Editor's Note: On February 6, we asked BlueOregon readers to suggest progressive ideas that the next Oregon Legislature should enact. Over the next several weeks, we'll post some of these ideas here - and ask you to discuss them. Good idea? Bad idea? Any suggestions?
From Don Smith:
I would love to see us move to a statewide tax system that mirrors Rep. John Linder's FairTax at the federal level. Our current system only punishes, er, taxes, those working (i.e. producing) here in Oregon. We spend millions of dollars a year promoting tourism. Why? I don't know. They don't leave any tax dollars behind. Sure, they employ those workers who serve them while they're here, but they'd do that anyway.
As for deductions, the FairTax eliminates all deductions, and completely untaxes those at the lowest rungs of our economy. Can't make ends meet with your McJob? It gets easier with the FairTax because you pay no tax up to the federal poverty level and you no longer get socked with payroll taxes.
It's time Oregonians took a hard look at how we do things. A sales tax without the repeal of our income tax will never fly, but a radical change to a pure consumption-based system has pretty good support.
[If you have your own original progressive idea to propose, do it here: "There oughta be a law."]