Whadda we want? Taxes! When do we want them? Now!

Well. This is interesting.  Bucking a long long trend around the country, voters in Oregon have just said YES to new taxes. They don’t want their schools to close early. They don’t want to lay off their teachers.

They seem to have snapped out of that all-American certainty that all we’ll flourish if we just keep cutting those taxes. Could this, like Scott Brown in Massachusetts, signal a new trend in voters’ preferences? Could it be that the day approaches when we will accept that roads and bridges and armies and school and hospitals and ‘stuff’ like that cost real money? A single vote does not a trend make, but perhaps a door has been cracked open.

“The double-barreled victory is the first voter-approved statewide income tax increase since the 1930s. Other states, facing similar budget woes, are watching the outcome closely because Oregon, after all, is a state that capped property taxes and locked a surplus tax rebate program into the constitution. “

That’s not unlike the situation California voted themselves into 25 or so years ago with Proposition 13, which began a nasty process that nearly took the job of governing out of legislative hands and into the hands of the ‘people’, allowing direct democracy, otherwise known as mob rule. That worked out so well for California, that it destroyed what was the finest public university system in the world. One they’ll not get back anytime soon.

Something to keep an eye on. If it happens again, expect all hell to break loose.

4 responses to “Whadda we want? Taxes! When do we want them? Now!

  1. Conservative don’t want government, at least beyond law enforcement and military.
    Therefore, it’s fundamentally wrong for them to tax and spend.
    They act outraged when I tell them the truth, that is; Governments main purpose is to tax and spend. Tax and spend is the only reason to form a gvt in the first place!

    Since they don’t believe in taxing, or governing, when they do get elected, they trash the govt.

    Responsible government is the correct path. A government that serves people, not itself.
    Taxing is necessary to serve people.


    • When Kennedy slashed income taxes in the ’60’s, it was because they were way out of whack and needed a ‘resest’. And now they’re out of whack again and need another reset. And we need that reset very very urgently – with debt and wars and infrastructure.


  2. Indeed, that is an interesting story. What we need, is a tax code that isn’t 67,000 pages long. You see, and this can be taken as personal opinion, but I don’t think the wave of “taxed too much” is really based on how much we’re taxed. Europeans are taxed way more.

    The Taxed Enough Already people (aka Tea partiers) look around and see taxes coming at them from every angle. And every tax looks like it was developed by a crook to steal their hard earned money. They look and see Corporations use tax shelters, they see Congress exempt unions from healthcare taxes, they hear abour $10,000 hammers and get pissed off.

    People don’t, in my mind, really have a problem with taxes. It’s the abusive way that our current tax system treats everyone that people hate.


    • Agree one hundred percent.

      Peter Drucker(?), a management guru of the 80’s, said something like “what people around the world are clamoring about isn’t against big government, it’s for effective and efficient government.” Meaning what you said is exactly right – if value were seen and experienced, the how much argument would really go away mostly.

      We generally don’t resent the price when we see ourselves getting good value for it.

      But what happened in Oregon is a necessary first step. We cannot continue to demand more services and low taxes at the same time.


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