Last legislative session I wrote about Rural Oregon was a “feel good” priority. At least the majority pretended to care about the people who live outside of Portland and Eugene.
Now, in this 2016 February session, it is abundantly clear that Rural Oregon is not a priority to the Oregon Legislature. No one has time to pretend to care in a 35 day session. Especially when you have to push a partisan radical agenda through.
In the next 35 days the party in charge wishes to push the following down Rural Oregon’s economically parched throat:
Minimum wage – HELLO is anyone listening!?!? In January, a bus full of Eastern Oregonians showed up at the Capitol for a public hearing on minimum wage. Their message was clear, “Raise the Wage and we are moving our businesses and JOBS to Idaho.”
We are Oregonians, we love our state but when your state turns your back on you and your livelihood then it is time for tough love. That means taking our dollars and jobs elsewhere in order for us to survive.
My friend Shelly has summed it up best:
“If a doctor tells me I have high blood pressure, I do. I might get a second opinion, but I’m going to believe the doctor. You know why? Because he’s a doctor, and went to medical school. I am not a doctor and I did not study the human body and medicine. If the business community is telling you we can’t do this, we can’t. You know why? Not because we want to be richer. We want to continue to employ our employees that have been with us loyally for decades. We want to continue to pay our taxes, support the local counties and state, and we want to continue promoting Oregon to the communities, states, and the world. If the agriculture community is telling you we can’t do this, we can’t. You know why? Because we farm, you don’t. We know the cost inputs, and the money we get paid for our crops. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact. And last night you heard it over, and over, and over again. Why don’t you believe us?“
Trade Investment – In a little more than a month’s time, the legislature expects to create a whole phaux-economic market for carbon. Actually, the legislature is going to direct a state bureaucracy to do it, they are just gonna outline some of the guidelines in a bill. The money generated by the blackmail of industries the carbon auctions will then be reinvested into various projects, including disadvantaged/rural communities.
The Oregon Legislature knows that a lot of businesses are going to leave if minimum wage is raised. Cap and
Trade Investment is an additional tax so they can give handouts to those who cannot find jobs because of the Legislature’s terrible faux-economic polices.
What happened to implementing policies that promote job creation? Policies that punish the producers for producing just means someone else down the line has to pay for it. The person who pays is the consumer aka you and me.
Raising Taxes – Oregon claims to not have enough money, that is BS. They have enough money, they just want more to spend frivolously. It is not ok for anyone else to live outside their means so why is it ok for government?
Their goal is to raise taxes on those companies that GROSS not net over $25 million in sales. A person can have a lot in sales but have very small margins, meaning Gross Income/Sales minus expenses equal net revenue. Sales does not equate profit.
They claim it will only affect “the evil out of state corporation.” However I can name half a dozen companies that are owned locally that gross over $25 million in sales. Again, Oregon Legislature is wishing to push more business out of this state.
Lack of acknowledgement from leadership confirms Rural Oregon is not a Priority.
This was obvious in a recent interaction between Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, House Majority leader Jennifer Williamson and House Minority Leader Mike McLane. The majority party’s leaders could not answer nor did they try to answer Representative McLane’s questions about their policies effects on Rural Oregon. Maybe they did not know Oregon had a town called Lakeview?
Frankly, the blatant disregard for anywhere other than Portland is disgusting. All of the above policies will have a negative effect on Rural Oregon, from costing jobs to forcing people out business. Enough is enough and we need to remember this in November.