Return to Primary Index
Democracy and Economics Index
Oregon Politics Index

Oregonian's Reinhard defends Sizemore's "doubletaxation" initiative with doubletalk

In supporting the so-called "double-taxation" ballot measure being promoted by Bill Sizemore and his backers, David Reinhard says:

Oregonians pay taxes on income they can never spend, because the state places a $3,000-a-couple cap on the amount of federal income taxes they can deduct from their state taxable income. -- The Oregonian, 5/20/00

With this, their basic premise, the tax-cutters have redefined the word "spend" to apply more like "discretionary spending." But, this is, after all, a democracy and we are taxing ourselves for those services we decide are worth SPENDING our money on.

The present law excluding $3000 from a couple's taxable income means they don't pay "double taxes" on their first $40,000 in income (actually about $20). If they make $50,000, crippling Oregon's public service infrastructure will save them around $100.

In the long run, as millions of Californians have learned, the damage from extreme tax-cutting is costly to the economy as well as to the standard of living for everyone. Rebuilding their schools has been under way for several years and is yet to make much progress. Once social instutuions are destroyed, they can't be restored overnight.

Most of us would rather SPEND the extra $20 or $100 or $200 per year and avoid the cuts in services that would be necessary to yield the Hemstreets and other Sizemore backers the 6-figure tax breaks they seek. After 20 years or so, trickle-down looks even more like Voodoo economics than ever.