The real problem with the plastic bag bill – WRONG PRIORITY!

by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg)

excerpt from Sen. Kruse’s E-newsletter

Yesterday the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee took three hours to hear testimony on a bill to ban plastic bags in Oregon.  I could take a whole page to explain how the data and false science behind this bill are wrong (there are no massive islands of plastic in the ocean and plastic does degrade when exposed to sunlight), or how this is a clear further government invasion of what should be our personal choices.  I could even talk about how the grocery industry is supporting the bill because they would then be able to charge $0.05 a bag at checkout. Or I could talk about the many health risks of reusable bags or the fact the reusable bags are made in China from plastic and contain lead.  But I won’t go into those issues or how this is just another example of the “nanny state” bills we see filed every session.

Why are we dealing with such unneeded and unnecessary bills when we have the massive job of reshaping our government on our hands?  The answer is clear; even in these tough times there are still people in the Legislature who want government control of everything.   This is not about protecting us or any of the best interest sophistry we hear so much about; this is simply about control and power.  If we really want to pull Oregon out of this recession we need to be limiting government not expanding it.  A private sector free of unnecessary government restraints is the only way back to prosperity for our state.  This should be our one and only job.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet and for the record, I think the plastic bag bill is stupid and I will vote against it if it ever makes it out of committee.

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Posted by at 11:45 | Posted in OR 76th Legislative Session | 18 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Could you get Vic Gilliam, State House Republican, to also vote against it? If the House GOP can’t be counted on to block this impingement of personal freedom, what good is the GOP? Alternatively, maybe you can pick up a House Democrat somewhere to counter the RINO(s). What an unnecessary hassle in a state crying economically for less regulation. I think it better if the Oregon legislature goes back to meeting only once every two or more years, instead of every freakin year. All we get is more government over reach from these annual sessions.

  • valley person

    Wow, Catalyst is like a dog with a bone over this plastic bag thing. For something that is not a priority, you guys are sure obsessing over it.

    Try this:
    First they came for my bags, and I didn’t stop them. Next they took my snickers bars, and I said BFD. I and my waistline could live without the Doritos, but when they confiscated the cheese dip I had finally had enough. But when I went to pull out my gun it was too late. They took away all the bullets. Freedom. Completely gone.

    • Steve Plunk

      Trolls anonymous is wondering if you’ll be attending the next meeting.

      This issue is a clear example of why the Legislature has become dysfunctional. Wasting time while the real issues of importance are neglected. It’s reasonable to discuss those types of things in a political forum.

    • Steve Buckstein

      Yes, valley, we’re obsessed with the bag ban the same way you’re obsessed with involving government in nearly every aspect of our lives.

      Doritos – personally I don’t care for them, so let the Dorito banners thrive.

      Bullets – in today’s climate – no comment

      Snickers – OMG NO WAY – keep your dirty stinking hands off my addiction of choice.

      Plastic bags are just the latest manifestation of the “if it’s not prohibited, it’s required” mentality that permeates our legislative bodies. Everything is either good or bad for us, so some legislators feel compelled to enforce those judgments with the force of law.

      I would hope good liberals and progressives would join good conservatives and libertarians in opposing such a mentality, lest their own secret pleasures get crushed under the heavy boots of the regulators.

      Too many metaphors here, but you get the point.

      • valley person

        I do get your point, and I don’t support involving government in nearly every aspect of our lives. I have my limits. But I am pretty sick of picking up plastic bags along the rural road where I live. And more sick of them cluttering up the beaches. Reusable tote bags or paying a nickle are not large impositions on freedom, or at least are not worth getting worked up over. To me, this is an issue that should not create so much angst, though it is amusing how much it has generated here..

        Keep in mind Steve, that it was mostly liberals who opposed extending the Patriot Act, who oppose interfering with a women’s right to choose, and who support the rights of Gay people to have all the rights straight people have. We care about individual freedom, but we do have different priorities than conservatives do with respect to which freedoms are worth fighting over and which are not.

        I get your larger point, and will defend your right to have your Snickers to the death, so long as you support my unfettered access to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The bullets are up for debate.

        • Steve Buckstein

          I agree that plastic bag litter is not worth getting worked up over. It’s not the bags fault – it’s the people who don’t respect others property who are the problem. Let’s deal with that issue instead of denying responsible plastic bag users the freedom to choose them.

          As to Snickers versus Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I’m pretty sure that the Cup people litter much more than us Snickers fans. But is that an argument for banning the Cups while leaving Snickers on the shelves?

          • valley person

            I definitely draw the line at peanut butter cups. A conservative is a former liberal who had his peanut butter cups taxed.

            Paper litter, bad as it is decomposes. Plastic litter doesn’t.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >Keep in mind Steve, that it was mostly liberals who opposed extending the Patriot Act,

          Until BO became president, then you went silent.

          >who oppose interfering with a women’s right to choose

          Unless that interference includes subsidizing abortion.

          >and who support the rights of Gay people to have all the rights straight people have

          So long as you can continue to use the tax code for societal change rather than revenue.

          What a bunch of hooey. Individual freedoms are anathema to liberal orthodoxy. One needs only look at the tax code, property rights or the odd silence of liberals when roving wiretaps were extended under BO compared to when they were sanctioned under Bush.

          Look, its a cheap laugh. In any bar in any city you can always get a chuckle with the line “Liberals support individual rights”

          You don’t, you know it, I know it, we all know it. Get real.

          • valley person

            Oh really? You apparently missed the vote in the House yesterday. 122 Democrats voted against extending the Patriot Act. Only 26 Republicans voted with them. And Obama is still president. Wrong way Rupert strikes again.

            “Subsidizing” which doesn’t happen anyway, is not interference. A person can refuse a subsidy.

            Individual freedoms matter as much or more to liberals Rupert, we just have different freedom priorities. Deal with it.

            You only think you know what you know. The truth is you don’t know the half of it.

          • Google Search

            “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.”
            — Francis Bacon

          • valley person

            “Rupert prefers to believe nonsense”

            Valley person

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I actually strongly encourage the legislature to please, for the love of God, embroil yourselves in the plastic bag issue.

    Anything to keep you people occupied and out of our lives.

  • Bob

    Methinks the legislature has too much time in session. They start in February but wont’ start to act on the budget until after they get the last revenue estimate in which won’t be until June. In the meantime they have to do something to justify their expenses. Maybe they shouldn’t convene until May.

  • Earthboy

    What about our mother, the earth?? Does no one care for her?????

    • universally speaking

      On comet, on stupid! Boy, Mother Earth has been kicking around longer than Gert Boyle and man are they tough!
      Not even a composite bagful of your soiled diapers can depose them so what’s your pitch?

  • Lholland48

    So instead of arguing over a stupid issue of plastic bags, why don’t we get the government back to finding a solution of unemployment and a way to get this state out of being so damned green and working. Thanks to the greenies – we are losing our state.

  • Pegwhitlock

    They want us to recycle! So why are they trying to ban an already recycled item (not an oil product) which which I use for my cat clean up & in the garden. If I can’t reuse I recycle them. According to two marine bioligists I’ve heard these bags deteriorate & are not causing harm to marine life!
    I DO NOT WANT EUROPEAN STYLE BAGS BEING USED IN THE GROCERY STORES. LIKE IT OR NOT SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT VERY CLEAN! I AM A RETIRED NURSE. DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THE SANITARY PROBLEMS YOU WILL EVOKE!!

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