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
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon PAC
It appears Elizabeth Furse supporters shamelessly attacked County Commissioner Bob Terry for not being a veteran when he indeed is. Instead of asking Bob Terry to verify his veteran record, a Furse supporter decided to to file a state ethics complaint helping to set the standard for all veteran candidates that “all veterans are guilty until proven innocent!” The KOIN-TV news clip shows how the Elizabeth Furse supporters acted recklessly and vindicated County Commissioner Bob Terry when Terry showed his military credentials. Bob Terry and all veteran office holders deserve better than a slander-first-apologize later attacks by the Elizabeth Furse supporters. If you are outraged over this veteran smear then join Bob Terry for a walk this Saturday.