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ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL IN OREGON
By Betty Freauf
May 18, 2003
A recent e-mail from Diane Waldron, Vice Chair of the Tillamook County, Oregon Republican Central Committee and an aide to Republican Senator Gary George says that President Bush wants to decrease federal taxes thereby returning more dollars to the public to invest in businesses and helping to stimulate economic growth. He refers to his plan as the President's Growth Package.
And while Oregon usually follows the federal tax plan, this year there appears to be a strong "disconnect" which would allow our state to increase the amount of taxes it can take from our pockets.
House Bill 2186 in the Oregon legislature will accomplish this "disconnect." While Oregon's senate is split 15-15, the Republicans do control the House. Apparently their usual GOP diatribe and "promises" at election time for no new taxes and smaller government, like their oaths of office, mean nothing to these liars and the House passed HB 2186 overwhelmingly.
Despite valiant efforts by a minority of Republican Senators, the Oregon Senate voted on May 14, 2003 passing HB 2186 on a vote of 17 ayes and 12 nays. Republican Senators Lenn Hannon (R-Ashland) and Bruce Starr (R-Aloha) voted with the Democrats, who always are faithful to the socialist agenda and vote in a block. My own Republican Senator Jackie Winters was excused on this crucial vote.
One Senator, Jason Atkinson (R-Jacksonville) explained it beautifully in an Op-Ed:
"A dad gave his son one dollar for his allowance. He paid his son in dimes and told him to put one dime in Sunday's offering plate to teach him fiscal responsibility. When the plate came around Sunday morning, the boy took all the money and put it in his pocket. After church, Dad asked, 'How did you do?' The son replied, 'I made $5.43.' That is what HB 2186 does. It take money from where it was suppose to go and puts it in state government's pocket. The son was put on restriction or what many call 'time out." But what can we do with legislators who take our federal tax deduction away from us on our state taxes causing double taxation?
The bill will, no doubt, receive Democrat Governor Ted Kulongoski's signature. While it is yet not known how much state government will take by "disconnecting" from the tax cut, there are those who want the money regardless of the amount because Oregon, like nearly all other states, is drowning in red ink. Unless the legislators find new revenue, the socialist programs will have to be severely cut or discontinued and legislators may find themselves hanging in effigy. I hope they start with Senator Lenn Hannon, who has been in the legislature since 1975 and has voted for many of these unconstitutonal laws causing Oregon to be facing its fiscal dilemma today.
When Vice President John Tyler of Virginia became president after William Henry Harrison died after exactly one month in office, Tyler vetoed Speaker of the House Henry Clay's bank bill saying, "The power of Congress to create a national bank to operate per se over the Union has been a question of dispute from the origin of the Government... my own opinion has been uniformly proclaimed to be against the exercise of any such power by this Government" (Source: Oliver Chitwood's JOHN TYLER: Champion of the Old South (c) 1964, p. 184.) In the book THE REAL LINCOLN (c) 2003 it said Tyler was also opposed to protectionist tariffs and internal improvement subsidies. When Tyler vetoed Clay's bank bill, the Whigs protested wildly, burning Tyler in effigy in front of the White House and expelling him from the Whig Party. The idea of a nationalized banking system and high protectionist tariffs to pay for a massive system of subsidies for corporations would lie dormant for another twenty years, until it finally came to fruition during the Lincoln administration.
Meanwhile back in Oregon, 1,094,000 Oregon taxpayers get the shaft again while the "Whigs" and Democrat bureaucrats get the gold to support their pork-barrel programs. Oh, that these elected officials might have the same kind of chutzpah when it comes to budget cuts that Aron Ralston, the Colorado climber who amputated his arm below the elbow, had in order to save his life. When will they learn sometimes amputation is necessary to save the body? Sooner or later the rubber WILL meet the road and the consequences aren't going to be pretty.
But wait a minute. There's more! If the Oregon legislature and governor move before Congress does, the public might not think HB 2186 is a tax increase. "Make no mistake HB 2186 is a tax hike," says Atkinson. The U.S. Congress is not expected to act on the President's tax package until the Fourth of July weekend but the Oregon legislature, which only meets from mid-January to about the end of June or thereabouts every odd- numbered year, will be preparing for sine die about the time Congress will be acting.
Atkinson says, "HB 2186 will not solve Oregon's budget crunch, but it will stand in the way of recovery and put Oregon at a disadvantage when other states use the tax relief to get their economies going again and Oregon is standing still. Oregon has an 8 percent unemployment rate which remains one of the highest in America. Josephine County is at 9 percent and Jackson County, which Senator Lenn Hannon represents, is at 8.4 percent."
Atkinson says, "Oregonians who contact my office want relief, want jobs and want a break. HB 2186 takes away tax relief and makes it harder to create jobs."
Atkinson says, "Under the President's Growth Package, 1,094,000 taxpayers in Oregon would have lower income tax bills in 2003. Two hundred eighty thousand (280,000) business taxpayers could use their tax savings to invest in new equipment, hire additional workers, and increase pay. Four hundred forty-four thousand (444,000) married couples in Oregon would benefit from the decrease in the marriage penalty. Three Hundred Three thousand (303,000) married couples and single parents in Oregon would benefit from the increase in the child tax credit from $600 to $1,000."
Once again, dangerous legislation has been put on fast track. This may make some of those voting for it regret their vote at a later date, after the full impact of their vote is realized; however, most really don't care because few voters know the actual voting records of their elected legislators. A rare exception may be Senator Atkinson who says, "I believe in the individual and believe people know best how to spend their own money. I believe individual Oregonians will get our economy moving again. I also believe, as strongly as I believe in public service, Oregon doesn't need to be in an economic 'time out."
So when Oregonians come up a day late and a dollar short again, if they are even employed, they can thank the Demopublians - the rascals they elected to "serve" themselves.
� 2003 Betty Freauf - All Rights Reserved
Betty is a former Oregon Republican Party activist having served as state party secretary, county chairman, 5th congressional vice chairman and then elected chairman, a precinct worker for many years and twice ran unsuccessfully for the Oregon State Legislature. The Republican tradition is to stay neutral in Primary races but in Betty's case. They supported her opponent. E-Mail: [email protected]
"Atkinson says, "HB 2186 will not solve Oregon's budget crunch, but it will stand in the way of recovery and put Oregon at a disadvantage when other states use the tax relief to get their economies going again and Oregon is standing still. Oregon has an 8 percent unemployment rate which remains one of the highest in America. Josephine County is at 9 percent..."