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Scenes from the front line of life in Portland, Oregon, USA.


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Jason Holliston
Wednesday, January 29, 2003  
So here in Oregon, we just defeated the State House referred Measure 28 to increase our income tax rates 0.5% over the next couple years. It failed by a decent margin -- 45% to 55%, so here's where things get interesting. Will the state government go through with their threats to cut all these services that they (and other pro-increase groups) have been rambling on about for the past month?

Assume for a second that they, like I believe, do not need to cut basic services such as schools, short-term prisons, and local and state police. If this has been all a big scare tactic to get people on the fence -- people that really think they pay enough, but are afraid of the consequences of not voting 'yes' -- to vote their way, then they could always go through and make the cuts in non-essential areas of government -- ODOT, park services, environmental services, etc. I don't think they will, though. I predict that even though they can make the cuts, they won't. First, it would be the same as admitting that they were using scare tactics, which I'm sure every politician would admit publicly is underhanded, but never admit they do it themselves. Second, the areas they could cut would make the "wrong" people angry, threatening their career.

So, here's my prediction -- this biennium we'll take the cuts, the dems will say that they told us so, and then the next biennium somehow they'll manage to not only restore the cut basic services, but add on another several percent for good measure. And then we'll start all over again with the talk to doom.

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