Most Americans know the children's tale of the Three Little Pigs. Three pigs each build homes of different materials. A big, bad wolf blows down the first two pigs' houses, made of straw and sticks respectively.
What most Americans don't realize is that in the 1930s this fable was a metaphor for the Great Depression. The big, bad wolf symbolized the economic devastation, and the three pigs represented average citizens under duress eventually banding together to assist one another to overcome the economic calamity.
For many of us, the dire economic conditions brought on by the pandemic and poor leadership from the White House caused us to realize our financial security was fragile, like the pigs' houses made of straw and twigs. Our Oregon state treasurer, Tobias Read, is hard at work to make sure our economic security is solid, like the pig's house made out of brick.
Since history puts the present into context, let's start with Read's accomplishments as a legislator:
• He worked to improve Oregon's financial management in part by strengthening Oregon's Rainy Day Fund.
• He was part of the coalition that helped approve all-day kindergarten for Oregon children, which assists working parents.
• He was a chief sponsor of Oregon Saves, the first state-sponsored retirement program in the country. Some Oregonians discovered they could withdraw funds to address critical needs without a tax penalty during the recent economic crisis.
As state treasurer, Read:
• has been an advocate for student loan deferrals during this crisis.
• developed the Baby Grad and Kinder Grad program that gives $25 to help Oregonians save for their children's education.
• developed an easy way for parents to deposit redeemed bottle returns directly into their children's college savings accounts.
• maintains programs that help Oregonians invest for retirement as well as save for disability related expenses.
With regard to the financial strength of the state that comes under the purview of the Oregon Treasurer's Office:
• Moody's after its review of Oregon's financial position, in January, noted the states' "sophisticated revenue forecasting and sound budget management" would help offset any drop in revenues due to a recession.
• In April, Forbes.com listed Oregon as one of the 10 states best prepared for a deep recession.
These accomplishments are a testament to Treasurer Read's ability to shepherd Oregon and Oregonians through this time of financial turmoil and build a stronger Oregon for all Oregonians — together.
Damascus resident Dr. Carl B. Anderson is an independent physician for NW Permanente. This is a personal endorsement and not an endorsement from NW Permanente.
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