Friday, February 6, 2004
“Ronald Reagan Day”
proclaimed in Massachusetts
Chip Ford's CLT
Yesterday the House, Senate and Governor Romney
issued resolutions proclaiming today “Ronald Reagan Day” in
Massachusetts. Grover Norquist's Americans
for Tax Reform initiated the "Ronald Reagan Legacy
Project" and today we celebrate President Reagan's 93rd birthday.
Chip Faulkner represented ATR and CLT by providing copies of the
proclamation to the appropriate State House leaders.
For a list of state governors and legislatures which
also issued the proclamation, visit the Ronald
Reagan Legacy Project website sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform.
Happy birthday, Gipper!
Earlier this week Oregon voters rejected a massive $800 million tax
increase by a 59-41% vote. This ballot initiative was similar to one
they also rejected last year. "Even in Multnomah County, which encompasses the liberal heart of Oregon, the tax measure was
rejected," the Seattle Times reported today [see
In an only too familiar refrain, the Seattle Times
added, "Oregon depends on its income tax for nearly 90 percent of the tax money, far higher than any other state. This tax boosted revenues in good times because of capital gains and other added income. But it fell sharply in recent years of high unemployment and weak stock markets."
In a letter to the editor of
Salem, Oregon's Statesman-Journal, Christopher Bishop summed up the
sentiment of Oregon's beleaguered taxpayers -- and our sentiment here as
"Instead of blaming taxpayers for the cuts, government officials need to account for their stewardships and realize it is they who caused this mess. Remember, you are spending our hard-earned dollars. You are responsible for the consequences of fiscal irresponsibility, and we will not bail you out."
Congratulations Oregon taxpayers!
Proclamation to recognize February 6
as “Ronald Reagan Day”
in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
By His Excellency
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY
WHEREAS: President Ronald Wilson Reagan, a man of humble background, worked throughout his life serving freedom and advancing the public good in his roles as Governor of California and the President of the United States; and
WHEREAS: Ronald Reagan, elected twice by the people of Massachusetts, served with honor and distinction for two terms as the 40th President of the United States of America, the second of which he earned the confidence of 3/5 of the electorate and was victorious in forty-nine of the fifty states in the general election – a record unsurpassed in the history of American presidential elections; and
WHEREAS: In 1981, when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated President, he inherited a nation shackled by rampant inflation and high unemployment; and
WHEREAS: During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, he worked in a bipartisan manner to enact his bold agenda of restoring accountability and common sense to government, which led to an unprecedented economic expansion and opportunity for millions of Americans; and
WHEREAS: Ronald Reagan’s commitment to an active social policy agenda for the nation’s children helped lower crime and drug use in our neighborhoods; and
WHEREAS: President Reagan’s commitment to our armed forces contributed to the restoration of pride in America, the nation’s values and those cherished by the free world, and prepared America’s Armed Forces to win the Gulf War; and
WHEREAS: President Reagan’s vision of “peace through strength” led to the end of the Cold War and the ultimate demise of the Soviet Union, guaranteeing basic human rights for millions of people; and
WHEREAS: On February 6th, 2004, Ronald Reagan will have reached the age of ninety-three years old, thus becoming the oldest living former President;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MITT ROMNEY, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim February 6th, 2004, to be
RONALD REAGAN DAY IN MASSACHUSETTS
and urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this twentieth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand and four, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and twenty-seventh
By His Excellency the Governor
WILLIAM F. GALVIN
Secretary of the Commonwealth
GOD SAVE THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
The Seattle Times
Friday, February 6, 2004
Tax defeat in Oregon could trigger cuts
By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times staff reporter
PORTLAND — Oregon voters' resounding rejection of an $800 million revenue measure has burnished this state's reputation as a bastion for the national movement to limit taxes.
The measure's failure, which was defeated Tuesday by a 59 to 41 percent vote, is expected to trigger cuts in education, public safety and knock many more people off the Oregon Health Plan, which offers medical coverage to tens of thousands of residents.
The Oregon revenue proposal — known as Measure 30 — was crafted by the state Legislature in August after the longest session in history. Grappling with one of the worst fiscal crises in state history, Republican and Democratic legislators narrowly approved increases in the state personal income tax, as well as corporate and other taxes.
Defeat of the legislative compromise could have long-term effects on representative government, some lawmakers say.
"The Legislature as we know it has been dramatically altered in the state," said Sen. Peter Courtney, a Democrat and president of the Oregon Senate. "It is no longer viable as equal branch of government... And tax reform probably isn't going to be done unless through the initiative process."
The initiative campaign to put the tax measure on the ballot was led by the Oregon chapter of Citizens for a Sound Economy, a national tax-limit group. Russ Walker the group's Oregon director, says voters in a state with some of the highest unemployment in the nation wanted a slimmer government — not new taxes.
"It's pretty arrogant for the legislators to say they know better how to balance a budget than the people who have to pay for it," Walker said. "It's amazing how legislators never complain about initiatives when it serves their purposes, but they sure complain when it doesn't work for their purposes."
The Citizens for a Sound Economy has also fought at the national level for federal tax cuts, and in September waged a successful campaign to defeat an Alabama tax measure. The group is now planning to campaign in Washington state against the $1 billion proposal to beef up education funding through a 1 cent increase in the sales tax.
"I would warn legislators in the state of Washington not to underestimate taxpayers on this issue," Walker said.
In Oregon, the tax measure would have cost households earning $27,000 to $43,000 annually $81 in additional taxes. That same household this year will see its federal tax bill go down by $844 as a result of congressional tax cuts, according to an analysis by the Oregon Center for Public Policy, a fact supporters of Measure 30 tried to use.
Measure 30 also sought to raise Oregon's minimum corporate-income tax from the $10 — an amount paid last year by Enron subsidiary Portland General Electric — to anywhere from $250 to $5,000.
Even in Multnomah County, which encompasses the liberal heart of Oregon, the tax measure was rejected. County voters last year approved a local income tax to shore up Portland-area schools, public safety and social services. And they shied away from the state tax even though it was supposed to result in refunds of the local tax.
Dakar Lewis, a Portlander dropping his ballot off at a collection box Tuesday evening, said he makes well under $20,000 annually in his current job, and that the tax was "just too much out of my paycheck." So, he voted against it.
Another voter, a 41-year-old translator who is HIV positive, supported the measure in hopes of maintaining funding for prescriptions he said were vital to his health. "We need this money for people with disabilities."
Oregon has a history of defeating tax increases in general elections. A year ago voters rejected a $313 million tax measure, triggering budget shortfalls that prompted at least 90 of 198 school districts to shorten the school year. The average number of days cut was five, with Hillsboro School District west of Portland opting to jettison 17 days in a move that put a national spotlight on Oregon's fiscal problems.
Oregon depends on its income tax for nearly 90 percent of the tax money, far higher than any other state. This tax boosted revenues in good times because of capital gains and other added income. But it fell sharply in recent years of high unemployment and weak stock markets.
In contrast, the Washington state sales tax raised revenue more slowly during the prosperous 1990s, but revenue also fell more slowly during the recent years of a weak economy.
February 6, 2004
Letter to the editor
Government created mess
The Measure 30 debate has ended. During the campaign, many Oregonians and media organizations used scare tactics to lure voters into voting yes. Some argued that we could afford the tax increases, so why not pay them. Others argued that it was the right thing to do for the economy and for humanity. As an unapologetic no voter on Measure 30, I would like to explain who I think is guilty for the cuts that may take place to essential governmental services: Government.
No, I do not think government should be abolished. And yes, I work hard so that I can pay taxes for the services needed by many. However, government does not care. They spend more money than they need to on items that are not necessary (e.g., $400 chairs, flat-screen computer monitors, expensive art, etc.) How can government honestly justify these things when people need medications and protection from criminals?
Instead of blaming taxpayers for the cuts, government officials need to account for their stewardships and realize it is they who caused this mess. Remember, you are spending our hard-earned dollars. You are responsible for the consequences of fiscal irresponsibility, and we will not bail you out.
—Christopher A. Bishop
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17
U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or
payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this
information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For
more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml