The Great Taxation of ’09

With the recent dismissal of the Oregon legislative session, Oregonians have ended up with three things: taxes, taxes, and more taxes. The legislature raised taxes by over $1 billion this year by increasing the income tax on the wealthiest Oregonians and by raising the corporate income tax. Legislative leaders have claimed that these tax burdens on the state’s job creators will help create long-term jobs throughout the state. In reality, the loss of Oregon jobs and businesses is apt to be unfathomable.

The political right is not the only group of people protesting these additional revenue sources. The political left is also divided on the issue. Governor Ted Kulongoski has shown disappointment that the legislature did not do enough to create jobs, while the state’s largest newspaper claims that the Legislature has overstepped its bounds.

As things stand, Oregon businesses and taxpayers are not liable to let this issue die any time soon. A push to put the new taxes on the ballot has been initiated, and even legislators are skeptical about whether taxpayers will be willing to vote for such drastic tax increases. History has shown that Oregonians vote overwhelmingly against such measures. Yet, with the referendum campaign being backed by a powerful business coalition, legislators likely will need to find other ways to pay for their outrageous spending.


Sarah Ross is a research associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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  • Maximillion

    First, we need more revenue in Salem to continue funding the state programs so very many depend on.

    Second, the richest people among us have the most money, so we must tax them. It won’t do much good to tax poor people, as they don’t have much money to give.

    Third, the legislature stepped up to the plate with the peoples’ money, and that took raw courage.

    Fourth, we have no sales tax, so our other taxes MUST be higher.

    Fifth, I am more than willing to pay higher taxes if that is what it takes.

    Oregon must be kept whole, and higher taxes will go a long way to that end.

    Bravo legislature. What you did took guts. Thanks for looking out for us.

    • MattyB

      You seem to think that everyone who is “wealthy” got there by luck (born into money) or by stepping on the “little guy”. Did it ever occur to you that most rich folks are out busting their tails for ten, twelve, or fourteen hours per day? Sacrificing time away from their families?

      No. It didn’t occur to you. You think all wealthy people spend their days on yachts sipping champagne and eating caviar.

      Adding insult to stupidity, you look up to folks like Al Gore, John Kerry, and Barack Obama – Champions of the People – who are wealthier than you and I will ever be in our wildest dreams.

    • Anonymous

      while the private sector is hurting the Democrats are kicking them, while they are down,

      Biennium–Total All Funds

      2007-09—-$48,005,409,654

      2005-07—-$43,220,555,200 —-11.56%
      2003-05—-$38,743,009,114 —9.11%
      2001-03—-$35,508,990,712 –16.57%
      1999-01—-$30,462,319,439 —- 11.55%
      1997-99—-$27,308,692,023 —-17.62%
      1995-97—-$23,218,655,377 —-15.85%
      1993-95—-$20,042,060,862 —-12.18%
      1991-93—-$17,866,757,268—–17.74%
      1989-91—-$15,174,994,031 —20.72%
      1987-89—-$12,570,014,958 —-4.23%
      1985-87—-$12,060,094,718 —-17.97%
      1983-85—-$10,223,173,163 — 14.34%
      1981-83—–$8,940,741,798 — (-10.88%)
      1979-81—-$10,031,862,751 —-35.08%
      1977-79—–$7,426,493,362 —-42.91%
      1975-77—–$5,196,769,722 — 56.72%
      1973-75—–$3,315,908,507 —-22.15%
      1971-73—–$2,714,651,811 —-27.54%
      1969-71—–$2,128,527,639 —-13.49%
      1967-69—–$1,875,459,599
      1965-67—–$1,411,920,395
      1963-65—–$1,267,100,097
      1961-63—–$1,067,822,805
      1959-61——-$946,954,063
      1957-59——-$718,552,984

      The democrats in the legislature have a spending problem!

      • davidg

        Thanks for the long term compilation.

        I think we often need to be reminded that this year budget “shortfall” doesn’t mean that the budget was reduced. “Shortfall” is a new codeword. It means that the budget didn’t grow as much as the legislature really wanted. This biennium’s budget only grew by about 9% from the preceding biennium.

        Note that the notorious taxpayer limitation initiatives which legislators wail about really did not do much to slow the constant growth of the state budget. In good times and bad the budget grows, and with or without taxpayer initiated limitations the state budget continues to grow.

  • LeavingOregon

    My wife and I are leaving Oregon. I have been an Oregonian for 40 plus years, enjoyed its beauty and people; however, not its government. My wife and I are in the 25% tax bracket with over $100,000 year salary combined. My work, over the last 5 years, has been out-of-state. Now that other state wants us to move there and be part of it community. That state has low taxes and encourages individual wealth. So.. its goodbye to Oregon’s punishment on the individual and their rights to proposer as many of us are leaving Oregon.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t let the door smack you in the a$$ on your way out. Oregon is for dreamers.

    • Sybella

      I hope things really work out for you. In Oregon you are punished if you make money. As much as I want to close my doors and leave, I’m not too sure when it can happen. Soon I hope. In the meantime, we have chosen to stop trying to build our business. No point in it.

      Good luck.

      • contrarian

        Punished? Our household will make about $130K this year. We pay taxes for services. Its not punishment. Its called government.

  • 73Beautygal

    We are leaving as well. We have been building a business for 12 years and are shutting in down and moving to Texas. They have the lowest unemployment and have created more jobs in the last 5 years that the other 49 states combined. See ya later tax happy Oregon.

  • Ralph Branxton

    We left years ago and have not missed a shred of the left-wing crap we had shoved down our throats each and every day by these idiotic fools who are in office.

    Guess what? Once you leave you never come back.

  • DL Peters

    Who is John Galt?

    • anonymous

      The libertarian’s Godot. And there will be an equally long wait.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      John Galt is already here.

      It is the position of the current ruling party that wealth will be punished. Business taxed more and more to pay for those who want to take it easy. In Ayn Rands seminal work John Galt just got sick of it all and left to start his own society. While the productive might not be off starting their own society, it is unarguable that they are not in any mood to start hiring anytime soon.

      Have we seen a lot of “grand opening” signs? Nope, not really.

      How about investment capitol, do we see “the rich” flocking to lend or buying in the stock market? Nope.

      With the possibility of health care reform ( I still think it unlikely this year ) you think any business is going to expand? I sure doubt it, not when you have a $250K payroll cap before you start having to buy health insurance for everyone.

      So John Galt might not be literally here. But the withdrawal of societies productive members is in evidence all around.

      Some might not see it, but then again John Galts opponents were hardly noted for their circumspection.

      • valley person

        I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. 53% of those with reported incomes over $250K per year, according to exit polls, voted for Obama. He promised to raise their taxes in order to expand health care. And he promised to pass cap and trade. He was vilified for wanting to share the wealth by Palin, who actually did share the wealth in Alaska by raising taxes on oil companies and sending checks to everyone else. And I say good for her! Go Sarah!

        OK….so if a majority of the wealthy voted for Obama, why would they now be John Galting (a new word)?

        Investment, grand openings, and so forth are down because we are still in a recession that began in December of 2007, 6 years after the Bush tax cuts and 1 year before Obama took office.

      • Sybella

        Do you ever wonder how many people have read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. How many of them do you think really know where she came from and why she wrote the book?

        Not too many or I guess if they did they’d miss the point.

        I read it, I believe it. Ya’ll should do the same.

  • John in Oregon

    I have seen it a lot. Conclusions that do not follow. Such as > *I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. 53% of those with reported incomes over $250K per year, according to exit polls, voted for Obama.*

    What valley person is wanting us to believe is everything is fine “because the rich voted for it”. But is that real?

    First the 53 / 48 popular vote margin comes from two states, California and New York. The battleground states were a virtual tie with Obama taking states in a photo finish.

    Second the argument presumes that once having done something stupid, voters are not permitted to change their mind and say OMG this isnt what I thought I was gonna get.

    Third even if we assume none of what I said maters it’s a huge leap to say they voted because they wanted more taxes, cap and tax crippling the economy, inferior nationalized health care, and run away spending. Nationalizing the Banking, Manufacturing, Insurance, Energy and Health care sectors of the economy.

    Lastly there do exist Political Entrepreneurs. Business conduced using the levers of Government power. GE, Google and Goldman Sachs come to mind.

    Palin I will touch on later.

    > *OK….so if a majority of the wealthy voted for Obama, why would they now be John Galting.*

    For sake of argument here lets assume the “rich” voted to be taxed. So v.p. asks why the change in attitude?

    I recently saw some comments from a veteran small mergers-and-acquisitions specialist (5 million to 250 million). He was commenting on the national situation. He put the situation in 5 quick bullet points

    *1.* Their businesses are down 10, 20% or more.
    *2.* They have either laid off staff or have reduced hours to 4-day weeks trying to keep key staff.
    *3.* They have reduced their own salaries and in many cases have implemented “cross the board” salary reductions.
    *4.* They (for the first time in their lives) have no ability to forecast beyond 4 weeks.
    *5.* They see nothing good on the horizon that would benefit them re: sales, cost reduction, efficiency, etc.

    The last two tell the story. The environment is hostile to small business and enterprise. But he doesn’t stop there. He drives the point home.

    “Any future seller prospects that I encounter, I will urge them to continue operating their business and take from the business everything that they can legally do for as long as they can. They are far better off. It is quite likely that I will have to revisit some of my existing clients and tell them the same thing… something that I dread.”

    “I am so outraged as to what is happening to our country. This is no longer a political issue [because] we will all lose. We are all casualties of the new paradigm. There will be many more as we continue into a morass that will take generations to recover, if we can. Be it “Cap and Trade”; government-run health care; TARP; bailouts; “stimulus”; business takeovers, etc.; our future is being controlled by bureaucrats and politicians who never, ever, ever ran a business and knew the “gut-check” of filling out and paying their 941’s”.

    > *Investment, grand openings, and so forth are down because we are still in a recession that began in December of 2007*

    More than a few learned economists quibble with the NBER date of Dec 07. The actual data using stated NBER standards points to Sept 08. In the election that was to Obama’s benefit. And no one is saying that Obama initiated the down turn.

    What is being said is that since January 09, every step, in Oregon and DC has been the wrong one. Piling on and burying small business and enterprise.

    A real key metric is the Market Entrepreneurs with resources who normally bargain hunt companies during down cycle. These investors do not see any future and remain firmly on the side lines.

    Ayn Rand used John Galt as the protagonist to illuminate the oppression of bureaucracy. It turns out there is a political strategy based on the concept. The Cloward Piven Strategy.

    For those who do not know, the strategy was developed in the late 1960s by two sociologists at Columbia. In a nutshell it seeks to hasten the fall of free markets by overloading the markets with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

    I don’t see a “conspiracy” here. What I do see is a rush by politicians and Government to wield more and more levers of power. The end result is the same.

    As to Palin, fully six months after she is “old news” the progressive left continues as the hounds of hell snapping at her heals. An aging pervert “comedian” jokes about raping Palin’s 14 year old daughter.

    Willie Brown is the wiliest, most experienced wielders of power that the Democratic Party has ever fielded, a man who also knows a thing or two about charisma. He essentially ran the state government of California as (sequentially) head of both houses of the legislature, and then went on to run the city of San Francisco as mayor.

    He writes about Sarah Palin’s “brilliant move” in the San Francisco Chronicle:

    “The pundits are wrong. Conventional wisdom is wrong. Sarah Palin’s decision to step down as Alaska governor was a brilliant move.”

    “Palin has some of the best political instincts I have ever seen. She became a pop-culture superstar overnight when John McCain made her his veep pick, and she’s still second only to President Obama among politicians the public is interested in. Even in liberal San Francisco, she’d be front-page news if she ever came to town.”

    “What a lot of people don’t know is that Palin entered Alaska politics as a reformer attacking the corruption of the state’s Republican establishment. As such, she was the darling of the Democrats – until she hooked up with McCain.”

    “If Palin wants to play on the national field, she has to be free to move around. She has to be able to drop into Indiana, Ohio or Tennessee and help Republican candidates raise money. She has to be available for radio and TV.”

    Brown recognized the cost of the constant bimonthly bogus ethics complaints. “Instead, Palin faced the prospect of being constantly pinned down in a state that is a day and a half away from the rest of America. She would have been totally isolated in every sense of the word.”

    Brown may recognize the paradigm shift underway. Palin is focusing on the core issues of liberty and free market America. The very issues bringing Republicans and Democrats to the TEA parties. The public voice that is saying ENOUGH.

    • valley person

      “First the 53 / 48 popular vote margin comes from two states, California and New York. The battleground states were a virtual tie with Obama taking states in a photo finish.”

      Battleground states were a virtual tie because they were battleground states, by definition evenly split. I don;t see how bringing that up changes the fact that a majority of wealth Americans voted for the guy who promised to raise their taxes.

      “Second the argument presumes that once having done something stupid, voters are not permitted to change their mind and say OMG this isnt what I thought I was gonna get.”

      Do you mean that rich people who voted for Obama did not believe him? Or did not listen to him? or changed their minds after the election? You can surmise anything. Where are your facts?

      “Third even if we assume none of what I said maters it’s a huge leap ….”

      Yes. Its a huge leap because none of those things you mention are ctually true. They are mischaracterizations of the facts.

      “I recently saw some comments from a veteran small mergers-and-acquisitions specialist ….”

      And what follows is pure anecdote. National policy is not about anecdote than goodness.
      Bottom line is we are in a very deep recession that began in 2007. Yes, businesses are down. That is what happens in a recession. Duh.

      “More than a few learned economists quibble with the NBER date of Dec 07…”

      You can always find economists who quibble. But if we were not technically in a recession at that time we were headed there in rapid order.

      “What is being said is that since January 09, every step, in Oregon and DC has been the wrong one.”

      Fair enough. But arguing against deficit spending during a liquidity crisis is a tough case to make.

      ” don’t see a “conspiracy” here. What I do see is a rush by politicians and Government to wield more and more levers of power.”

      Agreed. They are rushing to do so because that is their job. Use the power of government during emergency situations like the one we are in.

      “As to Palin…”

      You ignored my point about Plain John. As governor, She RAISED TAXES ON ENERGY COMPANIES AND SHARED THE WEALTH.

      Did you support her in that?

    • John in Oregon

      > *Battleground states were a virtual tie because they were battleground states, by definition evenly split. I don;t (sic) see how bringing that up changes the fact that a majority of wealth Americans voted for the guy who promised to raise their taxes.*

      Because 53% of blue California and New York is not 53% of the remaining 48.

      > *Do you mean that rich people who voted for Obama did not believe him? Or did not listen to him? or changed their minds after the election? You can surmise anything. Where are your facts?*

      *Don’t believe him?* Some may not have and voted for other reasons. *Or did not listen to him?* Probably a larger number. *changed their minds after the election?* Huge group here, particularly Independents.

      And how about the not rich that thought Obama wouldn’t raise their taxes?

      *Diageo/Hotline poll*

      Smaller deficits than a quicker economic recovery = 71%
      Quicker recovery with a higher deficit. = 23%

      Obama net approval: Down 15 points since June
      His approval dropped 9 points — 65 to 56 — and his disapproval rose 7 points — 31 to 38.

      *Rasmussen Right-track/wrong track.* likely voters

      Right track 32% today
      Wrong track 62%.today

      Generic congressional ballot. Republican +3 (last three weeks)

      *CBS*
      Obama approval rating
      Democrats down 10 from last month
      Independents down 8 from last month

      *IBD poll*
      Stimulus “not effective” 53%
      Stimulus “effective” 43%

      Reject second stimulus 54%
      Support second stimulus 39%

      > *Yes. Its a huge leap because none of those things you mention are ctually (sic) true. They are mischaracterizations (sic) of the facts.*

      No characterizations. They are the facts.

      Re. comments from a veteran small mergers-and-acquisitions specialist * And what follows is pure anecdote. National policy is not about anecdote than (sic) goodness.*

      Of course its anecdotal, that’s what people speaking is. That is the voice of the people.

      Congressman Eric Massa stated his office took hundreds of phone calls urging a ‘no’ vote on Cap and Tax.
      [A]fter we tallied the responses, the “vote no” calls outnumbered the “vote yes” calls by a ratio of 19 to 1.

      > *Bottom line is we are in a very deep recession that began in 2007. Yes, businesses are down. That is what happens in a recession.*

      The small mergers-and-acquisitions specialist wasn’t talking business down. He said

      “There will be many more as we continue into a morass that will take generations to recover, if we can. Be it “Cap and Trade”; government-run health care; TARP; bailouts; “stimulus”; business takeovers, etc.; our future is being controlled by bureaucrats and politicians who never, ever, ever ran a business and knew the “gut-check” of filling out and paying their 941’s”.

      > * You ignored my point about Plain John. As governor, She RAISED TAXES ON ENERGY COMPANIES AND SHARED THE WEALTH.*

      So the state increased the extraction fees after many years, soooo?

      You ignored what Willie Brown said, “The pundits are wrong. Conventional wisdom is wrong. Sarah Palin’s decision to step down as Alaska governor was a brilliant move.”

      • valley person

        “Because 53% of blue California and New York is not 53% of the remaining 48.”
        Yes but they are all equally Americans. Red white and blue.

        “it’s a huge leap to say they voted because they wanted more taxes…”
        Not saying they did. Am saying they voted for the guy who said he would raise their taxes, so why be dissapointed now?

        “cap and tax crippling the economy…”
        A: there is no tax icrease involved, only tax cuts and crfedits. B: The CBO estimate is this will have minimal cost to consumers. It won’t cripple anything.

        “inferior nationalized health care,…”
        Only it is not nationalized health care. And if you keep the same insurance you have now, with the same providers, how is it inferior?

        ” and run away spending…”
        Its a recession. Tax receipts are down, private savings are up, and it takes government spending to keep people working and things from getting worse. Its Econ 101.

        “Nationalizing the Banking…”
        Didn’t happen. They loaned the banks money to keep them afloat. It appears to have worked and banks are not paying the money back. Nothing was nationalized except for those smaller banks that failed, and by law when that happens they get taken over temporaily to protect depositors.

        “Manufacturing…”
        2 failed companies that came to the government for a loan, were granted it with conditions, failed those conditions, and went bankrupt.

        “Insurance…”
        One company that over leveraged itself, almost brought the entire US economy down, and was bailed out to bail us out of a wrose mess.

        “Energy and Health care sectors of the economy.”
        “Energy” is as private as it ever was. Same for most of health care.

        “There will be many more as we continue into a morass that will take generations to recover, if we can.”
        He is entitled to his opinion, but that is all it is. He can’t see generations ahead, and his expertise does not extend that far in any case.

        “So the state increased the extraction fees after many years, soooo? ”
        Soooo it is a cop out to dance over that fact. It wasn’t “the state.” It was Palin. She raised taxes and redistributed the wealth. What is your position on that? Do you support her on it or not?

        “You ignored what Willie Brown said,”

        Yep. I could not care less what Willie Brown has to say about Sarah Palin or much else.

      • John in Oregon

        > *Yes but they are all equally Americans. Red white and blue.*

        You wanted us to believe 53% of Americas rich voted Obama. Now you say what you really meant was “they are all equally Americans. Red white and blue’?

        RE cap and tax crippling the economy you say > *A: there is no tax icrease (sic) involved, only tax cuts and crfedits.(sic) B: The CBO estimate is this will have minimal cost to consumers. It won’t cripple anything.*

        *there is no tax icrease (sic)* Then why the new Government revenue stream?
        *only tax cuts and crfedits.(sic)* If tax cuts do happen where does the money come from, the money tree?
        * CBO estimate is this will have minimal cost to consumers* CBO assumed all revenue returned to the people. And all with no Government overhead. Do you really think that will happen? Minimal coat to consumers. What about costs to business and manufacturing?
        *It won’t cripple anything.* Wont cripple anything except every enterprise that uses energy.

        Question, if cap and tax just moves money around in a big circle, then why do it? If it doesn’t hurt or change business access to energy why do it?

        RE inferior nationalized health care > *Only it is not nationalized health care. And if you keep the same insurance you have now, with the same providers, how is it inferior?*

        Via IBD. “House’s “health care for all Americans” bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.” You get to keep your private plan until you get married, have a child, or change jobs. Then you get the Government designed plan.

        RE run away spending. > *Its a recession. Tax receipts are down, private savings are up, and it takes government spending to keep people working and things from getting worse. Its Econ 101.*

        Spending greatly exceeds revenue if there were no recession. That’s run away spending. Japan tried it to the tune of more than 80% of GDP, no result. That’s Econ reality.

        RE Nationalizing the Banking…> *Didn’t happen. They loaned the banks money to keep them afloat. It appears to have worked and banks are not paying the money back.*

        Barney Frank sets compensation. Government holds a majority stake. Government says who to loan to. B of A does a merger they didn’t want. Banks told not to lobby on legislation. Quack, Quack, walks like a duck.

        RE, Manufacturing…> *2 failed companies that came to the government for a loan, were granted it with conditions, failed those conditions, and went bankrupt.*

        Two automobile companies, and steel, Et al. Quack, Quack, walks like a duck.

        RE Energy and Health care sectors of the economy. > *Energy is as private as it ever was. Same for most of health care.* Cap and tax, Government health care bill. Quack, Quack, walks like a duck

        You can ignore the voices in the board rooms and business offices as you wish. It still wont put one person to work or produce one dollar of new wealth. Given the shifts in the polls I would say the public has noticed.

        Don’t ignore Willie Brown so lightly.

        • valley person

          “You wanted us to believe 53% of Americas rich voted Obama. Now you say what you really meant was “they are all equally Americans. Red white and blue’?”

          Yes. Both happen to be true, so what is there to not believe?

          “Then why the new Government revenue stream?”

          From the sale of carbon pollution permits. But for the first fiew years they are free.

          “If tax cuts do happen where does the money come from, the money tree?”

          Yep, the same money tree all tax credits come from. Forgone revenues.

          “Do you really think that will happen? Minimal coat (sic) to consumers. What about costs to business and manufacturing?”

          Yes. I think the out of pocket costs will be quite small becaue the cap is phased in slowly, and individuals and businesses will adjust by using less energy. For example, if you trade in a 20MPG car for a 30 after our car wears out, it won’t cost you anything. You may even save a few bucks.

          “Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.” You get to keep your private plan until you get married, have a child, or change jobs. Then you get the Government designed plan.”

          Page 16 of which bill?

          “Japan tried it to the tune of more than 80% of GDP, no result. That’s Econ reality.”

          Maybe so. But we are not Japan. They left their banks in Zombie status. Ours seem to be recovering. Going the other way, trying to balance the budget during a recession, is a fool’s errand.

          ” Barney Frank sets compensation. ”

          I don’t think so. The argument he makes is that if taxpayers are giving banks money to keep them afloat then the banks should use that money responsibly and not hand it out in bonuses. I agree with him.

          “Quack, Quack, walks like a duck.”

          2 ducks, not the entire US manufacturing industry. And only temporarily.

          “Cap and tax, Government health care bill. Quack, Quack, walks like a duck”

          No tax in cap and tax. Private insurance option retained in government health care bill.

          “It still wont put one person to work or produce one dollar of new wealth. Given the shifts in the polls I would say the public has noticed.”

          Lots of people will keep or get jobs due to these bills you hate. Lots of auto workers are keeping theirs. Lots of medical care workers will benefit from insuring 40 million new customers. Lots of alternative energy workers will have jobs due to cap and trade.

        • John in Oregon

          So you come full circle back to your claim that nearly 53% of Americas rich voted Obama. I get dizzy watching you spin, so lets make it simple. Provide the data that shows nearly 53% of the “rich” in Texas voted Obama.

          You say that the new Government revenue isnt a tax because it comes > *From the sale of carbon pollution permits. But for the first fiew (sic) years they are free.*

          Do you mean its not a tax because the permits are free for a couple of years? Or do you mean its not a tax because the money is sent to the government to buy permission to use energy? Interesting concept, a notta tax.

          > *Yep, the same money tree all tax credits come from. Forgone revenues.*

          Interesting. I thought the Democrat party line was tax credits and tax cuts were the cause of deficits.

          > *Yes. I think the [business and manufacturing] out of pocket costs will be quite small becaue (sic) the cap is phased in slowly, and individuals and businesses will adjust by using less energy. For example, if you trade in a 20MPG car for a 30 after our car wears out, it won’t cost you anything.*

          Did you really mean that it won’t cost anything because it’s phased in? Lets take a practical example.

          Dave McArthur owns a few bakeries in St Louis, Missouri; McArthur’s Bakery. Dave uses energy for his ovens so like any good business operator he wanted to know how much the Cap and Tax bill would cost him. Dave begged his representative Russ Carnahan to tell him exactly how the cap and trade bill will affect Daves bakeries.

          In fact Dave would have settled to know if there is a maximum increase he can see in energy prices as a result of Cap and Tax. Either Representative Carnahan doesn’t know or won’t say.

          So why don’t you tell us. It’s a yes or no answer. Yes, there is a maximum increase or no there is no maximum increase.

          When I quoted IBD “Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.” You get to keep your private plan until you get married, have a child, or change jobs. Then you get the Government designed plan. You asked > *Page 16 of which bill?*

          The answer is in the quote from Investors Business Daily that I posted. The US House of Representatives “health care for all Americans” bill. Are you telling us you havent read the 1,018-page bill yet? It’s a real page turner.

          You say > *No tax in cap and tax.* If that is true then why does Representative Carnahan refuse to say so?

          You say > *Private insurance option retained in government health care bill.* Look at the language on page 16.

          *Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage*
          ………..Limitation On New Enrollment
          “Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.

          As IBD said “Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. It shouldn’t be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans’ lives.”

          Wake up guy.

          • valley person

            “Provide the data that shows nearly 53% of the “rich” in Texas voted Obama.”

            I never made that claim. I said 53% of the wealthy NATIONALLY voted for Obama. I don’t know what the vote in Texas was. But the 53% who did vote for Obama were red blooded Americans no matter which state they voted in.

            “Do you mean its not a tax because the permits are free for a couple of years? Or do you mean its not a tax because the money is sent to the government to buy permission to use energy?”

            The permits are permits to pollute, not to use energy. If you use non polluting energy you don’t need a permit. By making them free the first few years, it provides time to adjust. Charging someone a fee to pollute is not a tax. We don’t consider sewage fees a tax do we? Its a user fee.

            “Interesting. I thought the Democrat party line was tax credits and tax cuts were the cause of deficits”

            I don’t know the party line, but they certainly are A CAUSE of deficits, not THE ONLY cause.

            “Did you really mean that it won’t cost anything because it’s phased in?”

            Capital stock wears out and has to be replaced periodically, with or without a cap and trade bill. So if my capital stock wears out in 5 or 10 years and I replace it with a more energy efficient capital stock, there is little or no additional cost due to cap and trade. If Dave’s ovens reach the end of their life span and he replaces them with ovens that use half the energy, he may be out nothing.

            “Are you telling us you havent (sic) read the 1,018-page bill yet? It’s a real page turner.”

            No, I have not read it. I have read some summaries. I suspect that you and IBD are misreading page 16, probably deliberately. But since as IBD points out, such a provision is unconstitutional anyway, then why worry? They can’t make it law. Relax.

            The real fear is that a public option will out compete private insurance by saving people money for the same or better care. So it is competition that is feared by business. Ironic no?

          • John in Oregon

            I would like to address this from three perspectives before responding to your points.

            *Liberal.* (JFK liberal) the liberal is concerned about the power of political entrepreneurs. Business which operates within the political environment. Dick Cheney and Halliburton being a frequent recent example. GE and Goldman Sachs are examples from the last 7 or 8 months. A liberal will be concerned about controlling the power of these businessmen.

            *Conservative.* The conservative is interested in liberty and limiting power of government to specific powers granted by the people and constitution. The conservative is concerned with the intrusion of government into free markets.

            *Progressive.* Another term would be Statist. The progressive questions both capitalism and individualism. On the one hand he does not trust business and free markets. Business must be controlled.. On the other hand the progressive sees individuals as chaotic and erratic. The progressive believes the state or government is best situated to make the correct decisions.

            On the surface the liberal and conservative appear opposed to each other. Opposite faces of the coin.

            I would suggest a better analogy would be the elephant. One feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch. The other feels the opposite end saying the elephant is like a rope. Both perceive different aspects of the same animal.

            Consider GE. GE has publicly stated that the future of the company depends on energy and health care agendas. GE medical in bed with government should be the liberals nightmare. Government intervention in health care the conservative nightmare. Both perceive different aspects of the same animal.

            In contrast neither business in bed with government or government market intervention alarms the progressive statist. Either or both advance the agenda of the government best situated to make the decisions. When Government controls business the business does the will of the Government.

            A liberal ought to be concerned with the convergence of government and business.

            valley person you have raised several points. My goal is to show a different prospective.

            You asked about interpretation, > *I suspect that you and IBD are misreading page 16*

            IBD had the same questions you did about interpretation. They sought clarification from the House Ways and Means Committee. The answer.

            *1.* Individuals keep what they have until something changes.
            *2.* Any new coverage must comply with the Government template.
            *3.* If you buy private coverage you get exactly the same product as you would from Government or any other vendor.

            It makes no difference, public option or private coverage. The patient can choose the Government public option or the Government private option. Same difference.

            > *The real fear is that a public option will out compete private insurance by saving people money for the same or better care. So it is competition that is feared by business.*

            Yes. Not for those reasons. Would you enter a market when your competitor designed and controlled the product you would sell? Where your product was exactly the same as your competitors product? Noting about that is competition.

            You point out that > *since as IBD points out, such a provision is unconstitutional anyway, then why worry? They can’t make it law.*

            That’s not quite the way it works. Congress can pass any law the President will sign. Only then does it fall to the Court to rule, and the only when a case is brought. When Congress and the President ignore the Constitution the damage is done by the time the Court rules.

            Re the cap tax you comment > *If you use non polluting energy you don’t need a permit.*

            That would be true if there was non-polluting energy. Case in point, Sen. Dianne Feinstein hit the roof demanding Don’t Pollute Our Desert With Solar Panels.

            You have offered that > *If Dave’s ovens reach the end of their life span and he replaces them with ovens that use half the energy, he may be out nothing.*

            The conversion of electricity into heat is 100% efficient. No losses to reduce. Dave isnt going to save anything like half the energy. But that isnt the question.

            Is there any limit on how much cap and tax will raise energy prices?

          • valley person

            “It makes no difference, public option or private coverage. The patient can choose the Government public option or the Government private option. Same difference.”

            Summaries I have read of the bill say it calls for 3 levels of government insurance: basic, premium, and more premium. This suggests one size won’t fit all, either for the public or private options. I think what is being confused is that the new legislation would regulate the insurance industry by eliminating their right to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Beyond that, I doubt their “product” such as it is would have to change much. But we will see. We are still a long way from the final bill.

            “Where your product was exactly the same as your competitors product? ”

            Again, I don’t think that will be the case. I think the public option will have inherent advantages that will make it cheaper and better, and that is what the insurance companies are screaming about. Once it gets in the game people will see its value and expand its reach over time as a key way to hold down costs. Note that big pharma and the AMA have endorsed the bill. Why? Because they don’t give a rip about who pays out the insurance claims. Neither should we. Insurance companies are nothing more than very expensive and unecessary middlemen in health care. They are completely unecessary and cost a lot.

            “That would be true if there was non-polluting energy. Case in point, Sen. Dianne Feinstein hit the roof demanding Don’t Pollute Our Desert With Solar Panels.”

            Maybe so, but cap and trade has no provision that would raise the cost of solar energy based on carbon pollution. That is not to say there are not other impacts to consider.

            “The conversion of electricity into heat is 100% efficient. No losses to reduce.”

            But there is this neat invention called insulation. New stoves and other appliances are way better insulated and use far less electricity than older appliances. So when Dave buys his new stove, it will be better insulated and he will save on electricity, whether he wants to or not.

          • John in Oregon

            When I say it makes no difference, public option or private coverage. The patient can choose the Government public option or the Government private option. Same difference. *Your suggestion is the Government will design 3 options.*

            Does that change anything? I have more than 3 choices for toilet paper.

            Can I buy Medigap insurance as many do now to give better coverage? *Not with the Federal Government design.*

            Can I buy major medical to cover a serious accident or major illness? *Not with the Federal Government design.*

            Can a young family buy coverage with increased maternity coverage? *Not with the Federal Government design.*

            Can the elderly buy coverage for advanced in home nursing care? *Not with the Federal Government design.*

            Can I buy coverage for advanced cancer treatment? *Not with the Federal Government design.*

            Can I buy coverage for the treatments and medications the government excludes? *Not with the Federal Government design.*

            “Private insurance companies would easily be able to compete with the government plan if they could offer coverages tailored to the needs of consumers. But you won’t have any such choice: “qualified” plans, the only ones who can legally enroll new members, will have exactly the features required by the federal government.”

            > *Again, I don’t think that will be the case. I think the public option will have inherent advantages that will make it cheaper and better, and that is what the insurance companies are screaming about.*

            How can it be better? The public and private coverage are identical. Everything the Government excludes the private coverage will be forced to exclude.

            Will the Government coverage be cheaper? Thanks to Jeffrey Anderson and PRI we have an answer. Anderson looked at the data for Medicare and Medicade run by the government.

            *O* Since 1970, Medicare and Medicaid’s costs have risen one-third more, per patient, than the combined costs of all other health care in America — the vast majority of which is purchased privately.

            *O* Since 1970, Medicare and Medicaid’s combined per-patient costs have risen from $344 to $8,955, while the combined per-patient costs of all other US health care have risen from $364 to $7,119.

            *O* Medicare and Medicaid have been cutting reimbursements to doctors. Now well below half the private sector reimbursement. Yet the total government cost for treating those patients is higher than it is for private sector patients.

            Your Tax Dollar At Work.

            About Dave’s bakery > *But there is this neat invention called insulation. New stoves and other appliances are way better insulated and use far less electricity than older appliances.*

            Do you think Dave’s ovens are old ancient things that don’t have insulation? He might get a few percent not 50% because of diminishing returns.

            YOU STILL DIDN’T ANSWER THE QUESTION!!! *IS THERE ANY LIMIT ON HOW MUCH CAP AND TAX WILL RAISE DAVE’S ENERGY PRICES?*

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