In Response to, Travis Overley's "Knute Buehler & Dino Vendetti's Opposition to M97" Response, (9/22):
In the Sept. 22 issue Mr. Overly expressed some very strong views for Measure 97. He listed a lengthy dissertation of his careers much of which has been at the service and benefit of others, the community and our children. I applaud him and thank him.
I have not provided the community service he has but I have spent the last 30 years building businesses, providing jobs and taking risks as any business owner does large or small. I am the last to get paid after my employees, vendors and suppliers. I am proud of the fact I have signed the lower right corner of my paychecks not just the back since age 24. My businesses will not be affected by measure 97 because they don't have gross sales of $25 million annually.
I am still resolved this measure will be bad law. What most who support Measure 97 fail to grasp is simple economics. Just as your corner dry cleaner expects to achieve a profit margin on the clothes they clean, the "rich, evil, high paid lawyer and accountant" large companies have profit margins and return on investment targets to achieve for their owners and stockholders. The cost of this measure will be passed onto the working people of Oregon in increased costs of goods and services. The trickle down effect will land on the doorstep of those least able to afford it.
When the cost of oil goes up doesn't the cost of gas at your neighborhood gas station increase? When a hard freeze hits Florida in orange growing season. The cost of orange juice and oranges doesn't drop because of low supply? This is simple Econ 101 I learned in college over 35 years ago. The "big" companies are not going to eat the 2.5 percent. That is truly absurd thinking.
If you have a series of large companies selling goods and services to other large companies you have exponential cost escalation because of this tax to the consumer. All those taxes will just be passed through to the end user and consumer. To assume differently quite frankly is Pollyanna thinking.
Oregon is not dead last in corporate taxes as Mr. Overly states. The states of Wash., Nev., Texas, Ohio, South Dakota don't even have corporate income tax. There are 23 other states with lower corporate income tax rates than Oregon according to the Tax Foundation. That would hardly be dead last. There are many better options than Oregon from a taxable standpoint for companies. If the tax advantages are significant enough, yes, Virginia, businesses will move.
The naïveté of the electorate at simple economics is staggering to me. This extends to many of our elected officials, Mr. Buehler excluded his letter started this lively discussion. I have children in Bend-LaPine school district whom are using 10-year-old computers in crowded classrooms. I would like more funding but this measure 97 is not the answer.
Mr. Overly would you consider reducing your guaranteed PERS return of 8 percent to a more reasonable amount. It's clearly one large factor in reducing the school educational budgets, larger class sizes, old equipment and sewage back up?
In response to Lisa Loo's letter on departing mayor Jim Clinton: "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance..." (Dr. Martin Luther King).
I for one will miss the steady and intelligent leadership of Jim Clinton, and I appreciate his dedicated service to our community. To blame the Bend City Council including Mayor Clinton for the taxes levied and monies spent by Bend Park & Rec. District (BPRD) is incorrect. BPRD is a separate taxing district from the City of Bend. Bend City Council does not control the spending of BPRD funds. This was widely communicated prior to the recent gas tax vote. It's not a secret.
I know this is the Opinion section, but Facts do matter especially in the current political season where Opinions are often presented as proven Facts. Facts are Facts though and if you have any doubt about where your taxes go, then carefully examine your Deschutes County property tax statement when it arrives in the mail next month.
Oregonians love animals, and we have a long, proud history of passing laws to protect them. That's why among all 50 states, Oregon is ranked second in the strength of its animal welfare laws. Now we have a chance to continue that tradition by passing Measure 100 to ban the commercial trade in the parts and products of our most cherished and iconic wildlife species.
Federal rules and laws can only go so far in closing down illegal wildlife trafficking. Measure 100 closes an important loophole in existing law by imposing serious penalties on anyone caught trying to traffic in endangered animal parts within our state, thereby augmenting and bolstering federal enforcement efforts. With California and Washington having already passed similar laws, passing Measure 100 will mean the entire West Coast will become far less hospitable to the poachers, smugglers and profiteers in search of local markets and driving our world's animals to extinction. The measure also includes common sense exemptions for bona fide antiques, musical instruments and use of these products by native tribes.
Oregonians rank the global poaching crisis among their top animal welfare concerns, yet often feel powerless to stop it. Now, with Measure 100, we have a chance to do our part and take a leadership role in protecting elephants, rhinos, big cats, whales and other imperiled animals. Please vote YES on Measure 100.
—Scott Beckstead, Oregon Senior State Director for the Humane Society
This system is racist. Congress writes racist laws, administrative agencies devise racist policies, the criminal Judicial system provides racist interpretation of laws, corporations profit from racist privatized incarceration schemes, banking cartels reap enormous profits from racist discriminatory practices and the Police State is empowered to terrorize and murder people of color with impunity. The press blinds itself to the racist system, perpetuating myths of white supremacy and black inferiority. The Capitalist System was created and thrives on racism.
Government officials talk about building trust, community policing, modifying gun laws and occasionally offer platitudes for victims of police violence such as Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray and Fred Hampton.
The police are only one part of the Racism story, however. The police do what the Racist system demands, which is to protect and serve people of privilege in a racist society.
Immediate steps to wage an effective campaign against racism would be to end the Racist war on drugs, demilitarize the police, arrest killer cops, close privatized prisons, eliminate Racist laws, monitor judges and justices on Racist decisions, eliminate the bail bond system, remove cops from the public school system, create a system of juvenile justice based on justice for children and implement Vote by Mail elections with all citizens automatically entitled to vote.
—Sue Bastian, Privileged White Person
Thanks for your viewpoint, Sue. We are trying not to blind ourselves over here—so thanks for the reminder. Come on in and get your gift card to Palate!
– Nicole Vulcan, Editor