Must see chart. Private vs. Government job growth

Oregonians Against Job Killing Taxes is the Oregon tax referendum petition campaign trying to stop the two massive business and income tax hikes passed by the 2009 Legislature.

Legislators raised job-killing taxes, making Oregon’s economic crisis worse.

Oregon has lost more than 118,000 private-sector jobs since the start of the recession nearly two years ago.

The legislature’s response? A job-killing $733 million tax increase — the biggest tax hike in Oregon history.Whose jobs did legislators protect? Government jobs that pump huge dues income into the public employee unions that funded legislators’ campaigns.But now, citizens are gathering signatures to let voters decide about these job-killing taxes. Legislators say they are only a tax on the rich. They’re wrong. We’ll end up paying more for groceries, gas and other services, and that will impact all Oregonians, especially the poor.

Small businesses would be forced to lay off their workers, reduce wages and benefits, or close their doors if voters approve the legislature’s permanent tax increases. Economists estimate these new taxes will cost as many as 70,000 Oregonians their jobs.

— For more information on the Oregon tax referendum and to download petitions online go to

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 36 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Mary Ellen

    The state government must grow jobs. We have very high unemployment. Where are people going to work? Many private businesses have closed or left. Working for the government is not bad. Nice benefits and great pay for very little work.

  • Sagano

    Someone needs to figure out how much economic activity needs to happen to get these people back to work.

  • Anonymous

    A lot of it is the result of out of control federal government, not just Oregon.

    We need two things:

    1) A sea change here in Oregon, with lower taxes, far less regulation, and a shift back to manufacturing and timber instead of service and tourism.

    2) A sea change nationally, with lower taxes and regulation across all 50 states, allowing Oregon’s industrial economy to take advantage of expanding markets across the nation.

    Without 1, Oregon will still be at the bottom of the US economy, even if the country as a whole does well.

    Without 2, Oregon might climb up from the bottom nationally, but without a national recovery we will still suffer locally.

    Without both, we will continue to be at the bottom of a bad economy, spiraling downward.

  • Dem sick and tired of Straub, Goldschmidt and Roberts, too

    Late flaking news: John Kitzhaber may seek a third term as governor.
    OMG! Haven’t TaxHaber and Tax’nGougeMe dung enough damage to Oregon’s economy already?

  • zero

    Some businesses reduce employees due to outsourcing and moving their headquarters. It has nothing to do with government employee growth.

    • Sybella

      True some jobs are lost to outsourcing. Most of us who have employees do so because Oregon is our home. Most employers are not giant corporations contrary to popular belief. Headquarters in Oregon are moved because of the political climate. Until a few years ago, we were able to run our business with not quite so much government intervention.

      Government wants to be brother, sisiter, and the kid next door to all of us, as well as our parent and advisor. Thet does not make for job or business growth. Businesses are succesful because of common sense and a desire to make something of themselves. Government takes away that desire. Common sense in business dies because government is the assassin for their own gain.

      Running our lives and our businesses is NOT, I repeat, NOT the function of government. No they have gone to far and pretty soon even you will run out of excuses and probably your job. Government both state and federal are now beginning to feed on themselves.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Well, I had no trouble filling up my signature forms to get these taxes referred. That the new taxes will be referred seems to me a foregone conclusion. Will they be defeated? I don’t know, however it seems a distinct possibility.

    What will be interesting, in that eventuality, will be to see the spin. I feel quite sure it will be put off as the citizenry throwing a tantrum and that they truly do want vastly expanded and intrusive government. It will be said they just don’t have the maturity to understand the wisdom of letting their masters spend their money for them.

    Every now and then I get the idea in my head that it would be really interesting to have a pill that would allow me to experience that mindset for something like a 24 hour period. I have no comprehension of that mind set. However there would be something fascinating about knowing what it was like to think some elected representative or appointed hack had more right to my money or more wisdom in its disbursement than I did.

    • Steve Plunk

      As person I respect greatly I have to ask if collected signatures for the gas tax referral as well? Since I’m in the trucking business this one will hurt me, and I believe most Oregonians, the worst.

  • Jesse O

    Yeah, I hate it that we employ people to process food stamp requests, process medical benefits, teach kids and help our seniors. Clearly in a recession the need for those sorts of jobs falls dramatically.

    • Marvin McConoughey

      Jesse O points out that “we employ people to process food stamp requests, process medical benefits, teach kids and help our seniors.” True, but we also have fewer demands for building permits, land use changes, highway patrolmen to police the fewer car miles driven per year, etc. The larger problem is the inability of government to achieve annual performance efficiencies from its workforce. In good times, the argument is that a growing economy justifies higher government employment. In bad times, the argument is cleverly inverted to insist that more goverment employment is needed to cope with bad times. The twin arguments leave zero room for government employment reduction. See the Oregon Catalyst, online, for a neat chart proving the above points.

  • v person

    Would reducing the number of government jobs in a recession end up increasing the number of private sector jobs? No. If anything it would have the opposite effect by further crimping consumer spending, which means buying less stuff the private sector makes, which means even fewer jobs. Public spending should be counter cyclical to private spending, and this is what Oregon and the federal government are doing, and it is working. Every indicator says we are finally coming out of the deep recession Bush created. Private employment will start to pick up soon if we don’t cut the recovery short by reducing public spending too early.

    The tax increase passed by the legislature is not “job killing.” This is simply rhetoric, an echo of claims that the modest Clinton tax increase of 1993 would kill jobs, only it didn’t. The economy rebounded, unemployment went down to its lowest levels in decades, and the federal budget was balanced after 12 years of Republican created monster deficits.

    Taking economic management advice from Republicans is like taking free throw shooting advice from Shaq O’Neal. Clang…thunk…another miss.

    • Steve Plunk

      Unbelievable. Growth in public sector jobs squeezes out private sector jobs by burdening business and individuals with higher taxes and fees. Multipliers from government spending are lower than private sector and the higher taxes create a hostile climate for business expansion. Come on v even you understand those concepts.

      This recession is a Barney Frank recession not a Bush recession. Housing was and is the reason for many of our ills and Frank’s manipulation of home lending policy led to the collapse of housing. Couple that with the incoming tax and spend administration and you will see business and consumer confidence plummeting. Without confidence no spending. It is only the recent setbacks the administration has suffered that has lifted confidence and fueled something of a recovery. The banking sector is stabilized and even the taxpayers are receiving profits from the bank bailouts. Thank you President Bush.

      Taking economic advice from a Democrat will soon bankrupt us all. History show their economic policies contribute to deficits while stifling growth. Clinton was the exception thanks to a Republican controlled Congress that forced his triangulation of politics. Monster deficits? One only needs to look at the CBO’s projections of the deficits under Obama and a Democrat controlled Congress to see what monstrous deficits will be. Defend those deficits v person.

      • rural resident

        Steve, can you explain to me exactly how Barney Frank, a member of the minority party (and one that was completely ignored in the House between 1995 and 2007), and not a committee chairman until the Dems gained control in January of 2007, had such fabulous influence that he was not only able to pass legislation over the objections of the majority party? Also, he “manipulated home policy lending” from what vantage point? Did he stage a coup and seize control of FNMA or FHLMC? Take over the Treasury and exert great control over banks and other mortgage lenders?

        I just finished reading an economic commentary entitled, “Ten Myths About Subprime Mortgages from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Yuliya Demyanyk, one of their senior research economists, debunks much of the Republican “conventional wisdom” that somehow blames the entire mess on Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, and (somehow) Jimmy Carter. Frank advocated for loans to lower-income borrowers (as did many people including George W. Bush), but, of course had no power to get new legislation through. Even had he been successful, Ms. Demyanyk presents evidence that the subprime mortgages he would have been advocating for wouldn’t have been responsible for this mess. Many of the subprime loans, in fact, went to borrowers with good credit but were “subprime” due to the conditions of the lender, the way they were eventually securitized, and other factors.

        Blaming Barney Frank for this economic mess is like blaming the Mariners bat boy for their lack of offense this season.


      Dean isn’t allowed to post on here under any name, is he?

      • anonymous

        You have got to be kidding me. What is it you are afraid of exactly? Ideas? Facts? Argument? Contradiction? Do you entirely lack faith in your ability to debate? What is it like to live life with that much fear and self-loathing? Please share.

        The one and only Dean

        • Steve Plunk

          Dean my friend, I will always welcome your input however misguided it might be. Let’s hope it sharpens both of our wits.

          • anonymous

            I’m totally with you.

            Still Dean

      • Steve Buckstein

        Making arguments that most readers of this blog disagree with is not grounds to ban the commenter. As far as I know, Dean has done nothing to justify banning him.

  • Max

    I just want a job. Anywhere. For anyone.

  • Anonymous

    “Taking economic management advice from Republicans is like taking free throw shooting advice from Shaq O’Neal. Clang…thunk…another miss.”

    Economice from Republicans? How about conservtives?

    Try that locally. Conservatives would not have TriMet in a $31 million hole this fiscal year.

    If conservatives worked at the PDC the Tram and SoWa would never have been called feasible and recomended for approval.
    Had conservatives been on the city council it never would have been approved.

    If conservatives had been in power at Metro the convention center expansion, voted down by taxpayers, would not have happened.

    I could go on and on and on and on

    • anonymous

      You can speculate on what “conservatives” would or would not be for, but we do have a record here. The Bush Adminstration and a Republican majority Congress, nearly all of whom refered to themselves as conservatives and who were elected and supported by people who called themselves conservatives, doubled the national debt and left an economic disaster behind. And this was after Reagan and Bush’s dad also ran up huge deficits. Now you can say all these people were not really conservatives, but that means that they were all liars and those who supported them were fools. And now when the very same people complain about deficits Obama has to run to prop up the economy, we are supposed to believe what? That they really mean it this time? Please. How many times do you want to be snookered?

      So yes, you could go on and on with imaginary what ifs. Or you can face the facts that are right there in the record of conservative governance.

  • Anonymous

    I see you avoided the local approach to what conservatives would have done.

    Bush was not so conservative as so many conservatives complained about during his administration.

    But let’s try and stick to the local arean you’re avoiding.

    There’s no question many of the problems the region and Oregon face would not be happening if genuine conservatives were part of the governance.

    On this you cannot hide.

    • anonymous too

      I have no need to hide, but all you are doing is speculating. You seem to have some mythical image of what a true conservative is, and on top of that you create a mythical Portland and Oregon that if run by these mythical conservatives would do X or Z, then you ask me to validate or debate your mythology of what could or might be.

      Portland voters are probably 80% liberal-moderate, and Oregon voters are probably now approaching 60%. This is well reflected in who they elect and what bond measures they vote for. If anything, the numbers are moving further away from what you would like. So sure, if Oregon were Nebraska or Utah then less money would be spent on transit and urban renewal. But then again even Salt Lake City is developing a light rail system and Omaha a trolley line, so where does that leave your theory?


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