Blood out of a turnip

The Oregonian had a great piece on Thursday about the squeeze that we are all feeling these days. At the pump, at the market, at Starbucks, and even if you try to board a Tri-Met bus here soon.

As the article noted:

“Milk, coffee, fresh fruit and bread were among the items that got more expensive by an average of 0.9 percent in April, the largest one-month increase since 1990. Gasoline prices were up nearly 21 percent compared to a year ago.”

Simply put — inflation is squeezing us just about everywhere we turn.

But there are more than a few politicians who don’t get it. For some reason they think that the best way to help is to squeeze us some more. They think they can squeeze blood out of a turnip.

As you all know, House Majority Leader Dave Hunt has his mind on one thing — RAISING TAXES.

But in order to raise taxes Hunt needs quite a few more votes. Thanks to a provision place by Oregon voters in the state Constitution he will need a three-fifths majority to push through a tax increase.

So what is Hunt’s goal?

This is what The Oregonian had to say just over a month ago:

“We need a three-fifths majority in the Oregon Legislature to take us to the next level,” said Hunt. That, of course, is the majority you need to raise taxes. The Democratic machine can do a lot, but somehow I don’t think the Ds will be running on the slogan that voters should give them a tax-raising majority.

What do you think? Can you afford higher taxes right now?

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Posted by at 06:27 | Posted in Measure 37 | 30 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    Yes, I can. I love higher taxes. Please tax me higher now.
    What brave, brave politicians we have to take on the challenge of raising taxes when many people are against it. Oregon needs more money to continue with the fine programs it offers to all of us, like the arts, culture, great state slogans, economic development, and all the many other areas where Oregon is second to none!
    Please raise all our taxes NOW!
    We must pay more for the children.

  • John Fairplay

    I, too, would pay more taxes, but only if the money raised is dedicated to hiring more planners. Also additional engineers for the Oregon Department of Transportation. And a tram to Mt. Hood.

  • Crawdude

    People actually enjoy paying taxes, it feels liberating 🙂 I believe someone once wrote a paper on the great emotional effects of tax paying.

  • Crystal Ball

    Wow. I guess I have touched off “Sarcasm Friday.”

    Either that or Chuck Sheketoff from the Oregon Center for Public Policy ( has hijacked Oregon Catalyst today.

  • Crawdude

    Interesting little article, its kind of early to tell but high oil may be a good thing in the long run. Anything that stiffles the ” World Economy, at the expense of America ” scheme , can’t be all bad.

    I would also assume the regional farmers will have a larger selection of crops they can grow and make a profit on. As long as the sale in their region.

    This could almost re-write how our domestic economy operates. Then again, it could just be a red herring……..I like mine pickled.

    Reverse globalization takes hold

    They say every cloud has a silver lining, and perhaps that is even true of the hubbub over fuel costs. Each day, as we are bombarded with news stories of skyrocketing gas prices and political battles over the potential solutions, an interesting and profitable side effect is that manufacturing and jobs are coming back to the U.S.

    This phenomenon, dubbed “reverse globalization” by economists, is a result of shipping costs that are climbing apace with that of oil. Shipping goods from overseas has become so costly that it outweighs the benefit of cheap labor from other countries such as China or Mexico. This has led many American businesses to manufacture their goods in, of all places, America. “It’s not just about labor costs anymore,” said economist Jeff Rubin. “Distance costs money, and when you have to shift iron ore from Brazil to China and then back to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh is looking pretty good at 40 bucks an hour.”

    Of course, the return of homegrown manufacturing brings with it the return of homegrown jobs as well. When hair-care company Farouk Systems transfers all of its production from China to Houston this summer, 1,000 jobs will open up to American workers. Economists predict that the U.S. steel industry will be given a boost as well.

    So while we are all tired of seeing rising prices at the pump, thanks to reverse globalization, we may also be seeing a lot more of something else as well: Made in America.

  • Jerry

    Anything that hurts the communist Chinese is good.
    Yes, agreed.

  • David from Eugene

    The problem facing the average Oregonian is not inflation; the problem is the fact that consumer cost increases are *NOT* being accompanied by equal wage increases. And the source of this problem is the Federal Reserve System which is manipulating the economy for the benefit of Wall Street and not the working public.

    This problem is also affecting local government, their costs are going up but their revenue sources, which are linked to wages, are not. This problem gives our elected leaders only two choices increase revenues (i.e. raise taxes) or cut services. Neither choice is particularly a good one.

    As a Lane County resident I am about to see what it is like to live in an urban area with an ineffective public safety system. For example, on Tuesday a local Motorcycle gang leader received a 1 year sentence, on Wednesday he was released having served less then 24 hours. But when you only have the staff for 96 jail beds (instead of the 1600 the county should have) this happens. And it is hard to staff a jail when you are forced to cut 57 people to balance the budget. But we do have one of the lowest property taxes in the west ($1.275 per one thousand assessed value).

    • Crawdude

      I think everyone would be enlightened if the read about Andrew Jackson’s Presidency.

      At the time there was a central bank, made up of bankers that could manipulate the countries currencies’ for its own means. Jackson got rid of this corrupt institution and paid off the countries debt.

      The Federal Reserve is nothing more than a group of bankers that manipulate the value of our currency for their own corrupt means. It should be abolished!

      As for the debt, I think we’ve fallen to far into that abyss…… ain’t gonna be pretty when we hit the bottom 🙁

    • Sybella

      They also have a third choice. Take the shackles off small business and we would have more jobs to make more money to pay higher taxes and maybe even small business, and the employees might actually have some left over for themselves. Helping employees helps us and them. Government ties our hands.

      But then why should I as a small business owner work to that end, when our government just penalizs us and calls us bad?

    • Jerry

      The solution is simple. Get a better job.

      • Jerry

        Not you Sybella – the guy above who said wages were not enough.

        Small business is the BACKBONE of this nation and government should get out of the way of their success.

        Agree with you 100%.

        • dean

          As a VERY small (just me here) business owner, I appreciate that thought Jerry.

          • dean

            And I meant to add….but I don’t sense state government being “in my way.” In contrast…without a well functioning government I don’t know how I would even be in business, particularly since I attended public schools through university, use public roads to reach project sites, rely on public dams for electricity, and so forth.

  • Crawdude

    In 1930, gas was $1 per 5 gallons, or $0.20 a gallon.

    A 1 once silver dollar was, well, $1 dollar.

    Today, 2008, gas is $4.29 (avg) per gallon

    Silver is $17.19 per 1 once in Federal Reserve Notes FRN’s (note the face value is still $1 dollar)

    Now, take 17.19 and divide it by 4.29, it equals 4.

    Now, take $1 and divide it by 4., it equals (Surprise) .25 cents.

    .25 is the real price of a gallon of gas, $0.25, 25 cents.

    Gas has only gone up $0.05 (5 cents) since 1933.

    So, what has happen then? The value of the Federal Reserve Note (paper money) has been devalued, how was that done?

    By removing us from the gold standard that is required by the Constitution, and then printing the paper money, as you need it.

    So, if a dollar was a dollar in 1930, and today that same dollar is now 17.19 dollars, that means there are 16.19 times more paper FRN dollars out in circulation than there was in 1930. Now divide $1 by $17.19 and today’s dollar is only $0.058 (6 cents) of a 1930’s dollar. If you had save $1 from 1930 till today (78 years), you would have lost 94% of your money.

    So, if your parents purchased a life insurance policy at your birth for $100,000.00 (expecting you to retire on it) it now, 78 years later would only be worth $6,000.00, can you live on that much for retirement?

    Conclusion, buy gold and silver, NOW.

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