Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wall Street Journal Takes Issue with Oregonian

A Wall Street Journal editorial on Measures 66 and 67 cites as relevant fact what Oregonian reporter Jeff Mapes calls "false" in his article "Ad Watch: Tax ad on state salaries is wrong; workers getting pay cut, not raises":
"The ad also says the taxes will help pay for $259 million to 'fund state employee salary increases.' The average viewer gets the impression that state employees are getting big raises in this budget.

"That’s false. State employees are actually taking a pay cut."
[emphasis added]
The Wall Street Journal sees the facts differently:
In the last budget, the Democratic controlled state legislature doled out a $259 million pay raise to the government work force, even as the state was facing a near $1 billion deficit. In the last three years, the state has added 25,000 new public employees while losing 40,000 private sector jobs. The union TV ads say the tax hikes are needed to preserve schools, roads and public services.
[emphasis added]
According to Mapes a spokesman for the ad:
". . . concedes that the Legislature did not give new salary increases in 2009. He says lawmakers should have rolled back the salary increases that went into effect in 2007 and 2008. He stands by the $259 million figure: 'We’re comfortable with the arithmetic.'"
Since the Wall Street Journal agrees with ad sponsors that the $259 million dollar increase figure is relevant, will Jeff Mapes rethink his comfort level with his own spin that "[s]tate employees are actually taking a pay cut"?

H/T Oregon Watchdog

No comments: