By Thomas Tullis
On July 17, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 81, the “Oregon Promise” legislation that allocates $10 million to a “free” community college tuition program for Oregon students. With college tuition having increased ten-fold over the last three decades, Oregon lawmakers clearly have good intentions, but that doesn’t make the Oregon Promise legislation good policy. Unfortunately, Oregon Promise will do little to solve the problem of tuition affordability. In the long run, it could actually cause education costs for students to increase because government-subsidized tuition is a major reason why tuition costs are so high in the first place.
Essentially, “free” education actually ends up costing more. It doesn’t just affect the student directly. Tuition costs don’t go down; instead, it only diverts the cost from the student to the taxpayers. Rather than making college more affordable, Oregon Promise will encourage colleges to increase tuition. Government loans and grants enable a guaranteed demand for services that ensures colleges can raise tuition and increase their spending. The government even admits to these unintended consequences with a recent Federal Reserve study that showed that government grants and loans have caused a 65% increase in tuition.
Posted in Education, Gov. Kate Brown, Government Spending, OR 78th Legislative Session, Oregon Government, State Budget, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes
Tagged free college tuition, free community college, free Oregon community college, Governor Kate Brown, Oregon education funding, Oregon Senate Bill 81
by Dan Lucas
Several recent tragedies have underscored flaws and falsehoods inherent in gun control efforts in the U.S.
The first is the horrific murder of four Marines and a Navy sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by Kuwaiti-born Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez. Abdulazeez first attacked an Armed Forces recruiting center and then a Navy and Marine reserve center. A sign on the door of the first location reads “Federal Installation – Firearms Are Prohibited In This Facility.” Photos now show that door riddled with bullet holes.
Being a gun-free zone and having a gun-free zone sign didn’t stop Abdulazeez. What did protect personnel at the recruiting center was likely the recently installed bulletproof glass. The four Marines and the sailor were killed at the second location, where the Navy Times reports “it is against Defense Department policy for anyone other than military police or law enforcement to carry weapons on federal property.” Continue reading
Bill will preempt states from requiring additional and inconsistent GMO labeling standards
Oregonians for Food & Shelter
Agriculture, biotechnology and sound science had a win this week. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.
This legislation seeks a federal solution to the labeling of foods derived from modern biotechnology. H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 would provide a national framework for the voluntary labeling of GMO foods. Importantly, the bill will preempt states from requiring additional and inconsistent GMO labeling standards. Continue reading
by Dan Lucas
During the Oregon Legislative session that ended earlier this month, two Portland-area Democrats introduced a bill (SB 945) to make it a crime for a gun owner if a minor got access to a gun that wasn’t locked up. KATU reported that a violation “could be punished with up to a year in prison or a $6,250 fine.” The bill also would have prohibited anyone convicted of the new law from owning a gun for 5 years.
Fortunately the bill died in committee.
It’s not clear what the impetus for this bill was, but it doesn’t appear to have been based on any real problem or even any factual basis. Continue reading
Right From the Start
The past week marks the five-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act allegedly designed to protect against another financial calamity like the precursor to the 2008 market collapse and the attendant Bush-Obama recession that for many continues today – seven years and counting. Never before had two congressional flyweights like Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) gained such powerful positions over the economy of the United States and the Dodd-Frank Act was their swan song in ineptitude.
But let us digress a bit.
Mssrs. Dodd and Frank were instrumental in creating the “housing bubble” which then was the axis upon which turned the machinations of the banking industry and their allied investments business and allies. They led the congressional and administrative charge that claimed that an element of the “American Dream” – home ownership – was being denied a significant element of the population because of so-called “red-lining.” Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
A column in the Statesman Journal back in May noted “One in four Oregonians is on Medicaid, the government health care payment system for the poor. That does not include older Oregonians who are on Medicare.”
Who’s paying for all that? Right now it’s mostly “free money” from Washington D.C. – “free” meaning it’s paid from federal taxes we send to the IRS and from debt we’re leaving to our children and grandchildren. But it looks like soon more of that will have to be paid for out of our state budget. Continue reading