STOP THE WALL STREET RIPOFF OF OREGON!
lOregon local governments borrow about $4 billion per year, mostly for infrastructure improvements (schools, water systems, roads, etc.). They pay huge fees (around $200 million per year) to Wall Street firms to issue the bonds, and they pay about 5% interest on those newly-issued bonds.
At the same time, the State of Oregon has $90 billion in the bank (mostly PERS funds), and the State uses Wall Street firms (and vulture capitalists and leveraged buyout firms) to invest that money, paying about $1 billion in fees to those firms (mostly undisclosed to the public). Last year Oregon earned only 2.11% return on those investments.
Wall Street gets paid to invest our public money and then gets paid again to loan it back to us.
Let's cut out the Wall Street middle men. Local governments should borrow the needed funds from the State. The Bank of North Dakota funds local infrastructure improvements at a flat interest rate of 2%. If a State Bank of Oregon were to charge local governments an interest rate of 3%, the State would earn more than it does now, and local governments would save an additional $40 million per year in interest on every year's issuance of bonds. After 10 years, the local governments would be saving $400 million per year in interest, plus avoiding the $200 million per year in fees to Wall Street. That's $600 million per year saved by Oregon local governments.
This would also cut the fees paid to Wall Street by Oregon for investing PERS funds--because those funds would be invested in Oregon infrastructure, a much more secure investment than stocks, hedge funds, and other Wall Street instruments.
Why hasn't Oregon done this? Because Oregon has no limits on campaign contributions, and Wall Street is a source of huge money flowing to Oregon politicians.
Invest in Oregonians, not Wall Street Operators!
I support the policies of the Oregon Progressive Party, as stated later in this Voters Pamphlet, particularly:
Beyond the Oregon Progressive Party positions, I strongly support the formation of a Public Bank for the state of Oregon. Such a Public Bank would be operated as a public utility for the benefit of, not Wall Street bankers, all the citizens of Oregon. Such a bank would use the financial resources already present in the state for capitalization and then use those funds to support public benefit programs such as low interest student loans, or funding of much needed infrastructure renovations. More information on public banks is available from the Public Banking Institute.