by NW Spotlight
We recently documented the de facto nationalization of the home mortgage industry, which is fattening government coffers by giving 100% of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits to the federal Treasury. This has left private investors at a complete loss, and a bill introduced in the Senate Banking Committee recently (Johnson-Crapo) will make permanent that rule. That means investors will have no access to the courts to argue the merits of their case. But, hey, who needs due process when there’s a political process? Continue reading
by Sen. Doug Whitsett
A great deal of media talk is concentrated on genetically modified plant and animal food products. The public is subjected to virtually daily alarmist claims that allege dangerous issues regarding GMO food safety, decreased nutritional value and claims of harm to organically grown crops.
According to Gregory Conko, Executive Director for the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a food safety expert, genetic engineering is not something that is actually found in food. Instead, GMO encompasses a variety of scientific processes. They are tools that enable growers to enhance food production by improving crop yield and enabling more efficient and less costly farming practices. For instance, the use of GMO crops helps to minimize the use of herbicides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers. Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
221 years before Obamacare passed, James Madison wrote a pretty good description of Obamacare and its problems.
“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.” James Madison – The Federalist Papers, Number 62, 1788 Continue reading
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