Month: January 2004

The high cost of transit math

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Last week we discovered that the Washington County commuter rail line, which is planned to run from Beaverton to Wilsonville, will likely carry 35 percent fewer daily passengers than originally projected. According to TriMet, the rail line was supposed to carry 4,650 daily trips by 2020. But the Federal Transit Administration claims these numbers are inflated, and pegs estimated daily ridership at only 3,000, resulting in a loss of $20 million in federal funds.

Had this anemic level of ridership been (more…)

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Lower taxes strengthen the economy

QuickPoint!

Some folks are pushing higher taxes in Oregon as a way to strengthen the economy. A January 5 Oregonian editorial exemplifies this argument; it concluded, “the small [about $1 billion] tax increase is much better for the Oregon economy than big reductions in spending.”

Well, if a small tax increase is good for the economy, the state government should (more…)

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Lower spending will balance the budget

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Oregonians will soon vote on the legislature’s $1 billion tax package. Because this added revenue will translate into more government spending, it makes sense to see just how Oregon compares to other states in the spending arena.

According to the latest data available, in 2000 Oregon state and local governments combined spent more (more…)

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The myth of under-investment in public schools

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Sharon Kitzhaber was interviewed for the Dec. 24, 2003 Willamette Week. The former First Lady of Oregon said her son Logan attends the private French-American school. When asked why she chose a private school, she responded in part by claiming that Oregonians have “under-invested” in their government schools.

This raises the question: What, exactly, does (more…)

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