Senator Jeff Kruse: The terrible 2009 Session

State Senator Jeff Kruse Newsletter

This letter will be very partisan, but it is that way for a reason. This was the most partisan session of the Legislative Assembly I have experienced. Because the Democrats had super majorities in both Chambers as well as the governor they were able to pass basically anything they wanted. They were not interested in hearing or acting on any alternatives to what their agenda was and this includes tax and fee increases totaling close to two billion dollars.

Currently there are petitions available for signature to put two of the tax measures on the ballot for a special election in January. I hope most of you will take the opportunity to sign. For a group of elected officials to decide to make such a significant and permanent change to our tax structure without asking the opinion of the people is wrong in more ways than I can count.

They say this is only a tax on the rich and business, but nothing could be further from the truth. We all know that small businesses make up the back bone of our economy and these are the people who will be paying the majority of this increase. The Democrats have shown through their actions they have no real understanding of how a business operates or the dynamics necessary to keep a business viable. As only a small handful of the Democrats currently serving have ever run a business this might be marginally understandable. They seem to think everything is like government and money can be created out of nothing (or more correctly taken from someone else).

Under their bill a business will pay taxes even if it is losing money. How much sense does that make? These tax increases will cost more Oregonians their jobs. In the simplest terms what is being proposed is designed to accomplish only one thing and that is to protect and grow government. Not only is this wrong and unnecessary it will happen by taking even more money from the private sector which is already paying too much. Were you aware of the fact that in the United States we pay more in federal, state and local taxes than we spend on food, shelter and clothing combined? I think enough is enough.

It should also be pointed out that nothing was done during this Session to make government more efficient or even accountable for the money they spend. In fact we are actually growing government by over 2,500 employees. Republicans suggested several ways to streamline government and they were all ignored. At the end of the day the only part of our economy that is growing is government and it is happening in a way that will require even more tax increases in the future.

The chair of the House Revenue Committee actually believes creating government jobs stimulates the economy. I asked a Senate Democrat in early June (as my frustration was growing) if there was any part of my life he didn’t want to regulate and his answer was no. This path of more government, more taxes and more intrusion into people’s lives has got to stop. I still believe in freedom and personal responsibility, but we are moving farther and farther away from these core values. We need to turn this ship of state around and our first step needs to be the rejection of these tax increases.

Senator Jeff Kruse