Month: June 2006

HOPEing for Healthcare

QuickPoint!

The high cost of healthcare these days is astounding, and so is the rate of uninsured Oregonians. There are some good ideas out there but a proposal that invents a “right” to healthcare by amending the Oregon Constitution should make everyone wary.

Backers of the so-called HOPE initiative stress that the (more…)

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Who should pay for your college education?

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Oregonians have nixed a sales tax nine times at the ballot box, yet at the December 9th Oregon Leadership Summit in Portland some business and political leaders were getting ready to try again. They proposed reducing state income taxes in return for a new sales tax.

Governor-elect Kulongoski and other leaders said (more…)

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A Teachable Moment: Leveraging Oregon’s School Trust Lands

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Oregon owns a billion dollars worth of agricultural and timber land that is supposed to be generating funds for public schools. Much of it is in eastern and southwestern Oregon, and was deeded to Oregon from the federal government at the time of statehood in 1859. By law, these lands must be managed to generate maximum revenue for schools over the long term.

Unfortunately, the lands only earn (more…)

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Don't Kick the Kicker – part II

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Last November state economists estimated that Oregon’s tax revenues could exceed their projections by $300 million this biennium. Now that estimate has surged to over $1 billion, and the debate over the state’s “kicker law” has grown louder.

The kicker law states that whenever personal or corporate income tax collections are (more…)

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Eminent Domain is Never the Solution

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard wants the government to use its power of eminent domain to take property from one set of owners in SE Portland and transfer it to some others, in the hope that they will build an upscale supermarket. Commissioner Leonard believes that the lack of development on a four-acre parcel in the Lents neighborhood is evidence of market failure, which justifies government intervention.

Many local property owners object, but (more…)

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