Budget, Part 1

Jeff Alworth

The election is behind us, and now we're moving on to the less sexy topic of policy.  Among the really un-sexy policy issues, none is less so than the budget, and yet here we are again.  It seems like there's a little something in the Governor's proposal for everyone to hate: a plan to expand video poker to include slot machines has retailers, moralists, and even some cops (who would benefit from added revenue) in a grumpy mood; schools advocates feel that the Governor failed to learn the lesson of the past four years; to social service advocates, the plan looks like a Grinchly gift. 

So, all you wonky types out there, what's good about the budget?  What's bad?  What should the legislature do with it? 

  • (Show?)

    Just to get the discussion started, I'll offer a couple thoughts I had.

    The first is that I was pleased to see leadership beginning to recognize the value of higher ed to the state's long-term prospects. What began as a fiscal bump in the road (albeit Himalayan-sized) has now become a permanent condition of underfunding. If Oregon is ever going to claw its way to better economic health, it must think long-term, otherwise we'll just slowly slide backward.

    A second thought is that the national economy may provide Oregon with some opportunities. As the dollar continues to fall (down a third since its high against the euro), local manufacturers have an opportunity. I'd like to hear some ideas about how the state might target small manufacturers (short-term tax cuts, low-interest loans?) as a way of increasing exports and our revenue base.

  • Aaron (unverified)

    First, the lottery should not be the supporting aspect of restaurants and bars. If they cannot survive without the lottery dollars, for more than half a year with of business, so be it. Yes, I know then there will be potential less lottery dollars for the budget and more unemployment that would take more resources out of the budget. Nevertheless, the lower number of restaurants and bars that have the lottery would drive those that need to play the lottery too these that are left. Giving those businesses more opportunity for greater lottery and business revenue, potential forcing these businesses hire more and pay more taxes and fees. The I think that businesses should get rent for each machine (approx.$100 /machine per month) and a 17% of the profit. These would translate in too more money in state coffers. Corporate welfare of this nature needs to stop. When need to have tax reform and enforcement equally around the state with it breathing citizens and these quasi-living organisms called business entities. Close businesses down if they do not pay their fair share of the tax burden. Take away those nice houses and cars of the individuals defraud the state with their tax returns.

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