Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Oregon's New State Budget Plan And Washington Mutual

Governor Ted Kulongoski revealed four tax increase packages set to boost the economy by adding 30,000 jobs from increased spending on transportation, construction, and health care for the poor. Kulongoski's proposal calls for about $54.17 billion in total spending, which is up about 12.1% from the current two year period. The general fund will be mostly funded by income taxes and would total $15.85 billion which would be a growth rate more in line with inflation.
Kulongoski believes that the budget will help Oregon prosper once the recession finally ends. Though this would hurt elderly and low income residents right now if these increases get approved. Ultimately this would mean that seniors and disabled people could lose state paid aides and access to long term care. Low income residents would no longer be eligible for cash assistance in finding a job. This is a plan that Kulongoski sees moving the state of Oregon forward even though it is not involving everyone.

In other northwest news, Washington Mutual is slashing 3,400 jobs in Seattle as the result of the company's banking operations being sold to JP Morgan Chase & Co. None of the 190 branches in the state of Washington will be closed, but with 80% of the jobs in the Seattle market closing for Washington Mutual it does not help the job market situation. Of the 3,400 jobs that are being terminated in Seattle, 1,500 will be eliminated on January 31st. The 1,900 will be be in transition jobs that will disappear on various dates throughout 2009.

So Portland and the Northwest, tell us your thoughts on the new tax proposal or the situation with Washington Mutual in the comments sections below.

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