Why We're Winning

Steve Novick

As  the Oregonian reported this morning, the ‘Yes’ side holds a 17-point lead on both Measure 66 and Measure 67 – the measures designed to protect education, health care and public safety by asking corporations and the rich to pay a little more.  (For the record: I am working for the ‘yes’ campaign.)

So why are we winning?

We are winning because Oregonians care about education, health care and public safety.  They care about investing in our future; they care about protecting the vulnerable. And indeed, if more people knew the simple fact that 90% of the state general fund budget goes to education, health care and public safety, we’d be even further ahead. (So please – keep sharing that fact with them.)  

We are winning because Oregonians think that it’s reasonable to ask households making more than $250,000 a year to pay 1.8% of the amount they make above $250,000 to protect those services. That makes a whole lot more sense to voters than cutting basic services or raising taxes on struggling families.

We are winning because Oregonians think that it doesn’t make much sense for most Oregon corporations – including over 100 corporations (most of them headquartered out of state) that do over $100 million a year in business in Oregon – to continue paying just $10 in the corporate minimum tax.

We are winning because Oregonians trust the organizations on the YES side – organizations that represent hundreds of thousands of voters: AARP, the League of Women Voters of Oregon, Oregon PTA, Stand for Children, and teachers, nurses, home health care workers, corrections officers, child protective service workers, fire fighters, and more.

We are winning because Oregonians see through the wildly deceptive tactics of the other side. When corporate lobbyists sent out a letter pretending that a struggling dairy farm would be destroyed by Measure 67, Oregonians smelled a rat – and then learned that the farm would only pay $150 in taxes. In fact, 97.5% of businesses, including all your partnerships, S-corps, LLCs and sole proprietorships, will either pay just $150, or will pay no more than they are currently paying (which, in the case of sole proprietorships, is zero – no Measure 67 tax applies to them). No wonder the No side can’t find a legitimate small business spokesperson.

When they released their TV ad, which made it seem like every Oregonian would have to pay higher taxes, even though no households making less than $250,000 will have to pay a penny more, voters saw through the ploy. And now, with their current ad, they’re trying to say that there’s plenty of money sitting around in Salem, and that spending is out of control—but voters know that the so-called ‘increase in state spending’ consisted of the State accepting Federal money for unemployment, food stamps and health insurance and using it to help the families hurt by this recession.

So, right now, we’re winning. But none of that will make a single bit of difference if we don’t get supporters out to vote. On January 26, when ballots are being counted, the one thing that will make the difference between success and failure is turnout. 

Ballots begin hitting mailboxes next week. People will begin voting as early as next weekend. If you’ve been waiting to get involved until this election became “real,” I’ve got new for you—this election just got real.(If you already are involved, as I know many of you are, thanks - and keep it up!)

The results of this election will be felt for years to come. You can become a part of a campaign that will make history. Here’s how:

Get signed up for a shift to knock on doors or get people registered to vote. The Yes for 66 and 67 campaign has been working hard to register voters before the January 5th deadline.  At this time, working with the Bus Project and additional partner groups, we have registered over 15,000 people to vote.  We are continuing to make the final push this Monday and Tuesday. Interested in being a part of the most fantastic voter registration drive ever? Contact Tess Fields at [email protected]  

Volunteer to Get Out The Vote by making phone calls. Call 503-234-0444 and get yourself signed up. Any Sunday through Thursday evening now until Jan. 26.

Chip in some money to help us reach voters. How about giving $10, the amount that most corporations have been paying since 1931?  You can give through the Vote Yes web site.

Have a Happy New Year - and then volunteer to help us make it even happier on January 26.



 


Comments

  • (Show?)

    and i thought it was my article in Hipfish!

    we're also winning because we have leaders like you who help us find words that are clear and direct. so many of us can say something intelligent about the measures because you've spoken them first and helped us understand what a good message is. not to mention what courage is. thanks for busting your ass on this, Steve.

  • Connor Allen (unverified)
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    Thanks for reminding me to update my registration, Steve.

    We're about to pass tax increases in Oregon by ballot measure. We're about to make history.

  • Ricky (unverified)
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    The polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research did that poll. They predicted Corzine would still be governor.

    Happy New Year!

  • LT (unverified)
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    The only poll that counts is on election day....

    But I think the fact that the No campaign seems sloppy,

    "When corporate lobbyists sent out a letter pretending that a struggling dairy farm would be destroyed by Measure 67, Oregonians smelled a rat ..." could have been completed with "because a dairy farm would not have a return address in the warehouse district of Salem which used to house a Bedmart".

    Seldom has there been a better example of "just because the consultants are famous doesn't mean the campaign is well run".

    And just think of all those "professionals" (AOI lobbyists, Mark & Pat, the professional lobbyist like the guy from AGC who may very well be annoying the members who pay them.......) who will have egg on their faces if the measures pass.

    Not to mention small business people who refuse to be poster children for OAJKT.

  • (Show?)

    Great points, Steve. And don't forget that people can soon register to vote online, thanks to our own Oregon Legislature.

    And I'd simply ignore snide comments from naysayers who'd rather see Oregon, our middle class, workers, and schools flounder than introduce an ounce of tax fairness to the system.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Great points, Steve. And don't forget that people can soon register to vote online, thanks to our own Oregon Legislature."

    But not in time for the January election, as I understand it.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Whew, what a relief! I am so glad to hear that this M67 is ONLY going to tax those 100 BIG CORPORATIONS that I hear mentioned on every tv ad you guys runs. I here I thought EVERY recognized entity was due to be taxed, regardless of profit.

  • (Show?)

    They already are. So what?

  • vixigoth (unverified)
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    i am going to vote for 66 for sure. my question is, will that measure restore funding for the lost medical/ dental of the disabled on Oregon Health Plan Plus? will it house the 17,000 homeless men, women, teens and children, who used to have homes in Oregon until they were left out in the cold this winter, or last? see the state's official homeless count and their statistics of who was homeless on just one day of january 2009:

    http://www.oregon.gov/OHCS/CRD/CSS/docs/onsc_reports/2009/state_report/09_statewide.pdf

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "They already are. So what?"

    Uh, we didn't use to tax companies that didn't make a profit.

  • Galen (unverified)
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    Yes might win, but only from ignorance of economics. Once the masses learn they can plunder others at the ballot box, the Republic will fail. This is all that will be observed. Don't use your vote for violence. Make the government show responsibility for its out of control spending and its failing to fund education first.

  • Pedro (unverified)
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    Once the masses learn they can plunder others at the ballot box, the Republic will fail.

    WTF???

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Maybe we can have a "poll test" for this vote. If you don't know WHY a corporation pays $10, then you don't get to vote.

    Wouldn't it be noble for the Yes66/67 people to at least be honest with the voters about the issue? I won't hold my breath.

    R vs. D: what's the difference. Not a damn thing!

  • Galen (unverified)
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    "Once the masses learn they can plunder others at the ballot box, the Republic will fail.

    WTF???"

    Exactly if you understood this it would show knowledge. My exact point is that this will pass for lack of knowledge. Voting taxes on to others is simple plunder made legal. Read "The Law" by Frederic Bastiat its a very short read. Here is a PDF download if you wish to take the time. Most "open minded" people do not however. We are not a Democracy, but a Republic. Find out what the means too. Here is a quote from Jefferson:

    "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."

    When asked what the founders had created for an American government Jefferson did not say a democracy he said "A republic if you can keep it."

    "R vs. D: what's the difference. Not a damn thing!" It seems neither will fight for the freedom of others, but only for the freedoms each enjoys him or herself. How true that quote is. The blues believe in more social freedoms but not financial the red are the opposite but in principle they are the exact same.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Maybe we can have a "poll test" for this vote. If you don't know WHY a corporation pays $10, then you don't get to vote."

    Exactly how much tax did PGE /Enron pay? And don't tell me they were a struggling company. Corrupt, maybe, but struggling to make ends meet when they had a friend in the White House?

  • Galen (unverified)
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    So LT now we all have to pay and eat dirt for Enron? What kind of logic, reason or fairness is that? The local grocery store has to suffer for another companies crime?

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Great. PGE/Enron were a-holes. So go after them. Why do you feel the need to punish EVERY other business in the state?

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    Since we are on semantics, the United States of America is officially designated as Federal Democratic Republic.

    Federal stems from Federalism, which is the practice of separate, often overlapping spheres of government at the local, state, and Federal levels.

    As for the issue of States rights vs. Federal Government, let the 600,000+ US Civil war soldiers dead and Lincoln rest. The Civil War settled the question of who has supreme power and it was not those who believed along the same lines of John C. Calhoun. Also, the Civil War settled the question of slavery.

    We are democratic because of our belief and practice of 1 vote per 1 voting age citizen.

    Our elected representatives constitute the United States as a republic.

    A pure democracy would resemble a New England town hall meeting where every voting age citizen has to vote on every single issue. Some would prefer this, but the complexity of trying to have a pure democracy for 300+ million individuals would make the current US Senate in action resemble a NASCAR race.

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    In practice, our Federal Democratic Republic does not live up to the ideal.

    From the earliest days of tribal leadership, those with scarce and/or desired resources have greater influence over the process than those who do not.

    If you want to aim for better, more accessible government, then your issue is campaign finance.

  • Galen (unverified)
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    Ryan Leo are you saying the civil war changed the premise of the foundation of this country? That the Civil War in fact vested rights in a simple majority on every matter without limitation despite what the Constitution says on the matter? That when the States created the Federal Government they create a master to serve? There is not example of any such creation in nature. How does it apply here? Also what does this have to do with measure 66 and 67 while you are at it.

  • Cheesus Cripes (unverified)
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    Galen, you're a REAL dipshit.

    The revenue increases were approved by a super-majority of our elected legislators, utilizing the republican form of government with which they were entrusted.

    So what happened? Business associations who were used to getting their way with the legislature teamed up with anti-government teabaggers and forced a special election on the bills.

    In other words, the grownups passed a law to address the problems of the state, and then the whackos used direct democracy to throw the whole thing into chaos. There's you're mob rule.

  • killfile (unverified)
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    125k a year is not even close to "rich". And I noticed you left that part out of your pep talk, which is somewhat telling.

    So you're all going to chip in your 1.8% since it's such a good cause right?

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    Galen,

    You are speaking of the doctrine of nullification, which is basically each state adopted the US Constitution and could likewise opt out of the Union.

    No, the States did not create a "master to serve" in the Federal Government. The States joined together in a Union with 3 branches of Federal Government to protect everyone's rights, not just the minority or majority's.

    I understand that you feel the way you do because conservative Republicans have lost the culture war and those who you do not agree with have majorities in the executive, legislative and courts.

    When it comes down to it, the Federal Government is king. You may call it master, but close to 300,000 like-minded Southern boys found out the dead way what happens when you fight for a lost cause. Let them rest.

    If you are such a proponent of States Rights, then put your money where your mouth is by advocating that no States give or receive any funding whatsoever from the Federal Government, each state raise the funds for it's own militia to protect the state's citizens and the state's borders, each state print it's own currency, and on.

    Fact is, traditional Republican states are what Republicans themselves would call "Welfare states." Conversely, your blue states or "rich states" give more to the Federal Government per state than every other red state. Do blue states such as California get a thank you from Alabama? No, they get insults and the absurd notion that the mighty laughable GDP of Alabama is bailing out California.

    Source: http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/research/unpublished/redblue11.pdf

    If you doubt the research, then counter it with research showing that red states give more tax dollars to the Federal Government than they receive.

    Otherwise, your troll attempts will be noted and responded to with less and less civility.

  • Galen (unverified)
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    "Galen, you're a REAL dipshit."

    Oh do read again. The name calling is not really needed here. You just need to study harder and understand what I am saying about tyranny of the majority. You may not have the ability to carry on this conversation as you are much invested in your ideals and not open to anything other than what you know at this time.

    Ryan Leo please clarify Conservative Republican because I am not sure that really explains me at all. You have not been reading my other posts. No worries. I have a bit of time and will respond. I am a social liberal and also believe in financial liberties, you do not believe in the later I presume?

    "No, the States did not create a "master to serve" in the Federal Government. The States joined together in a Union with 3 branches of Federal Government to protect everyone's rights, not just the minority or majority's. "

    This is a very educated an accurate response.

    " If you are such a proponent of States Rights, then put your money where your mouth is by advocating that no States give or receive any funding whatsoever from the Federal Government, each state raise the funds for its own militia to protect the state's citizens and the state's borders, each state print its own currency, and on."

    I do see Federal Grants as a conflict to the original intention, but the courts have not agreed in the few cased brought before them. I think this is mostly due to ignorance or improper presentations before the court (also ignorance) . Fiat currency grants are an important tool of power. Another modern issue never intended for our republic that would stop excessive grants if it were eliminated. The Federal government provides protection from foreign enemies and it also prints currency under our laws so this does not apply to any evidence I am presenting and is out of context.

    I am not sure about the Southern boys fighting for anything such as individual liberty. It was a war over business interests so all this hype about lost causes does not apply. You can’t fight a war to continue collective rights to own other humans. Slavery is a collective right not an individual one. Your argument tends to favor me a tad more than it does you.

    "When it comes down to it, the Federal Government is king."

    Ah you show your true colors now. Very interesting that you admit in your first sentence the intent was to create a Federal system then later admit the reality. This is an admission that the intent of the law is not being followed. It also tends to suggest you support that idea because right now you are winning some "Cultural war" This is very similar to the Nazis if we look at history. Be careful. This whole notion that I am fighting some cultural war is nonsense. I give a crap about the GOP. The fact that your mind is there and you understand the violations and support them, is very disturbing because you are surrounded by sheep who do not understand yet follow you blindly think it is progressive.

    "If you doubt the research, then counter it with research showing that red states give more tax dollars to the Federal Government than they receive." I am not arguing against this notion. It is a fact that States that are plundered the most tend to enjoy it for some reason. You are correct. I do not dispute this at all. Please do not call me a troll. And this position does not change the nature or rights nor our current reality. Just because people do not understand they are being plundered and others may think they are does not change the nature of plunder. Get mean if you want. Most “open minded” people do when they can’t respond. Look at the guy who called me a dipshit. How intelligent is that?

  • Galen (unverified)
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    "Otherwise, your troll attempts will be noted and responded to with less and less civility." I am just a crap load more liberal than you guys. You guys might be Statists, but that is not liberalism.

    ""Once the masses learn they can plunder others at the ballot box, the Republic will fail."

    This is the original quote. Now let’s get to specifics. When people in Oregon vote on measure 66 and 67 if they vote yes it will be mostly because they believe others will pay the tax and they themselves will not. They also believe they will benefit from this tax. This is legal plunder.

    When people vote in National elections, plunder plays a role but not all. In the last election some people voted Obama for plunder, but most voted because of W. The reasons for national elections can be driven by plunder in part. In national elections where that particular State may pay more in taxes but 20% of the voters want to plunder and add to the 40% who respectfully as good Americans hate W. and you get a victory by a plundered State who also won due to the plunder advantage. This is also often done where people mistake society and government for being the same and see some perceived debt. The problem is you are not looking at people as individuals, but as groups. The weakness of cultural warriors is and those with totalitarian tendencies is exactly that. .

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    Galen,

    Both you and I have trolled by going off-topic and disagreeing with others. Disagreeing with the majority of commentators on every political blog is trolling.

    Your proposition is that a minority of voters will vote on January 10, 2010 to impose higher taxes or cut state services.

    I would agree that a minority of Oregon's total population votes and an even smaller portion of that minority votes during midterm elections. We have no disagreement here.

    I would like to point out, yourself and most political observers know that the minority party and conservatives in general, tend to vote in higher percentages than the majority party and liberals during midterm elections.

    When it comes down to Measure 66 and Measure 67, if I were still a voter in Oregon, then I would vote NO on both. I have discussed my opinion and called others out for lying about the increase in taxes and consumer goods if Measure 66 and Measure 67 pass. I do not want to beat a dead horse.

    I disagreed with you earlier because I was bored and I take enjoyment out of disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing. Intellectual exercise is always fun, but nonexistent if you have a group of commentators who are all alike in their world and political views.

    As for the whole culture war thingie majig, it is very real. The moral majority jack off in my church crowd has lost it by in large. Roe v. Wade is still here and going nowhere in the next decade or three, sexuality is out and open everywhere including Fox News where Hannity or O'Reilly have Cialis as a sponsor, the LBGT lifestyle is coming to be accepted more and more each year as Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper on CNN show people that Gays are human beings just like everyone else, etc.

    Conservative Republicans can still win political battles, but their whole reinstate God into public schools, referring to undocumented migrant workers as illegal aliens, and other culture issues will be met with resistance at all corners including the courts.

    In the end, whether Democrats lose a political battle such as the one over Measure 66 and Measure 67, they will have succeeded in winning the war over culture.

  • Joe Hill (unverified)
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    This is what I meant by not feeding the trolls. People like Galen come in here regularly - what do I know, maybe they're the same person! - and they know a VERY little bit (some of the key words, a few of the right wing approved talking points) - but they lack context, rigor, and depth of knowledge about the subject matter.

    Pompous personal disclosure: I'm talking from a background of two graduate degrees in history, from Ohio State and Harvard, with a concentration in the subject and time period that Galen is discussing. And yes, I teach it now. On the background of 18th century Constitutional theory, and who was there and who said what and why, and what happened afterward, I can bloody hell hold forth until some fine interlocutor whispers, "For the love of Rufus King, Joe, give it a rest!".

    But since a blog is not a place where it's appropriate to do footnotes without being pedantic and dropping the major academic hammer, or swimming in the high discourse, it's purposeless to engage these folks. You know the old story about trying to teach a pig to sing? Wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    I don't know at exactly what point it is useless to try and engage in argument with someone in a blog that is supposed to share certain progressive values, but I would think that someone who deeply believes that "Voting taxes on to others is simple plunder made legal" is on the wrong side of that line.

    By the way, the "republic if you can keep it" line is attributed to Franklin, not Jefferson. It is probably apocryphal as it was not published until 1906. The source was the notes of James McHenry of Maryland. Of course no notes were supposed to have been taken at all, and an oath of secrecy was taken, both of which Madison spectacularly broke, with the result that we know his version of the events best.

    Madison and Hamilton had of course conspired to exclude Jefferson from the Constitutional convention by sending him to France as ambassador, knowing that he would be bitterly opposed to almost every point that Madison and Hamilton were fixed upon. This was born out immediately on Jefferson's return as he established a new political party to oppose Hamilton. Madison was so shocked by Hamilton's overreaching that he joined Jefferson in this project. The country largely shared Jefferson and Madison's misgivings, as, even given the draconian voting laws of the late 18th century, the anti-Federalists won the election of 1800, though not without Constitutional drama, and continued in office for 24 years, and then the small interruption of 1824 (the Corrupt Bargain election of John Quincy Adams) and on to the Age of Jackson, another full bore repudiation of the Federalist project. In fact, the Federalists had largely ceased to exist after the disaster of the 1814 Hartford Convention, where they tried a few of Galen's "states' rights" arguments out and they were repudiated by the nation so thoroughly that they were literally wiped off the face of the map, never to be heard from again. Indeed, if it were not for the weird longevity of John Marshall as Chief Justice upholding Federalist policies like some zombie long after the party was dead and its policies electorally rejected FOR DECADES, the entire Hamilton project might well be regarded today as an important near miss that America narrowly avoided. We might well be saying today, "It's a good thing those corporations never got a solid foothold in American law, otherwise they might have taken over. That was a close one!"

    But never mind. Let's not let even these few items, which do not begin to scratch the surface, and which any competent high school student knows, disturb the master narrative of the right wing.

  • (Show?)

    Joe you can post any day, any time in my world. What a relief from the junkpile on this thread.

  • (Show?)

    Yeah, Paulie, I'm with you on getting delicious snippets of relevant info from a specialist.

    Have to disagree with "Joe Hill as alive as he could be". Blue Oregon is exactly the place for his counterpoints.

    Happy New Decade to all.........

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Steve Novick writes '...Oregonians care about education, health care and public safety. They care about investing in our future; they care about protecting the vulnerable.

    Well, maybe so - but evidently only as long we gets our tax credits and ~97% don't have to pay a penny more in taxes for all our 'caring'... Yep, such a tremendous outpouring of 'caring' by Oregonians is overwhelming - we all care SO MUCH!!!!!

    We all know there was no way politicians were going to put a moratorium on a tax credit that reinforces activitity that directly benefits them. But seems to me if Oregonians care so much about education, health care, public safety, investing in the future, and protecting the vulnerable - we should be willing to put our money where our mouth is and forego some tax credits like this at a time when 'critical' Oregon public services are supposedly in such peril. If not, then no has the right right to be demonizing businesses and other individuals for taking advantage of the tax credits available to them.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "Oregonians care about education, health care and public safety."

    OK, I agree. Then tell me why the revenue for Oregon goes up about 10% every biennium of the past 3 bienniums and we get less of education, health care and public safety.

    I wouldn't mind paying more tax, but I feel as though it is trying to fill a black hole, so why bother? If we could get state govt to focus on putting more money into the economy and less on benes you could gain more votes.

    BTW - "making more than $250,000 a year to pay 1.8% of the amount they make above $250,000 to protect those services" Be honest - You mean they pay 10.8% of what they earn above $250K.

  • Galen (unverified)
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    Ok I see, so I am always a troll. I will try to reduce my negative opinions a bit will that help? Read my comments on Charlie Burr's post. Maybe that will help convince you I am not a total troll. I do not disagree with everything. In fact when it comes to social issues we are mostly on the same page in intent. I am just wanting to educate people about what they are really doing on financial issues. I never mind a little intellectual challenge. I think its just easier for people to label others than to debate on the issues. I have been coming for about a week. If you give me some red site links I will be more than happy to visit those as well, but the only one I found did not allow comments. I think both parties are bought and paid for.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Joe Hill - well, respectfully, as a fellow Ohio State graduate and amateur historian, you certainly do relate your selected bits of history here with a political point of view... Thought I was listening to Thom Hartmann there for a minute-

    But, you're a professional - I'm sure you play it straight down the middle in your day-to-day teaching, right? No personal bias at all, of course...

  • (Show?)

    Great post! Plus, I love seeing the formation of new tax brackets in Oregon. Now if only we can spread out the tax brackets we have now.

  • (Show?)

    Steve, I've just finished an analysis of the state budget for a presentation that I gave on these measures to a local service organization.

    A couple of points...

    • The general fund and lottery funds budget, which is paid for by state taxes and lottery commissions dropped from the legislatively approved budget in 2007-2009 to the legislatively approved budget in 2009-2011. That is not a drop in the rate of increase, but an actual drop in general fund expenditures from 14.4 billion to 14.2 billion.
    • The biggest line-item increases in the all fund budget -- $2.7 billion -- came through an increase in the percentage that the federal government gives states for medicaid matching funds, an increase in federal payouts for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and food stamps.
    • Two of the next three biggest categories of increase in the state budget were about $400 million hospital provider taxes that expanded the Oregon health plan to increase coverage for uninsured Oregonians, particularly children. These state tax increases triggered about $750 million in matching funds from the federal government.
    • The next two biggest categories of increases went to transportation infrastructure and payouts for unemployment insurance. The combined totals of these increased expenditures was about $900 million.

    Of the aforementioned bullet points, which account for approximately $3.8 billion in increased spending under the all funds budget, where would you like to see the cuts?

    • Federal assistance for the needy, medicare, and food stamps?
    • Health insurance for uninsured children that triggered $1 billion in matching funds (i.e., spending 50 cents gets you a dollar)?
    • Investment in transportation infrastructure?
    • Payout of unemployment insurance?

  • Galen (unverified)
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    Joe Hill,

    I will be more than happy btw to debate you off forum. I am not impressed at all with your presentation. Look at your tactics not based on theory or principle but on actions. As if trying to leave someone out makes them less of a founder. Anyone can twist history. Do you hold the position we are not a Constitutional Republic sir? Do answer. This is modern speak about nonsense and re-education. I will not engage you here unless you like. If you wish, do bring it on. I have dealt with Harvard grads before. Lots of hubris but no substance and only copying lines they have learned. Thought I would add that since you did put me in a group and basically told me to leave because i don't think like you, this tells much. When I speak of legalized plunder what states right I am I asserting? Let’s talk specifics. Do present your case please. If you wish to talk out of forum, suggest a spot.

  • Buckman Res (unverified)
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    So why are we winning?

    The Yes On 66/67 campaign is winning because the legislature crafted the taxes to fall on one segment of the public, “The Rich”, while sparing the bulk of taxpayers.

    Very sly, very crafty, and very undemocratic.

    People are always willing to have someone else pay the way when it comes to government services. It appeals to the worst, greedy instincts in people and manipulates them to penalize their fellow citizens.

    But fairness, justice, and social equality demand that we all pay a fair, equal percentage of our money to fund government. These measures are one more way to corrode confidence in the system.

  • John Silvertooth (unverified)
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    I think your up because the early drepression tv ad was excellent- it's not over though

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "where would you like to see the cuts?"

    Mr Peralta - I would just do what happens in the private sector since Ted has a lot of expensive managers. Each manager gets told: a) You need to reduce your expenditures 5-10% b) You cannot affect customer service This is not impossible since almost all private sector employers are doing this on a constant basis.

    I'd love to hear one example of where Oregon has demonstrated any efficiencies in operation on a large scale. This is my point, we have seen an average of about 10% jumps in revenue per biennium yet it is never enough - When will it be enough?

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    Steve - The Governor asked for 5 percent across-the-board cuts to close out the last biennium. Nevertheless, I think you may not have a good understanding of organizational budgets if you believe that advocating an across the board 5-10 percent cut to programs is generally considered a good approach.

    As one example, cutting my company's labor cost by 10 percent in 2008 would have cost my company at least $50,000 in lost revenue against about $30,000 in "cost savings". We may have also lost contracts that would have cost us a great deal more than that.

    As another example, college and university expenditures increased by about $180 million in the current biennium because of increased enrollment at our state's community colleges and universities. These expenditures are offset by student tuition. Are you really advocating for a 5-10 percent cut in those programmatic areas despite increased enrollment and the tuition revenue it brings?

    You mentioned earlier that your biggest objection to state government spending is that you see it as "a black hole".

    Have you actually looked at even the highlights from the legislatively adopted budget to see how this money is being spent, what programmatic areas have grown and why?

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    where would you like to see the cuts?

    Oregon DOC has a $300,000,000 (+22%) increase in budget while only projecting a 3% increase in clients under supervision.

    How about there?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Where was Buckman Res when the Bush administration (and 20 years earlier, the Reagan administration) as passing tax cuts that benefited only a few, "The Rich".

    Or is this only a one-way street--helping the rich is okay, asking them to carry more of the load, a load they can afford to bear, isn't.

  • LT (unverified)
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    MP, you don't think Mannix, Doell etc. would scream SOFT ON CRIME! if anyone suggested reining in the rise in corrections spending due to their ballot measures?

    Steve, Sal is right. From his figures, it appears that this was just like the 1980s recession--the actual dollar amount of general fund actual went down.

    Maybe that is why the "all funds budget" crowd don't want to talk about the general funds budget.

    When Randy Miller was W & M co-chair, he would have been perfectly happy to refuse all federal funds just so that the all funds budget did not increase. But he is not only long gone, there was a Republican state senator who challenged him---and who happened to be a W & M subcommittee chair.

    Ted will be gone after this year, and then who will you complain about.

    And "the private sector" means exactly what? That every private employer in Oregon shares your views?

    fbear has a point---one that the anti-taxers don't want to talk about. Tax breaks don't have to be paid for but tax increases are wrong?

    What would an accountant say about that?

  • (Show?)

    Fbear - Where did you get your data? DOC has a $143 million budget, not $300 million. The growth in their budget was 8.3%, not 22%.

  • (Show?)

    If my family brought home $20,666 a MONTH, under Measure 66, my increased "burden" would be $15 a month.

    When the math is done, the shrieking by the Antis is all over a paper cut.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "cutting my company's labor cost by 10 percent in 2008 would have cost my company at least $50,000 in lost revenue against about $30,000 in "cost savings". We may have also lost contracts that would have cost us a great deal more than that."

    Read closer - I said cut operating expenses 5-10% without cutting customer service. The private sector does this on an ongoing basis.

    This is the issue - I am not rich and am self-employed. I pay 24% Fed, 9% OR and 15% FICA = 48% taxes and I can guarantee you I do not use as much as I pay in services. Yet Oregon is saying we don't have enough and we need to more taxes to solve the problem.

    THen it gets really frustrating when you talk about education funding. In 2007 Ted gives a 20% bump in spending, then about a year later we get told very little went to the classroom and most went to benes.

    The legislature keeps postponing the inevitable and making things worse by looking for pockets of income that are not paying enough in taxes. We are running out of these little pockets and will have to make some hard decisions which get harder by postponing them.

    We are not that far behind Cali and Cali has some attraction for employers unlike Oregon. So get ready for IOUs.

    You are an elected representative - What have you done to identify where money could be saved? I mean you seem to have no problem spending the money, what are you doing to save it?

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "Ted will be gone after this year, and then who will you complain about."

    It doesn't make a diff, if it's Bradbury or Kitzhaber they'll stick their heads in the sand.

    "And "the private sector" means exactly what?"

    Means employers who give more to govt than they get. It also means they are constantly looking for ways to do things better and cheaper.

    Tell me a govt agency with this attitude then. If you want an example compare USPS to UPS. THey deliver the same packages and give good benefits. Yet UPS makes a profit and USPS makes an annual trip asking for villion dollar subsidies.

    Maybe Oregon could try privatizing a few things.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "Maybe that is why the "all funds budget" crowd don't want to talk about the general funds budget."

    Maybe that's why the tax increase people don't want to talk about the all-funds budget which is what Oregon spends.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Sal

    My bad. Outdated document I was looking at. But I think you mean a $143M INCREASE since your document shows them having a budget of $1.46B

  • (Show?)

    MP - Just operator error on my part. Three mistakes in a single comment. Terrible.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Sal -- we all have those days

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    Mr Peralta - Actually since you are in govt, I did have one question. Why don't we make drug testing mandatory to receive unemployment benes or public assistance?

  • (Show?)

    Steve - Where do you get the idea that I am an elected officeholder or "in government"? I lost a pretty close race for the legislature a a few years back, but I haven't been employed by state or local government since I worked as a lifeguard 20 years ago.

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    A pure democracy would resemble a New England town hall meeting where every voting age citizen has to vote on every single issue. Some would prefer this, but the complexity of trying to have a pure democracy for 300+ million individuals would make the current US Senate in action resemble a NASCAR race.

    Happy New Year...1910.

    Meanwhile, in 2010, we have the technology to handle the situation. You could even extend that, considering the way Americans vote, and write a "bot" for each person to represent their interests. Virtual New England.

    Posted by: Steve Marx | Jan 1, 2010 1:34:49 PM

    Mr Peralta - Actually since you are in govt, I did have one question. Why don't we make drug testing mandatory to receive unemployment benes or public assistance?

    This is the kind of thinking that has our best and brightest unemployed, while the clowns run the circus.

  • (Show?)

    Back in June, House and Senate Republicans issued a challenge to the Co-Chairs claming they could improve funding for core programs at the current level of expected revenue by holding most line-items in the 2007-2009 funding level in the GF.

    Funds that the Republicans targeted to capture in lieu of taxes (to balance the 2009-2011 budget) are currently obligated in the list that follows.

    ~Monies dedicated to (state) or categorical(federal)funding. ~Monies dedicated to Debt service transfers. ~ Monies dedicated revenue source (timber tax) for community college operations. ~Monies obligated for ongoing construction projects at community college campuses. ~ Monies held in trust funds (some constitutional) - example: Employment Compensation Trust Fund. ~ Monies in Reserves to offset cyclical revenue variations to protect against catastrophes, legal challenges, health and safety issues, or other major business crisis. ~Monies for loan repayments. ~Monies for Opportunity grants for students to attend college. ~Monies for child support payments from obligees. ~Monies for conflagration (fire protection) funding in the State Fire Marshal's office and the Department of Forestry. ~Monies from third party revenues for Oregon State Hospital for patient care. ~Monies from Oregon State Police funds. ~Monies from the Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Intervention Account. ~Monies from environmental and landfill accounts.

    This is a far from the exhaustive list of line items that woud be repurposed by the Minority in the Oregon Legislature. They propose to target funds that cannot be touched, that do not really exist, or that backfill General Fund programs which only create a larger hole to fill in the overall state budget - creating a political shell game. The Minority proposed a $500 million dollar sweep in which they mischaracterize as a "no cuts" budget. The centerpiece of their funding plan, is the use of continuosly appropriated agency funds ending balances.

    Acording to one of the Senate architects of the plan, the Republicans' recommendation that $500 million of ending balance money (out of $2.9 billion in resouces described above) was an arbitrarily chosen number. The assertion that $500 million is available is without evidence.

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    Happy New Decade to all.........

    There was no year zero. Our calendar goes from 1 BC to 1 AD. So the first decade wasn't over until New Year's 11 AD. Consequently the decade isn't over for another year.

    Now don't you feel stupid for not having your millenium bash at discount rates in 2001?

  • (Show?)

    Purity Peri,

    Since both Time and the various calendars are human constructs, we're a lot better off going with the zeitgeist than the math.

    Wouldn't you agree?

  • Bartender (unverified)
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    Why don't we make drug testing mandatory to receive unemployment benes or public assistance?

    Yet another unfunded mandate. And this would save money how?

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "This is the kind of thinking that has our best and brightest unemployed, while the clowns run the circus."

    When you say circus, are you referring to the government?

    Otherwise, you are making no sense in response to a serious question.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "Where do you get the idea that I am an elected officeholder or "in government"?"

    Ok, my mistake, same question is asked however.

  • HST (unverified)
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    Re: the right vs the far-right dialogue on BO:

    Politics is the art of controlling your environment.

    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    Posted by: Pat Ryan | Jan 1, 2010 2:09:44 PM

    Purity Peri,

    Since both Time and the various calendars are human constructs, we're a lot better off going with the zeitgeist than the math.

    Wouldn't you agree?

    Sure. It's just that if you do it that way, there's got to be one decade in the last 2000 years that only has 9 years. I propose we remove one of the 1970s. They definitely weren't worth 10 years.

  • (Show?)

    The assertion that $500 million is available is without evidence.

    That's the nut of the whole issue, Paulie.

  • Pete Forsyth (unverified)
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    Pat and Peri, I'm just droppin' in to give you each 10 points for the entertainment. But I'm wondering why we're not shortening GWB's term to 7 years.

  • Larry D. (unverified)
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    I am glad Socialism is winning big in this state.

    I'd like to see a government program set up and funded by taxing the rich, that would pay for my internet access. Internet access should be completely free. I am tired of paying the bill.

  • (Show?)

    Steve - I haven't given the matter much thought. What is the policy goal you are hoping to accomplish? How much would you guess such a program would cost to implement? How would you fund the program? Do you see any potentially negative consequences for implementing it? What would be the main arguments against such a policy, in your view?

  • Bartender (unverified)
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    A quick search sez 360,000 Oregonians were on unemployment this year, and 650,000 got food stamps. That's almost a million state residents, Steve.

    I have no idea what a drug test costs, but at even $10 a pop (which seems rather low to me), that's $10 million per year to drug test these folks just once.

    What a way to save money.

  • Scott (unverified)
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    Dream on, Novick. That poll is as a bogus as a poll from Newsmax.

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    Talk about the systematic abuse of data invented for that abuse... So, "Vote Yes" says they're ahead. The Oregonian repeats that, and then you post on why you're winning. Sounds like the climate "research" that Parker and Kar-lock promote. The simple answer is, "because you said you are". I know it's a pep rally, but you can do better. Can't you?

    This means justify the ends crap really turns progressives off. Add an "h" and remove an "n" to/from the last word and the title is a lot more accurate.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Excellent guest opinion in the Oregonian.

    Or course, this is from someone who has actually served in the legislature, not just someone who blogs.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/01/oregon_tax_reform_kicking_the.html

    Let's see legislative candidates and candidates for Gov. (of any party) answer the challenge in the column.

    Time to stop the vague rhetoric and start talking about solving actual problems.

  • Marguerite Cohen (unverified)
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    Maybe we're just done with the 30 year lie of Ronald Reagan, that we can cut our taxes and everything will be just fine. 30 years of neglect of our human and social infrastructure needs to be turned around. We must rebuild the commons.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "What is the policy goal you are hoping to accomplish?" Pros: 1) Make sure unemployed are eligible for work 2) Keep families on public aid drug-free 3) Potentially limit payouts to those known as drug-free 4) Encoutrage people not ot use drugs and maybe catch them before they get expensive to treat 5) Keep those on the dole drug-free to ensure funds are not used for drugs Cons: Cost - I don't like jails, but if my choice is jails or having criminals run free, I'll pay. We could always do random testing if cost is really a concern.

  • Galen (unverified)
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    "Maybe we're just done with the 30 year lie of Ronald Reagan, that we can cut our taxes and everything will be just fine. 30 years of neglect of our human and social infrastructure needs to be turned around. We must rebuild the commons." Reagan was a great speaker but he did not believe much of what he said. I think your point is more concerned with expanding social programs so read on.

    When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it. --Frederic Bastiat

    You cannot have both social freedom and socialism. One always works against the other. Just as you cannot instigate wars for freedom and expect freedom at home to flourish. Your very desires work in opposition to your vision of equality of all men. When you empower government to give you everything you want, you also empower it to take everything you have.

  • Stewart (unverified)
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    Galen is spot on with the reference to Bastiat. I didn't see any refutation of the principles from "The Law", which are quite relevenant to M66/M67....

    Anyone?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    I see that Steve wants to continue the war on some drugs, as used by some people.

    How about we up the ante and test for tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine?

    Oh, and test all employees of government contractors on a monthly basis. If any employees test positive, the contract is canceled.

  • (Show?)

    Steve - According to the statistics someone gave in this thread, about 1 in 5 people in Oregon received public assistance in 2009. Are you comfortable with the state government maintaining data at such a level on its citizens? Would this data be shared with prospective employers? If so, would this contribute to a permanent underclass of people who cannot be employed? If not, would the state have any potential liability for not sharing the results of such tests with prospective employers?

    Do you have a notion as to the costs of such a program?

    If the goal is to reduce drug use, do you have data that demonstrates that the program you are suggesting actually reduces drug use, and does it do so more cost-effectively than treatment and other similar programs?

    Are there any potential unintended consequences of your proposal? 1 in 4 people living in poverty are children, and much of public assistance is intended to minimize the effects of poverty on children. Should a child be denied access to AFDC and other programs designed to minimize the effect on poverty because they have a parent who tests positive for drugs?

    Are you running the risk of increasing social costs elsewhere by denying unemployment insurance and other types of social assistance to people who test positive for drug use? Will we see a rise in homelessness? Crime? etc.

    How would such a program deal with false-positives?

    Would a one-time positive test permanently bar people from receiving public assistance?

    How broad-based do you think this program should be? Is it a state program or a fedral one?

    If it's federal, currently, the federal government has a program that allows people to refinance their mortgages at a lower rate through their private lender. Should people who test positive be denied access to programs like that one?

  • LT (unverified)
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    Sal makes a good point. Testing of that sort sounds good in rhetoric, but the logistics are something else. And without evidence that the testing really solves the problem, why is that a better use of scarce resources than anything else?

    Reminds me of when George Shultz was a member of Reagan's cabinet. Reagan got mad at leaks and demanded everyone (from cabinet secretary on down) be given a polygraph test.

    Shultz said fine, he'd take the test. And then immediately resign--no cabinet secretary could do his job if the president had that little faith in him.

    It is time as we enter a new decade to seriously consider a slogan which I first heard a couple decades ago. Rather than following ideology or knee jerk reactions, the saying went, "Increasingly what is important is not what is left or right but what works".

    Now, if Steve is serious enough about his idea to research various methods of drug testing (which is best, the cheapest type of testing or the one with the lowest false positives--that data on effectiveness is already available), cost per drug test, who will administer drug tests (private contractors supervised by____ or public employees), will they be paid more than min. wage, where the money will come from (some sort of fees, budget cuts elsewhere?) and find a legislator willing to introduce this proposal, that would make it a serious proposal worthy of debating.

    Maybe I am wrong, but my sense is that Steve's idea is knee-jerk like the legislators who just throw out ideas (drain ending fund balances, make state employees pay for their own health care insurance, among other ideas) and if only we did that it would solve the problem and no other solution need be discussed publicly.

    There have been serious proposals debated publicly, not only in legislative hearings but by groups like the Public Comm. on the Legislature. An idea was put out for discussion in a public forum, one member supports it and then maybe another member points out potential flaws, and in a mature, civil fashion the idea is debated.

    I have no problem with that, but I do have a problem with throwing out an idea which sounds like "I believe in this, therefore it will work and you should support it".

    That is not the way things get done. Things get done by building coalitions, often by talking face to face with others in a position to make it happen.

    Blogging is a great way to debate, but even if every blogger agreed on something, that would not make it happen.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Galen, someone who lived roughly 2 centuries ago is relevant to the discussion of a 2010 ballot measure because.............?

    Stewart, if we all say a French economist from 2 centuries ago should dictate what the Oregon legislature does, that will solve problems by...........?

  • Bartender (unverified)
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    Those were all very nice and noble sounding reasons, Mr. Marx, but it really comes down to the last doesn't it?

    Keep those on the dole drug-free to ensure funds are not used for drugs.

    Another costly solution in search of a problem. Brought to you by a self-professed smart business guy.

    Scream and wail about the budget and the rising cost of this and that whenever possible, but then propose an unfunded mandate - damn the cost - and without any idea if a)there is such a problem to solve and b)if this approach would work if there was. This is how we all should do business??

    Also good to know you think those who've lost their legal, tax-paying jobs and are drawing on benefits set aside for them for just such an emergency, are on the dole. And that a good number of them aren't working because of their drug abuse problems.

    What a twit.

  • subtlefuge (unverified)
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    I don't understand how someone can refer to these measures as "plunder." If Measure 66 passes, and if people don't like paying an additional 1.8% in taxes on individual income over $125,000 or household income of $250,000, they would be free to choose to take a pay cut or move to another state, so there's no "plunder" whatsoever. You only have to pay if you choose to earn that much money.

    If Measure 67 passes, and if corporations feel the $140 increase in the minimum is going to bankrupt them, they're free to stop doing business here in Oregon. Once again, no "plunder" is involved. Corporations only have to pay if they choose to do business in Oregon, and they'd be free to choose not to. See, it's all about choice and freedom! You don't hate freedom, do you?

    If you think the two preceding paragraphs are ridiculous, you may be correct, but then again, arguing that people are free to take a pay cut if they're unhappy with the tax rate is really no more ridiculous than arguing that people are free to find a different job if they're unhappy with their pay rate. My guess is that the same people who have been arguing the latter for the past few decades or so are the same ones who are now complaining about these measures.

  • Brig. Peri Brown, Purity Troll Brigade (unverified)
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    Steve, is your testing regime to penalize people that don't live a PC life, or to limit waste of public funds? If the latter, there are many other factors that contribute much more directly.

    Do bad marriage's not affect getting off the dole? I know kids do. Let's meet half way. You lose public assistance if you get pregnant. Fair?

    So, this was about rewarding/penalizing those that obey the state!

  • Galen (unverified)
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    "Galen, someone who lived roughly 2 centuries ago is relevant to the discussion of a 2010 ballot measure because.............?"

    "You only have to pay if you choose to earn that much money."

    When voters pass a tax on one group to benefit another it is plunder. If you lived in nature you would not have the authority to take from someone just because they had more and make them pay for services you use. Nor do you posses the authority to give to the state, but you make it law anyway. This is done out of lack of education regarding these principles. After 200 years simple principles like stealing and violence to not change, only the knowledge what they mean. Principles are timeless unless of course you like Hitler's way of doing business, then you use popular values. Keep in mind the only reason yo use the state to bring about your social plans is because in the end the state can use violence to make the plundered comply.

    The second quote is incredible but common among those educated in public schools and by the new society. If you cannot have something because of mob rule or you must leave your home because the mob wants to plunder you. Well that has problems in itself, but it does not change the fact that it is still plunder.

    I am glad people are at least asking questions though. We do want similar things for society, it's just the method of plunder does lead to failure. It does not work long term and even if it did work it is unjust and counter productive.

    "Corporations only have to pay if they choose to do business in Oregon, and they'd be free to choose not to. See, it's all about choice and freedom! You don't hate freedom, do you?"

    This sounds like a mix of republican neoconservative rhetoric with modern "values", but a great point to deal with. Plunder is not freedom. Please look up freedom in the dictionary. Freedom requires a lack of coercion and fraud. These measures have both elements in them. Your part is very true. This is a very anti-business tax and those who have not come will not and a few may leave. This is a very anti-job mentality.

    "arguing that people are free to take a pay cut if they're unhappy with the tax rate is really no more ridiculous than arguing that people are free to find a different job if they're unhappy with their pay rate."

    No this is called market response. The state is not above humanity, it is a servant. If everyone in the market is taking losses including the rich how come they must pay more when they are making less? So the state can live in luxury? The market response is natural and expected. The state makes bad policy, the market here is worse than many other states as a result, it must eat the pie it served. When the state does not have to respond to market conditions, you have created a new unsustainable monster.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "Steve, is your testing regime to penalize people that don't live a PC life"

    My issue was more about not giving people public aid if they continue to use drugs. Using drugs would lead to a more unstable home life and less of an ability to be employed.

    If you'd rather look the other way and enable people to continue to use drugs and collect funds which we are running out of, then I'd disagree.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "without any idea if a)there is such a problem to solve and b)if this approach would work if there was."

    Your solution or why this wouldn't work?

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "That is not the way things get done. Things get done by building coalitions, often by talking face to face with others in a position to make it happen."

    In the past 20 years, this has helped reduce the cost of govt how?

    Again, we are running out of pockets to get taxes from. You can either look at cost reductions while you have a choice or you can wait until you get forced to do some ugly stuff.

    I only ask for some foresight since anything proposed to reduce the cost of govt is going to be seen as a subversive right-wing Grover Norquist hating-the-workers approach.

    If we can get beyond name-calling and actually address solutions, it'd be nice.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "Should a child be denied access to AFDC and other programs designed to minimize the effect on poverty because they have a parent who tests positive for drugs?"

    Should we continue to look the other way and leave a child with parrents using drugs?

  • (Show?)

    Steve - Policies often sound well-and-good as sound-bytes, but when you probe a little deeper there can be a myriad of reasons why they don't warrant implementation after any sort of serious consideration.

  • Brig. Peri Brown, Purity Troll Brigade (unverified)
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    Why do you worship "drugs". The concept does not exist in the real world any more than "good dress sense". There are a lot of ways to micromanage peoples' lives that control more outcomes than "drugs" do, and leave more public funds intact.

    Should we continue to look the other way and leave a child with parrents using drugs?

    Compared to all the ones that are evangelicals or earn their living committing fraud, or are guilty of violent felonies? Those lifestyles are certifiably more destructive to their childrens' lives than the fact that some of their psychopharacaological behavior doesn't measure up to your litmus test.

    Yeah, there's a drug problem, and, Steve Marx, you've got it!

  • fbear (unverified)
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    When voters pass a tax on one group to benefit another it is plunder.

    Poppycock! All taxes are collected unevenly, and their benefits are always distributed unevenly.

    If you lived in nature you would not have the authority to take from someone just because they had more and make them pay for services you use.

    Here's news for you: We don't live in nature.

    And, even if we did, your premise still wouldn't hold, because humans are, by nature, social animals, and redistribution of resources, up and down, is inherent in social animals.

  • Bartender (unverified)
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    You don't know what you're talking about Mr. Marx. DHS is very aggressive in addressing drug abuse in recipients of AFDC. A case worker is required to have each client attend an A/D, as well as MH, screening prior to receiving benefits. They can also require a random, on-the-spot urine test at any time, the refusal of which results in a disqualification. Disqualification means a reductions in benefits at first, and further disqualifications eventually result in the loss of benefits for the entire family.

    At which point, the children are referred to child services, and if the parent cannot provide for them - either due to their A/D issues, or because they no longer have the financial resources to care for them properly - the children will be removed and placed in foster care. Now there's a real money saver! AFDC pays an entire family of three about $550 per month. While the state pays more than that, on average, PER CHILD in foster care.

    Quit hiding behind your claim that you're worried about the kids. It's quite obvious you're just pissed about "your" tax dollars going to help those "on the dole," and are unfairly stereotyping those hit hard by the recession (caused by your heroes on wall street) as loser drug addicts who'd be working now except for their own personal problems.

    It's friggin hilarious that you, "only ask for some foresight" in proposing to reduce the cost of govt, yet don't know or care if there's even a problem, OR what it might cost to implement your "solution"!! Typical conservative response. Taxes (and increased govt spending) are bad - but not for the programs I want.

    I'm tired of listening to the sage old business advice for state leaders from people with such a lack of common sense as this. Our pols can use all the help they can get, but not from "sensible" business people like this.

  • Stewart (unverified)
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    "Stewart, if we all say a French economist from 2 centuries ago should dictate what the Oregon legislature does, that will solve problems by...........?"

    Bastiat can't dictate anything since is long since gone. But the principles he lays out in The Law are timeless.

    It is perfectly clear that M66/M67 is legalizing plunder. Why? Because the measures take something that legally belongs to another and gives it to whom it does not belong. Laws should prevent this from happening, not legalize it.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "You only have to pay if you choose to earn that much money."

    Oh! Everyone who is making above poverty level income is doing so because they "chose" to do so?

    Anyone who was making a salary above $125,000 but then was laid off due to merger, collapse of industry business, or other reason "chooses" to no longer be earning that salary because anyone who tries hard enough could find another job at that salary with very little effort?

    Spoken like a true Reaganite. How's that philosophy been doing at the polls for you among people who once had secure jobs but were fired with little or no warning?

    Steve, "If you'd rather look the other way and enable people to continue to use drugs and collect funds which we are running out of, then I'd disagree."

    So, anyone collecting unemployment or welfare is using drugs unless you can be convinced otherwise? No single parent is collecting TANF due to death or desertion? Gee if they are poor they must have a substance abuse problem because you say so and you know everything about the lives of every Oregonian? What is your source of information?

    So the cost and the logistics of your drug testing plan don't matter, you're a good Reaganite who "knows" that the people who are barely making ends meet choose to live that lifestyle and if they were only clean, sober, churchgoing folk they would have good jobs?

    Exactly what is your occupational background which leads you to that conclusion?

    Is there no market force which could cause your income to drop should you lose your current employment? Is your health insurance such that no medical problem could cause you to have trouble paying bills?

    Does your religion make you so suspicious of everyone who doesn't live up to your specifications? Or are you a Social Darwinist who believes everyone who tries hard enough prospers in any economy, and there must be some moral flaw to anyone who is poor?

  • Rick Hickey (unverified)
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    You just may Win and get your tax increase only because hundreds of thousands of persons who pay no income taxes and never will and only vote for Socialists will make it so - Illegal aliens CAN vote here.

    Page 88 voters pamphlet says if you have no License or S.S.# you CAN vote in Oregon!

    Yes at least 300,000 non-citizens will cancel out the votes of us Americans here. and with their underground network who helps them steal a job, false ID, housing, benefits, etc. is also making sure they all vote too.

    PS. Your very own endorse only far leftie candidates- "The Oregonian" paper said NO to these harmful tax increases today.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Stewart,

    "But the principles he lays out in The Law are timeless."

    Why don't you run for the legislature on that platform and see how well you do?

    The Oregon Constitution begins "We the people of the state of Oregon..."

    Nowhere is it written that every Oregonian must agree with any expert on anything.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "In the past 20 years, this has helped reduce the cost of govt how?"

    Can we agree that tax breaks must be paid for either by budget cuts or by some other source of revenue?

    Where were you when Republicans totally controlled the legislature? Complaining they had no power because a Gov. makes all the spending decisions?

    A fan of Randy Miller as W & M co-chair?

    Or not paying attention because Republicans always know what they are doing and only Democrats make mistakes?

    Work on a legislative campaign this year and see if you can get your ideas heard by the legislature.

    Unless you think blogging is more powerful than anything the legislature can do.

  • Ricky (unverified)
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    I got a phone call from some moron from Vote Yes for Oregon. He started to tell me that he believes in voting YES so much that even his wife's small business that hardly makes any money, let alone profit will have to pay the increased minimum tax.

    Then I pointed out that sole proprietorships are not liable for the increased minimum tax, therefore his wife could not possibly pay an additional minimum tax, since the business isn't incorporated, but a sole proprietorship. I also pointed out that President Obama wants to provide tax cuts and tax credits in order to stimulate hiring for small businesses in the state of Oregon. President Obama outlined his plan to cut taxes for businesses in his Jobs Bill speech, only a few weeks ago.

    The man on the phone called me a bad name and hung up. Where do you get these people from?

    I'm still voting NO on 67 for sure, but now leaning undecided on 66, after leaning NO. There are many people being misinformed on the impacts of this measure from both the YES and NO camps. For instance, will passing them lose 70,000 jobs? No. Will passing them create a job loss of ZERO. No. The true answer lies somewhere in between, and our state economist estimates job loss in the thousands, not tens of thousands.

    But this is what happens when one side of the political spectrum or another latches onto some idea they believe will be a solution to what our governor called a "temporary band-aid" to the general fund. All my life I have heard that our schools, etc. are going to suffer greatly unless we pass a temporary county tax, increase property taxes, etc. Yet, our schools are still failing and performing in the lowest ranking of performance in Mathematics and Science, tied for 48th place in the NATION.

    The chatter and the gigantic arguments, put forth in the voters pamphlet has made these measures a sham of emotion and not reason.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Because the measures take something that legally belongs to another and gives it to whom it does not belong.

    No, the measures help pay for services provided to all of us by the government. Not all of us use those services, but they are available to all of us if needed, and are the price for living in a civilized society.

    If you want to live as a "rugged individual", get yourself dropped naked into a wilderness and live off the land. Otherwise, accept that taxes are a cost of society, just like your utility bill is a cost of living in a warm dwelling.

  • Patricia Julber (unverified)
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    I am a small business owner,who has incorporated, that will be put out of business if measure 66/67 pass. I have only 4 employees and have struggled to make sure they get a paycheck while I haven't taken one in two years! I will not be able to pay my lease, my employees and my "fair share" of taxes if this passes. I will be able to close my business and "retire" though. I pay my fair share of taxes now based on what I earn, not what my gross profits are.

    Also some of the money is going to giving public employees a raise. I am truly annoyed by the tug at the heart strings campaign to make people feel education doesn't get enough money. Baloney! When are teachers and administrators going to be held accountable like businesses are? I haven't had either a raise or a paycheck, why should they get one? I am a Democrat by the way, but I don't believe in any one not reining in spending when they don't have the money.

    Patricia Julber

  • ThinkOregon (unverified)
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    Oops... seems like The Oregonian Editorial Board might have a different perspective:

    The Oregonian Editorial Board: Vote No On Measures 66 And 67

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    Oregonian DIDNT report ... "Yes on 66/67" did and, Oregonian regurgitated ...

    http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/12/tax_hike_supporters_offer_poll.html

    If you don't have the facts, hide behind a tapestry of lies.

    I see you, lying.

    G.

  • subtlefuge (unverified)
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    "Principles are timeless unless of course you like Hitler's way of doing business"

    Galen, Google "Godwin's Law" and "Reductio ad Hitlerum." I'd be happy to debate this subject with you once you're ready to approach it like an adult.

    "Yes at least 300,000 non-citizens will cancel out the votes of us Americans here. and with their underground network who helps them steal a job, false ID, housing, benefits, etc. is also making sure they all vote too."

    Bullshit. Show me one documented instance from the last 50 years of a non-citizen voting in a state or national election in Oregon, let alone 300,000.

    "Spoken like a true Reaganite."

    LT, I was being facetious. Go back and read my post again.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Hmmm.

    the real reason the YES on 66 and 67 believe that they are winning is because 97% of the voting population will look and see that they get to pass the increase onto the 3% that they will most likely never become a part of.

    That will include the approximately 51,000 state employees who have a vested interest in the outcome of the 66/67 campaign.

    the 40% pay increase ODF gave to the ~ 750 seasonal firefighters in september 2009 increase payroll costs by about $3.1 Million.

  • Stewart (unverified)
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    "No, the measures help pay for services provided to all of us by the government. Not all of us use those services, but they are available to all of us if needed, and are the price for living in a civilized society."

    I agree. We should all pay for the services.

    So why does M66/M67 mandate that someone else pay more for the same services, while others do not have to pay more? Do you wish to live and prosper by consuming the product and labor of others, or are you willing to pay the price of living in a civilized society and pay for increased government spending along with everyone else?

  • pacnwjay (unverified)
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    Patricia,

    I'd be interested to hear more about your business. Perhaps you are the exceedingly rare exception to the rule! How is your company incorporated? Most small businesses aren't C-corps. Do you have annual Oregon sales of over 500K? That's awesome! And I'm impressed that you are wealthy enough to go for over two years without a paycheck! I'm envious.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Patricia, if you run a small incorporated company which can afford the $10 corporate min. but would be put out of business by an extra $140 in taxes, it sounds like you are the poster child OAJKT has been looking for.

    Unless, of course, there is more to the story--as with the man living on the Oregon Idaho border who thought he would have to move over the border to Idaho until his tax status was studied and it was discovered that his tax bill would only go up by $140.

    If the taxes fail, will your company survive given the current economic climate?

    Or could it be there is more to the picture than you say?

    Are you one of those folks who think the Ways and Means committee made no cuts in the last session?

    Which cuts did you suggest to your state legislator which didn't pass?

    It is true that not enough attention has been paid to top administrator salaries.

    But if anyone thinks all public employees should give up their benefits and go back to what they were making 10 years ago and that would both balance the budget and improve education, they might want to think twice about that idea.

    Patricia, you need to talk with your legislators--the people with the power to make budget decisions. Or maybe run for the legislature yourself.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Think Oregon--will you be at the capitol in Feb. watching the proceedings?

    How do we know you aren't a lobbyist or an activist with OAJKT?

    Are you just one lone blogger with aspirations to control the debate?

    No one has to agree with any editorial, although the Oregonian has a more intelligent discussion than we have heard from OAJKT.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "Policies often sound well-and-good as sound-bytes"

    UNfortunately, I think any polcy that aims at controlling the cost of govt will find ways to get shot down as often as tax increases will be shoved thru.

    This all started with a comment that we keep raising taxes, govt still doesn't have enough, schools and the needy get less.

    Lather, rinse and repeat in two years.

    Except now we will tax corporations that are operating at a loss, if they have gross income. I am not seeing how this is encouraging other companies to move here, existing ones to expand or high income earners not to leave. All of which will hit state revenues and then we'll be in the same crisis two years from now.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "thinks all public employees should give up their benefits and go back to what they were making 10 years ago"

    You mean like what's happening to most taxpayers now?

    If it makes you happy, I officially give up trying to convince anyone that the status quo isn't working.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    "I am a small business owner,who has incorporated, that will be put out of business if measure 66/67 pass."

    I call bullshit on Patricia - she will be put out of business because she hitched her success to the over-heated housing industry as an interior designer.

    However I do believe you when you say you haven't had a paycheck in 2 years. Probably because you haven't had in business in 2 years.

    "I haven't had either a raise or a paycheck, why should they get one?"

    Because unlike you, they didn't chose a vocation selling luxury items or services, but rather stayed in school and earned a masters degree to perform a highly valued service.

    Yes Patricia, you will be out of business soon - but not from any type of tax increase. But if it makes you feel any better, there are a whole lot of teachers and educators being laid off as we speak.

  • (Show?)

    UNfortunately, I think any polcy that aims at controlling the cost of govt will find ways to get shot down as often as tax increases will be shoved thru.

    Interesting point. Unfortunately, there is no reason to suppose that the proposal you made would do anything to reduce government expenditures. You did not provide a single argument as to how much this would cost to implement, nor made any claim that your proposal would reduce government expenditures.

  • Morris_Todd (unverified)
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    In the Editorial it said the measures would make businesses with high volume sales and NO profits pay upto $100k? Is that a true statement or is that spin?

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    My favorite part of the editorial:

    The supporters of the tax measures bristle now at any suggestion of class warfare, but they are spending millions of dollars on advertisements claiming that the measures are not about you, but about them -- those lucky few rich Oregonians not paying their "fair share." They don't bother to explain how paying one of the nation's highest income taxes amounts to skating on one's responsibilities.
  • (Show?)

    Morris - It's a true statement, but only if the company in question does $100 million in annual revenue in the state of Oregon.

  • Rob (unverified)
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    Ah, you mean the same Oregonian whose Editorial Board came out with the recommendation to "Vote NO on Measures 66 & 67"

    Wrong time, wrong tax hikes: Vote no on Measures 66, 67 - Oregonian Editorial Board, January 02, 2010

    "Of all times, of all things, the Democrats in the Oregon Legislature chose now, in the throes of one of the worst recessions in history, to make business an enemy. They chose this moment to pit business against schools, the private sector against public unions, employers against the jobless."

    "The two referrals on the Jan. 26 special election ballot -- Measure 66 and Measure 67 -- insist that Oregonians pick a side, to accept one lousy, harmful choice or the other. No, we won't do it. You shouldn't, either."

    "It didn't have to come to this. The Democrats who control the Legislature could have approved a modest and mostly temporary package of business tax increases with the full support of the Oregon Business Association, which represents many of the state's largest and most public-minded corporations.

    "Instead, Democrats bent to the demands of the most liberal members of their House caucus and approved an unwise and ill-timed package of corporate and personal tax increases that has infuriated virtually every business group and commercial sector in Oregon."

    Ouch!

  • Galen (unverified)
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    "Poppycock! All taxes are collected unevenly, and their benefits are always distributed unevenly."

    This is simply not true and not backed up by the facts. The fuel tax for example funds roads. It is paid by how much you consume.
    Sales taxes for example do not target earning, but only consumption. The idea that the more you consume the more you benefit and the more you pay. However, Gross receipts taxes do not tax you on how much you benefit in accordance to how much you pay. They just tax you because your gross despite your standing or consumption or benefit. They target you by class and use your money for benefits for other people.

    Plunder is also includes the act of trying to create monetary equality by taxing one group and helping another. This is not the role of good government to decide such things. In relation to a third world country for example we are all fairly "rich" shouldn't you be forced to create monetary quality for third world countries? If not why not? Why should you be allowed to keep what you have even one penny when others are dying in third world countries?

    "Here's news for you: We don't live in nature. " This is true but it does not mean that natural laws do not apply. To say that it does not is make yourself a subject of government. It would also be an admission of a violation of the foundation of or nation and the very reason we create governments: To protect our life liberty and property. We do not create government so they can plunder is. We create them to stop plunder.

    These principles are ancient but then again you tend to think probably old things are bad and only "new" ideas (that are in fact just old ideas presented as new to those who do not read history or philosophy)are the best.

  • Galen (unverified)
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    "Poppycock! All taxes are collected unevenly, and their benefits are always distributed unevenly."

    This is simply not true and not backed up by the facts. The fuel tax for example funds roads. It is paid by how much you consume.
    Sales taxes for example do not target earning, but only consumption. The idea that the more you consume the more you benefit and the more you pay. Gross receipts tax do not tax you on how much you benefit in accordance to how much you pay. They just tax you because your gross despite your standing or consumption or benefit. They target you by class and use your money for benefits for other people.

    Plunder is also included the act of trying to create monetary equality by taxing one group and helping another. This is not the role of good government to decide such things. In relation to a third world country for example we are all fairly "rich" shouldn't you be forced to create monetary quality for third world countries? If not why not? Why should you be allowed to keep what you have even one penny when others are dying in third world countries?

    "Here's news for you: We don't live in nature. " No but the laws of nature still apply. To deny this is to deny that we create government to protect life liberty and property not to plunder. In fact we create them to protect us from such things. Maybe you don't like the "old" ideas and want to replace them with "new progressive" ideas. Let me tell you a secret, your new ideas are only new to those who do not read history or philosophy. They can only be instituted by ignorance of past events. To fool people they call it progress.

  • (Show?)

    Galen - You've got basically a high school background and maybe a couple of lower division courses to go with some personal study of Rand or Hayek. But you clearly have no background in philosophy. Don't try to pretend otherwise.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Let's watch them spin the Oregonian into some element of the far right talking points brigade.

  • troll weevil (unverified)
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    The obvious answer to the "Don't raise my taxes" crowd is to end Obama's wars, occupations, military bases and arms spending, and to use the money instead for necessary social programs here at home. But you Democrats have your heads so far up the Dear Leader's rectum that you'll never say the obvious.

    [The Obama] total war plan is destroying our economy at home. More than 40 states are now in fiscal crisis. Here in Maine public education is being eviscerated and social programs are next on the block to have their heads removed. But teachers or workers inside of the social service agencies are unwilling to raise their voices and say the obvious – bring our war $$ home so we can maintain social progress. They have been made job scared. Instead, they call for more taxes that an already belabored public rejects out of hand, and they are dismissed as socialists. Thus those trying to preserve domestic tranquility get marginalized. Meanwhile, few are willing to make the connections and speak the truth about the very real, local consequences of endless war.

    So as Obama’s total war rages overseas it is also being waged on us here at home. Except, because they have us focused 24-7 on the antics of a hapless airplane bomber, we are taking our eyes off the ball that is being ripped right out of our hands. That is the value of Obama, the magician.

    We have sadly become slaves, chained to wars, as we watch our very social fabric torn apart. But we remain silent, as we have been programmed to do. And still, in the midst of all that, we boast about our great freedoms here at home as we strip down to our underpants at the airline security check-in.

    There is a way out but it takes courage. The courage to speak up, to defend our constitution, to defend social progress, to defend the future generations. Real courage is needed to call for an end to total war.

    (COURAGE TO END TOTAL WAR, http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2010/01/courage-to-end-total-war.html)

  • LT (unverified)
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    Is galen supporting a sales tax?

  • Mike M (unverified)
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    What exactly are we winning?

    We're excusing the legislature from seriously considering spending controls by tempting them with free money. The stimulus money from the feds is enticing all the states to fill their budget shortfall by spending to increase existing safety net programs and creating new ones that cannot be eliminated.

    What happens when these existing programs and new spending initiatives no longer get federal funding? How will the stimulus funds be replaced?

    One way of course is tax revenue from renewed and expanding economic activity; unfortunately, the economy is receding, and the new spending is not aimed at development and job creation (except within the public sector). The public sector alone cannot generate the money necessary for running the state.

    Or will Oregon ask its residents to pay a little more for the next budget gap, and then a little more to address the PERS crisis that is coming, and then the local jurisdictions will ask for a little more to pay their unfunded pension obligations?

  • LT (unverified)
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    "We're excusing the legislature from seriously considering spending controls by tempting them with free money."

    Mike, exactly how much time did you spend contacting legislators (esp. members of Ways and Means) during the 2009 session?

    How much time will you spend contacting legislators during the Feb. session?

    What is your specific proposal for PERS? Public employees don't deserve a retirement fund? Every public employee must have their PERS cut in half? Did you support the PERS reform back several sessions ago? Are4 you a Saxton fan who thought PERS = ENRON was a solution?

    Or are insults easier than specifics?

  • Mike (unverified)
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    LT asks if I contacted my legislators:

    This is a popular refrain of yours.

    Yes, I talked to my legislators. Yes, I contacted the budget committee members. Yes, I provided them with information and asked questions. I even made suggestions.

    My questions to the governor's offices were forwarded to the department responsible for drafting the budget, and I received a comprehensive reply to my questions and comments. I'd post them here if it were possible, but there are limits to what can be posted. You can find the response over at Think Oregon.

    A majority of the legislators disagree with my observations and suggestions, choosing to take the stimulus money as the easy way out instead of working on a solution that is more long term and fair to the citizens of Oregon.

    A question back to you:

    Just how will Oregon meet its spending needs when: - the stimulus money is gone? - tax revenues are below forecast, even if 66/67 passes? - pending PERS obligations come due? - employment levels remain as they are?

    LT, I'm pretty sure that you know some of the answers but are not willing to give them light by writing here. You have enough experience within Oregon to know how this will eventually play out. As do others who are hoping for 66/67 passage. It's what is next around the corner that people should be thinking about.

  • Mike (unverified)
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    As for PERS,

    Of course employees deserve retirement benefits. Did I say otherwise? I asked how it would be paid.

    My suggestion is simple. Only state bankruptcy can fix the older PERS.

    For the the present and future PERS never promise a benefit that is unfunded (like the previous guaranteed 8%).

    Benefits should not exceed contributions and fund earnings.

    Evidently the comment system is having trouble keeping up with long posts, hence the two sequential messages by me.

  • Jiang Lee (unverified)
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    Posted by: Ricky | Jan 2, 2010 10:50:18 AM

    I got a phone call from some moron from Vote Yes for Oregon.

    The man on the phone called me a bad name and hung up. Where do you get these people from?

    <img src="http://www.blueoregon.com/images/minimugs/steve_novick.jpg"> Anyone want to join me tonight? If so, please let me know how to reach you to arrange details. Warning: I really should be phone banking for Measures 66 and 67, so if you say yes, expect to be recuited to phone bank yourself at a later date, to alleviate my guilt.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    New Drinking Game----Every time someone hijacks a BO thread, take a swig. Oops, we'd all be too drunk to do our day jobs!

  • Del (unverified)
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    That opinion is highly debatable.

  • Christian Louboutin (unverified)
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    Good.

  • Boyan (unverified)
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    We are winning because Oregonians think that it’s reasonable to ask households making more than $250,000 a year to pay 1.8% of the amount they make above $250,000 to protect those services.

    <h2>Would it not be just as fair to ask a couple making over $50,000 to pay 0.1% of the amount they make above $50,000 to help fund essential services they rely on too?</h2>

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