Taxpayer Association: Oregon stimulus pork. 1M bike boxes.

The Taxpayer Association was honored to make the lead story on KGW-8 regarding Oregon being listed among the 100 wasteful projects in the federal stimulus package. Noted was a million dollars for bike lockers. Embarrassingly, a biker interviewed at a Tri-Met station said the current bike stations work just fine and a million dollars is quite excessive. Another million went for a better horn for the newly minted (way over-budgeted and under-used) Westside train. Several million also was targeted for Eugene bike paths. How many prisoners could we keep behind bars for that $3 million bike path?

Jason Williams of the Taxpayer Association was quoted as saying, “The politicians are selling this as a stimulus plan, but you can’t stimulate the economy by replacing train horns and building bike boxes, you stimulate the economy by giving us taxpayers are tax dollars back.”

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  • Bob Clark

    Ready to sign petitions repealing the new state tax legislation and recall of Sam Adams. I wish the tax on health insurance premiums would also be referred. It would also be nice to see a referral on global warming related legislation. And of course, we need another referral to protect the referral process itself from the likes of Bradbury, Brown, and the government employee union.

    Oh, yea, another referral for freeing education from the public-union education monopoly which in this last session succeeded in restricting the success of charter schools. The legislature, governor and teachers union didn’t do it for the children. They did it to the children. The Union label: “Do it to the Children, not for the children.”

  • Joe

    But a train needs a horn, right? And if it was free, why complain? Someone got some money out of that deal.
    Plus, there is nothing like the sound of a good old horn.

    • Sybella

      Ideas like that are what contribute to the colapse of our economy

  • valley person

    “Jason Williams of the Taxpayer Association was quoted as saying, “The politicians are selling this as a stimulus plan, but you can’t stimulate the economy by replacing train horns and building bike boxes, you stimulate the economy by giving us taxpayers *are* tax dollars back.”

    Ignore the phonetic mispelling for a moment. First, the federal stimulus package included I think $300 billion in tax cuts, so we did get some of our tax dollars back. According to studies, for the most part we have chosen to pay off our debts and save that money (true in my case). Good idea, but zero stimulus. On the other hand, the government actually buying stuff, whether bike boxes or train horns, puts people to work and circulates money, which is a stimulus.

    Also, I hope Jason is acknowledging that whether government spends money or gives tax cuts, the net result is higher deficits, so don’t whine about that.

    Jason needs to read up on his Econ 101.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Ignoring for a moment the of Dean issuing spelling corrections, the idea that you are saying tax cuts always lead to deficits?

      That is about the most ridiculous thing in the world.

      Spending doesn’t cause deficits.

      Tax cuts don’t cause deficits.

      Only one thing causes deficits, spending more than the revenue will support.

      Since tax cuts have no historical correlation at all to lower revenue, your argument that tax cuts lead to deficits is about as uninformed a statement as anyone could make. You need to understand the difference between tax rates and tax revenue. Since you made the basic error of confusing the two in your argument that tax cuts lead to deficits I would suggest you brush up on that.

      At any rate – I figured out why you constantly make this fundemental error of economics.

      Since you never can admit you are wrong, then you can never learn from your mistakes. That’s really sad, but at least it provides an explanation as to why you make this same basic fundamental error regarding taxes and revenue every time.

    • Anonymous

      Then why don’t we have 100% stimulus 100% of the time? Oops. That would be like the old Eastern Bloc directed by the Soviet Union. We’d all be in bread lines. Borrowing to the nth degree to resolve an over-borrowing, over-spending problem is simply asinine.

      In fact, we’ve never really tried reducing the size, scope and power of government to fit within what the Constitution authorizes. Instead, we continually move in the direction of the Eastern Bloc. Today’s NYT editors wrote that since the Bush and Obama stimuli have failed, we need even more stimuli … that’s the kind of fresh Obama thinking that makes sure we will never, ever try the ‘tired, old ideas’ of limiting gov’t to live within our means.

      With folks who flunked economics in charge, the U.S. Job Freeze is going to get a LOT WORSE before things get better. Fortunately, leaders in places like China and India do not have such hatred for the economic success they inherited, so there will be places on Earth that prosper, where folks can expect and get a reasonable return on their investment.

      But the resentment that our leaders harbor toward freedom and liberty will keep the U.S. down, until Obama quits his anti-business agenda. Don’t hold your breath.

  • Dave

    Right. Because borrowing trillions of dollars we don’t have is sound economic policy.
    Moron.

    • moron

      That’s exactly right Dave. Just like if you borrowed money you didn’t have to buy a home in say 1995, or to start a high tech business, that would have been sound economic policy for you. There is nothing wrong with borrowing money as long as you use the borrowed money wisely and can pay off the loan plus interest. Right now the US government is borrowing money at near zero interest, and if it puts that money towards public uses that save people’s jobs, that is much better than sitting back and watching the nation sink into a 2nd great depression. Econ 101.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        For a guy who doesnt know the difference between tax rates and tax revenue, its a little ridiculous to think your argument for deficit spending is based upon anything other than the fact one of your leaders is in the white house.

        Get real Dean, everyone here knows you would be all over McCain if he had done the exact same policies and gotten the lousy results BO has. Good lord, the stimlous didnt even live up to BO’s projections and cost us trillions. Pretty sad stuff.

        • valley person

          Rupert, your beliefs continue to cloud your view of reality. Numerous analyses show that neither the tax cuts of 1981, nor the Bush tax cuts of 2001-2002 increased revenues proportionate to the cuts.

          Read it and weep. Bush’s own Council of economic Advosers said that claiming tax cuts would generate revenue higher than the cuts is akin to sellong snake oi. How much snake oil have you purchased lately?

          https://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=507
          https://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=967

          The best sustained rate of economic growth since the 60s occured after Clinton raised taxes in 93. It averaged 4% per year, or double what it did under Bush, who cut taxes substantially. And the best thing about the Clinton period was that every income bracket gained significantly. Read this one and weep some more.

          https://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/02/clinton-economic-record-and-rising.html

          Believe what you want Rupert. But the data does not lie.

          The problem with McCain is that he would not have passed a stimulus. And yes, I would have complained about that.

          “Only one thing causes deficits, spending more than the revenue will support.”

          Its a miracle. We agree on something.

          “Since you never can admit you are wrong, then you can never learn from your mistakes.”

          OK Rupert. Show me where I am wrong. Don’t just assert something. Show me your data that tax cuts raise more revenue than they give up. And explain to my why we had a 4% average growth rate after Clinton raised taxes, AND that we ran balanced budgets.

          • Sybella

            Dean, Rupert does live in reality as do a lot of us. Sorry you don’t, Idealism is not solid and sounds good only on paper. Reality kills it.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >OK Rupert. Show me where I am wrong. Don’t just assert something.

            US Treasury web site. It shows really clearly that tax revenues were almost double what they were comparing the beginning and the end of Reagan’s term. I’m surprised you don’t know that and thus make the mistake time and time again of saying his tax cuts lead to deficits.

            OH, and by the way, don’t try and do this weasely tax cuts increasing revenues more than they give up.

            The revenue increase is a known commodity historically. The revenue lost is simply a guess. We all know how poor economic forecasting can be, just look to the BO stimulus as compared to BO’s projections for that one.

            Anyone trying to pull this kind of BS is absolutely out of their realm as they are trying to equate a known historical amount with an economic guess. Nice try, but doesn’t cut a lot of ice with me.

            So, now we can add yet another thing to add to the Dean can’t admit he was wrong list – The Reagan tax cuts did not cause deficits as they lead to higher revenue.

            Id go back to lying about my income if I were you Dean. It took me close to a year to show you up on that one. This one took just a matter of hours.

          • valley person

            “Id go back to lying about my income if I were you Dean.”

            You just can’t give it up can you Rupert? Like a poor old dog with a new bone. Call names, discredit, insult, do anything you can to avoid a debate. Truly beyond pathetic.

            Reagan’s first 2 years (81-82) were pretty bad econonmically. In 81 he had a 1.8% growth rate, and in 82 that declined to -2%. You can blame that on Carter, which is fine, but then you have to go along with Obama blaming Bush for his first year or 2.

            So since Reagan’s first 2 years sucked, yes, when you compare his later year tax revenue, it was much higher. In 1982 unemployment rose to 9.7%, thus tax revenues were very low. His tax cuts, which took effect in late 82, probably were stimulative. But so were steadily declining interest rates.

            1984 was Reagan’s best year, with 6% growth (morning in America). But by the end of his 2nd term the economy was tanking again, growing only 2% in 89 and then hitting recession territory under Bush 1. Unemployment under Reagan never got below 5.5%, and then shot right back up under Bush1. Job growth under Reagan was pretty lousy, worse than under any other president other than the 2 Bushes (since Kennedy).

            OK…tax revenues did increase over Reagan’s term, but not by much when you factor in inflation. BAsically they went from 1 trillion to 1.2 trillion using 2000 dollars. After Clintonr aised taxes, revenues increased much faster than they had under Reagan.

            So we are back to square one. Reagan cut taxes, the economy recovered from a recession, revenues increased somewhat, and deficits skyrocketed. Clinton raised taxes, the economy recovered from a recession, revenues increased a lot more, and the federal budget was balanced. Bush 2 repeated the Reagan tax cuts, and at the end of his term we had bupkis plus a very large accumulated debt.

            What is it I’m supposed to admit I was wrong about again?

            Cue Rupert to call me more names. That is your best bet here because you simply cannot seem to win a factual argument.

  • Steve Plunk

    All the stimulus in the world will not help until consumer and business confidence returns. With government officials simultaneously raising taxes, borrowing more, increasing regulation, and generally looking like incompetent bureaucrats that confidence will never return.

    Why would a businessman take any risk on buying new equipment if his taxes will be raised, his borrowing costs increased or his business killed by regulation? No new equipment means no new jobs which means no consumer confidence. If our President would merely step up to the microphone and say “For the remainder of my term I will freeze all taxes and regulations, curtail spending and borrowing, and audit the federal government for waste, fraud and abuse” the economy would jump start itself immediately. We’re all afraid and rightly so.

    Presently we are wasting billions and couple of million at a time. It inspires no confidence in our government when they waste it on things like the bike boxes and train horns. Multiply that by a factor unknown around the country. It amazes me the pitchforks are still in the barn.

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