Need revenue? Try a sales tax and 5% cuts
Until the Oregon politicians address the unrealistic PERS payout formula and cut all state expenditures by 5%, Oregon is going to be in bad financial shape [GAME’S UP, November]. The state of Oregon has more government than the population can afford. I fear in 2009 when PERS runs short, as it did previously, the state will quietly bolster it with general obligation bonds.
I’m not sure that can be accomplished again, nor should it be. Oregon residents are no doubt unaware of that ploy to artificially keep PERS afloat. Bonding is becoming iffy for states, cites and counties and that well may be drying up. Our governor does not understand economics clearly; raising selected taxes and fees is a Band-Aid approach that will not work long term. A sales tax coupled with a drop in income taxes would be my first choice along with the 5% cut across the board in state expenditures.
As for gambling, what next? Legal drugs and brothels?
Support for undies
For years men have wanted us women to wear nice undergarments and we got stuck with them in white jockeys! [THE BOXER REBELLION, December] After spending the summer in Italy, I was amazed by the interest and selection of fine men’s boxers. It’s about time!
Banking on it
I read with interest your December article titled “Banks get cash infusion.” You quote a specific Oregon bank CFO who stated that “behind the scenes, almost every bank in the Northwest is applying for it,” meaning government taxpayer money. In an effort to be “fair and balanced,” our bank did not apply for taxpayer money.
We weighed the merits of the program versus its ultimate cost to the bank and it became clear that the program simply did not represent an advantage for us, especially given our continued financial strength and the fact that we remain quite liquid and well capitalized.
Like any government program, there are more questions than answers and it’s difficult to imagine having the government as a shareholder. Certainly, being subjected to additional unknown government requirements/restrictions is not in the best interest of our shareholders. Free markets are always better equipped to reward responsible performance.
President & CEO
Willamette Community Bank
I’ve been a registered Republican since 1972. I’m a small-business owner and consider myself a Constitutional conservative and I admired people like Tom McCall, Dave Frohnmayer, Wendell Wyatt and Mark Hatfield. There has been little for me in the GOP since the Reagan years. The party is no longer “conservative” in the true sense of the word. It works against rather than for individual liberties. Its only problem with big government on the national level seems to be who runs it and how to loot the Treasury.
Oregon Republicans used to have a “social compact” to balance rural and urban interests, to keep government out of the private lives of citizens, and to use the resources of the state both to promote the economy and make sure that no one “fell through the cracks.” We got what we paid for and we tried to live within our means. That meant good roads, good schools, good parks and good policing. We did not take much from Washington, D.C., and didn’t want to give them much either. We had people like Vic Atyieh, Norma Paulus and Clay Meyers.
None of those thoughtful people would get any place as Republicans today. Anyone who pushed state ownership of the beaches, comprehensive land-use planning and minority rights would not make it as a Republican now.
The fact is, that there can’t be much of an economy without government to build roads, bridges, schools, ports, sewers, waterworks and other things. We need the government to provide police, courts and proper regulation. What it costs is what it costs.
If you want to “get it right” for business, the Ds aren’t friendly or savvy and the current bunch of Rs aren’t either. We need something new that puts all of Oregon together.
Yazbeck, Cloran & Hanson, Portland
WRITE: 610 SW Broadway, Suite 200 Portland, OR 97205