replaced with GOP governors this year. All three are in the early stages of what may be remarkable turnarounds. I call them “the newly-reds.”

Led by Governor John Kasich, Ohio’s January-June seasonally adjusted jobs pickup is the Buckeye State’s best performance since 1994. Not coincidentally, that’s about when then-Governor George Voinovich stopped being even sort of conservative. Regardless of the party in charge, Ohio was governed like a blue state until Kasich came along. Even more impressive, in terms of what has actually occurred (i.e., the not seasonally adjusted figures), the state has added just over 200,000 private-sector jobs in the past five months, the best February-June total since 1999, when the national economy, largely due to Kasich’s previous work on the federal budget as a congressman, was far stronger.

In March, Kasich and the General Assembly tentatively won a bitter battle with the state’s public-sector unions and passed “SB5.” As I noted several weeks ago, SB5 prohibits public employee strikes, limits the subjects of collective bargaining, requires public employees to pay 15% of their health insurance costs, and prohibits forced union “contributions” by nonunion public workers. In June, the governor signed a two-year budget which closed a projected $8 billion deficit dumped on the state by predecessor Ted Strickland without raising taxes and while keeping all-funds spending virtually flat. The Buckeye State reaped an almost immediate reward: Standard & Poor’s, which had downgraded the state’s debt rating just as Strickland departed in January, revised it to “stable” shortly after the budget’s passage.

The SB5 victory just noted is tentative because opponents have succeeded in getting a repeal initiative on the November ballot. It may not be an exaggeration to say that the state’s nascent recovery hangs in the balance.

Michigan’s performance is a bit less impressive, principally because it still has so far to go. Wolverine State employment contracted by over 600,000 on Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm’s watch, so one shouldn’t be too impressed with the improvements achieved just yet. Nevertheless, Republican Rick Snyder, who succeeded Granholm, seems to have put a foundation in place for continued employment progress. In stark contrast to recent contentious budget battles, the state created an atmosphere of relative certainty by passing a budget four months ahead of time. Most notably, it features “a big reduction in business taxes,” which consumers end up paying anyway, and “an almost equal increase in income taxes.”

Then there’s Wisconsin. Has any state’s governor ever been vilified as severely and viciously as Scott Walker during his battle with the state’s public-sector unions earlier this year? Walker won’t get a thank-you card from them any time soon, but he should, because the alternative was massive government layoffs, most of which, as the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack has noted, have been avoided:

Walker’s budget repair bill, known as Act 10, is working just as he promised. To make up for a $2.8 billion deficit without raising taxes, state aid to school districts (the largest budget line) was reduced by $830 million. Act 10, Walker said, would give districts “the tools” needed to make up for the lost money as fairly as possible.

… Now that the law is in effect, where are the horror stories of massive layoffs and schools shutting down? They don’t exist — except in a couple of districts where collective bargaining agreements, inked before the budget repair bill was introduced, remain in effect.

McCormack goes on to explain that schools in Milwaukee and Kenosha have each laid off hundreds of teachers because those districts’ unions “cleverly” concluded contracts which avoided the employee health care and pension contributions contained in Walker’s budget repair bill. Teachers who have lost their jobs might be questioning union leaders’ “wisdom.” Meanwhile, the state’s employment pickup this year is more than triple that seen under Democrat Jim Doyle during all of 2010.

As to poorly performing states, the booby prize goes to Connecticut, which after eking out small early gains has lost 9,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in the past two months. Only a fool would believe that this result has nothing to do with Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy’s poor public policy choices since he took office this year.

Malloy pushed billions of dollars of tax increases through the Nutmeg State’s legislature with promises that he would rein in spending in negotiations with the state’s unions. Fat chance of that. As of when this column was written, the unions, in the midst of a 20-year contract expiring in 2017 (you read that right), still hadn’t budged, even though because of their intransigence Malloy had to lay off over 6,500 state employees earlier this month.

Imagine that. A Democratic Party politician promises he’ll rein in spending after he gets his “needed” tax increases, and then fails in his followthrough. We’ve heard that tune far too many times, including now from President Obama and Democrats in Washington. Far too often in the past, spendaholic Dems have been accompanied off the cliff by go-along, get-along Republicans. Governors Kasich, Snyder, and especially Walker have shown that the “newly-reds” have a better way.

Part III: Maryland County Abolishes Agenda 21 – Now It’s Your Turn «

By James Simpson, Special Reprint Permission

The November elections marked a sea change in the political landscape at every level of government nationwide. Right now, all eyes are focused on the Wisconsin standoff between Governor Scott Walker and the public employee unions. But under the radar, completely overlooked by the mass media, is the unprecedented move recently taken by newly-elected Carroll County, Maryland Commissioners Richard Rothschild, Robin FrazierHaven Shoemaker, Dave Roush and Doug Howard, who abolished the County’s Office of Sustainability. They then voted unanimously to drop out of the UN’s International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). They are the first governmental organization to do so.

For those unfamiliar with the sustainable development agenda, this might not seem like much, but it is huge. If you have been following my recent series on the subject, you will know that local Sustainability offices, under the auspices of the ICLEI’s Local Governments for Sustainability, are the tiny, visible tip of the monstrous Agenda 21 sustainable development iceberg, the ultimate goal of which is to transform American society from the bottom up into a socialist ward of UN global governance. As of today, there are approximately 600 local governments in the US who have signed on to this Trojan Horse.

Minus one.

All the commissioners are to be commended for this bold decision. Predictably, the left is up in arms. The commissioners have already been challenged to a debate on their decision and the other side wants to bring in heavy hitters from the EPA and the Maryland Department of the Environment in an attempt to discredit the commission’s earth shattering (figuratively) move.

I think the commissioners took some skin.

Richard Rothschild led the charge. He campaigned on this issue, framing it, appropriately, as a matter of private property rights. In an American Thinker article he co-wrote last summer with Scott Strzelczyk, he explained that: “Sustainability has less to do with the environment, and everything to do with economics.  It is an attack on capitalism, and an attack on America’s middle class lifestyle.”

Rich recently discussed Agenda 21 in a radio address. Listen here. This is the kind of leadership that has been sorely lacking at all levels of government and hopefully his example and that of his fellow commissioners will embolden more such individuals to step forward before it is too late.  The biodiversity map required by AGENDA 21 follows:

Wildlands Map as Envisioned by UN Agenda 21

Photo: Dr. Michael Coffman

Following the election, Carroll County’s sustainability director saw the writing on the wall and opted for early retirement. He then began taking pot shots at the new commissioners in the local paper. After being party to the biggest attempted land grab in the county’s history under the “Smart Growth” banner, this clown had the gall to wonder aloud how anyone could believe a UN planning document marketed as “Smart Growth” could affect Carroll County. I have a suggestion for him: read the documents.

Rich responded to these attacks with an in-depth explanation of Sustainable Development published in the local paper:

Sustainability invokes government power to enforce activists’ views of environmentalism. They want to replace farmers’, ranchers’ and other landowners’ concept of stewardship with government-centric control. It merges environmentalism and socialism to expand government into every aspect of our lives, including land use, food production, housing, transportation, manufacturing, energy rationing and even health care.

He identifies the ICLEI for what it really is:

…an organization with extreme beliefs on global warming that promotes United Nations’ big-government socio-economic policies. The UN Millennium Papers caution activists not to mention the UN Agenda because of potential American backlash, and instruct, “So, we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management, or smart growth.”

Rich cites egregious examples of “sustainability” in practice:

Sustainability disciples use euphemistic terms like “environmental justice,” and collude with government to enforce oppressive regulations at any cost. Don’t believe me? Google “EPA TMDL lawsuits” and see the list of activists that sue the EPA and obtain federal court opinions that embolden oppressive regulations.

Why does the EPA advertise these lawsuits on its website? Ironically, every time the EPA loses to an environmental group, it grows stronger as courts direct the EPA to enforce. The courts have become unwitting accomplices to government overreach. One Maryland county faces $1.8 billion in regulatory mandates, possibly enough to push them to the brink of insolvency.

In another bid for expansion, government auctions off imaginary carbon credits. The 2008 northeast auction raised $600 million in hidden taxes that are passed on to struggling families through higher utility costs.

The words “sustainable development” deceitfully suggest environmental conservation, and people who focus on the slogans without reading the fine print come up with simplistic conclusions like “it’s all about the environment.” In reality, Agenda-21 based sustainability programs seek government control of land, labor and capital in order to promote “social justice”.

As documented in Part I of this series, buzzwords for socialism like “social justice,” “collective,” “equity,” and “redistribution,” are used throughout Agenda 21 texts. If you study the documents that spawned Agenda 21, most formulated by prominent socialist leaders from around the world, it is clear that their key concerns are: 1. abolishing private property and redistributing it according to socialist goals worldwide, and 2. herding humans into small urban communities where, stripped of freedom and mobility, we will live and work according to government diktat.

For example, the Millennium Project calls for a global tax on all countries to provide monies for developing and third world countries. “Environmental sustainability” is only one of eight Millennium Development Goals. The rest are a laundry list of anti-poverty and health programs; laudable goals maybe, but nothing to do with Chesapeake Bay pollution to say the least. Furthermore, these countries have received billions in aid from the U.S. and elsewhere for decades, but because they are usually run by corrupt dictators of one form or another, such aid serves only to prop them up, thereby perpetuating the problem rather than solving it. But they’re socialists, so it’s okay.

More to the point, Dr. Michael Coffman’s famous Agenda 21 “Wildlands” map reveals the endgame of Agenda 21:

Agenda 21 is being implemented throughout the U.S., as the quiet work of the ICLEI finds its way into state law and county code. This video reveals how it was pushed in rural Richland County, South Carolina, sold as a “Comprehensive Plan” called “Vision 20/20”.  Explained by state legislator Joe Neal – a Democrat – the video provides a diagram chillingly similar to the Wildlands map, limiting development to small urban centers and leaving rural communities to die on the vine.

If rep. Neal’s sincere appeal in this four minute video doesn’t convince you, his full two hour presentation is available here.

The Comprehensive Plan stalled in 2003 due to citizen resistance but passed in 2009. It calls for creation of “Urban Villages… in contrast with suburban sprawl and inefficient land use.” Note the negative associations with “suburban sprawl.” They will fix that.

The Plan directs that, “Throughout the suburban areas infill development (emphasis added) should be a focus in residential, commercial and industrial areas, complementing and connecting the existing sprawl pattern. Housing should be varied at 4-8 units per acre… Underutilized commercial strips and big-box retail parcels can be divided and redeveloped into smaller blocks with street extensions and pedestrian-friendly designs.”

So if you moved to the suburbs to get some room, avoid urban crime and get better schooling for your kids, forget it. They’re going to tell you how and where to live, because they deem single family suburban homes “unsustainable”. The Richland County plan is similar to the description for “20 Minute Neighborhoods” advocated by the Mayor of Portland, Oregon. The official map looks eerily similar to Dr. Coffman’s.

The state of Virginia has gone all out in a similar effort. Virginia House Bill 3202, signed into law by Democrat governor Tim Kaine in 2007 with bi-partisan support, requires 67 counties and cities to create “Urban Development Areas” based on decennial population growth criteria. The UDAs must be able to accommodate that growth and must include features like “pedestrian friendly” design, mixed use housing and minimum housing densities that presume an urban landscapeand encourage low-income subsidized housing. The buzzwords change, but the description is virtually identical to Richland County, South Carolina, Portland, Oregon, and countless other towns throughout America.

The despotic nature of these mandates undermines the entire concept of private property, a key goal stated prominently in Agenda 21 documents. It removes decision making latitude from both property owners and local governments, and ruins property values, while completely changing the complexion and character of rural counties. Add to this the sheer lunacy of requiring vast new housing projects when mortgage foreclosures are just beginning to recover from all time high rates. Construction companies like the guaranteed business these mandates insure, a big reason why they enjoy bi-partisan support. But at what cost to our communities, our Constitution, our very way of life?

Finally, there is another even more pernicious factor that may underline politicians’ motivations to support this wholesale assault on private property. UDAs are supposed to accommodate ten to twenty years of population growth within each designated county. According to the Census Bureau, between 1990 and 2010, Virginia’s population grew by about 2 million people. Over 25 percent of that population growth was due to an influx of Hispanics. The Hispanic population represented a mere 3 percent of Virginia’s population in 1990, but since then has grown 300 percent, from 160,000 people to 632,000!

In some cases, Hispanic population growth dwarfs all else. In Prince William County for example, in 1990 the Hispanic population was a modest 4 percent of the population: 9,662 people. Today it stands at 81,460, accounting for almost 40 percent of total population growth in the county! Between 2000 and 2010 Chesterfield County grew by 56,000 people. Of that total, 15,247, almost 30 percent, were Hispanic. For comparison, the white population only increased by 16,507 people. Whites represented 77 percent of the total population in 2000, Hispanics only 3 percent. The Hispanic population growth rate in Chesterfield County between 1990 and 2010 was over 800 percent.

These growth rates cannot be accounted for by births. Nationwide, the Hispanic population has grown by about 25 million since 1990. There are at least 12 million illegals in the U.S. currently, mostly Hispanics. So at a minimum, about half of the growth rate in the U.S. Hispanic population since 1990 is due to illegals.

By demanding UDAs in counties with high population growth rates, the Virginialegislature is pandering to illegal immigrants. Doing so will change not only the character, but the voting preferences of its rural counties. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who will get the majority of those votes if the Democrats manage to pass an amnesty law. With the various vote fraud strategies being employed by leftists nationwide, amnesty may not even be necessary. If they succeed here, redistricting will become irrelevant.

This is another covert strategy embedded in Agenda 21, perhaps the most dangerous of all, that has so far flown completely under the radar. Although Carroll County’s actions were not related to illegal immigration, the threat of dense low-income urbanized development around their rural towns in order to promote “social equity” was a factor.

Rothschild said, “They talk about sustainability promoting ‘healthier and better balanced’ neighborhoods. But “healthy and better balanced” in the sustainable development context means equally distributed. The practical result is that the county is burdened with people with no pattern of personal responsibility, people who do not share the values of the community, who have done nothing to contribute to its character or development and thus no vested interest, all for the sake of ‘equity.’ The true underlying purpose, however, is to shift voting patterns from right to left.”

The Carroll County commissioners have taken a bold step in publicly calling out the ICLEI and Agenda 21, but their work has just begun. “We have our own rural agricultural diversity and it is on the endangered species list.” Rothschild quipped.

This is an issue custom made for Tea Parties. Agenda 21 is being implemented at the state and local level, where citizen activists have the most leverage. Tea Parties nationwide need to get behind this effort and bring the dangers of Agenda 21-based planning dogma to the attention of state and local governments everywhere. It is critical to educate, support and encourage sympathetic legislators at all levels of government and work furiously to oust legislators and bureaucrats who, for whatever reason, refuse to abandon this evil agenda.

Businessman and freelance writer James Simpson is a former Office of Management and Budget (White House budget office) economist and budget analyst…

If you missed Part II, find it here:

If you missed Part I, find in here:


Rep. Boswell Shooting – Gun Owners Of America


Thursday, 21 July 2011 09:18

Written by Erich Pratt

Another Story for the Hypocrisy Files

It was just another one of the thousands of self-defense incidents that occur every day.  But this one caught my eye.

Iowa Representative Leonard Boswell sprang to action when an armed intruder entered his home recently, attacked his daughter and demanded money from the family.

A Vietnam veteran, Congressman Boswell risked his own life to engage the intruder.  And while Boswell, 77, was unable to overcome the burglar, the ensuing struggle allowed time for his grandson to retrieve a shotgun from another room. 

Seeing that his firepower was grossly outmatched, the intruder fled the home and is still on the loose.

While this type of story occurs frequently in our country, the Boswell incident is interesting for several reasons.  For starters, one should realize that the aforementioned shotgun was easily available in the home of a raging, anti-gun member of the Ruling Class. 

Consider Boswell’s record as posted on the website of Gun Owners of America, an organization that rates every congressman on their gun-related votes.  According to that list, Rep. Boswell (a Democrat) has not cast a pro-gun vote since 2006 and has a “D-” rating with GOA.

Boswell has even voted for trigger lock legislation within the past five years, although it is highly doubtful that the shotgun retrieved by the grandson — the shotgun found in the Congressman’s home — had a trigger lock attached to it.

In other words, what’s good for you is not necessarily good for me.  Can anyone say “hypocrite”?

Boswell comes from a long-line of Ruling Class hypocrites who have told the American people that they don’t need guns, even while they rely on their own guns for protection:

* Who can forget columnist Carl Rowan who said that anyone found with a gun “should go to jail, period,” but then he later used his own (illegal) handgun to shoot a non-violent teenager who was skinny-dipping in his pool;

* Or actress Rosie O’Donnell who also thinks people should go to prison for owning guns, but then hired armed security guards to protect her children — a pricey option which is unavailable for most Americans. 

The Boswell self-defense incident is also ironic because anti-gunners frequently ignore cases like this when compiling their statistics.  In 1986, junk scientist Arthur Kellerman derived a bogus figure which claimed that a gun in the home was 43 times more likely to kill the homeowner than to help him. 

But Kellerman only reached that factoid by explicitly excluding self-defense episodes like the one in Boswell’s home.

Kellerman stated that, “Mortality studies such as ours do not include cases in which burglars or intruders are wounded or frightened away by the use or display of a firearm.”

Really?  Why not?  Is chasing away a burglar an insignificant result for a homeowner?  I wonder if Boswell would agree that his shotgun was insignificant in deterring that criminal attack.

Nevertheless, people still quote the bogus Kellerman “statistic” today as though it was the gospel truth.  Contrast his figure with the several studies showing that citizens use guns in self-defense, anywhere from 1.5 million to 2.5 million times a year.

That breaks down to 4,000 to 7,000 times a day.  And when you contrast this to the total number of gun-related deaths every year, one finds that guns are used 50 to 80 times more often to save life than to take life.

Of course, most of those defensive uses of a firearm — over 98% of them — occur just as they did in the Boswell home.  Simply brandishing the firearm or firing a warning shot is enough to send the bad guys fleeing for their lives.

Thankfully for Boswell, acting like a hypocrite is not a crime.  There’s only one punishment that’s really fit for such a member of the Ruling Class.  Maybe Boswell’s constituents will figure it out next year.

Do as I say.. Not as I do.. the hypocrisy continues.

» Do people have any idea how much Washington spends? The Loft

Do people have any idea how much Washington spends?

By Bobby Eberle

Sometimes, the frustration level reaches the boiling point, and I’m left wondering if America really can survive. After decades of liberal programs, too many Americans have become dependent on the government… as if sitting around, doing nothing, and collecting a “pay check” from the government is a “job.” Come on! The only way for our country to make it through this debt and spending fiasco is for people to realize that the country simply spends too much.

The magical August 2 deadline is quickly approaching. This is the date that Washington politicians are pegging as the deadline to raise the limit that the federal government can borrow (the debt ceiling) in order to pay its bills. In simple terms, think of it like this: The federal government does not operate within a balanced budget. It buys things with your money and with credit cards. Now, all the credit cards are maxed-out, and the federal government wants permission to get another credit card. It’s a concept most people should understand, yet they don’t.

Yesterday, I received the following e-mail message from “Karen” in New York:

To Sentor Boehner,
If you don’t pass something my husband and I will not have anything to live on. I am disabled and my husband is retired. We live on a limited income. we get 16 dollars for food stamps. We are just making it month to month. Can’t make house repairs and no body will help. Why don’t you take a cut in pay and not get raises. We have not gotten one in two years and we will not get one next year. BUT EVERYTHING keeps going up. Please help us. There is no middle class anymore. You are either Rich like you or poor like me. What’s with that. I know I will not hear from you, but thought I would write anyway.

Where do I even start??? First of all, John Boehner is speaker of the House of Representatives. He is not a senator. Secondly, Karen echoes a sentiment that Barack Obama would love more people to be saying, “If you don’t pass something, we will not have anything to live on.” In other words, hurry up, pass a bill, so I can get my piece of the pie. Ugh. The system is BROKEN! Do the American people really want the federal government to simply get another credit card? If you had a son or daughter who got into trouble by charging too much on a credit card, would you get him or her another one?

So Karen wants the problem solved by Congress taking a cut in pay. As a side note, it’s a whole different debate on whether Congress gets paid too much and whether it should be full time, but that’s for another day. The speaker of the House makes $223,500 per year. The four party leaders (two in the House and two in the Senate) each make $193,400 per year. Other members of the House and Senate make $174,000 per year. Add it all up, and the total is $93,217,100. Our federal debt currently stands at $14,348,888,013,751. That 14.35 trillion dollars. If I subtracted all congressional pay, it would still be 14.35 trillion dollars. If we divided up the congressional pay and gave it to the 300 million people living in America, each person would get 31 cents.

What Karen also doesn’t understand is that there IS a middle class, and it’s the middle class that liberals seek to control. They know the truly poor people will always vote for them because the poor get things from the government. The next step for liberals is the middle class, and they go after them by creating envy and jealousy. “Look what the rich are doing.” “Look what the rich have.” And on and on. The middle class work in jobs provided by some “rich” person. That so-called “rich” person created a company, pays the taxes, does the hiring, provides money to keep the company going, and this person is the bad guy? Give me a break!

Too many people fall into the trap of thinking the “rich” don’t pay their “fair share” in taxes. As I’ve written before, can someone please tell me what their “fair share” really is. Until someone can do that, there is NO debate. People also seem to forget that the “rich” pay MOST of the taxes. Do you think we have funds for defense and Medicare and Social Security and our countless other programs based on tax collections from the poor?

Here’s a great chart from the National Taxpayers Union which illustrates who pays what:

The top 1% paid 38% of all federal income taxes. The top 5% paid nearly 70% of all income taxes. And these are the people who supposedly don’t pair their fair share.

It is absolutely impossible to solve our nation’s problems until we recognize and understand what those problems are. The reason we have such high taxes is because America spends too much. The reason we have massive debt is because America spends too much. We have the second highest corporate tax rate in the entire world. How’s that working out for job creation?

We have an uphill climb, but it seems like the path is greased, and we keep sliding back down. Unless people take the time to understand what is going on, we will keep on this course of spending, spending, spending.

Right on…

More than 1,000 Portland Public School employees receive over $100K in total compensation | Oregon Capitol News

More than 1,000 Portland Public School employees receive over $100K in total compensation

January 17, 2011


PORTLAND – A recent Oregon Capitol News analysis of Portland Public School (PPS) district employee compensations shows that almost one in five school district employees received total compensation topping six figures in the 2009-2010 school year.

One thousand and thirty one of the 5,432 PPS employees earned over $100,000 with total compensation including base pay, pension, healthcare, social security and several other smaller benefits.

Among the six figure earners were 287 classified by Oregon Capitol News as administrative staff, 744 classified as teachers and zero classified as service staff.  Of the 287 administrative staff, most were principals, 40 were counselors and 87 were support staff.

Although there were almost three times as many teachers earning six figures as administrative staff, it was representative of the total population.  The administrative staff on average earned more.  Principals and support staff averaged $125,800 and $126,700 respectively while teachers and counselors averaged about $20,000 less at $104,200 and $106,800 respectively.

Even if an employee wasn’t in the top 20th percentile of income earners, they still could expect averages of $73,800 if they were an administrator and $74,500 if they were an educator.

The average of all service, administrative and educator class employees was $64,600 and was anchored by the 689 service staff who on average earned much less at $45,500.

Annual compensation for all PPS employees totaled $380 million in 2009-2010.  Base pay made up 69% of that while the other 31% included benefits such as medical insurance and pensions.  To put this in another way, benefits equaled 45% of base pay.

For a district at roughly a forty two thousand student enrollment level, the district spent $9,025.86 per student for staff compensation.

The compensation database was obtained by Oregon Capitol News through a public records request and shows a line by line compensation of every employee in the district, including base pay, medical benefits and pension benefits.

Some of the benefits compensation was calculated using formulas provided by the district if data was not provided.

The database can be found at GovDocs and allows you to search by several different categories including title, department and name.

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17 Responses to “More than 1,000 Portland Public School employees receive over $100K in total compensation”

  1. Norbert says:

    Hmm, which part of this are you trying to get people worked up about? The 6-figure quote seems misleading, since you’re including the costs of healthcare and benefits paid by the district. Using your 69% number above, sounds like the upper 20% of PPS employees make an annual salary of $69K+. Doesn’t sound so unreasonable to me, though it sure seems like you’re trying to anger people about all the “rich” teachers and administrators in the district.

    If it’s just the total compensation number you’re upset about, or the per-student spending, how about some comparisons with similar metropolitan areas? I don’t doubt there are inefficiencies there, but where are they?

  2. Bob Clark says:

    Total compensation is the appropriate comparison since the extra benefits relieve the receipient of the cost of providing for themselves such services. And at $100k and above, you approach more than twice the compensation of comparable private sector educators. This is why this May’s Portland school bond measure should receive a collective no from Portlanders. The school construction money relieves the District from having to draw on existing funds to do regular maintenance, allowing it to effectively transfer a portion of the school modernization tax increase to already inflated Teacher and Administrator salaries.

  3. John Fairplay says:

    This seems a pretty “values free,” factual report on what taxpayers are paying for the results they are receiving from Portland Public Schools.

  4. Norbert says:

    Comparing compensation with private school employees is apples to oranges, they typically have less training and typically don’t have to deal with as many special needs children. Are there comparable public school districts out there doing more with less? Where are they and what can we learn from them?

  5. Leonard Rydell says:

    The Oregonian reported that the Portland Metro Area spends slightly over $9,525 per student and has a graduation rate of about 66%. Washington metro areas spends $9,075 per student and has a graduation rate greater than 73%. Seems like we need to reduce costs to increase our graduation rate.

  6. letty bromenschenkel says:

    well, for 192 days of work ?

    and the results ? bottom in the nation ..

    and several other states spend 8,000 ish per student and have 80% graduation rates .

  7. Norbert says:

    So we spend too much and get too little, so spend less? Sounds like a plan from someone who flunked out of B-school. If the numbers above from Leonard are correct, let’s look at Washington and see what we can learn. How do their demographics compare? Where are they spending less than we are? Teacher/admin compensation? Building maintenance? Where are they spending more?

  8. Larry Meissner says:


    As John Fairplay noted, simply stating the compensation levels in the way the article does does not imply trying to get anyone “worked up”, tho you seem to be.

    Are you objecting to having the data made public?

    Altho the public sector does have the obligation to deal with special-needs that private schools can avoid, you are wrong that private-sector teachers are inherently less qualified.

    The question is whether we get “value” for the money spent on education, most of which is spent on labor. Do we need all those administrators? Would we have as many well-qualified teachers as we have if compensation were less?

    Those are questions that are open to debate.

  9. Norbert says:

    I’m not worked up, and I have no stake in this game other than personal interest. I don’t doubt that we can get better returns on our public education spending, but in order to do so we need in depth analysis, not just number quoting and demands that we spend less. Find the fat and cut it, but do so in a targeted manner.

  10. Greg H says:

    Norbert, in what other industry can you receive 100K in salary and benefits, all paid for by private sector money, and get four months off per/year, while being mediocre?

  11. Dan Chadwick says:

    Looks like it is time to quite my job and either work for Portland Public schools or as a Trimet busdriver.

    Isn’t it great to see these government agencies bleeding Oregonians dry?!

  12. sp says:

    Norbert, thank you for your nice responses- I agree and appreciate your thoughtful ideas. For some others- teachers don’t get 4 months off- and it’s not a 40 hour work week. For those who don’t know- don’t claim to make it an easy answer- and if you think you do know how easy (and rich) teachers and public employees have it- why don’t you do a job shadow and challenge yourself. Dan, I’m personally glad someone who is not a critical thinker is not in the education field.

  13. Mary Saunders says:

    Norbert, most instances I know of children in private schools result from an inability to get what they need in public schools. These are the children with special needs. Often, the public schools are not good with these children.

    The public schools can be good for bright, motivated students who want to do science and math. Other schools cannot easily match the facilities public schools have, at least in some neighborhoods, in these subjects.

    For other children, such as children with dyslexia, public school can be a disaster.

    In many instances, modest-income families pay huge amounts for schooling, relative to their incomes, in addition to the taxes they pay to support those who use public schools.

    Some parents also give up if their children suffer in public schools and arrange to do home schooling.

    The often-repeated lament by public school apologists that they “have” to take children with special needs is too often reflected by a sullen attitude toward children with special needs and a tense relationship between school officials and parents and kids. I find it sad that some sites let this martyr syndrome go unchallenged. I am reminded of the sign at the Country Fair for parking by alter-abled. There are strengths in the children PPS “has” to take.

  14. Kyle says:

    I’m a little late on this conversation, but I cannot believe what you wrote Mary. I have never heard anything like this before. I am a PPS teacher and I LOVE my special ed. students just as much as I love all my other students.

    Here’s the argument that all private sector people make in order to pay their CEO’s millions and millions of dollars every year: in order to get the best, we need to pay top dollar. Well, if they’re allowed to make that argument in the private sector, why are you not in the public sector?

    I’m not saying I want more money. All I’m saying is, why would a GOOD teacher move to a charter or private school where they get less money and less job security via their union? The answer: they wouldn’t. I know many of these teachers, and they’re all young, inexperienced teachers who weren’t able to get other jobs. Now I’m not saying young teachers are bad either (I’m one of them), but I was able to get a job. I’m just saying, there are many who weren’t able to get jobs in public schools, and this is where everyone wants jobs. The only people applying to private and charter schools are teachers who are desperate.

    I think this whole thing about teachers being rich is ridiculous. When I was going into the profession, everyone was telling me that I was a saint because no one goes into teaching for the money. Now that the corporate media has decided that they want to attack us to take everyone else’s minds off of who put us in this depression, you’re actually going to believe them? We didn’t have anything to do with derivatives or people hording money and not investing it into the economy.

    Here’s my financial situation:
    I’m paid $45,000 a year.
    I have over $30,000 in student loans.
    I have $10,000 in credit card debt, mostly from school.

    Oh yeah, and I have a master’s degree. Name another profession besides a social worker (which is another public profession under attack) that makes less with a master’s. There is none. When we’re getting compared to the private sector, we’re not getting compared to people of equal education, unless it’s against private school teachers, who I’ve already talked about being less experience and less desired.

    Conclusion: I’m not saying we want more money. Sure, cost of living increases would be nice as this is rising quickly, but you know what, we just ratified our contract with none of these. We’re not trying to get rich! We’re just trying to do one of the toughest jobs in the world that we love. Leave our salaries alone and let us teach your children in peace. Stop making up facts (e.g. We’re in the bottom of the United States, public school teachers don’t want to work with special education students, we’re rich) and let us continue to do our best with the limited resources that we currently have. And if you can’t do that, come and be a teacher for a year. There’s a reason that half of all teachers leave after 3 years. It’s extremely hard and it DOESN’T PAY MUCH! But for those of us who remain, it’s an extremely rewarding job and we wouldn’t want to do anything else.

  15. Charles Jelsema says:


    I have 25 years experience as a mover. My income is under $30,000.00 per year. My annual costs are higher. I have donated 20% of my time to help those around me who have come into hard times. Yet, I have no health insurance and no complaints.

    Getting rich is not the object: It’s learning and helping others. The most difficult piece in the discussion of Public Union salaries and benefit’s is that they seem unhappy to accept their chosen field and pay.

    It seemed obvious to me at a young age that if you want to work 70 hours per week in the private sector, for years, that some day you will *work* your way to the top. This pursuit of money, not to be confused with happiness, is a trade of of sacrifice and choices. Sell you soul or give it away.

  16. The only profession that guarantees more money for more ‘education’.The quality of teaching,the subject matter,the methods used-no,just more and more ‘education’.It’s time for the taxpayers to wake-up and defund this criminal enterprise.Does anyone really believe ‘It’s all for the children?’ So let’s stop with the socialist agenda and return to reading,writing and ‘rithmatic.Taxpayers are being cheated as we speak;most of us are too ignorant to do anything about it.Vote and DEMAND school choice and support good private schools-get the unions out of OUR schools!

Pay is very good in Portland’s Union payola system.

So how well does this group of highly paid, benefit laden group of government union employees perform on the job?

Portland, the state’s largest district, posted one of the worst rates in the state: Just 53.6 percent of Portland students earned diplomas in four years, while 33 percent, or nearly 1,400 students, dropped out. That was essentially unchanged from the previous year.

Let’s get this straight. Work about 9 months a year, less days off for various holidays, etc… You know, this is not a bad gig. You don’t have to produce hardly anything in the way of measurable results.. just show up.. oh, and pay those union dues!

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism – James Taylor – Endpoint Analysis – Forbes

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism

Jul. 27
2011 – 3:23 pm |
| 2 recommendations
This NASA handout Terra satellite image obtain...

Image by AFP/Getty Images via @daylife

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.

The new findings are extremely important and should dramatically alter the global warming debate.

Scientists on all sides of the global warming debate are in general agreement about how much heat is being directly trapped by human emissions of carbon dioxide (the answer is “not much”). However, the single most important issue in the global warming debate is whether carbon dioxide emissions will indirectly trap far more heat by causing large increases in atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds. Alarmist computer models assume human carbon dioxide emissions indirectly cause substantial increases in atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds (each of which are very effective at trapping heat), but real-world data have long shown that carbon dioxide emissions are not causing as much atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds as the alarmist computer models have predicted.

The new NASA Terra satellite data are consistent with long-term NOAA and NASA data indicating atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds are not increasing in the manner predicted by alarmist computer models. The Terra satellite data also support data collected by NASA’s ERBS satellite showing far more longwave radiation (and thus, heat) escaped into space between 1985 and 1999 than alarmist computer models had predicted. Together, the NASA ERBS and Terra satellite data show that for 25 years and counting, carbon dioxide emissions have directly and indirectly trapped far less heat than alarmist computer models have predicted.

In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth’s atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space. Real-world measurements, however, show far less heat is being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict.

When objective NASA satellite data, reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, show a “huge discrepancy” between alarmist climate models and real-world facts, climate scientists, the media and our elected officials would be wise to take notice. Whether or not they do so will tell us a great deal about how honest the purveyors of global warming alarmism truly are.

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.

Ouch.. that’s gotta hurt the “Green Machine”.. Communists were convinced that using the cover of “Global Man Made Climate Warming” was the holy grail for the imposition of “Drastic Measures” to justify wealth extraction and drastic reduction in personal liberty. Blowing the cover off their “man made” need for a “global response” to the problem shows the contemptible depths to which power hungry Statist’s will go to dominate otherwise free people.

Obama and the debt crisis: The spectacle of a secret plan |

Obama and the debt crisis: The spectacle of a secret plan

Published: Thursday, July 28, 2011, 4:00 AM


By Rich Lowry

They used to say that Richard Nixon had a “secret plan” in the 1968 presidential campaign to end the Vietnam War. President Barack Obama outdid Nixon with a secret plan to control the deficit.

He kept telling us of all the virtues of his plan. It was balanced, responsible, courageous and fair. It was just very, very secret.

Obama favored a $4 trillion “grand bargain” that now looks dead. It allegedly contained $3 trillion in cuts and $1 trillion in new revenues over 10 years. But no one could learn with any certainty what the specific new cuts were, or the specific new revenues. They were the great mystery at the heart of the debt-limit debate.

How extraordinary is the spectacle of the president of a country beset with a debt crisis who claims to have a big, game-changing plan to alleviate it — that he keeps all to himself. He’d whisper it in the ear of House Speaker John Boehner behind closed doors in the White House, but the erstwhile champion of transparency didn’t dare make it public.

Why was the president who rode into the White House on a wave of overexposure, who wrote two memoirs and is constantly on TV, so shy and retiring about this one matter? Few things would be more galvanizing in the nation’s budgetary politics than a liberal Democrat breaking ranks on entitlements. It would make possible changes heretofore unthinkable and partly redeem Obama’s promise of post-partisan government.

Surely the cuts Obama bragged about in the abstract wouldn’t have quite materialized in the particular. If they had, he’d have faced an intra-party revolt. If you’re the president at a time of massive red ink and you want to be an effective leader, you either need to be the head of a party that cares about the debt, or you need to be brave. Obama is neither.

He offered a dead-on-arrival budget this year, then revised it with a gauzy speech impossible for the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate. A few months ago, he demanded that the debt limit be increased with no spending reductions whatsoever. Senate Democrats famously have passed no budget for more than two years. The Democrats are a self-styled governing party that can’t truly govern because their predilections are so unsuited to the new era.

Obama and his team have warned repeatedly during the past few weeks that a failure to increase the debt limit could lead to a disastrous downgrade of our debt by the rating agencies. That’s only half the story. The ratings agencies are warning that failing to do something serious about the underlying debt will itself bring a downgrade. For almost three years, Obama made worse the very problem that will lead to a version of his disaster scenario.

Even if he thought deficit spending was necessary to fight the recession he inherited, he could have simultaneously taken action to address the long-term debt. Instead, he added a couple more unsustainable health-care entitlements. In the cause of fighting for additional government programs, he identified and fought for $500 billion in Medicare cuts. Then he was relatively specific and inarguably bold. Now he has the plan that dare not speak its name.

Appropriately enough, the locus of the negotiations over the debt limit has passed from the White House to Capitol Hill, where House Republicans have produced a plan for matching spending cuts to an increase in the debt limit. It is only their adamantine insistence on beginning to deal with the debt that made Obama’s initial preference for no cuts whatsoever a nonstarter. If there are substantial cuts without a tax increase, it will be a tribute to their notorious “inflexibility.”

Of course, the cuts will fall short of the $6 trillion over 10 years that Republicans voted for in the Ryan budget. Obama’s specific counter to that budget is … nonexistent. On the debt, he’s an expert at letting others lead by default.

Reach Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, at

What.. still no budget from the President? Shocking. I suppose there’s little time for such nonsense when your so busy being a “community organizer”.. Actually performing in the capacity of an executive is so.. well.. mundane. We need o retire this pretender.. fast.