June 12, 2024

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KEPW reporters: Speaker of the House is flying the ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag

6 min read
Project 2025 reads like Christian nationalist propaganda, and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has a white Christian nationalist flag hanging outside of his office. It can happen here, and in fact, it's already happening.

KEPW reporters at the roundtable pick their top stories of the week. On Feb. 15:

Richard Self (KEPW Newsday): What’s the news? Let’s see: The plan from the governor, enhance housing availability here and so forth, was a $500 million proposal. The state legislature in its ever-empathetic aims decided to pare that down to $350 million. And it should be noted that in this proposal was shoring up infrastructure, like roads, street lights, other things like this, and when asked how much that would cost, they said about 200 million. And that would only make a dent in infrastructure improvement.

[00:00:53] So if you think about what 350 million means, it’s not a lot to do what they’re trying to do. So once again, the unhoused get the shaft and that’s how it’s going.

[00:01:10] Also, the Poverty and Homeless Board had a meeting today, and in that meeting they discussed new budget proposals for this upcoming fiscal year. And the theme of that talk there was, ‘We’re running out of money and running out fast.’ So a lot of programs may get the axe. A lot of things that are around today for the unhoused may not be around very much longer.

[00:01:46] And I had a feeling when they started things like Safe Sleep Sites and all of this, which are great, that they wouldn’t be able to fund them. And now here we are.

[00:01:59] But regardless, Julie wants to do a series later on when she does more research about Project 2025. And I think that’s another thing to be covering, because the ideas behind Project 2025 are pretty much abolishing the Constitution. Or rewriting it, bringing in every right-wing nut job as a federal employee and replacing the ones that are not white. And the list goes on. It’s a very well-thought-out propaganda idea from the Heritage Foundation and others and it’s scarier than hell. It’s dictatorship in a book.

[00:02:47] Julie Lambert (KEPW, Legalize Survival): Yeah, it is really frightening. And so many wars have been fought over religious beliefs and so many people have died in the name of religion, and we’re about to see that here. The Project 2025, it reads like Christian nationalist propaganda, and I just found out that Speaker (of the House) Mike Johnson has a white Christian nationalist flag hanging outside of his office. So it’s already happening. They’re infiltrating.

[00:03:15] I plan to chunk it up into various topics to make it digestible and to present it in small segments because, I mean, there’s Democrats and Republicans both that are in the dark about this because it’s such a hefty tome. And if they haven’t been reading articles like from The Atlantic and other publications, then they’re not really going to be aware of it because it’s not brought out a whole lot in regular media.

[00:03:45] And I think my project is pretty ambitious. I mean, I’m horrified enough to take this on. This is probably the most ambitious thing I’ve ever done for the radio, but I think this information should be freely available to everybody, and they should know about it because it’s going to happen no matter what Republican gets voted in. They’re ready to hit the ground running. They want to take the first 180 days to implement a majority of it. And yeah, so I think it’s important, you know, that Republicans, Democrats, independents, everybody knows about it, knows what we’re potentially in for.

[00:04:30] Todd Boyle (Retired CPA and housing activist): My story, the city council work session on Monday, was interesting this week. The city of Eugene employs a labor economist. It was a brilliant presentation. I recommend this work session to everybody, but it creates a misleading impression of what’s the nature of not only business, but the economy here, as if local businesses were the only element of the economy in Lane County.

[00:04:57] First of all, all of his slides, which are excellent, every one of them at the bottom said that the data came from the Oregon Department of Labor. Of course they include paycheck information, because people who are in business submit payroll reports to the government and it’s all broken down by the type of business that they’re in.

[00:05:17] What about the people who are running corporations or LLCs? It didn’t really say whether those reports from Schedule C or Schedule E businesses on your tax returns are included in those statistics. For example, what are the transactions happening here besides paychecks, besides labor, right?

[00:05:35] There’s the businesses that perform services, right? Labor and services are only one element of the economy in Lane County, and I would almost guess they might not even be the largest because there are huge businesses that are purely financial, having no employees at all, that execute large transactions and like mortgage lending and so on.

[00:05:56] And of course the individual’s income besides employment and their expenditures, and of course, their assets and liabilities. A large fraction of the economy is people arriving from other places and spending savings here and pensions.

[00:06:10] Look at all the people who just move in and buy a house. You bring $300,000 or $400,000 or $500,000 into the local economy buying a house. The economy of Eugene is quite different than just looking at the employment of people.

[00:06:24] And so another component missing is population statistics. We need to know who we are, who’s coming, who’s leaving. And it’s broken down by income, by age and other metrics, and especially by student versus non-student. Because all of our statistics are hugely distorted by the population of students, like, 30,000 students coming and going.

[00:06:49] Otherwise, you’ll never be able to understand whether we actually have a housing problem or whether we have poverty levels. And what if all the students are all below the poverty level because they’re living off student loans and so forth? It makes us look like we qualify for every anti-poverty program in the world.

[00:07:06] But anyway, my biggest problem is that the city is not showing the public the most basic facts about the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the city or the county, such as our balance of trade and our balance of payments. Like, what are people spending their money on? And what are we selling in return?

[00:07:27] They have this information because the realtors have this, the banking sector, and so does the city and the county. They have this information, but mysteriously they don’t really reveal what they have access to.

[00:07:39] But my biggest complaint: This council itself lacks the bigger perspective of who needs help in this city, versus the 80% or 90% of the people who are doing fine and they’re quite prosperous without assistance from the city. They don’t need government, they don’t need a planned economy. So the council is way too focused on the whole aggregate economy, and the council members even stated at several points, their interest was to accelerate those sectors that have the highest wages.

[00:08:06] I mean, think about that. I mean, ‘Okay, we want to amp the local economy, and so we need to focus on those sectors that have really high wages and high profits. Mm. Eh.’

[00:08:16] So, what about, you know: What’s the purpose of government in the first place?

[00:08:20] They’re also focused on employment growth itself, rather than maximizing our well-being of the people who live here, avoiding high costs, spirals and costs. Anyway, their priority suggests a natural affinity that’s not questioned or challenged for the prosperous segments of our population rather than those most in need.

[00:08:41] And what you’re supposed to focus on is the needs of the population, and especially the lower-income population, who need the assistance of the public sector. I mean, this is why we have a public sector. And the purpose of the public sector is to take care of those who are most in need.

[00:08:59] John Q: At the roundtable Feb. 15, the KEPW reporters, discussing cuts ahead for the homeless, Project 2025, and the role of the public sector.

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