Lars Larson on Gov. K’s new taxes

So why does the Governor say he needs $2 billion in new taxes for Oregon?

I know Ted Kulongoski says things before he even engages his brain. Now he says he needs $2 billion in new taxes. Not just increased taxes of other kinds but taxes on new things, like taxes on doctors and nurses and hospitals. Supposedly to make health care more affordable.

This is crazy stuff. Let me add it up for you. The last state budget in Oregon is 20% bigger. That’s the current one we are in””20% bigger than the one before, and, the Governor is getting 7½% more money beyond that just from the natural increase in taxes.

So, if you add that together that’s 27% over four years. That averages out to about a 6% annual increase, more than twice the rate of inflation.

The Governor has no business asking for $2 billion in additional taxes, especially during a down economy. That is not at all the kind of economic medicine that an ailing state and ailing nation need.

“For more Lars click here”

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Posted by at 09:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 66 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Anonymous

    Yeh but he’s living in la la land

  • Anonymous

    Of course there are those who view the Governor’s leadership a bit more favorably than our my friend Lars.

    I could comment in many ways on the content of this letter, but the author’s lips are so firmly planted on the Goverrnor’s behind that I had to post it here.

    News of Vestas Wind System’s expansion in Oregon is continued proof of Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s vision and leadership in the field of sustainability.
    My position in economic development takes me to many states throughout the country in the search for new economic development and employment.

    Oregon is light years ahead of the vast majority of these states in understanding that a commitment to sustainability gives it a leading edge in job creation.

    Under the governor’s leadership, we will see more sustainable energy possibilities and the jobs that will follow — in solar, wind, geo-heat, bio-mass and so much more.

    “Sustainable Oregon” is happening and will continue to do so. We all owe the governor a big “attaboy” for deciding that Oregon will be the leader in what may be the most exciting endeavor in economic development in a generation.

    Director, Klamath County Economic 
    Development Association

    • dan

      You make me sick.

      When will you get it through your mind, the government is not to be a job creating machine. They are simply to create a market environment conducive to job growth.

      Focusing on creating jobs is just creating inefficiency in the market place…..look at the gasoline pumping job creation. I have been in many states and I have never had such a tough time getting gas. Lines for gas, most places you still have to get out of your car and go inside to pay. Total inefficiency.

      I am guessing you have never been in an economics course. Please get a clue before you start dragging the economy down with excess taxes.

      Green jobs is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I think it is the equivalent of the government throwing rocks at peoples windows and then saying that it created jobs in the window installing industry.

  • Bob Clark

    The governor wants to increase taxes to in part continue the support for “green” industries.

    But so far, the sustainable economy is a big money loser. The state has given hundreds of millions of dollars away to attract businesses in the green industry, and these green industries depend on large amounts of tax credits to continue operating. In another example, the governor has now promised to spend tens of millions of dollars on imported electric cars, helping Detroit’s competitors, and at a huge loss relative to conventional vehicles sporting sharply lower price tags. The governor does not deserve an attaboy but to be criticized by the mainstream media.

    The green machine waste doesn’t stop at the governor’s level, either. Look at the city of Portland spending almost $7 a gallon for biodiesel versus $2 and change for conventional diesel. Moreover, last year, the city of Portland spent about 3 times the going rate for some “smart” cars.

    For all the wind energy being built, you could easily get as much energy by just drilling a few wells up in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and I don’t think the environmental consequences are any less than those of the wind farms. The latter require large new transmission corridors, cause loss of bird life and reduction in aesthetics.

    The goal is not employment per se but increasing the standard of living. Going green seems to mean spending two hours labor on something that normally used to only take one hour of labor. In other words, a marked decrease in the standard of living.

    Bottom line: the public education system has dumbed down the electorate and we all are suffering the financial consequences as a result.

    • eagle eye

      You are right about the absurdity of wind power, Ted’s energy plans, and all that.

      I think you are just scapegoating public education. For one thing, there is little evidence that it has dumbed us down.

      Face it, Ted K and the like are simply pounding people like you into the ground, rhteotrically and politically. They are winning the “war of ideas”, locally and nationally (and internationally). We saw that big time in the election. Moaning about the public schools is not going to change that. In fact it probably is part of the problem.

  • Jerry

    I love Ted. He is the king of robbing from the rich and giving to his pals.
    He will not accomplish a single thing regarding energy or anything else. All he has accomplished so far is one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
    Great work if you can get it.

  • Dennis v Sinclair

    Our gov is living in a fantasy land. Every dollar removed – forcefully through taxation – from the economy (and generally every productive citizen) then recycled through an inefficient buraucracyi and then trickled down to “green industries is harmful to every citizen. There is no free lunch. There is not an unlimited amount of money. G. K. Chesterton stated during his debate with Bertrand Russell, a socialist, that “[No society can survive the socialist] fallacy that there is an absolutely unlimited number of inspired officials and an absolutely unlimited amount of money to pay them.” Spreading the wealth aorund is a good way to make all poor. Which is the practical result of socialism. It removes the incentive for work, for creativity, for reward (if all depend on the state for everything) and removes individual repsonsibility for one’s own welfare. Dennis Medford,

    • dean

      One wonders how the hell our government won World War 2. We increased deficit spending by a factor of 10 almost overnight and spent 44% of the US GDP on government during the war, more than double what we spend today. Yet we came out of that with a strong economy that carried over for decades, allowing the debt to be paid down as the economy grew. The vets who had their tuition covered became the doctors, engineers, and architects who drive the economy forward. When the private sector tanks government spending has to go up, along with deficits. Otherwise unemployment will become intolerable and deflation will take over.

      I agree with Bob that ANWR should be tapped, but oil is not a substitute for electricity. Wind energy is also needed and the price has come down considerably due to investment and deployment made possible by tax breaks. I also agree wind energy has its own set of impacts to be dealt with.

      • eagle eye

        “wind energy has its own set of impacts to be dealt with”

        And might these include the impact of a million giant wind turbines on the landscape? And how, pray tell, is that to be “dealt with”?

        • dean

          I’m not sure of the number. That depends on a lot of things. Large desert solar arrays are also going to have impacts. Coal and gas have impacts, Nuclear has impacts. Everything we might build has impacts.

          How? If it were up to me, in Oregon I would start by mapping out the land with respect to bird habitat (and flyways) and scenic quality. Habiat is already pretty well mapped, but not scenery. I would have 3 catregories: High protection, moderate protection, and limited protection. We already have good maps of where the best wind is. I would tell the wind energy developers (through the state energy facilities siting council) that placing towers and/or new power lines in or through high protection areas would be at best time consuming and expensive, and at worst denied. The opposite for the limited protection areas, and an in between for the in between areas.

          I would also make these maps available to the public and get some infomation out on how much land area (and where) ultimately could be impacted by new energy facilities. Unless we do this we are setting the stage for lots of unecessary conflict and delay.

          So in short: avoid the higher impact areas, develop the lowest impact ares first, then move to the middle areas. Once sites are selected do a good job of site design and placement. And clean up your mess, including temporary construction roads.

          We live in interesting times.

          • Anonymous

            Thank God it isn’t up to you

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Wind energy is also needed and the price has come down considerably due to investment and deployment made possible by tax breaks.

        You do realize that with this statement you have just admitted that tax breaks spur economic growth don’t you?

        Ahhhhhhhhh….. It burns…. It burns….. Curse you Father Karras and your filthy holy water…….

  • Anonymous

    Yeah dean we just can’t have too much protection.

    More bureaucrats piling on more layers could only be a good thing.

    • dean

      Its like Goldilocks. We could have too much, too little, or try and get it just right.

      • dean

        For Eagle…I was just looking at some data that says the total amount of space requiremed to get to 28% of all national electricity from wind alone is an area the size of west virginia, which is 24,000 square miles. Oregon has 100,000 square miles with the wind well distributed and commercially viable just about everywhere except the Willamette Valley. If we were to shoot for the same 28% proportion to power our population, which is roughly 1/100th that of the US, that means we need to place turbines over 240 square miles total, or .002% of our land area (discounting off shore). To the extent the turbines are placed on farm or range land, those land uses can continue underneath since a single turbine uses only 1/4 acre within a 5-20 acre area. If this math is roughly correct, we have less of a challenge than I thought, and could easily avoid our more scenic and best habitat areas while still meeting Kulongowski’s goals.

        • eagle eye

          You completely miss the point. It’s not just the land the turbine occupies. It’s the visual blight for miles around.

          A rough calculation — taking into account the percent availabe of rated yield of the turbines (much less than 100%, because of times when the wind is not blowing properly), U.S. electricity consumption now and in the future gives about a million turbines as the number needed.

          With 3 million sq. miles in the lower U.S. that basically means you would not be able to go anywhere without seeing the monsters, not just rising up above the landscape, but spinning around, basically eliminating any vestige of natural landscapes.

          Look at pictures of large wind developments, in Europe and the U.S., off the coasts and inland. They’re ugly as sin, as far as I’m concernred.

          They’re completely unnecessary, and not so useful anyway — they have to be backed up by conventional power sources, because of their unreliability.

          It’s just a stupid boondoggle, one of the stupidest things anyone has ever come up with.

          It’s a midboggle, too, not just a boondoggle — to think that so-called environmentalists are actually supporting this nonsense.

          • dean

            I just don’t know where you came up with the 1 million square miles. That does not square with any projection I’ve seen.

            I’ve looked at a number of wind installations and a larger number of photos of same. There is a lot of variability in how they look depending on context AND how they are arrayed. Sometimes they are ugly as sin, other times they seem to fit the land reasonably well, particularly in open, rolling, semi-developed agricultural areas like the Great Plains and prairie states.

            Anyway, IF my figures (240 square miles) for Oregon are accurate, we could get it done with minimal impact visually. If YOUR figures are accurate (1/3 of the continental US) we couldn’t.

          • eagle eye

            I said a million turbines, not square miles.

            So, you think they would fit in with the prairies? Think again. I think they look wretched there. Go trash your local landscapes.

          • dean

            My apologies. 1 million turbines would impact about 10 million acres, or 15,625 square miles. That is a bit more than half of what I suggested. Depending on where we put them, we could (I could at least) live with the visual impact, given the alternatives.

          • eagle eye

            That’s absurd, nobody is talking about putting a million turbines in a 15,000 sq. mi. area. If you don’t know that, you should learn something about eighth grade math.

          • dean

            Math has never been my strong point. But if each turbine takes up an average of 10 acres, and we have 1 million turbines that equals 10 million acres. Divide that by 640 (acres to the square mile) and you get 15,625 no?

          • eagle eye

            There is nothing to keep them confined to those 15,000 sq. mi. Here’s a quote from Wikipedia:

            A large wind farm may consist of a few dozen to about 100 individual wind turbines, and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles (square kilometers),

            In practice, with a million of the monsters, I think it would be very hard to get away from them.

          • dean

            I did not mean to imply they would all be on one 15,000 acre cluster. They would be placed where the wind blows strong enough and consistent enough and in proximity to main power lines. Taken together these sites are limited. The best sites are in a 200 mile wide corridor in the Great Plains from Texas up into Alberta, which is where T Boone Pickens is active. If you drove north to south across the Plains 10-20 years from now, then wind towers might be in sight much of the way. But even today if you drove the same route you would have silos, power towers, oil rigs, old fashioned wind mills to mar your view. Its not a wilderness area, though it lacks large cities. I expect most of the people living there will welcome the revenue.

            Delaware, a very small state, is poised to have a huge wind project, with enough energy to power 110,000 homes to be built 11 miles off shore. The visual impacts from the beaches are very low due to the distance.

            Oregon, a very big state with low population, can find suitable places for wind turbines. I just don’t think you and I will be bumping into them around every corner.

          • eagle eye

            A pastoral silo or old-time wind mill is nothing like a 600 ft. wind turbine. It is not a wilderness in the midwest, but it is not a wasteland either.

            To repeat: if people like wind turbines so much, put them in your own backyard. Like the Oregon Coast.

            Of course, when you put it like that, people like dean say put it somewhere else.

            NIMBY is fine in this case, because wind power is a stupid way to generate electricity. But let’s call it for it is.

          • dean

            I think it’s 400 foot to blade tip for most of them. Still…very tall, no question about that.

            Some people appear to want them in their back yards. I want them away from the most valuable areas for wildlife and scenery, which are places that can be objectively agreed upon.

            Maybe it will prove to be a stupid choice…but every option has its problems. No free lunch is available.

  • WRGeorge

    Благодарствую, полезная вещь.

  • Tom in Oregon City

    All taxes tax the poor, because no matter who writes the check, the poor pay the price for it, with lost jobs and opportunities, as markets respond to depressed incentives.

    So why does the governor hate the poor so much? Or does he just not understand?

    • snow

      I don’t think he hates the poor as much as he loves himself and his “legacy”. He hasn’t got a clue how the poor, the middle class, nor those who work for a living live. Not only does he not know, he does not care.
      This man definitely lives in fantacy land. Bet when he goes to bed at night visions of sugar plums dance in his childish head.

      I do believe he should be thrown out of office, but alas, Salem just keeps recycling its idiots. Probably would be a waste of time.

  • David Appell

    Lars: you’re right — there is certainly a lot of room here to debate the positives and negatives of Kulongowski’s tax plan.

    But why do you have to insult him personally? (…”says things before he even engages his brain….).

    Frankly, I suspect Kulongowski and his staff have spent a lot of time thinking about his proposal. Who wouldn’t?

    Your points would be easier to consider — and far easier to write off as meer ideology — if you wrote from that point of view.

    I suspect it would initially cost you a few ratings points. But you’re smarter than that — a seriously intelligent discussion of the state’s situation would, in the end, get you far more listeners, and betters ones, too.

    Ever listen to David Brudnoy? There was intelligence in action.

    • Anonymous

      I can agree with you, but to have an intelligen discussion, both sides must be intelligent, so sorry, I don’t see Teddy as very smart

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