More Handouts For Millionaire Investors? Let’s Get Our Priorities Straight

By Scott Moore of Portland, Oregon. Scott is communications director for Our Oregon.

If you’ve been even half paying attention, you’ve seen a flood of news items over recent months about school closures, hundreds—if not thousands—of teacher layoffs, and deep cuts to services that middle-class families depend on, all thanks to budget cuts approved by legislators.

For obvious reasons, these cuts are wildly unpopular with voters, who believe they elected legislators to protect their priorities: schools, health care, public safety, protecting our natural environment, and preserving jobs.

So as we’re facing deep and deeply unpopular budget cuts, what politician in their right mind would support giving away even more scarce tax dollars to large corporations and investment firms?

On Tuesday, the Oregon House is expected to vote on Senate Bill 817, which would give away as much as $78 million to private investors—without any requirement that even a single job be created. (See Chuck’s earlier post for more information about the bill.)

At a time when Oregon is facing thousands of teacher layoffs and dozens of school closures, we can’t afford to hand out more in tax breaks to big corporations.

Under SB 817:

The Legislature has already given away $93 million in tax breaks to corporations this session, all while cutting schools and critical services that middle-class depend on.

What can you do? Use our form to send your Representative an email urging them to vote NO on Senate Bill 817.

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    The measure passed. Ayes, 41; Nays, 18--Barnhart, Buckley, Cannon, Dembrow, Doherty, Frederick, Garrett, Gelser, Greenlick, Harker, Holvey, Kotek, Nathanson, Nolan, Smith J., Thatcher, Tomei, Witt; Excused, 1--Clem.

    Thank the "nays."

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      Chuck, I was wondering. Thanks for this update. It's a big disappointment that so many, including my rep, Jules Bailey, were behind this. Yesterday I did visit the offices of some of the brave Nays above to encourage them and I will now thank them also.

      More than the average voter ever realizes, it's these big tax credit giveaways to some of the world's biggest corporations that have broken the back of our state budget. Sigh. The lobbyists call them "public-private partnerships." The money quietly flows from public taxes into private deep pockets. When will it ever end?

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    The reporting that Chuck does on this site is invaluable. We now know that with hundreds of teachers about to be fired that Kitzhaber supports in excess of two hundred million dollars in new tax breaks for a few. After thirty years of supply side it does not appease my anger to say that this governor is better than Dudley. Dudley would do the same thing.

    Today, an eight billion dollar bomb facility at Los Alamos is threatened by fire. This is the Pit facility that Obama caved in on in order to get a start treaty. Similar insane projects are underway at Oak Ridge and Kansas City.

    Henry Waxman asked Obama today if he was going to cave in to the demands of Boehner. We know the answer. Of course he will throw the American people under the bus.

    Following his trip to Netroots it is sad that Kari did not show the video of one of his clients, Earl the Pearl, who happily will raise retirement for social security to seventy.

    I understand, Kari, since Citizens United small entities like Mandate are threatened by billionaires and millionaires that we fund with tax cuts. You have my deepest sympathy. Do you have any for the rest of us?

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    It's now time to call for a veto on this bill.

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