Oregon Scores High; Republicans Grumble

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Democrats are crowing and Republicans are harrumphing over the new Forbes magazine list  of the best states for business, which ranks Oregon at Number 6.

An even nastier pill for Republicans and others who predicted grass would grow in the streets after passage of Measures 66 and 67 was that Oregon actually jumped four spots in the ratings, from 10th place last year.

Oregon House Speaker Dave Hunt boasted in a  press release that the new Forbes ranking and “the recent wave of relocations and expansions into Oregon [are] proof that Oregon is business friendly.”

Hunt attached a list of 10 corporations that have plans to expand or start operations in Oregon, including the giant chip-maker Intel, which is expected to announce next week that it will build a new multibillion-dollar plant in Hillsboro, creating several hundred skilled manufacturing and research jobs.

“All across Oregon we’re seeing very positive signs of economic recovery,” Hunt said in his release. “The pace of job creation is still slow, but with over a dozen recent announcements of major companies expanding or relocating to Oregon, it is clear that Oregon remains one of the best places in the country to do business.”

Other Oregon Democrats could hardly restrain their glee – hell, they didn’t even try. “Hear that? That's the sound of all the Measure 66 & 67 opponents’ heads exploding,” Carla Axtman wrote on the Blue Oregon blog.

Republicans, naturally, pooh-poohed the Forbes rankings. “The only true measure of whether Oregon has a good business climate is job growth,” Nick Smith, spokesman for the Oregon House Republican Caucus, grumbled to Oregonian political analyst Jeff Mapes.

Maybe so – but to have job growth we need businesses that create jobs, and businesses hardly seem to be fleeing the state in droves the way tax opponents predicted they would if 66 and 67 passed.


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