Tax Déjà vu All Over Again

Chuck Sheketoff

Years ago, shortly before was launched, OCPP published a commentary titled We Interrupt This Repetition for a Few Facts.... The commentary began:

In the ‘say it often enough and it becomes true’ game that passes for public debate too often in today's politics and media, repetition is king. Evidence is ignored in favor of myths spun repeatedly. Take, for instance, the tall tales that are endlessly recycled in hopes of convincing Oregonians to cut the state tax on income from capital gains.

The story - you've heard it already and you'll hear it again - is that Oregon's income tax on capital gains harms the economy. If we cut it, the spin goes, economic growth will surely follow.

Well, Monday was déjà vu all over again, just as we (sadly) predicted. Oregonians awoke to an editorial in The Oregonian repeating the same mythological spin.

This time, OCPP responded with a commentary that The Oregonian agreed to publish.

Tax cuts for the rich grow income inequality, not the economy begins:

Rich Oregonians got a tax cut at the start of this year, when the top marginal income tax rates set by voter-approved Measure 66 came down. As far as I know, no wealthy beneficiary of this tax cut has claimed that it's helped grow Oregon's economy.

That's not surprising, because reducing the top tax rates has no correlation with economic growth.

Unfortunately, The Oregonian editorial board refuses to look at the mountain of evidence showing that cutting top tax rates has no connection with economic growth. The paper's recent editorial calling for a cut of Oregon's income tax on capital gains adheres to myth, not fact ("Cut Oregon capital gains tax," Oct. 1).

Read the rest of Tax cuts for the rich grow income inequality, not the economy and come back here to discuss.

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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