A plan… because passion without direction is chaos.
You have a plan right? I am seeing some nice flowery words here but I am not seeing an actual game plan.
If you haven’t been thinking such things by now you will probably not be as interested in the rest of this article as you should be. My own father told me at dinner tonight that I would fail if I didn’t have a plan and I hadn’t delivered one on any platform he had searched.
Thanks Dad for the tough love and honesty.
That is true. I hadn’t laid out my plan yet. I was focused on introducing myself because I did not want to start telling you what you should do before providing reasons why you should listen to me.
It may appear to some that my plan lacks direction. It will probably feel that way because I am not headed toward or away from familiar party lines.
Is there an overall game plan?
Are there short term goals?
Is there a plan for the future?
First, I really want to stress that I do believe government serves a function in society. I am not an Anarchist. I believe if humanity was intelligent enough, had enough self control, and possessed an abundance of resources then we would have no need for government but since that isn’t the case we have to work with what we have. The function of a government simply put is the force given though passive consent, the authority to strip away your freedoms until you behave within a socially acceptable fashion. As I have mentioned in other places it does not give you your rights, Government only strips away freedoms we prefer others not have; such as the right to commit murder of violence against others, or commit theft, or to cause damage to another person’s property.
I believe the largest problem we face when dealing with government is not revenue, it is spending. When government decides where taxpayer money will be spent a major portion goes toward the pursuit of obtaining additional donations through extravagant fundraisers disguised as philanthropy. It is a “You have to spend money to make money” kind of attitude. When our schools report one of the lowest graduation rates in the country the government’s solution is to add money to the public coffers by raising taxes. When the grades do not change the answer is to raise taxes again.
I’ll compare this to my upbringing. My father has worked very hard in life to become successful. At the same time he has found ways of making sure even those in my extended family are not only safe, but comfortable. He has the money for a brand new luxury sedan but he prefers to buy a used vehicle. He then goes into the garage to fix it because that is the thiftier option. He has the car but sometimes the weather is nice enough to justify a walk to the Max station in order to save a little money. I have said in interviews that I would be willing to stay in a Motel 6 instead of a 5 Star hotel. Saving this amount of money over four years is not going to be the solution to end of all of our problems. It was meant to serve as an example like the ones my father gave me.
When I look at the many different spending bills, tax proposals, as well as previous budgets I understand why some feel it is too overwhelming to even begin researching so many people are confused by government spending of taxpayer money. The numbers may have been researched by special interest groups but they are never justified to the public. We are simply told that to save any problem an amount beyond all but the smallest 1%ers income will be dedicated. 500k, 250M, 1B, it’s almost as if the numbers are getting smaller. The numbers are tied into bills that cover multiple subjects at once. Some bills seem to control the number of permit tags required on the family dog and tackle climate change within the same document. The bill will be titled something along the line of Providing Soup to Young Children and the Homeless, or the PSYCH Act, and if you don’t vote for it then you are a terrible human being.
I am not above making a mistake. I am not trying to sound self-deprecating but I am capable of accepting my shortcomings and weaknesses. Each time a weakness in my logic or behavior I am given an opportunity to improve myself. To quote my father, “You may win an argument. You have spent time proving to another what you already know. When you lose the argument you have gained information that you didn’t have before.” The most important evolution concerning this topic is not what you can learn from your own mistakes, but learn from the mistakes of others before you make them yourself.
So what is the game plan? What will I be attempting to accomplish during my first week? First month? First year? Through out my term? What strengths in government will I utilize and what failures do I hope to rectify?
The Game Plan
Pay the bills. I do not plan on entering office like a wrecking ball. There are bills and obligations that I may find inappropriate and unnecessary but that does not mean they will be neglected. Other obligations we may all agree to be vital to the function of the state. I would approve the minimum spending to cover our obligations for the first year of my term. This may disappoint some conservative minded voters, however the “stability” it will bring to fiscally is necessary for future planning.
Create a Statewide To-Do List There are thousands of problems across the state. It would be impossible for any one person to be educated enough to have a solution to every single problem. Many of them never see the light of day in front of a politician. In order to tackle as many problems as possible I would create an open door system in which any citizen could schedule a time to sit with me and voice their concerns. Finding patterns in the concerns of our citizens could help me to identify and prioritize issues. Issues like PERS are already in the public eye and are not to be neglected. Existing issues of great public concern will not be neglected and will be prioritized. Problems that cost the most to taxpayers while providing limited benefit will be prioritized.
Assemble the Teams I need to surround myself by the right people, regardless of their political affiliations, to help me steer Oregon back on track. It is important that I communicate with experts in the many areas of government responsibility in order to make the best decision I can for all Oregonians… in order to bring our government back under fiscal control.
Veto New Spending Bills Any bill that increases spending and is allocated to a system that has not been audited for waste will be vetoed. Before you ask taxpayers for more money you need to justify and demonstrate a verifiable need for more funds as well as demonstrate a responsible handling of prior funds that were placed in your care. This may be seem burdensome to some, but you cannot fix a problem without fully and properly identifying it.
Incentivise Innovation and Business Ventures in Oregon. There are companies waiting to be created. There are entrepreneurs on the edge of starting the next mega corporation. There are people all around us who want to make that jump into starting their own business. Companies live and die through innovation, dedication, and selling a needed product. What kind of example could Oregon provide for the world? Could we be a beacon of the future? A state that fosters innovation. One that pursues clean energy resistant to catastrophe? A modernized state that has found a better way to manage forest and create a lush woodland environment using the lumber industry? Could a solution to our homeless problem be the jobs that only innovation and entrepreneurship can bring?
Lead by Example I believe sugar is bad for you. Meth and heroin as well. There are a great many of things that we could add a sin tax to but would that stop anyone? There are ways of structuring laws to protect people from potential bad things even though it may remove freedoms from those who would have never committed the offense. There are also leaders who can accomplish many of the same objectives by setting an example. I do not expect people to mimic my life. The voters have the records of their elected official’s votes, they should use the information and opportunity to keep useless legislators from reelection. I believe the best thing a leader can do is set a good example. I will encourage my fellow lawmakers and staff to do the same and I would encourage each and every citizen to access the records of their elected officials to see how hard they are actually working for their constituents.