The Man Behind the Tree

Over the past year, Oregon Democrats have perfected a technique of unprincipled politics that was poetically captured in a March 1932 Collier’s Weekly article titled “Tax Everyone But Me” which included an astute observation of American progressive politics:

At the end of the year, and again at the opening of 1932, the hotel rooms and lobbies of Washington were crowded and swarming with citizens who had come to play, in paraphrased adult form, an old game of their childhood:

Congress! Congress! Don’t tax me,
Tax that fellow behind the tree.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Oregon House, Oregon Senate, State Budget, State Taxes | Tagged | Leave a comment

Legislature Shifts Gears: Massive Small Business Tax on Tap

Tax Alert #3 – Small Business Tax Increase

After a Session spent seeking a huge new tax scheme that would dramatically increase taxes on larger businesses and burden consumers with higher prices and employees with lower wages, Oregon’s Legislature has shifted to a new plan.  Unable to achieve the “supermajority” of votes required to implement a Gross Receipts Tax, similar to Measure 97 which was soundly defeated by voters just last year, Legislators have decided to tax small business instead. Continue reading

Posted by at 03:39 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Return of The Kitz

The big news this last week has been the decision by federal prosecutors to not charge former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. the United States, it has become more difficult to pursue elected officials on charges of corruption because an explicit agreement linking a campaign donation or gift to a contract, grant or vote is now required as opposed a general appearance of impropriety. Given the new standard passed down by the High Court, this decision did not come as a surprise to many. Continue reading

Posted by at 02:01 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Free Speech and Public Employee Unions

Right From the Start

In the pointless political correct world of the country’s ruling elites, the United States Supreme Court struck a blow for Free Speech under the First Amendment.  Under former President Barack Obama a series of white men and women occupying the leadership of the United States Patent and Trademark Office decided to be “offended” on behalf of the entire Asian population of the country and refused trademark protection to a band called The Slants – despite the fact that the band members were all of Asian descent and chose the name themselves as a badge of honor against perceived prejudice.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Bill of Rights, Free Speech, Judicial Activism, Liberalism, Neil Gorsuch, Public Employee Unions, U.S. Supreme Court | 4 Comments

Who says Oregon pays public school teachers more than other states? The National Education Association, that’s who!

By Steve Buckstein

As Oregon legislators wrestle with how much money to spend on public education, advocates claim that we spend too little compared to other states. They demand that legislators spend more, and raise taxes to do it. But, according to the nation’s largest teachers union, the reality is quite different.

As I noted recently, in its Rankings & Estimates report for 2016 and 2017, the National Education Association says that Oregon spends more per student than 33 other states: $13,320 per Average Daily Attendee versus $12,572 nationally.

Another interesting finding in the NEA report is how much Oregon pays its public school teachers. In 2015-16 it shows the average teacher salary in the country was $58,343, compared to $60,459 here in Oregon. We spend three percent more on teacher salaries than the national average.* Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

What I learned at PSU

When I first started writing for the Oregon Catalyst in 2011, I managed a hedge fund that had weathered the storm of 2008 well; indeed we profited from it since my fund was actually hedged. But things were not looking good for my boutique investment partnership because most of the assets were owned by one large investor who had recently passed away.

In a post Bernie Madoff world, it seemed impossible for me to talk anyone else into investing that kind of money in a fund ran out of a home office in a tiny condo on Portland’s Sylvan Hill. So I had a choice to make: either put down a lot of money in a way that would cover the higher costs of using commercial real estate and hiring a significant sales force, or invest a smaller amount of money in graduate school instead.

On my birthday in 2014, I made the tough decision to put an end to my career in asset management and pursue a new one in data science. I pursued a masters in economics at Portland State University. As I graduate this weekend, there are four big lessons I take away from this grad school experience. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education, Unions | Tagged | 4 Comments

Pros and Cons of Term Limits

As you may have noticed, former Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bud Pierce has filed a ballot measure proposal to implement term limits in Oregon. The proposal would make it so any individual would only be able to serve 8 years in the legislature in any 12 year period. Essentially making it so after every 8 years of service an individual would have to take 4 years off before seeking office in the legislature again. Continue reading

Posted by at 03:57 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Portland:  Groupthink and Violence

Right From the Start

Portland – not Oregon, just Portland – is one of the most liberal cities in America. Portland (Multnomah County) has about 515,000 registered voters – nearly 54% are Democrats and less than 13% are Republicans.  Many of the remaining 33% simply don’t think the Democrat Party is liberal enough and so they register as Independents, Progressives, Pacific Greens, Working Families or non-affiliated.  (In the 2016 election Portland voted overwhelmingly for Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT).

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Liberalism, Political Correctness, Portland, Portland Politics | 8 Comments

7 Fatal Flaws of “Son of 97” business Sales Tax — HB 2830

Seven Fatal Flaws of “Son of 97” Tax — HB 2830 *** Hearing Today ***
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

1. Taxes go up for everyone except big business which are rewarded with tax cut
2. Creates double taxation
3. Discriminates against family-owned businesses with higher taxes (for no other reason other than they are family owned)
4. Small business lose their 2015 tax relief
5. Taxes companies that are not making a profit
6. 66% tax increase for just doing businesses in Oregon
7. It gives special tax treatment to businesses by industries like Wal-Mart while others like day-care centers and family doctors pay more.

(Note: This analysis based on available information at the time which changes rapidly) Continue reading

Posted by at 05:51 | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Tax Alert — Tax on health care and hospitals

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Oregon’s Legislature now appears ready to consider adding to the costs of already-expensive health insurance. Your elected State Lawmaker is being pressured to vote on two BRAND NEW TAXES on healthcare plans and hospitals. House Bill 2391 will punish small business owners who can’t afford to be self-insured and will hurt individual Oregonians who buy their health insurance on the open market. These would all be passed along to those who actually pay the bills to help fund the state’s Medicaid program some of whom are already struggling to pay for their own health insurance.

The expected tax structure of HB 2391 is projected to rely on several taxes: Continue reading

Posted by at 04:55 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Paris Agreement Was Symbolism over Substance, Leaving Was the Right Call

By John A. Charles, Jr.

President Trump made the right call June 1 when he terminated participation by the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The central problem with the Paris agreement was that the alleged benefits were speculative, long-term, and global; yet the costs to Americans would be real, immediate, and local. It was a terrible deal for American taxpayers who would have been required to send billions of dollars to an international green slush fund, with no accountability.

Pulling out of the Paris agreement does not mean that the climate change apocalypse is upon us. The carbon intensity of the U.S. economy has dropped by 50% since 1980 simply through technological innovation and the dynamic market process. If reducing carbon dioxide is a worthy policy goal—which is just an assumption—the United States already has an impressive track record of reducing emissions.

The Paris agreement was always a triumph of symbolism over substance. Now that American participation has ended, we can appropriately move on to issues of real significance. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Take Our Official 2018 Republican Governor Primary Poll

Last month, we created a Twitter poll to test rumored candidates for the 2018 Republican Gubernatorial Primary. Based on your feedback, we’ve created a full online poll which everyone can participate in. Please take the poll and share it with your friends. If you’re interested in the details of this particular poll. Check out the FAQ on our methodology below.

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Posted by at 04:13 | Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Rep. Nearman: Honoring ‘innocent until proven guilty’ for my staff (Guest opinion for The Oregonian)

Rep. Mike Nearman wrote an op-ed in The Oregonian that is certainly worth reading.

Those of us who run for the legislature do so because we believe in bringing about positive changes for those whom we serve. We can make impacts in state government, but we must also seek to walk our talk to make impacts personally in the world around us. I try to live by a principle that if I can lend a hand to someone who needs help, I jump at the opportunity.

For this session, I hired a young woman, Angela Roman, as a policy analyst for my office. She’s a single mother of three young boys, and yes, she has a criminal record. What I remember most about interviewing her was her hopeful anticipation at having a real shot to be hired for a position with daytime hours and regular pay. This would be a job that could give her more time with her children. What I remember second most about the interview is her asking me if it was okay if she had tattoos. “Yeah, that’s fine,” I told her.

Read Full Op-Ed >>>

Posted by at 09:44 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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