...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
      ( 3:19 PM )
Oregon: Followeth Not Alabama

Steve over at No More Mr. Nice Blog explains the bad news about the Alabama tax initiative not passing yesterday. (thanks to TBogg for the link: "the less I know about Alabama the better I feel about America").

What is most disturbing about this is that the people of Alabama could not see through to the bigger picture of creating a better state through this kind of tax reform. While I understand that the big money companies waged war against the initiative, I find it disappointing when so many voters don't educate themselves enough to reason out that the tax system they now adhere to isn't helping them at all.

This is what I fear about Oregon in the coming months. The legislature passed a new budget and a new tax plan. Now, because of all the cuts being made everywhere and the economy slumping so badly (and Oregon's very poor planning for rainy days), the state income tax is going to have to be raised. This is not the fault of the legislators - they are not simply willy-nilly raising taxes because they like to be cruel. Without the increase our state education system and our used-to-be-second-to-none healthcare program will almost cease to exist. As for blame, I lay it at the foot of the neo-conservatives "no tax for any reason!" folks who have convinced Oregonians that all taxes are bad, bad, bad.

These are the people who No More Mr. Nice Blog aptly describes as: they think all tax money is poured down a rathole, and then government services arrive courtesy of elves and fairies. It's a ridiculous rationalization. And yet, as soon as the tax increase was declared, there was an initiative movement launched here in Oregon to overturn it.

In my ideal Oregon, corporations would be paying the full income/property taxes that they should instead of the $10 discount fee offered by the state to keep them here and employing people. That money alone would probably offset all the problems in the Oregon budget. But just like Washington with Boeing, we are slaves to big business. Instead of enforcing these corporate taxes and closing the loopholes, we are having now to tax the working people of Oregon. So no money is there to boost small business, which employ more Oregonians than those big businesses ever will, no money going into the infrastructure to repair schools and provide jobs for people connected to education and healthcare, and no money to take care of the least protected of us.

I'd like to vote against the tax increase on principle because of these corporate tax loopholes. But then again, I'd also like there to be an elementary school standing when my son turns 5.

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