The Oregonian Crosses A Line: The “Small Business” Fiction and Measure 66

Steve Novick

If the Oregonian doesn’t believe in progressive taxation – if they don’t believe in the Franklin Roosevelt / Warren Buffett idea that rich people, who have benefited the most from living in a civilized society, should contribute significantly to the continued functioning of civilization - that’s their business, I guess. But yesterday’s editorial crossed a line. It adopted the anti-tax crowd’s charge that Measure 66 is somehow an attack on “small business owners.” That’s false – and the Oregonian should know it. (Full disclosure: I am working for the 'Yes' campaign.)

In fact, according to the Legislative Revenue Office, 93% of small business owners are not affected by Measure 66. Another 5% are people who are affected – but who don’t make their real money from a small business. If you’re rich, people tend to ask you to invest in stuff. If you’re a Jeld-Wen executive who invests in your Aunt Carol’s bakery, technically you’re a rich small business owner, but your richness has nothing to do with your small businessness.

That leaves 2% of small business owners who (1) are affected by Measure 66 and (2) actually make most of the money from their small business.

It’s worth noting that the definition of ‘small business owner’ that both sides are using here includes anyone with any interest in a partnership, S-corp, LLC or sole proprietorship, which includes partners at big firms like Stoel Rives, which isn’t what most of us think of as a small business. (No offense intended to my friends at Stoel Rives.)

Before writing this editorial, I wish the Oregonian had re-read some of its own words. (Actually, come to think of it, I wish the Oregonian had re-read some of its own words before last week’s editorial, too.  Last week’s editorial was based on the premise that there is some alternative to voting yes on 66 and 67, or making damaging cuts to education, health care and public safety.  In September, the editorial board recognized the folly of that fantasy, saying: “There's brave talk about coming back in the February session, after a public vote, to adjust the tax package somewhat more to the liking of Oregon businesses. But after a brutal and expensive battle leading up to a vote -- and at the start of an election year -- does anyone really believe that lawmakers will, or even should, tinker with a tax package that voters have either approved or rejected?” If the Oregonian were the same newspaper today that it was on September 21, it would never have written, as it did last week: “awful choices were not the only ones available to the Legislature last session, and they will not be the only choices in the February session. There will be other revenue options …”)

But the words I wish the Oregonian had re-read prior to writing this editorial were written on October 10.  On that date, the paper recognized that “Oregon is and would remain a good and comparatively low-tax place to do business no matter what the voters decide in January.” It also issued what it called “a plea for accuracy and restraint in what could easily devolve into a damaging war of words.”   

Yesterday’s editorial was neither accurate nor restrained. It suggests that now that the editorial board has taken sides in the battle, it feels justified in using any weapon to win. And it will damage the Oregonian’s relationship with readers who do not want their hometown paper to adopt the kind of rhetoric normally associated with news outlets controlled by Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch

Comments

  • Rudy V. (unverified)
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    yesterday’s editorial crossed a line.

    So, the tooth gnashing at their op eds to date on the measures was just having fun?

    Jesus H. Christ! You're saying the Oregonian knows nothing about progressive taxation, but it DOES know what a progressive blog is?

    If this wins, we'll see much more of Mr. Novick. A quality spinner is always welcome in Salem! Guess you know you'd be toast running for the Council after this shameless display.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    The Oregonian had already lost many of its subscribers prior to these recent editorials and I believe many more have since cancelled their subscriptions. I know of a half dozen people who have cancelled based on The O's joining the "No" side after embracing the "Yes" side of these measures.

  • Bruce Wayne (unverified)
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    It is the yes campaign that has crossed the line, in my opinion. I have gone from an enthusiastic yes on both measures to a hold my nose and vote yes based on the polarizing campaign of the hoi palloi vs the rich and I am observing on TV and in the three mailers that have been sent to my house. I am thinking seriously of voting yes on 67 and no on 66 or just sitting this one out in disgust.

  • Rob (unverified)
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    Way to split hairs Steve! It doesn't matter what % is unaffected (unless your class warfare strategy requires it). What matters is that 2/3 of the people who WILL BE affected by Measure 66 are small business owners.

    The Yes campaign likes to paint the picture that Measure 66 will only hit rich people pulling down big salaries. It will. But the other 2/3 of those affected will be small business owners. The profit that will be taxed is not just their personal pay, but money they need to reinvest in their business and - wait for it - create jobs we need so badly.

    The fact that the largest newspaper in the state can see through your hype and identify the truth should tell you something. The Oregonian has not been a friend to Conservatives. But the Yes campaign doesn't even pass the smell test with them.

  • Rob (unverified)
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    Check this out. Looks like we don't need Measures 66 & 67 after all.

    BREAKING: Secretary Of State Finds $3.3 Billion In Funds

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    Oregonian reporters act as if their very honor has been insulted if you dare question what they claim is an absolute separation between the news and editorial "sides" of the operation. But this was their front page headline and subhead yesterday: "If the tax measures fail" "Schools and services would feel pain but would not suffer a deadly blow"

    I guess it all depends on what you consider deadly. We've been hearing this "Oh, it won't really be so bad" line for almost 20 years of budget cutting. "Do more with less." "Innovate." Haven't we had enough faith-based budgeting?

  • andy (unverified)
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    So Steve, why all the focus on the fact that only a small percentage of people will pay these taxes? Is that somehow supposed to make it better policy? Seems to me you're just trying to make people think they can get something for nothing. That is, people want more services from the state than they are willing to pay for and you're trying to exploit that sense of greed. So what exactly is so progressive about greed? If people want smaller class sizes or whatever they hope for from the increased spending then they should belly up and pay for it. If they won't pay for it then maybe they can't afford it or maybe they don't need it. Just trying to jam the wants of everyone onto a few people doesn't seem like good policy at all. I also notice that you always forget to tell the whole story. Why is that, have you lost your ability to provide thoughtful and factual arguments and now your just provide spin and partial truths? Why not say that the top few percent are already paying the more in taxes than the bottom 50% of taxes payers and that you want them to pay even more? I suppose you're smart enough to know that when you phrase things that way the poll numbers aren't in your favor? So I guess your just a poll driven monkey these days huh? Stick to your poll appoved talking points Steve, we now know that your a sell out and your opinions aren't worth anything. You're just another sales guy without any substance these days.

  • Rob (unverified)
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    Right on Andy. You got it exactly right. This is all about wanting something for nothing and getting some other (smaller) group to pay for it. The problem is that we also want those small and medium business to start creating jobs.

    So we need to choose. Do we want to see new private sector jobs for Oregonians? Or do we want more state jobs?

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    Rob goes to a hard right Republican site to make his seriously incorrect claim. I worry about people who don't understand the facts especially reserves, ending fund balances, and categorical funds (federal). Oregon's credit rating would be negatively effected even if the Legislature could touch the funds. The farce is perpetuated by Brian Borquist of the Republican Party. We live in a low tax - low spend state. Move to the TWO states that have lower business taxes than Oregon, Utah or Deleware.

  • Rob (unverified)
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    Sorry paulie. I happen to be on a hard left Democrat site right now. But I don't get anything except BS - so I have to keep looking

  • M.S. Bellows, Jr. (unverified)
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    I'm one of those who finally canceled his subscription over the Sunday Oregonian's coverage of the tax measures (wrote about my decision here: http://is.gd/65NCF). For me, it was not just about the editorial, but about the so-called "news" story on p. 1 that itself was little more than an editorial. When a paper begins confusing reporting with opinion, I stop wanting to send them my money.

    The paper has slanted hard right in the last couple of months. Is the new editor-in-chief significantly more conservative?

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Rob goes to a hard right Republican site

    You must define anyone who disagrees with you "hard right." I would suspect you consider 60% of Oregonians "hard right"

  • Patrick Story (unverified)
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    The latest right-wing memo must say to stoke up the class warfare line: say that the majority wants the handful of rich people in the state to pay their taxes for them.

    The truth about taxes reveals the real class warfare: since the state corporate tax was cut back to $10 in 1931, and especially since the Reagan era and including the massive George W. Bush tax giveaway, the rich have been helping themselves to fat tax cuts that put paying the bills for our social structures on the backs of "the little people," and some of the rich are now so used to the free ride they have enjoyed that they--or their mouthpieces--actually appear to feel embittered about the possibility of paying, after all these bountiful years, a little more toward their fair share.

    If they should continue to get their way, after the election they'll be laughing it up in the bars down in Cabo. But this time I don't think they will. On second thought, they'll be laughing it up in Cabo no matter what happens in this election, because they'll still have one of the softest deals in the country.

  • Bob Baldwin (unverified)
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    Rob: So we need to choose. Do we want to see new private sector jobs for Oregonians? Or do we want more state jobs?

    Wow. Just about the most perfectly succinct phrasing of exactly the wrong question I've ever seen.

    So, form Rob's implied preference, more cashiers making minimum wage for part-time work at Wally Mart is a better goal than more teachers, firefighters and police?

    Personally, I'd prefer to start by establishing what the service levels we need are in public services, what that would cost, and then establish the means to pay for it.

  • Rob (unverified)
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    Personally, I'd rather see us start by establishing what we can afford and budget based on our priorities - just like every family and business has to.

    Since the State found it appropriate to grow state jobs while the private sector was losing jobs - then yes, we need more cashiers, waiters, manufacturers and professionals in the private sector to provide a larger tax base so that we can actually afford the State services.

    If everyone worked for the State - how would we pay for it?

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    "So Steve, why all the focus on the fact that only a small percentage of people will pay these taxes?"

    Because those were the majority of people and corporations to benefit from the Bush tax cuts of '91 and '93.

    Republican ADD - sadly there is no cure.

  • KenRay (unverified)
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    Wow, canceling your subscription. That'll show them. You'll be like the dozens of people I know who have canceled the O due to the years of left-leaning editorials and editorials on the front page disguised as news.

    But suddenly, for the first time in ages, the Oregonian takes a non-liberal point of view and you all have your panties twisted.

    How about freedom of the press. Freedom of speech. Oh and tolerance for a differing viewpoint. Open-mindedness.

    But of course. Those are things you lecture Republicans on; not things you actually adhere to or practice.

    Me, I will continue to get the Oregonian, even with its normally hard pinko slant, as long as they have two pages of comics.

  • ThinkOregon (unverified)
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    Steve, I guess I'd pose one fundamental question: where does government derive it's funding from? The answer is of course, the private sector. Why then, would any Oregonian who cares about government services - such as education, health and welfare programs - want to jeopardize that funding source when it's clearly reeling from the biggest economic downturn since the great depression? Last question ... doesn't it give you even the slightest bit of pause to know that the editorials boards from the majority of Oregon newspapers have come out against these two bills? (Oregonian, Tribune, Bend Bulletin, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Mail, Roseburg News Review, The Dalles Chronical...).

    Just asking ...

  • Rob (unverified)
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    Growing Government Spending + Attacking the Private Sector = California

    How is it working down there lately?

  • Jim (unverified)
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    Why do people keep tossing out this line that government should do like families and businesses and balance their budgets? Maybe I am mistaken, but don't business owners take out loans? If they are so good at balancing things, why the need for the loan? Exactly--they will pay it back. And the taxes, if managed correctly, will pay back too in terms of better education and infrastructure.

    The retort will no doubt be that you can't count on government to manage it correctly. Well, this is a society of democratic institutions and we are the government. If you are too lazy to make the government work right, you get what you deserve.

  • ThinkOregon (unverified)
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    Jim ... did you catch the CBS Evening News and the coverage of Congressional junket to Nopenhapen? It pretty much illustrates why anyone should be skeptical of Government's (in)ability to color between the budgetary lines. BTW ... the report had an even heighten sense of irony to it ... one of the IPCC report author says there's a mini Ice Age coming - expected to last 30 years. No joke!

    Congressional Nopenhagen Junket and the Coming Mini Ice Age

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    That's great, "Thinker" - backing up junk economics with bogus science analogies. That'll get you real far. The source for your purported "ice age" reference says just the opposite of what you're claiming he says. He explained his position in an NPR interview:

    Q. Do you think your work is being misused? Dr. LATIF: Yes. It is misused. I must say this, unfortunately, because these changes we are talking about, these short-term changes, you know, their amplitudes are much smaller than the long-term warming trends.... RAZ: Just to clarify, you are not a climate change skeptic. Dr. LATIF: If my name was not Mojib Latif, my name would be global warming. So I really believe in Global Warming.
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    Rob wrote: Check this out. Looks like we don't need Measures 66 & 67 after all. BREAKING: Secretary Of State Finds $3.3 Billion In Funds

    I'm still working my way through the 210-page report - since I'm not about to rely on some post on some right-wing blog. But I did come across this statement in the financial highlights section:

    At year end, unreserved, undesignated fund balance for the General Fund was a negative $333.8 million.

    The funds that you're talking about are the non-General Fund moneys "subject to statutory and constitutional spending constraints".

    That cutesy press release from the Senate Republicans claims that statutes can be changed. Sure, that's true. We could, for example, close the prisons and the universities. If we did that, we wouldn't need Measures 66 and 67.

    But that's a little like saying, "You know, if I just didn't have to pay my mortgage, I wouldn't be broke!" Mathematically correct, but not really realistic.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    And Steve, you have crossed the line between fact and fiction in claiming that The Oregonian doesn't believe in and implying that Oregonians aren't subject to progressive taxation in a state where the top 2.5% of income earners targeted by M66 already pay 32% of all state income taxes.
    So... your initial complaint here is really only that The Oregonian doesn't share your belief in the need for YET MORE progressive taxation rather than that The Oregonian doesn't believe in progressive taxation at all (i.e., your introductory point is bullsh*t...)

    The Oregonian's editorial indicated that the people impacted by M66 are 'mostly small-business owners, professionals, and other Oregonians' - that's about as broad a statement as one can make - to the point of being almost nonsensical in attempting to be inclusive of everyone. The words 'small-business' occur exactly twice in a 700 word editorial - and each time amplified by '...professionals, and others'... hardly a virulent drum-beat invocation of M66 being an 'attack' on small-business. (For the record, per the Legislative Revenue Office and as someone else already cited here, about 2/3 of the taxpayers affected by M66 report some form of business income or loss)

    Also, it would be helpful if you could include a link to the Legislative Revenue Office report with the data you're citing here - I looked around their website but didn't see the type of data you're quoting. Not that I question your data, it's just sometimes instructive to see data like this in the entire context.

  • ThinkOregon (unverified)
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    Dan Petegorsky ... if you consider 30 years of a mini ice age (his words, his analysis) short term, then I'll give you that debate point. Personally, I think you might face a wee bit o' skepticism on that one from a growing segment of the American population. Can you hear it? The masses calling for Galileo's release from prision? FREE GALILEO NOW!

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    "the top 2.5% of income earners targeted by M66 already pay 32% of all state income taxes.?

    Classic case of a statistic turned into a damn lie. It's a meaningless number unless you also show what percentage of total income is collected by that 2.5%, and what percentage of total privately held wealth is controlled by that 2.5%.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "That cutesy press release from the Senate Republicans claims that statutes can be changed. "

    Senate Republicans once had a 20-10 Senate majority. If they didn't change the statute then (perhaps because some cooler heads prevailed/ reminded them of having to pay back the SAIF funds with interest in the 1980s) why is that the fault of Democrats?

    Because Republicans are never responsible for the actions of Republicans?

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    The Oregonian editorial board (not the news journalists) seems to have joined the "mislead and instill fear" effort of the No campaign. With their higher minimum minimum taxes ($300 and $250) and their across the board (i.e. not directed at only most well to do) corporate profits taxes and personal income tax hikes, AOI and OBA are the ones who launched an assault on small business. Every small business owner would have seen his or her taxes go up under the AOI and OBA schemes that The Oregonian now defends and strangely thinks could pass muster in Salem or at the voting booth.

  • Terry Parker (unverified)
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    What the yes side continues to avoid talking about and including in their rhetorical campaign literature is that the small number of businesses that are low profit with a high dollar amount of sales that will be hit the hardest (like grocery stores) will either pass through those additional taxes to consumers by raising prices; or like new car dealerships that make very little if any money at all on new car sales will possibly go out of business and take an average of 60 jobs per dealership with them. Consumers will therefore be paying far more than a penny extra for groceries, and will possibly have to driver farther to get their car serviced as private sector taxpaying jobs go away only to subsidize more public sector jobs. This is your basic pyramid scheme that increases government spending along with the size of government.

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    What the yes side continues to avoid talking about and including in their rhetorical campaign literature is that the small number of businesses that are low profit with a high dollar amount of sales that will be hit the hardest (like grocery stores) will either pass through those additional taxes to consumers by raising prices

    Do you honestly believe that corporations like Wal-Mart, GM, or Ford are going to significantly raise prices because a low population state like Oregon plans to ding them for a $100,000 corporate minimum?

    $100,000 is a rounding error for a business like Wal-Mart.

    Any of the larger c-corps have the financial resources to drop $10-$15 million and end this campaign. They didn't do it because this increase, though significant by Oregon standards, is basically inconsequential to their overall bottom line.

    All you need to do is look at the Healthy Kids campaign or the recent PUD campaigns to see what happens when a couple of multi-billion dollar corporations decide to take what is happening in Oregon seriously.

  • Ricky (unverified)
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    @Steve

    I recall a person mentioning this before when not long ago you wrote some smoochy, lovey piece filled with mostly praise about the Oregonian. The timing of it struck me as a little bit odd, but now I think I get it.

    That was just an attempt to win an endorsement from the Oregonian, and now that they ended up drawing a different conclusion, you're still steaming mad, trying to convince people the Oregonian's credibility is permanently damaged.

    Steve, if you ever, and I mean EVER, have any aspirations to truly rise as a national voice, you really need to let go of the emotional baggage you carry around with you.

    You're not alone though, Steve. The White House has also, like you (although you threw it in as an afterthought) attacked Ailes and Murdoch. Hilarious you compare the Oregonian's editorial board to them. I don't think the White House doing it has gained them any favor, it has only made them look spiteful and wanting to subvert the second amendment.

    Don't make the same mistake, Steve. Unless you've given up any ambitions to run for a national office again. If so, you can carry on and disregard this.

  • meg (unverified)
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    The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life.

    But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits to private-sector levels while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages that pay ex-workers almost as much as current workers.

    Talking about this is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide for most officeholders. But at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact that 80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits are due to employee costs. Willie sent me.

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    I don't think the White House doing it has gained them any favor, it has only made them look spiteful and wanting to subvert the second amendment.

    How does criticizing Fox News subvert gun ownership?

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    Re: Wal-Mart --- they are likely paying under the profits tax, as we know they have bought BETC tax credits. They would pay under the alternate minimum tax if their ultimate liability was less than what the min tax schedule allows.

  • Rudy V. (unverified)
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    Things get complicated with a measure like this. Did you know that under Oregon law, a business that deals strictly with the internet and/or requires out of state sign-off for all business decisions is not required to register with the SOS for authority to transact business?

    At $10 for a no-profit, sweat equity non-profit corp or subsidiary that shows zero net, via accounting tricks, there's no reason to accept the new taxes. Simply fail to register and confine your activities to the aforementioned. My firm has already helped 5 firms "move" to Texas since the measures were announced. That's getting to be big business. Create a holding company that satisfies the "out of state" clauses, and allow affected biz to pay to be a subsidiary and to rubber-stamp decisions. Meets the statutory definition.

    The thing I've seen that doesn't wash in the "yes" argument, is the line that most states tax gross receipts, what's the big deal? The "deal" is that, quite surprisingly, a lot of owners know about that, and a good number chose Oregon for that reason. Just my opinion, but Oregon competes best when it offers its unique advantages. Head to head, it's not such a good deal. The more we become like other states, the more we lose, full stop. The other consideration that never gets mentioned is that folks are pretty sick and tired, after health care "reform", of having hacky lege rammed down our throat on the rationale that all the other choices are much worse, no apologies, no regrets. It's become a regular cycle with the Dems; Chris Dodd is just now slipping quietly away for his inexcusable sell-out, torpedoing Wyden's bonus restrictions. Who will be the next not to run, admitting that they torpedoed health care lege?

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Sue Hagmeier commented: Classic case of a statistic turned into a damn lie. It's a meaningless number unless you also show what percentage of total income is collected by that 2.5%, and what percentage of total privately held wealth is controlled by that 2.5%.

    I wasn't able to find 2007 data on the upper 2.5% - but, again per the Legislative Revenue Office, in 2006 the total AGI of people making $250K+ was ~$18M out of a total of ~$83M or ~22%.

    We are talking about income taxes paid here by the top 2.5% on their annual incomes - not a 'wealth tax'... other than the inheritance/estate tax, I'm not aware Oregon has a direct tax on wealth. So while such data (which I wasn't able to find) may be interesting to those who covet the wealth of others and long to redistribute that wealth, it's not really relevant to this discussion. Also keep in mind all the retirees who have significant wealth but not necessarily large annual incomes - the % of total privately-held wealth controlled by the top 2.5% of taxpayers may not be as large as you think...

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    Steve, if you ever, and I mean EVER, have any aspirations to truly rise as a national voice, you really need to let go of the emotional baggage you carry around with you.

    You're not alone though, Steve. The White House has also, like you....attacked Ailes and Murdoch. Hilarious you compare the Oregonian's editorial board to them.

    So Ricky's point to Steve is that if he doesn't mend his ways, he'll wind up running the White House....or something.

    Too bad ballot measures aren't decided logically by voters. If they were, I'd introduce a bill to clone "Ricky" and some of his buddies too.....

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    "Meets the statutory definition." The motto of con-artists everywhere. It's only those crawling out from the slimy underside of the rocky economy that are still here bellowing how they'll take their money and run if they are required to help keep our economy afloat.

  • Rudy V. (unverified)
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    Posted by: Ed Bickford | Jan 12, 2010 10:11:08 AM

    "Meets the statutory definition." The motto of con-artists everywhere.

    So, write the statue differently. You just can't handle that it never gets done, because your reps represent my slime, not your guy on the street. This is America, and that's called business as usual.

    I would love to see things done right. Until your reps can manage that, I see no need to penalize business.

    (You might be pretty surprised at what some of this blog's management has been up to!)

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    When cheating your fellow citizen is seen as 'business as usual', the failure is not one of regulation but of ethical mores. I pity those so inhuman.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Great line, Sal!

  • Ricky (unverified)
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    @Sal

    You know I meant the 1st, not the second. It was late.

    @Pat

    No, my point is Steve comes off as a crybaby when media doesn't agree with him. As for cloning, although I would never call myself a progressive, yes, I agree that more Democrats like myself are needed to balance out some of the whacky ideas coming from the extremists. Clone away. Gladly provide DNA samples.

  • 72IH (unverified)
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    Increasing taxes means increasing services and jobs. These jobs are jobs that are state, local, or federal employee jobs. How many more jobs, of the nearly 1 billion public sector jobs, can we support? At what point do we fail and have no further income at the Gov. level? When there are no wealthy left who pays for this? The other Gov. employees? That worked for the Soviets, huh.

    By the way can some one define "fair"? At what point is too much not fair? I have seen a shift from earning a wage to entitled to a wage. How many people, besides fire, police and teachers actually EARN there income? What they make, is it fair they have an easy job and don't have to work 14 hours a day to earn what I do? I would share half my income if you people would put in half the hours at the same job I do.

    Elitists think they should have their fair share of someone else's money without the effort of earning it. Get off the community hand out band wagon and earn what you receive. Also quit trying to bilk the so called wealthy to get what you want to have without earning it. Get off your butts and earn your own way without the

    Our society has become so reliant on our government bailing us out for everything and anything thing that there is no fear of failure. Without the fear of failing, or the possibility of failing, we have removed the desire and drive to do well and succeed. If we all have a hand out or public employment then there is no possibility of failing.

  • 72IH (unverified)
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    I miss spoke on the actual numbers of public employees. Still trying to decipher the charts on bls.gov

  • Bob Soper (unverified)
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    To my fellow supporters of Measures 66 & 67: a friend of mine who works on the Yes campaign told me that the anti-tax wingnuts pushing the No campaign have the money hire teams of bloggers to tilt the online comments against the measures. That seems to me what's happening here, and on other progressive blogs (not to mention the Oregonian's "Stump" blog, which has been overrun by the No campaigns BS talking points). Over at the Street Roots blog I've been outnumbered, though I'm holding my own... but if Steve or anyone else wants to come lend me a hand, that would be great. http://streetroots.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/money-to-burn-measure-66-67/

  • Vaughn (unverified)
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    I'd like to see the list of the 1% of businesses and the amount of tax it will increase to each. I think that if someone would provide that to the public it would make it a very simple decision for all.

  • 72IH (unverified)
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    Thats a good response Bob. When you start to see the reasoning and it starts to make sense it suddenly becomes, those right wingers are at it again. Spending money like rich people do to convince us poor folk that they are right.

    This is such BS that actually believe that. Could it be that the right is actually right and its starting to sink in?

    I will leave you the same response I see here many times. Show me the proof that this is happening.

  • rfd97230 (unverified)
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    To my fellow supporters of Measures 66 & 67: a friend of mine who works on the Yes campaign told me that the anti-tax wingnuts pushing the No campaign have the money hire teams of bloggers to tilt the online comments against the measures.

    Blue Oregon could sure use those dozens of progressives, right about now, that have been driven away or outrightly banned.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Scott in Damascus commented: "So Steve, why all the focus on the fact that only a small percentage of people will pay these taxes?"

    Because those were the majority of people and corporations to benefit from the Bush tax cuts of '91 and '93.

    First, I'm sure Scott meant 2001 and 2003.

    Second, Scott's observation is incorrect. EVERYBODY benefited from the Bush tax cuts:

    ...a taxpayer who earned $35,000 in 2000 would have paid 8.54% of that income — $2,989 after credits — in federal taxes. In 2004, federal taxes would have accounted for 5.12% of that taxpayer's annual income, or $1,792. That represents a 40% decrease in tax burden.

    ...a $1.75 million earner would have paid $513,625 in 2000 federal taxes, when the rate for that earning bracket was 29.35%. Four years later, when the rate dropped to 25%, that earner would have paid $437,500. That represents a 14.8% cut in tax burden, the analysis shows.

    So... yes, the $ savings to higher earners were greater - because they pay substantially more in taxes. But the percentage tax cut reduction to the lower wage earners was 3x that of the higher wage earner!

    Further, those earning $75,000 to $500,000 actually ended up paying a larger share of the the total taxes paid.

    You think the government should just throw away any pretense and start playing Robin Hood now? Only tax high earners and give money to everybody else?

    Well, they're sort of on their way as it is: millions of lower-income Americans (those earning $25,000 annually or less) were taken off the federal tax rolls completely. In 2000, roughly 29 million tax returns had no federal tax owed. Four years later, the number rose to about 43 million returns.

    So WHO was the majority to benefit from the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 again?

  • Geoff Ludt (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Wow ... editorial board of the Oregonian taking the Tea Party line on 66 & 67 ... strange.

  • Bob Soper (unverified)
    (Show?)

    72IH, I don't have proof that you and others are paid bloggers for the right-wing dirtbags who are trying to destroy Oregon's education system & social safety net just so they can buy bigger yachts. It sure wouldn't surprise me, though... I find it curious that you spend a lot of time posting Mark Nelson & Pat McCormick talking points on a blog used primarily by Democratic party activists.

    On a related note, here's a bit of news I saw at JustOut: "Schubert Flint, the California public affairs firm that paved the way for Proposition 8 by producing ads that suggested gay marriage would hurt children, is now in Oregon raising funds for Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes to oppose the passage of Measures 66 and 67, reports Willamette Week."

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