In his most recent plea for fairness for the rich, Bill Sizemore justifies the deep cuts in the Oregon State budget and public services, which would result from the passage of his initiative measure to allow unlimited deduction of federal taxes from state income taxes, by stating: "the state's general fund has been growing at about four times the rate of inflation year after year,"(The Oregonian, 12/4/99). In pretending inflation is the only justifiable reason for government budgets to rise, Sizemore neglects to take into account obvious increases in Oregon's population -- and with increased population, all the added public services needed to accomodate growth and development. If we didn't realize Bill, and his Oregon Taxpayers United organization, is just chiseling, we might almost think he was against growth -- or against taxpayers picking up much of the developers' costs.
Sizemore's whining about his rich friends being unfairly taxed to support schools and other public services is nothing more than an attempt to dodge the results of our political system being a limited democracy. Frequently he and other worshippers of the marketplace seem to believe capitalism has been ordained by GOD. Not! In America the people make the rules about our economic system. If a majority of voters decides tomorrow to replace the undemocratic structure of our economy with a socialist system, that will become "fair." Market places are constructed by people and the economic rules can be either democratic or capitalistic (but not both simultaneously, as that is an oxymoron).
If the federal taxes which he wants exempted had been, instead, money spent on a new bathroom in his home, even Size wouldn't expect deductibility. Since Sizemore, et.al., apparently have no awareness of a civic responsibility to support Oregon's public services, and they reject the principles of our Oregon tradition of graduated income tax rates, maybe the best way for them to find peace with the limited deduction of federal taxes is to think of the tax money as having being spent to purchase necessary federal services: national defense, dredging the harbors, and keeping the sewage outfalls into the oceans (from the developers' new bathrooms) from killing all the rest of the marketable fish stocks, etc.. If these services had been purchased privately, and were not business expenses, a $3000 limitation on their deductibility would be considered a tax break, not "double taxation." This is the tax reality most of us face - and accept - as our fair share.
"What you choose to call communal wealth is my tax burden." from Taking exception to the premise, by Randy Sines of Oregon City (scroll down(The Oregonian, Letters, 12/5/99).is just such an example of a lack of a sense of civic and social responsibility. Sines makes it clear his is a belief in the inviolable premise of Darwinist capitalism. Less explicit is the piece by Leesa Beadoin of Oregon City. Her letter of 11/19 calls our attention to an 11/09 editorial in The Oregonian titled,This isn't Sherwood Forest. Beaudoin thanks the paper for presenting the history of Bill Sizemore's Measures 5 and 47 as being tax reform in the interest of working people - even as Robin Hood took from the rich and gave to the poor.
The Oregonian editorial states:
In his successful campaigns for measures 5 and 47, which limited property taxes, Sizemore could credibly claim that he was working on behalf of working-class people and those on fixed incomes who suffered as property values (and their tax bills) climbed, even though their incomes did not.
The remainder of the editorial goes on to argue that Size's latest initiative measure, to appear on the November 2000 ballot, would create a new federal tax deduction for corporations and give state income-taxpayers an unlimited deduction for the federal taxes they pay. The deduction would strip more than a billion dollars a year out of the state budget, while almost all the tax breaks would go to people earning $100,000 and up, the consequent drastic reductions in public services, schools, health, tansportation, etc., would hurt working class families.Several excellent rebuttals of the propagnda from Sizemore and Reinhard (Reinhard: End double tax demagogy, The Oregonian 12/12/99) regarding the so-called "double-tax" initiative have recently appeared in The Oregonian: Tax initiative would be taxing for most Oregonians 11/25/99, by Kenneth Lewis