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Archive for Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Voters OK tax hikes on wealthy, businesses

January 27, 2010

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— Oregon voters approved two measures raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy Tuesday, averting budget cuts legislators said would have meant larger classes in the schools and less help for the poor and the elderly.

Both Measure 66, which raises rates on people earning well above six figures, and Measure 67, which increases business taxes, had 54 percent approval. More than 80 percent of the vote had been counted.

It was a victory for public employee unions and the Democratic majorities in the Legislature that imposed the taxes last year, arguing that deep cuts in school aid and social services were the alternative.

It was a defeat for business groups who sponsored an effort to put the taxes to a statewide vote, saying they would cost a state with 11 percent unemployment even more jobs.

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately, Orgen just rolled up the welcome mat at a time when other states are trying to entice business owners and the wealthy to move to their states.

Is that a moving van I hear?

meggers 4 years, 11 months ago

It's too bad Kansas won't do the same. The legislators trying to shrink government by cutting essential services don't seem to realize that we're going to pay for it one way or the other. Education cuts, mental health cuts, social services cuts, etc. all lead to higher unemployment, homelessness, and additional strain on law enforcement.

monkeyhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"Both Measure 66, which raises rates on people earning well above six figures..."

So, this amount is well above six figures?

"The increases approved Tuesday will hit people with taxable income upward of $125,000...

It was a victory for public employee unions who were the spearhead of the campaign for the taxes and raised enough money to outspend the opponents.

A Common Cause analysis put their fundraising advantage to date at $6.85 million to $4.55 million in one of the state's most expensive campaigns.

"The bottom line is the unions bought the election," said State Republican Chairman Bob Tiernan. "It's going to be a sadder day as more businesses leave the state and more don't want to come here." http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2010891428.html

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

Actually meggers, tax relief can have the effect of increasing tax receipts because it frees people and the markets to innovate, expand and create jobs.

The more money we surrender to government fat cats, the less you and I have to invest in our families and our communities.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"Actually meggers, tax relief can have the effect of increasing tax receipts because it frees people and the markets to innovate, expand and create jobs."

That makes no sense-- this is an increase in income taxes. That means the tax is only collected on income. Any business owner is still free to invest in their business any way they see fit, and none of that investment will be subject to income taxes because it was never income.

meggers 4 years, 11 months ago

Thing,

I'm gainfully employed and doing quite well- thanks for your concern. Some of us actually care about what kind of society we live in. I'd much rather pay a little bit more in taxes, knowing that our society will be more humane, productive, and intellectually competetive.

It's like someone building a home and deciding that they will forego installing insulation, in order to have more cash in their pocket. Within a relatively short period of time, that person will discover that they are spending much more on utility bills than they would have with insulation, and that their home really isn't very comfortable to live in.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

bozo,

You're referencing Measure 66, which increases income taxes. Measure 67 increases taxes on businesses. It's a double whammy.

And would you deny a direct correlation between lower taxes and economic prosperity for all? The alternative to economic freedim is the centralized government concept "enjoyed" by the citizens of Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba. We don't want their model to take root here.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

meggers,

Your analogy assumes that you have the choice to install insulation. Under your scenario of "a little more in taxes," I don't have a choice. I'm forced to pay for your pet projects, your priorities and your special interests. If you want a society of never ending social services, form a committee, raise some funds and volunteer your time. Don't try to force the rest of us into doing your bidding.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"And would you deny a direct correlation between lower taxes and economic prosperity for all?"

I would deny the simplistic notion that taxes and government are universally bad things.

"The alternative to economic freedim is the centralized government concept “enjoyed” by the citizens of Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba."

No, it's not. Western Europe is the real alternative, and even that can be improved upon.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 4 years, 11 months ago

The easiest way for a business to offset the increased tax is to consolidate jobs and fire the leftover workers. Good job Portland.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 11 months ago

I remember the early 90's when Clinton and the Dem's pushed for higher taxes on the upper income brackets. The republicans wailed about how it would destroy the economy and (by their inverse trickle down tax theory rehonked by SettingTheRecordStraight above) would lead to huge deficits. Not a one voted for it and what did we get? A thriving economy and a budget surplus!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"The easiest way for a business to offset the increased tax is to consolidate jobs and fire the leftover workers."

They're gonna do that anyway, especially if they can shift the jobs to a factory overseas where they can pay 30 cents a hour.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

"I would deny the simplistic notion that taxes and government are universally bad things."

I would agree. That is a non-point on this thread.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"I would agree. That is a non-point on this thread."

That would be in direct contradiction to nearly every post you've ever written.

Are you having a revelation and an epiphany?

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

bozo,

I could use hyperbole and ridiculous exaggeration to make a fool of myself, but I won't. Please, feel free to continue, however.

meggers 4 years, 11 months ago

STRS,

Actually, one DOES have the choice not to pay taxes, however you clearly missed the point of my analogy.

I'm not "forcing" you to pay for my pet projects. I was simply pointing out that we can either pay up-front for a healthier, more humane, and more productive society- or we can pay to heal a sick society later.

The sharing of various opinions and points of view regarding the direction of our public policy is typically an accepted form of civil discourse. Your implication that by voicing my opinion, I'm somehow coercing you into doing something against your will, is quite frankly the height of paranoia.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 11 months ago

It is all well and good to speculate that Oregon has made a huge mistake.

The people of Oregon would tell you that businesses say the #1 priority for them is qualified employees. Without a tax increase, Oregon's education system would have been cut to the point that the state would no longer be able to provide qualified employees.

Check back in five years. Oregon has raised taxes before and remained one of the top choices for businesses. There is no reason to think they will not remain so.

It is a shame that the word "taxes" spurs nothing but ridiculous talking points and not an honest discussion of the role of government in creating a pro-business environment. Congrats to Oregon voters for weighting the virtues of a lower tax base against the virtues of a lower standard of education and standard of living.

BigAl 4 years, 11 months ago

Cappy (Anonymous) says…

I remember the early 90's when Clinton and the Dem's pushed for higher taxes on the upper income brackets. The republicans wailed about how it would destroy the economy and (by their inverse trickle down tax theory rehonked by SettingTheRecordStraight above) would lead to huge deficits. Not a one voted for it and what did we get? A thriving economy and a budget surplus!


Right on. And to take that a step further, the Republican Bush Administration came in and spent that budget surplus with NO accountability. That is why we are where we are today.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 11 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says…

The alternative to economic freedim is the centralized government concept “enjoyed” by the citizens of Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba. We don't want their model to take root here.

Ain't it great how when this argument is trotted out China is always left off the list?

Food for thought.

scott3460 4 years, 11 months ago

"And would you deny a direct correlation between lower taxes and economic prosperity for all?"

"I remember the early 90's when Clinton and the Dem's pushed for higher taxes on the upper income brackets. The republicans wailed about how it would destroy the economy and (by their inverse trickle down tax theory rehonked by SettingTheRecordStraight above) would lead to huge deficits. Not a one voted for it and what did we get? A thriving economy and a budget surplus!"

"Right on. And to take that a step further, the Republican Bush Administration came in and spent that budget surplus with NO accountability. That is why we are where we are today."

And just to further the point, when was our nation at its greatest levels of prosperity? In the post WWII era when the New Deal and more progressive income taxation was fully implemented.

And what have the 30 years of right wing tax cutting brought us? 30 years of being squeezed in ever worsening economic conditions and less and less government service. For the younger among you out there, the debacle of the george bush regime was not an abberation. Economic disaster follows ever period of radical right wing rule. Check out the history for yourselves.

KS 4 years, 11 months ago

Like union wage jobs gong south of the border, companies will also leave Oregon for the same reason. It's easy to try to "stick it to the man", but after a little while, there will be no man to stick it to and no jobs either. I guess they can always raise the sin taxes to pay for all the social programs.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

meggers,

How can you say I have a choice to not pay taxes? Are you implying that I can simply choose to no longer purchase goods and services? That's not choice, that's social isolation. And I cannot choose to not pay taxes. If I do, the government will literally arrest me, fine me and confiscate my property.

Also, as a lobbyist for higher taxes and bigger government, yes, your ultimate goal is to place my family into a situtation where we're required to surrender more of our income to pay for the pet projects that you think are important. You cannot advocate for higher taxes in a recession and expect the fiscally responsible among us to remain silent.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

STRS,

When taxes are lowered, it "may" lead to job creation, investment in businesses, etc. and it "may not".

Folks at the bottom end of the socio-economic spectrum will probably spend a bit more (since they're on a shoestring budget), while folks at the top can just keep their money (savings, stock market, etc.).

Tax relief for those at the bottom/middle is the most likely place to see a good effect economically.

Tax relief for those at the top is probably the worst place to see that.

Thus Clinton's policies seem to have been good ones - and has been pointed out, resulted in the only budget surpluses in the last 35 years. If the Republican strategies worked, why is that?

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

I get that you don't like "having" to pay taxes. However, I would suggest that if you want to live in a social environment, that of necessity limits your freedoms in a variety of ways.

If you really can't stand that, you can always try to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle (grow your own food, etc.).

And, you can adjust your tax burden by choosing where/how to work, and how to spend your money. Most of us have some flexibility there (if we're not at the bottom).

I have problems with how the money is being spent in Washington, but not with the theory of all contributing to a fund for things which will be in the common good.

And, who does a real conservative vote for? The Republicans seem to want to "borrow and spend" and the Democrats to "tax and spend".

Kirk Larson 4 years, 11 months ago

When those '90's tax increases came through, I remember NPR going out to California and interviewing high income people about their taxes. One person said something I'll always remember: "When the rich pay their taxes, they're still rich."

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Agnostick (Anonymous) says…

"Right after another rant about “tyranny of the majority,”"

Democracy is three lions and a zebra voting on what's for dinner.

scott3460 4 years, 11 months ago

"Then the tax burden should be applied equally on every person. Anything else is redistributing wealth and not contributing to the common good."

Do we use government services equally? Do those who are enjoying a higher level of monetary success and standard of living not use more of the government services that our tax dollars pay for? Perhaps the more valid point would be that a progressive tax structure more accurately accounts for the burden on the common good different members of our society impose. Isn't shirking that responsibility a redistribution of wealth too by requiring those who use less pay the same rate as those who use more?

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

jafs,

I don't dislike having to pay taxes. I dislike the notion of having taxes raised beyond their current level. There is absolutely no moral justification for government to grow one bit bigger than it is today.

Additionally, capital is never idle. Even if the rich don't help the economy by spending their money, they help the economy by "lending" it to banks through savings accounts or by investing it in businesses through stock purchases.

Governments also invest money, but they do it far less efficiently than the markets do.

meggers 4 years, 11 months ago

STRS,

You say: "your ultimate goal is to place my family into a situtation where we're required to surrender more of our income to pay for the pet projects that you think are important."

I presume your family is sort of a "pet project" for you. Guess what? Unless your kids attend private school, I'm surrenduring a portion of MY income to pay for YOUR pet project. Not that I mind. In my view, the fact that I don't have children myself does not absolve me of my responsibility to contribute to an educated society.

No need to thank me.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 11 months ago

Lib, The rich do in fact benefit more from government services in general which is one of the justifications for progressive taxation. Say you own a factory. You need educated workers. Hence public education. You need to workers who are healthy so they won't be out sick all the time. Hence, water treatment systems and public health programs. You need to deliver goods to your customers. Hence heavily subsidized highway systems. You need to be sure that conmen aren't selling fake stock in your company. Hence the SEC. You need to make sure such conmen are brought to justice to deter more crime. Hence the FBI and DOJ. Sure, everyone benefits from these services, but the higher up on the income chain you are, these services provide the means to make even more money. Hence progressive taxation.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

STRS,

I notice you fail to respond to the point that the only balanced budgets in the last 35 years were during the Clinton administration.

The other thing rich people do is to buy expensive toys. For example, let's say that a rich person decides to buy a fancy new sports car because he got a tax break (approximate cost: $300,000).

That purchase will indeed benefit some others (car dealers, employees, etc.).

However, if that same money had been spent by 10-20 people buying cars at the cost of $15,000-$30,000, it would have benefited far more people (car dealers, employees, etc.).

I agree that government is too big, among other problems. However, the main way that reduced spending is often suggested is to cut things like education, social programs, etc.

Mixolydian 4 years, 11 months ago

Oregon laws are wierd. You can't pump your own gas. It's illegal!

Not knowing that, I tried to pump my own gas in Portland and got shoo'd back into the car. I asked what the reason was behind that law and was told it was for safety....which begged the follow up question....Is everyone in Oregon retarded?

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

jafs,

I honestly have little interest in who controlled the White House (or which party controlled the Congress) during the 90's. I'm more interested in debating ideas than political parties. Not that there's anything wrong with political parties - it's just of little interest to me.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

meggers,

Believe it or not, I do not want the government to force any American into paying for government schools. However, I've surrendered myself to the notion that the government's schools are here to stay.

Having to work with that paradigm, I believe the government has an obligation to pay for every child to attend ANY fully accredited school of their choice, public or private, up to the current per pupil funding level. This will result in fairness, choice, competition, an escape from failing schools and higher student achievement.

I additionally support charging parents with large families more for their kids' education. Why should a couple with one child pay as much as a couple with seven kids? I also believe childless couples and single adults should pay far less toward the cost of government schooling. With so much talk about redistributing the wealth, we need to talk more about redistributing the tax burden.

Finally, I believe wealthy families should pay the full amount of their children's education - from kindergarten through college. No more taxpayer subsidies for the rich.

MyName 4 years, 11 months ago

yeah, when are you going to post something worth reading. "Durka durka duur PADs for all durka durka duuur"

Oh, and I didn't sneeze, so no need to bless me.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Kansas is going to give even more tax cuts to corporations this year!!! First, the corporations move all the working class jobs that paid enough to make a good living without a college degree out of the country, then they ransack public education, including public universities. What is their plan? Make slaves of everyone? We don't need foreign and domestic terrorists to destroy us.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Kansas has given tax cuts to corporations almost every single year, and I haven't seen a stampede of companies moving into the state. Jobs first, then tax cuts. Not the other way around. When are you corporate apologists going to figure out you are getting scr**ed?

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, no taxes for corporations, so they can have more money for attack ads. Name all the countries that we compete with who don't tax their corporations? Corporations can have free speech, but they can't pay for the highways that deliver their goods? The schools that educate their workers? The fire and police protection? They want the rights of citizenship, then they have to take the responsibilities too.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Cappy (Anonymous) says…

"The rich do in fact benefit more from government services in general which is one of the justifications for progressive taxation. Say you own a factory..."

What a load of cr*pola. And I didn't think anyone could top scott3460's original premise for stupidest comment of the day.

Suppose I did own a factory, Cappy.

There's no net benefit to society from my factory?

What happens when I say 'You know what, I'm tired of being such a burden on society with all my wealth, so I'll just close down and lock the doors'?

The only 'justification' for a progressive tax is that the proletariat outnumber the bourgeoisie.


tomatogrower (Anonymous) says…

"Yes, no taxes for corporations, so they can have more money for attack ads. Name all the countries that we compete with who don't tax their corporations? Corporations can have free speech, but they can't pay for the highways that deliver their goods? The schools that educate their workers? The fire and police protection? They want the rights of citizenship, then they have to take the responsibilities too."

When you're done ranting, have someone explain Google to you and look up how much Exxon - just one corporation - paid in taxes last year (if you know anyone that can explain an income statement to you). Then head over to the IRS's website and look at how much the entire lower half of individual tax filers paid.

Then get over yourself, drop the class jealous tantrum, and STFU.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

And you and your politicians are trying to keep them from paying any taxes. I'm not against tax cuts, but the need to create jobs first, then get tax cuts, not get bonuses that could have created jobs.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Agnostick (Anonymous) says…

"Oh, and Lib? I love the way you jumped in and rescued notajayhawk from my question."

Oh, sorry, Aggie, missed the question. I try to ignore your posts as much as possible.

Not that it mattered, since it was a rhetorical question - we don't live in a democracy, Aggie.

As liberals are so fond of pointing out, if we lived in a pure democracy, slavery would have continued to be legal. Not to mention abortion would be illegal, and the gay marriage case before the Supreme Court wouldn't be an issue. The people from the populous states on the coasts would be dumping their nuclear waste, chemical waste, and plain old garbage in Kansas.

But hey, if that's what you prefer, Aggie, we'll see what we can work out. It's always funny, though, that those in favor of so-called civil liberties don't give a good gosh-darn about banding together to take something from someone else.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Agnostick;

You really do not need to PM me; if I'm interested enough to find out whether anyone has replied to one of my posts, I'll come back and check.

Agnostick (Anonymous) says…

"Let's face facts, nota…

"When it comes to your “lions and zebras” analogy…

"You want all the privileges that come with being a lion (“privatizing the profits”)…

"without any of the responsibilities that come with being a zebra (“socializing the losses”)"

You really aren't very good at analogies, are you, Aggie?

The lions in this case are the voters of Oregon who banded together to feed on the 'rich' zebras. My fault, really - perhaps if I'd used jackals instead of lions it would have been a more fitting analogy.

Funny thing about our social structure, Aggie. The pyramid-like structure dictates that unless you are at the absolute bottom, there are always more people who make less than you than more.

And sooner or later, they are going to think that what YOU have is too much.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 11 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says… Well Cappy, you just argued how unnecessary the government is since wealthy capitalists will provide all these services of their own accord because they benefit so much from it.

They do provide these services, in part, by paying their fair share of taxes. The point being everybody benefits. Average folks get a better standard of living through education, health, opportunities and the rich get even richer.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 11 months ago

JustNoticed (Anonymous) says… Eat the rich.

No, that just leads to indigestion, gout, and arteriosclerosis.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"Eat the rich."

That would pretty much be what the voters in Oregon just decided to do - feed (even more) off the rich.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 11 months ago

notajahawk, The rich feed off the poor all the time.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Cappy (Anonymous) says…

"The rich feed off the poor all the time."

Class jealousy is such an ugly thing, Cappy. You should see someone about that.

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 11 months ago

oregon Needs this, there were a lot of services that were going to see cuts.

that Tax was increased on people making 125,000 + and 250,000+ for married couples. and 67 fir the min corp. Tax upped from 10 dollars to 150 and they are taxed on gross profits, not net.

There were tons of advertisements ran about these 2 measures it was too the point of craziness.

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 11 months ago

But Remember Oregon DOES NOT have a Sales Tax its 0%

Kirk Larson 4 years, 11 months ago

Over the past few decades worker productivity tripled yet real wages for the working class have stayed pretty much flat. Meanwhile the rich have gotten outstandingly richer over that time. Why do we get nothing for working harder?

The rich eat us!

lindseydoyle 4 years, 11 months ago

A tax increase on those at $125K and over. More like a yuppie tax than a tax on the wealthy. Sounds fair to me.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Agnostick (Anonymous) says…

"Really, nota? The man obsessed with lions and zebras is calling out someone else on “class jealousy?”"

27 January 2010 at 9:34 p.m. Agnostick (Anonymous) says…

"Will the animals get to vote on things? Both the lions and the zebras? Presumably this also includes polar bears, toucans, and iguanas, to name a few."

One of us seems pretty obsessed with the beasties, Aggie.

"It's “cowardism.”

Sour grapes.

Your side won yesterday… lost today. Will you win tomorrow?

Maybe, if you get your act together. Whining like a baby on the internets won't help.

In Massachusetts, we saw what happened when the Democratic candidate took things for granted, didn't think she had to work for her votes. Did something similar happen in Oregon?

Don't be a “wussy” and take your lumps already.

"My" side, Aggie?

If I lived in Oregon, I would not be subject to the new taxes. I'm not "rich", Aggie. I do, however, have what I need, and most of what I want. I work for it.

And I don't live in Oregon anyway, Aggie - I'm not whining about anything. (Have you re-read your own posts - or the PM you sent me?)

The ones doing the whining, Aggie, are the ones crying 'They have more than me, and I want the government to step in and give it to me!' The whiners, Aggie, are the ones like you who, who advocate taking away from someone else instead of earning it for yourself. THAT, my friend, is a coward and a "wussy."

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Cappy (Anonymous) says…

"Over the past few decades worker productivity tripled yet real wages for the working class have stayed pretty much flat. Meanwhile the rich have gotten outstandingly richer over that time. Why do we get nothing for working harder?"

Are you seriously deluded enough to believe productivity tripled because people are working three times as hard?

Get a grip.

lindseydoyle 4 years, 11 months ago

Productivity is measured in dollars. By that measure the banksters are the most productive people on the planet. I find that hard to believe.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

Productivity can be the result of harder work and longer hours, but a tripling of productivity is likely due to increases in technology.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says…

"Productivity can be the result of harder work and longer hours, but a tripling of productivity is likely due to increases in technology. "

Which would likely require an outlay of capital - like, from investors. Or borrowed from banks.

And it was likely resisted by the unions since some workers' jobs became unnecessary with the increase in technology. (Not that they would have taken a paycut instead.)

Yep, that UAW line worker that pushes a button so the robot tightens ten bolts at once is sure working harder than when he had to tighten all ten one at a time by hand.

JustNoticed 4 years, 11 months ago

Ok Kids, let me not mince words,

Eat the f*cking rich.

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