Month: August 2008

The Drinking Age: A “Spirited” Debate

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Nearly 100 college presidents from around the nation have asked lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18. Could lowering the drinking age have a positive effect on college-age drinking? Some say yes, others say no. (more…)

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Al Gore’s Impossible Plan For 100% Renewable Energy

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Gore has challenged the nation to rely on 100% renewable energy sources within 10 years. Not only would this be one of the most capital-intensive construction projects in human history, but the plan is logistically unachievable and would not have any effect on global climate. (more…)

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Taxing the Poor

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Looking for more tax revenue wherever they can find it, some legislators and special interest groups want to raise Oregon’s corporate income tax. But raising corporate taxes will have hidden, yet very real, detrimental effects, especially on Oregon’s poor.

The Tax Foundation recently launched the (more…)

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Western Climate Initiative Offers No Definable Benefit

QuickPoint!

If you haven’t heard of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) yet, you soon will. WCI is a collaboration launched in 2007 by the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington that now also includes Utah, Montana and parts of Canada. WCI’s stated purpose is to develop a regional strategy to address climate change. The strategy is to force costly greenhouse gas reductions that may not address global warming at all.

WCI is designing a cap and trade regulatory policy which (more…)

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Keep “Double Majority” Voting Rule in Place

Steve BucksteinCascade Commentary

Summary

Critics of Oregon’s so-called “double majority” rule say it isn’t democratic because a simple majority of those voting may not be able to pass a tax measure. But in reality, just 25% of registered voters can raise taxes under “double-majority.” “Double majority” is a sensible taxpayer safeguard that should be kept, and even strengthened. (more…)

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C-Tran’s New Hybrid Buses: When Going “Green” Costs Lots of Green!

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Clark County’s new hybrid buses are costing lots of green for local taxpayers. The hybrids offer neither significant fuel efficiency gains nor significant emissions reductions but cost about 45% more. Over the lifetime of the buses, taxpayers will pay an additional $4.7 million dollars without any environmental benefit. (more…)

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

QuickPoint!

Green and red are the Christmas colors. It’s just like Christmas for hundreds of Oregon businesses looking to cash in on “green energy” tax credits. Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit is designed to encourage companies to initiate “renewable” and “alternative” energy projects. Two days before the Oregon Legislative Session adjourned in June, legislators passed a (more…)

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How to Keep Your Health Insurance, Even If You Lose Your Job

Anthony StintonCascade Commentary

Summary

Because employer-sponsored health insurance coverage is not taxable, the health insurance of 60% of covered Americans is tied to their job. Government should level the playing field in the tax code between employer-sponsored and individually purchased health insurance, eliminating a substantial bias for employer-sponsored health care which encourages employees to stake both their income and their health care on their job. (more…)

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Milton Friedman: The Most Influential Economist in History

Rob Kremer gave the following address at the Milton Friedman “Legacy of Freedom” luncheon at McMenamin’s Kennedy School on July 31, one of 50 events nationwide honoring the late Dr. Friedman on his 96th birthday.

I can’t tell you what an honor it is to be here today, and have the chance to pay tribute, on what would have been his 96th birthday, to a man who had a profound effect on my life. Though I never met him, I always felt as if my life and career was somehow steered by the power of Milton Friedman’s ideas.

Milton Friedman is my hero. (more…)

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Portland Continues Taxi Cartel

QuickPoint!

Imagine an industry where two companies control 75% of the market, price-competition is non-existent, and new firms are prohibited from entering. While economists refer to this as an oligopoly, taxi customers in Portland know it best as high prices and long wait times.

On April 9, 2008, the Private for Hire Transportation Review Board voted down a proposal to end the long-standing moratorium on (more…)

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