Saturday, September 26, 2009

in this corner -- the Oregon Legislature
Their opponent -- the Oregon taxpayer
Who will win the battle for $733 million tax increase?

The statesman Journal

Opponents of the Oregon Legislature's plan for a $733 million tax increase on corporations and higher income individuals collected more than twice the 55,000 valid signatures needed to place the initiative on the statewide ballot.
let's see, they have collected more than twice the number of signatures necessary... that means that they will probably disallow about three quarters of them... well, it could still make the ballot.

Democratic legislative leaders said the two measures were crafted to target companies and individuals who can afford to pay the taxes. They said the personal income tax increase will affect the top 3% of earners.

The anti-tax coalition signature drive gathered more than $1 million in contributions from business groups, timber companies and others, including a network of hundreds of volunteers working around the state.

On the list of referendums to be overturned is the Legislature's $300 million year-round improvement program which would be funded with a six cent a gallon gasoline tax increase as well as higher fees for licenses, registrations, etc.

The other was aimed at blocking a combination of tax increases on hospital and health insurance premiums in order to expand health coverage to an additional 80,000 uninsured children and 35,000 low income adults.
any economist worth their salt will tell you that you cannot tax your way out of a recession.

Especially, with Oregon holding its unemployment rate at 12.2% you would think that they would be doing more to stimulate the economy [and I don't mean adding more bike paths and bridges] instead of doing stupid stuff that actually harms the economy.

I can't believe that some idiot actually came up with the idea of adding a tax on hospitals and health insurance. I mean how stupid is that?

Let me spell it out... adding a tax on anything increases the price of that item. Now, with the increase in cost, even less people can now afford it. Adding a tax on hospitals, just meant that more people can not afford it. DUH!
So whoever the individual was they came up with that wonderful idea, would you please step to the back of the room.

Oregon for some dumb reason, just doesn't get it. However, fortunately, there are a few states in the union who do.

For example, Texas. With an unemployment rate of 7.5%, two points below the national average, large companies like Medtronic and Caterpillar are MOVING to Texas to take advantage of the state's "stable budget and low taxes."

Arizona -- Arizona Legislature is planning a vote on a referendum to reduce the state's corporate income tax from 6.97% to 4.86% in order to attract businesses to their state. Additionally, their proposal to cut all personal income tax rates by 6.6% and abolish a statewide tax on commercial and residential property. There is even a plan to reduce temporarily the states sales tax.

Maine -- Legislature and the governor enacted sweeping tax reform creating a law to remove the states graduated income tax structure with the top rate of 8.5% and replaces it with a simple flat 6.5% tax.

Now if you are a large corporation thinking about moving or relocating, where would you go?

If it was me, the first thing that I would be looking at is how the states are handling this economic crisis and unfortunately in my opinion Oregon would be scratched off my list.

However, we are one of the few states that actually have a state crab.

source for above -- Oregon business report

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama Care - what's your opinion?

Robins Commentary --

It's really funny in a way when you think about it... nationwide healthcare, and why we do not have it.

I personally would like most people are in agreement that it is something that is needed or at least would be nice to have the option available, however, one of the biggest drawbacks is that it would be run by the government.

And we know that we can trust the government, right? Not!

we see examples of that every day regarding corruption, bureaucracy and lack of checks and balances in general. Oregon, in my opinion, is especially guilty on that latter one.

Take a look at some of the existing programs, such as Medicare, Oregon healthcare, the VA and of course everybody's favorite, the DMV. All fine examples of a government-run system.

Let's take a quick look at Medicare from first-hand experience. Our grandmother who is living with us who I shall call Granny, 71 years old and on Medicare. In order to receive some of the benefits that are offered by Medicare, sometimes they flexed her muscles and put on what I consider some ridiculous report armistice was she can obtain a few of her benefits.

For example, they force us a couple years ago to hiring housekeeper or lose a couple of her benefits. Now I could see hiring housekeeper that she looked totally to herself, but that was not the case. But we gave in and hired a housekeeper. I mean, what else are you going to do?

Obama care, just like Hillary Clinton when she tried to push nationwide healthcare is something at some point the United States should actually have. Whether they provide the program itself or its a subsidized program, something is better than nothing.

But it should be a choice. I mean, should not be something like for example if you decide for whatever reason not to have government health care, that your business. Like Michigan, and the Obama care proposal, those who declined government health care, will be penalized on their taxes at the end of the year.

I mean really, think of it logically. If you can afford the money for healthcare, how the world can you afford money to pay a penalty for not having health care.


Look how many people have to struggle each year just to come up with their property taxes.

If we are going to go ahead with government health care, life totally reinvent the wheel. Take a look at the other countries that currently have government health care and take a look at what works and what does not work and design a system based on that information.

Little bit closer to home...

In this economy, especially in Oregon with unemployment still holding at about 12.2%, with the cost of living, taxes and fees constantly increasing, you have to cut corners wherever possible. In most cases, health care is not even on the priority list. You pray that you stay healthy and nothing happens.

Then something unforeseeable comes along.

Granny, was recently diagnosed with small cell cancer and it is rapidly spreading through her body. Last week, I had to be rushed to the hospital emergency room for really intense stomach pains.

I am scheduled to have my gallbladder removed. The cost of the emergency room visit was just under $5000. The operation for the gallbladder $19,000 and up, assuming no complications.

The cost for Granny's treatment including chemotherapy and radiation, well let's just say they were putting pillows on the floors for when we get the bills.

Obama care, if it was written as President Obama preaches would probably help out a lot.

However, it's like I said at the beginning of this post. You don't really think much about it until it happens to you and it really does become a life or death decision.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze, dead at 57

The Washington Post--

Patrick Swayze, 57, an actor who enjoyed success in Hollywood as the snake-hipped charmer of "Dirty Dancing" and a romantic lead from beyond the grave in "Ghost," died Sept. 14, his publicist reported from Los Angeles. He had pancreatic cancer.

Oregon governorship?
The race is on


Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio met last week with former Gov. John Kitzhaber discussed the 2010 governors race. DeFazio, is currently considering the idea of running for governor however, he has not yet made that decision.

Former Gov. John Kitzhaber, last week announced that he would seek a third term as Oregon's governor.

also announcing their candidacy for governor, is former Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury.

Currently, there are three announced GOP contenders -- state Sen. Jason Atkinson of Central Point; businessman Allen Alley and Gresham businessman John Lim, a former legislator.

DeFazio, I would be willing to give him a chance at governor.
although I don't agree with everything that he has done, at least he has proven that he is more in touch and available for the people of Oregon.

Kitzhaber, if I remember correctly, he wasn't too much better than Kulongoski.

Jason Atkinson, a candidate that I supported in the last race disappointed me on two counts.
1) when challenged by Lars Larson regarding illegal aliens, Atkinson refused to stand up for his beliefs whether popular or not. Atkinson refused to come back on the show and defend his beliefs. Instead, he had his campaign manager call-in and tell Lars, "what he actually meant to say was..."
2) as part of the Atkinson's blogger group, when we approached or tried to approach Adkinson about the show, the only response that I got was from his campaign manager via e-mail, "when I speak, it's as if it came from Jason's mouth."

Not exactly!

Atkinson is also a very involved bicycle advocate. Nothing wrong with that really, except I personally feel that we would be overwhelmed more than we already are with more bike lanes, bridges, and legislations to allow bicycles to run stop signs.
just think how life would be now if Al Gore had actually been elected president.

Don't get me wrong, I've had the opportunity to meet Atkinson several times in person, and I don't think he's a bad person. However, what I am worried about, based on the Lars Larson interview is that when times get tough that he'll run and hide again. All that I can hope is that he learned his lesson.

Bill Bradbury. That name just brings shivers up my spine just thinking about it.

The remaining three, -- know nothing about them. more than likely just people to take up space on the ballots and drop out as soon as the campaign gets started. Where else is new?

All I do know, as a lifelong Oregonian, is that our state is really going into the toilet, and it seems like people in Salem don't really care. I mean, look at our unemployment rate... holding steady at number two and number three in the nation. How often do we hear anything coming out of Salem that addresses this issue? Not often in my opinion. all I hear is tax increases, and more spending.

We REALLY need someone that REALLY has Oregon's best interest in mind and a checks and balance system that can better control or makes a representative more accountable for their actions.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

This will only happen once

Today is 09/09/09

Thursday, September 03, 2009

It's interesting how labor laws do not apply in some industries

Well I'm in my third week of my new job. And I can tell you, that it has been a real eye opening experience.

Of course, since I have an associates of science degree in computer networking from lane community college (LCC or (L)ousy (C)ollege (C)hoice) which of course, fully qualifies me for this new career… truck driving!

Any ways I digress.

Trucking is a very interesting industry. Your exempt from most labor laws. It is long hours with no overtime. You're lucky if you at least make half of minimum wage. it is a very highly regulated industry and the DOT has the right so stop you for any reason and search your vehicle. plus, it doesn't seem like it on the surface, but it literally wears you out.

Now don't get me wrong… I'm not complaining(much). I'm just happy to have a job. However, I guess my point is, that unless you actually are in this industry, you really don't realize how good you got it in other jobs.

So as I get used to the new hours, very very soon, I will resume blogging on the local events and other crazy stuff going on around Oregon.

Stay tuned, more fun to come.