Paul Ryan Thinks $1.50 Increase in Take Home Pay is “Fabulous”

House Speaker Paul Ryan faced a backlash Saturday after he tweeted about a secretary’s $1.50 weekly increase in take-home pay as a sign of the Republican  tax plan’s success. No I am not making this up. This moron actually tweeted this. The article describes a high school secretary, Julia Ketchum, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania as “PLEASANTLY SURPRISED” that her pay went up $1.50 a week or $78 a year, more than enough to cover an annual Costco membership. Ryan deleted the Twitter post in hours, however, after lawmakers and social media users criticized him for appearing to be “out of touch”. Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, wrote on Twitter, “this was not a PR mistake. It is what they really think”.

I have written two blogs on the impact of the tax cut, showing real tax calculations for individuals. My example shows that for the medium income American family of four, at $59,000 per year, the increase in take home was about $300 per year. So Ryan’s tweet about the secretary, who is probably making $30,000 per year, getting a $78 annual benefit is right in line with what I have been saying. America, most of you just got screwed, BOTH Republican and Democrat. What I find amazing through it all is the blind belief by Republican supporters that the tax cut is really going to be some great windfall for them. Recently in the Bend Bulletin, a “guest columnist” wrote after reading Walden’s holiday letter, that someone making $78,000 a year was going to see a 58% reduction in their taxes.

The unfortunate thing is, reality will very quickly catch up with these misinformed people who want so hard to believe the Republicans give a damn about them and Democrats are just trying to ruin their lives. I am trying to campaign on the basis of “PERCEPTION vs REALITY” and help people understand that what the Republicans tell you: ie: a $1.50 weekly increase in take home is wonderful, versus the reality that you once again got the short end of the stick. Will enough people wake up and smell the coffee in time to put me in office, instead of their do nothing for 19 years current congressman, only time will tell.

I promise you this. If you give me the opportunity, you will ALWAYS be told the truth. Wouldn’t that at least be refreshing for a change.

Greg Walden’s Year End Progress Report Receives a Grade of “F”


Greg Walden’s Year End Progress Report Receives a Failing Grade

On December 29, 2017, Greg Walden sent, at tax payer expense via the franking privilege of the United States Congress, a letter to the 2nd district constituents, describing the progress he has made on important issues. The letter was a collection of political spin on various acts that Walden supported in 2017. I did not receive the letter as I have been somehow overlooked by his office since filing to run against him. It was however given to me by a supporter. The Walden Claims written here are verbatim from that letter.

Walden: As your representative to Congress, I wanted to report to you on some of the progress we’ve made on issues of importance to our district, state, and nation.

Walden Claim #1: Congress passed, and the President signed into law, my legislation that modernizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This legislation will bring new medicines and medical devices to market sooner, spurring innovation, consumer choice and most importantly competition to drive down prices. This measure also opens up the hearing aid business to competition for the first time.

The Unspun Truth: The act is called the Regulatory Accountability Act. In 2011 Bend resident Chrissy Christofer’s 10 month old baby contracted Salmonella poisoning from a seemingly healthy puffed rice snack with Spinach and Kale. To make a long story short Chrissy ended up in Washington testifying about her experience and the end result was Congress passing The Food Safety Act, a sweeping reform giving the FDA authority to mandate recalls and increase inspections. Walden’s Regulatory Accountability Act will slow or even stop federal agencies from creating new rules to protect consumers from unsafe food. The irony is Walden supported the initial act and now boast about undoing it. He goes on to tell you that tying the FDA’s hands will “spur innovation, consumer choice and lower prices The Bend Bulletin on January 23, 2018 reprinted an article from the Washington Post reporting how Americans are using LESS health care but spending a lot more as the cost of medical services and drugs have SOARED. They reported the price of physician administered drugs for chemotherapy jumped 42%. Use of brand named drugs for skin diseases up by 165%. . Does the fact that Pharma and Health Insurance are Walden’s single largest campaign contributor make you wonder about his new found dedication to health cost reduction?

Walden Claim #2: For the fifth year in a row, the House passed legislation I helped write – the Resilient Federal Forests Act – to improve federal forest management, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and harvest the burned dead trees while they still have value. At meetings and roundtables throughout our district, I’ve heard one message loud and clear from Oregonians: enough smoke; enough fires. This bipartisan legislation gives federal forest managers new tools to better manage our public lands. I’m working with members of the Senate to find a path forward.

The Unspun Truth: Walden describes The Resilient Federal Forest Act as all about forest management. After all the wild fires in Central Oregon last summer, this topic is high on everyone’s radar screen. The reality is this act has little to do with forest management and everything to do with allowing the timber industry to harvest previously untouchable trees on public land. It does this by designating public land that experienced a forest fire as a “catastrophic” event and therefore not subject to existing laws. The term he uses is “salvage operation”. This act makes it “legal” to circumvent environmental laws, the endangered species act, and child labor laws. This act should have been called the How to Make Money out of a Forest Fire on Public Land Act. And in case somebody wants to protest a “Salvage Operation” this act contains language reading: “no courts may issue restraining orders, preliminary injunctions or and no injunction pending appeal shall be issued by any court of the US with respect to any decision to prepare or conduct a salvage operation in response to a large scale catastrophic event”. And finally this little add on: employment of employees ages 16 or 17 years in a logging or mechanized operation in an occupation that the Secretary of Labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for the employment of individuals of such ages, shall not be deemed to constitute oppressive child labor if such employee is employed by his parent, or by a person standing in place of his parent in a logging or mechanized operation owned or operated by such parent or person.

Walden Claim #3: Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to ensure our troops have the tools and training they need to keep themselves and us safe, and give our men and women in uniform the largest pay raise they have seen in eight years. The President also signed into law my bill H.R. 4374 that makes sure our warfighters have access to the very latest medicines and medical devices unique to the battlefield.

The Unspun Truth: On December 12 Trump signed a $710 BILLION dollar military spending bill, for the benefit of defense contractors, not our troops and not to keep America safe. Walden paints this as a huge win for the troops with largest pay increase in eight years. Military pay in 2017 will go up 2.1%, and this was approved by Obama. Trump’s bill raises pay 2.4% in 2018. A 0.3% change that Walden calls the “largest pay raise in 8 years”, Obama gave the military a 3.4% increase in 2010 so his first fact is just plain wrong.

  • As for this huge pay raise Walden crows about, it actually equates to $39 a month ($9 a week) for a Private First Class and $71 a month ($16 a week) for a Sargent First Class.
  • Total (labor and benefits) for the active military equates to $127 BILLION out of the total $710 BILLION (or 18%). The 2.4% pay increase for 1,282,000 active military personnel equates to an increase of $1.2 BILLION in base pay.
  • That leaves 82% or $583 BILLION for defense contractors. The people who donate to congressman and senators to keep them in office

This $710 BILLION dollar bill was a HUGE win for the defense contractors, so much so that some generals and admirals actually said “what are we going to do with all this stuff. The Navy is getting 13 new ships and 2 more carriers. They asked for 8 new ships. The Navy is getting 24 Super Hornet Fighters (at a cost of $71 million per). They asked for 14. The navy is getting 90 Joint Strike Fighters (at a cost of $95 million per). They asked for 70. And here is a little tidbit about Lockheed Martin’s impressive record on this program: The price tag for the F-35 program at $400 billion for 2,457 planes, is twice the initial estimate, three years behind schedule and some $200 billion over its original budget. Gosh darn good job. Lockheed’s CEO Marilyn Hewson, made $19.4 million last year. She has a base pay of $1.6 million, but by meeting annual and long-term goals, such as screwing over the American tax payers with a 100% cost over-run on the F-35 program, earned an additional $17.8 million. The Army gets 7,500 more troops, the Marines 1,000. Air Force 4,100 and the Navy 4,000. In total 16,600 new troops at a cost of $1.6 billion out of the total $710 BILLION.

There is absolutely no reason for this level of spending beyond defense contractor CEO pay and campaign donations. As I say on the campaign stump, China has “1” carrier and Russia has almost “1”, as it is reported to be in need of repair more than it actually works. And we will now have 13 carriers. Russia spends $70 billion annually and plans to reduce that figure. China spend $220 billion annually. Collectively we spend more than the next 11 countries combined. This is absurd and obscene, all in one bill. As Walden does receive campaign money from Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing, perhaps he does have something to crow about.

Walden Claim #4: To address concerns I’ve heard from veterans and VA officials in our district, I’ve worked on multiple bills this Congress to improve veterans’ access to health care and other benefits. My legislation to introduce medical scribes into the VA system passed the House unanimously, and will help VA doctors focus their attention on caring for veterans, not paperwork. I also introduced a bill to allow VA clinics in rural areas to better recruit doctors to care for our underserved veterans. And I was proud to support landmark VA reform that will finally hold agency leaders accountable for their performance. Our veterans deserve nothing less for all they’ve done for us.

The Unspun Truth: This one is really so bad you do not know where to start. Scribes? Really? We don’t implement electronic data input, record keeping, or consolidation as most every private physician has had for over 20 years? You hire ‘SCRIBES’ to write the stuff down on paper for the doctors? And you wonder why the VA in Bend asked me to hold for over 3 hours to talk to somebody? But that is another story.

A recent article in USA Today detailed the abject failure of the VA over the last 15 years with respect to hiring policies. It was reported the VA has had a policy of hiring doctors and health care staff that had their licenses revoked in one state but managed to get a license in another state. The VA issued a national guideline in 2002 giving hospitals discretion to hire clinicians after “prior consideration of all relevant facts surrounding” any revocation as long as they still had a license in another state. This issuance was given even though a federal law passed in 1999 bars the VA from employing any health care worker whose license has been revoked by any state. Is your head spinning yet?

The VA in Iowa City hired a neurosurgeon, John Schneider, who revealed in his application that he had numerous malpractice claims and settlements and Wyoming had revoked his license. USA Today reported malpractice claims against Schneider included cases alleging he made surgical mistakes that left patients maimed, paralyzed or dead. Not surprisingly his VA patients in Iowa suffered complications. One patient, Richard Hopkins, died from an infection after four brain surgeries by Schneider in a span of four weeks. Of course Schneider denied responsibility blaming other providers for the poor outcomes.

There were other reported hiring snafus. A VA hospital in Oklahoma hired a psychiatrist sanctioned for sexual misconduct who then slept with a VA patient. The VA in Toma, Wisconsin hired a psychiatrist disciplined for medication violations who then over prescribed narcotics to veterans. A Louisiana VA clinic hired a psychologist with felony convictions. They did fire him after determining he was a “direct threat to others”. Whatever that means. Of course when this story broke a number of our elected officials were “appalled” and sent letters “expressing concern”. When I read these stories and hear the lame responses from our elected officials, I wonder, where does Walden stand on this issue, as if I don’t know? He is very proud to support landmark VA reform to hold VA leaders accountable for their performance. Sure Greg. Why don’t you ask the widow of Richard Hopkins? I am sure she is thrilled with your “landmark” support.  Walden supported cutting the Individual Unemployability (IU) benefit for veterans. This program supports over 225,000 veterans including 7,000 over age 80. When David Shulkin, head of the VA was asked by Rep Mark Takano “don’t you risk putting these veterans into poverty by reducing their benefits”, Shulkin responded the VA is sensitive to that possibility but needed the funds for the Choice program. And what is the Choice program? It is a program Walden supported that allows the VA to turn away veterans and send them to private doctors. Ask any veteran about this. They are mad as hell over it. I know. I got an earful from several of them.

Summary: I could go on and on but I think these four stories tell the complete picture about Greg Walden. Our district reflects his lack of focus on doing anything of substantive value for the district. Simple question to ask yourself. Walden came to office 19 years ago. Are you, is your family, and are your friends and neighbors, better off today than 19 years ago? There are a small number of pockets within the district that are better off but, as a whole, the answer is no. There are fewer jobs in the district today than before the crash of 2007, and of those that have returned most are service jobs that do not pay enough to support a family. Crook county jobs are down 19%, Gilliam down 20%, Harney down 10%. Grant down 16%. Our district is rapidly aging, with the over age 65 population increasing 24% since 2010. At the same time period, 3% of the working age youths have left the district.

We need to reinvent the district and we need a congressman who will put his time and attention towards that goal. Not sending you professional choreographed letters. Does anybody think Walden actually sat down and wrote this dribble? The days of lumber are gone, never to return. 70% of our ranchers are over 55 years of age, 22% over age 70, and the kids do not want the occupation. The roads are something out of the 1950’s and simply say to the manufacturing world, don’t bother. We need to change the mindset of the district. We need to tell the young people you don’t have to leave but instead help us reinvent this district. We need to understand education is the ONLY thing that will turn this ship around. Stop looking at educated people as though they are the enemy. They are not. Ignorance is the enemy. If you do not want to reinvent the district for yourself, then do it for your children.

Tim White

A Fighter for the 2nd District of Oregon




Oregon Central and Eastern Highway – The Road to the Future

Fellow Oregon 2nd District Neighbors

My research of the 2nd district lead me to the conclusion that we very much need an interstate through the district from I5 near Ashland over to Klamath Falls, then north using Highway 97 as the roadbed, all the way to I84 on the gorge. This position was based on my own experience of driving through the district and my knowledge of what it will take to bring back the manufacturing base that we have lost. Over the recent holidays I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman who grew up near Medford, where his parents had farmed for a long time. When I brought up the idea of the interstate, he told me the original plan for I5 was nearly the same as what I was proposing. He told me to do a little more research, which I did.

I discovered courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society that back in the 1950’s, when I5 was being planned, the original plans called for a route to parallel US 97 through central Oregon. However, pressure from southern Oregon political interests forced the planners to change the route, and instead, run parallel to U.S. 99, through the Rogue Valley. As a result, primary economic development in the state all took place on the west side of the Cascades from Ashland / Medford to Portland, while central and eastern Oregon remained a very rural and undeveloped area. The society report explained how Oregon had long been a leader in road construction, and the state’s response to the 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act was complicated by work the state had already undertaken to improve its roads. Even before World War II, Oregon’s roads—particularly U.S. 99, known as the Pacific Highway—were in poor condition, and Oregon State Highway Department (OSHD) planners urged major upgrades to the system.

So it seems the short changing of the 2nd district has been going on for a very long time. It is time we tell the state and the federal government, it is our turn for economic development. As your congressman, that is exactly what I plan to do. Please help me with this huge task. Support me in the May 15 primary and then the November general election. For 20 years your current congressman has either chosen not to help you, or does not know how. Either way, it is time for a change. It is time for someone who will fight for the 2nd district rather than use it for personal career development.

Tim White

A fighter for the 2nd district of Oregon

Oregon Employment and Economics Opportunity


In 1992 James Carville, a strategist for Bill Clinton coined the phrase, “it’s the economy, stupid”. It was meant to remind the campaign that people were still hurting from the 1990/91 recession. Well here we are in 2017 and the 2nd district of Oregon is still hurting, and in fact with the exception of a few areas like Bend and along the Columbia corridor, there has been little recovery from the great recession.

Bluntly speaking, most of rural Oregon has been left behind in the economic recovery. There are fewer jobs today than before the recovery, and those that have returned are mostly low wage service jobs. Nearly every county east of the north south line from Bend has 2 to 20 percent less jobs now than before the crash of 2007. Crook down 19%. Gilliam down 20%. Harney down 10%. Grant down 16%. The exceptions are Hood River, Sherman and Wasco due to their proximity to Portland and the I84 corridor. When you combine the loss of jobs with an aging population, retirement age population in central Oregon grew by 24% from 2010 to 2015, and the loss of working age youth, it is a perfect storm for continuing economic decline in the district.

The problem is so severe it requires a congressman who is 100% focused on the district. Yet our current congressman, Greg Walden, spends his time courting and supporting Wall Street banks, Telecoms, and the Health Industry. He returns home infrequently to announce at town halls that the House of Representative has passed over 300 bills. What he does not mention however is that those bills include things like repealing your health insurance, preventing control of sky rocketing cable and internet bills, permitting timber companies to spray pesticides into our drinking water and turning the banks loose to once again gamble away your deposits in the stock market. But hey, why quibble about details.

Rural Oregon was once dependent on timber and wood product manufacturing. Unfortunately over 50% of the industry has left, and it is never going to return. Contrary to Republican propaganda, this is not the fault of tree huggers or spotted frogs. It is cheaper and longer lasting non wood materials in construction. It is cheaper overseas labor. Okay that is the hand we have been dealt, so what do we do about it? What does the district have to offer? We have land in great supply and we have natural beauty. To extract the benefits from both we need to first open up the district with a bold infrastructure road building plan. My vision is an interstate from I5 near Ashland , across the Siskiyous to Klamath Falls, then north on the current Highway 97 roadbed, all the way to I84. Followed up with an east west connector from I84 in Ontario westward through the Bend / Redmond area, through the Cascades to I5. With this development we will pursue the relocation of companies with modern, good paying jobs, into the district. We will support these companies with large solar farms to supply the energy they need to operate, and eventually wean Oregon completely off fossil fuel based energy. Following the model of Alaskan oil revenue sharing, each county that opts in to the solar program will share in the revenue generated from the solar farms. Opening up the district with modern roads will enable a huge increase in eco-tourism to places such as the Malheur sanctuary, John Day fossil beds, and the painted hills. The result will be hotels, restaurants, shops and an economy that will allow families to stay together and share in the American dream.

Yes I know the naysayers will now stand up and argue about protecting range land, farmland, mountains, lakes, etc. etc. I have read all 19 of Oregon’s Goals and Guidelines to public land use. There is nothing that says we cannot do what I have proposed. And anyway, I am not proposing turning the 2nd district into urban Chicago. My vision is to protect and ensure the rights of the people of the 2nd district to meaningful employment and life. It is to support the Ranchers and Farmers whose ancestors opened up this land. Rural America has not gotten a fair shake and it is time for someone to stand up for them. From 1990 to 2015 manufacturing jobs in the district fell by 50% while Portland’s share alone grew from 49% to 58%. Oregon lumber production in 1950 was 9 BILLION board feet annually. The industry has shrunk by over 50%. While I absolutely support sustainable lumber and the mills, the industry and employment levels will never return to the levels of 1950. Since the great recession most of the jobs that have returned to pre-recession levels in rural Oregon have been lower paying food and service jobs. Government jobs in the district account for 24% of non-farm employment. Perhaps somebody should tell Walden that the U.S. budget he is so intent on reducing is responsible for keeping a quarter of his constituents employed. The district has the lowest per capita income of the five Oregon congressional districts. 11 of the 20 counties in CD2 have per person income BELOW $20,000 annually. And not surprising these same counties have the highest government aid transfer payments.

It is time for a change. It is time the 2nd district to begins its path into the 21st century ensuring families are able to stay together. Where you can afford a house. Where you can send your kids to a well-funded school with programs that will ensure their future. You can reclaim your share of the American dream.

Support Tim White for Oregon’s 2nd Congressional seat. Go to for more information and to support the campaign.