Right From the Start
The gap between what is right and what is legal is often a chasm of cultures. –
Recent events involving Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are a case in point. The BLM seized Mr. Bundy’s herd of cattle that were grazing on BLM land in an effort to collect nearly $1 Million that it claims is due and owing from Mr. Bundy. A confrontation ensued between BLM officials and Mr. Bundy, local citizens and supporters from surrounding counties and states. It is easy to dismiss this as another wing nut adventure but that misses the relevant points.
Mr. Bundy may be part of the sovereign citizen movement – he has used language and rationale akin to their pronouncements – I am not. He may be a part of the militia movement – they have appeared in support of his efforts – I am not. He may be a member of the Tea Party – they have appeared in support of his efforts – I have been supportive of many of the efforts of the Tea Party. Or he may simply be a citizen expressing his outrage at an overbearing federal government that too often sacrifices the well being of its citizens for the ambitions of its politicians and bureaucrats – in that we are one. And I am not the only one. Mr. Bundy was joined by state officials from Nevada and surroundings states and even members of Congress during his protest. Continue reading
by Dan Lucas
I have been somewhat horrified at the headlines about the budget problems in Polk County. Things have gotten so bad that Polk County now goes for 14 hours a day without sheriff’s patrol and the sheriff’s office won’t even be able to respond to traffic accidents unless a crime is involved.
How did it come to this?
There are four major contributing factors to Polk County’s budget crisis:
1. The loss of O&C timber revenue, including the loss of the interim federal money to make up for lost timber harvesting revenue
2. PERS unfunded liability driving up how much Polk County has to pay PERS
3. Increasing health care costs for county workers
4. Property tax restrictions Continue reading
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon
The National Tax Foundation rates Oregon as the 16th highest tax state in the nation.
Oregon’s high taxes matches with its big spending ways. U.S. Census Bureau data reveals that Oregon is the 17th biggest spending state in the nation per capita.
Federally, Tax Freedom Day is three days later this year and falls on April 21st. Tax Freedom Day is the day when taxpayers as a whole earned enough money to pay their taxes. If Tax Freedom Day includes borrowing it goes into May.
Even with Oregon’s high taxes, there are moves to raise them higher Continue reading
By John A. Charles, Jr.
Last year the S&P 500 Index had a total return on investment of 32%. That should have been good news for Oregon public schools, which receive twice-yearly checks from an endowment known as the Common School Fund.
One of the largest assets of the Fund is the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest, near Coos Bay. Unfortunately, the Elliott did not return 32% last year. It did not even return zero percent. The state actually lost $3 million. That is quite a feat of mismanagement for timberland with a value of more than $500 million. Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
Obama’s administration: “a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both.”
Remember back in January 2009 when President Obama said in a memo to his administration “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” It’s still up on the White House web site.
Like so many other promises from President Obama, the reality has been almost the opposite of his promise to the American people. Not surprising from someone who accepted a 2011 transparency award in a closed-door meeting. Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
Oregon’s Republican primary race for U.S. Senate made the Wall Street Journal late yesterday. The article by Fred Barnes, with the subtitle “Republicans in Washington [D.C.] picked an ‘electable’ primary candidate. They may need to rethink what that means,” describes the race between the two high profile candidates Rep. Jason Conger and Monica Wehby.
by Sen. Doug Whitsett
The national employment report for March was both encouraging and misleading.
On the positive side, the rate of unemployment held steady at 6.7 percent. The report stated that nearly 200 thousand net new jobs had been created in the last month.
Are happy days here again? Perhaps we should delay the start of the celebration.
On the negative side, the rate of employment remains at only about 59 percent. The employment rate is the ratio of those who are working as a share of the total population of potential workers. This means that more than two of every five potential employees currently do not have a job. Continue reading