The Oregon Business Association (OBA) Embraces Father of Dangerous Budget Agenda

Chuck Sheketoff

Has OBA abandoned any pretense of concern for small businesses, the middle class and our nation’s fiscal health?

The Oregon Business Association’s (OBA) Tenth Annual Statesman Dinner will honor Columbia Sportswear's Gert Boyle as OBA's "Statesman of the Year." The "special guest and keynote speaker" at the event will be U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI).

OBA calls Ryan a "rising star of the GOP" and "a leading voice for fiscal discipline and accountability in the federal government." In particular, OBA lauds Ryan's A Roadmap for America’s Future (PDF), describing it as “a comprehensive proposal that tackles health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, an outdated tax code and America’s debt."

OBA’s enthusiastic description of Ryan is disturbing. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Ryan plan “Provides Largest Tax Cuts in History for Wealthy, Raises Middle Class Taxes, Ends Guaranteed Medicare, Privatizes Social Security, Erodes Health Care.”

CBPP cites (in a PDF 17-page report and a PDF of 4-page executive summary) an analysis by the Tax Policy Center and explains that "the tax cuts for those at the very top would be of historic proportions" and

to offset some of the cost of these massive tax cuts, the Ryan plan would place a new consumption tax on most goods and services, a measure that would increase taxes on most low- and middle-income families. . . About three-quarters of Americans — those with incomes between $20,000 and $200,000 — would face tax increases.

The CBPP goes on to note

Because of the Ryan plan’s enormous tax cuts for the affluent, even the very large benefit cuts that the plan would make in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — and the plan’s middle-class tax increases — would not put the federal budget on a sustainable course for decades. The federal debt would soar to about 175 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050. In contrast, most fiscal policy analysts recommend that the debt-to-GDP ratio be stabilized within the next ten years, and at a far lower level.

The OBA's Statesman of the Year dinner will undoubtedly remove any doubt about whether Gert Boyle is "one tough mother." But it’s hard to understand the OBA’s simultaneous embrace of the father of such a devastating fiscal plan for the nation. Has OBA abandoned any pretense of concern for small businesses, the middle class and our nation’s fiscal health?

Oregon Center for Public PolicyChuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at

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    I find it utterly pathetic that voters on the right continue to be blinded by "social" issues and elect people whose singular goal is to take their base, bend them over, and screw them on a daily basis by enacting tax cuts that only benefit the wealthiest among us.

    The middle class is dying while they allow the political class to continue to divide us and turn us against each other. Stop the insanity...before it's too late.

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      I don't always agree with you Michael, but more often than not. And when I do...BAM! seem to hit it out of the park for me.

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        That's the beauty of being an independent, I get to hate on ALL politicians. I despise the GOP and find the Dems to be irritating as all hell at times.

        I can live with one, not the other. For how much longer....time will tell.

        Another of my quirks that might throw you off...I am very liberal at the national level, but much more conservative at the local level. Weird, I know.

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    I recall a book called "the trouble with Kansas" that encapsulates what you said Michael.

    How lower-class voters vote against their economic interest because of social issues.

    My cousin, a social worker in Sacramento, is anti-choice and solely because of that voted for Bush in 2004 even though she agreed w/Kerry on every other issue.

    Funny how when Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (on Sunday) and House GOP leader John Boehner (last Sunday) asked when how they would pay for tax cuts or what they would cut via Ryan's plan they wouldn't/couldn't answer

    If dems have any sense they will take those clips where those guys refuse to answer and SATURATE the networks with that in October.

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      I have family that is the same way. When I challenged them on the fact that for 2 years, the GOP controlled the WH, Congress and the Supreme Court and we didn't get a ban on abortion, mandatory school prayer and a banishment of gay people even though the GOP had the power to push it, they sit there in silence.

      I think, deep down, they know the GOP is using them, yet they still voted for McCain based on social issues.

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    PS McConnell and Boehner did their evasion on meet the press w/David Gregory.

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    Chuck please be honest, your quote:

    "Has OBA abandoned any pretense of concern for small businesses"

    Small business wants less regulation, government and taxes, you just can't hear the voices from your own echo chamber.

    What company would want 15 years of regulation to build a single store.

    Chuck claims:"I'd welcome the day that...unions are our main source of income".

    Why can't Chuck be honest and stop pandering for the union gravy train.

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    Randy here doesn't know what he's talking about, and he's waded in far too deep. Those statements just don't make sense.

    Oh, and I had another take on this last month:

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