ORP Chairman Bob Tiernan shares his thoughts on Measure 66 & 67
Oregon business and our ability to create and attract jobs are at a critical crossroad. If Measures 66 and 67 are passed, we will have agreed to raise taxes in the midst one of the worst recessions in Oregon’s history, creating a strong headwind to our struggling economic recovery.
Oregon spending has been out of control for over 20 years. Each biennium the Oregon Legislature’s budget has been increasing 10 – 20 percent, or more. This year the Democrats increased the state budget by over $4 billion, that’s a 9% increase even in the face of the recession. This is not just irresponsible, it’s reckless.
By simply saying no to these unfair, unwise and unnecessary taxes, Oregon will begin recapitalizing our small business economy, encouraging entrepreneurs, and send a strong message to the Democrats who control government in Salem and Washington, D.C. that the ‘tax revolt’ of 2010 has begun!
The truth is that these new taxes are not necessary to provide basic state services. Just last week a state audit “found” an additional $3.3 billion in “unreserved, undesignated fund balances”. Salem has more of our money than it knew it had, making these $733 million in new taxes unnecessary for current state operations, but coveted by the tax-loving Democrats to expand their pet state bureaucracy.
Our state has a spending problem, plain and simple. The news is full of examples: the Governor’s boondoggle energy projects – $250 million; the failed Oregon “Stimulus Package” most of which went to create only 25 actual jobs in the Senate President’s district – $125 million; over-generous state employee health benefit plans – $125 million a year; millions in salary increases for state employees; and the ongoing PERS debacle – costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year in unfunded pension mandates.
Democrats in Salem and Washington, D.C. simply cannot say no to public employee labor unions and the other special interest groups who contribute generously to their campaigns. The politics are important here: to reform our tax structure and create a business friendly policy climate, we must send Republicans to Salem and Washington to clean house!
We must control government spending, using our tax dollars wisely by prioritizing essential state services and managing more efficiently. Oregon Republicans have budget plans which will protect education and other ‘core’ state services while cutting the pork, waste and inefficiency in Oregon government.
By voting no, Oregonians can choose the path to renewed freedom and prosperity. I am proud that the Oregon Republican Party has chosen to stand by Oregon business and help thoughtful Oregonians make the right choice and say “NO” to Measures 66 and 67.
Chairman of Oregon Republican Party