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.

Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Oregon House, Oregon Senate, State Budget, State Taxes | Tagged | 1 Comment

Legislature Shifts Gears: Massive Small Business Tax on Tap

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

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 | 3 Comments

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 | 4 Comments

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.

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Randal O’Toole Pioneers the Future of Tolling

With his signature colonel ties and a home address in Camp Sherman, Randal O’Toole certainly projects the image of a pioneer, but in the case of testing out the future of transportation financing, he’s as much substance as style. The Beaver State’s leading transportation economist is a volunteer in an Oregon pilot program that tracks drivers’ mileage for billing, an experimental alternative to the gas tax.

Given a choice of vendors, he chose Azuga, a company whose main business is helping trucking companies keep track of their fleets. Azuga sent him a little GPS that plugs into the diagnostic port on his car.

O’Toole gave Azuga $20 in credit and every month they send him a report of how much he drove and how much is left of that $20. Azuga deducts O’Toole’s estimated gas taxes assuming his vehicle, a Subaru Outback, gets 30 mph. The mileage-based user fee is 1-1/2 cents so he ends up paying a net of about half a penny per mile.

While it’s designed to mimic the Oregon gas tax, this technology has much potential to be more efficient. It could be the Uber of transportation financing and infrastructure maintenance. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Transportation | Tagged | 4 Comments

The Problem with Ballot Measures

If you have spent any time paying attention to politics in Oregon, then you know that the citizen initiative process is a huge part of how we do things around here.  While at times the ballot initiative process can be a beautiful thing, like when the populace is empowered to vote down bad bills from the legislature, as was the case with Measure 88 and the Driver’s Card law, or making their voice heard on the important issues of the day, like with Measure 91, where the people decided whether or not recreational marijuana should be legal or not.  At times, unfortunately, the ballot measure process can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Continue reading

Posted by at 04:35 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Max attack heroes remembered at Executive Club

By Jason Williams
Taxpayer Association of Oregon,

Last night at the Oregon Executive Club, a monthly gathering of conservative activists, time was taken out of the normal program to pay tribute and honor the two brave gentlemen that stood up to defend two women form violence during the recent Max train attack. Rick Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche both lost their lives when they came to the defense of two passengers. These two men were noted for their heroism and also for standing up for two women who were being victimized for their faith.  A candle vigil was lighted and cards giving people a chance to thank and express thoughts to Rick Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche were at the event. Continue reading

Posted by at 07:47 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hillary: A Woman Scorned

Right From the Start

Lost in the uproar over the United State’s withdrawal from the Paris accords and the renewal of Islamic terrorists’ attacks in Great Britain is the pitiful story of former Secretary of State and once (well actually twice) and future Democrat presidential aspirant Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ms. Clinton is a woman scorned.

Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 2016 Presidential Election, Bernie Sanders, Corruption, Hillary Clinton, Preident Bill Clinton, President Donald Trump, President Obama, Scandals | 2 Comments

Who Needs Paris: U.S. CO2 Reductions Astonishing Without Paris Agreement

U.S. CO2 Emissions down 14% since 2007 peak, and within 3% of 1990 level

By Bob Clark

While considering President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, it is important to understand U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are steadily declining since peaking in the year 2007 and are approaching the 1990 level, even without this global agreement. The U.S Energy Information Administration provides this estimated data in its monthly report, the Monthly Energy Review.  Here’s a chart of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the Energy Information Administration report, estimated for the years 1973 through last year 2016: Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Executive Club Tonight: Important 4 person Legislative update


Oregon Executive Club Speaker Series
Wed. June 7 at 7:00pm
Portland Airport Shilo Inn, 11707 NE Airport Way
–Event is free, $20 dinner option offered at event

The Legislature is looking at $11 billion in new taxes during the final days of the 2017 Legislature. These taxes include gas taxes, a sales tax on cars, a new payroll tax, property tax increases, stealing the people’s Kicker tax Refund and a billion dollar ‘Son of 97’ business sales tax. The Legislature is also looking at new infringements on civil liberties, our privacy and the Second Amendment. Continue reading

Posted by at 04:45 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oregon Senate Committee Votes Out SB 494, Endangers Patients with Mental Illness or Dementia

By Oregon Right to Life

Yesterday the Oregon Senate Rules Committee passed out Senate Bill 494 on a party-line vote. Touted as a “simple update” to Oregon’s current advance directive, this bill is designed to allow for the starving and dehydrating to death of patients with dementia or mental illness.

Senate Bill 494 is little more than the state colluding with the healthcare industry to save money on the backs of mentally ill and dementia patients. This bill would remove current safeguards in Oregon’s advance directive statute that protect conscious patients’ access to ordinary food and water when they no longer have the ability to make decisions about their own care.

“It’s appalling what the Senate Rules Committee just voted to do,” said Gayle Atteberry, Oregon Right to Life executive director.  “This bill, written in a deceiving manner, has as its goal to save money at the expense of starving and dehydrating dementia and mentally ill patients to death.”

“Oregon Right to Life is committed to fighting this terrible legislation every step of the way,” said Atteberry.  “We have already seen the outrage of countless Oregonians that the Legislature would consider putting them in danger.  We expect the grassroots response to only increase.”

SB 494 was amended in committee yesterday.  However, the amendments did not solve the fundamental problem with the bill.  To learn more about what SB 494 will do, please watch testimony made to the Rules Committee on behalf of Oregon Right to Life yesterday by clicking here.  SB 494 is scheduled for a vote at the end of this week.

Three additional bills (SB 239, SB 708 and HB 3272) that also remove rights from vulnerable patients were introduced this session. “There is a clear effort to move state policy away from protecting the rights of patients with dementia and mental illness and toward empowering surrogates to make life-ending decisions,” Gayle Atteberry said.

To tell your State Senator to vote no on SB 494, please click here.

Oregon Right to Life advocates for the most vulnerable human beings whose right to life is denied or abridged under current law.

Posted by at 05:13 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)