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PULLING APART Income disparity study
New study finds Oregon second to fifth among states with highest growth in income disparity
Oregon's growing income gap, despite multiple taxcuts, proves Reaganomics, supply-side theory, trickle-down is a phoney scheme to promote tax breaks for the rich
January 19, 2000
Jeff Thompson of the Oregon Center for Public Policy is quoted in The Oregonian (1/18/00) explaining the just-released figures showing extreme disparities between income increases for the wealthy and the poor and middle-income Oregonians. Thompson says the growing income gap helped drive the state's tax-cutting movement in the 1990's. He says when wage-earners see "the economy is booming and others are doing great, it gets even more painful to pay the tax bill."
But The Oregonian story only tells part of the truth. What is not mentioned is that the big majority of the tax breaks have gone to the wealthy, increasing the income gap even further. At last count, over 75% of the property tax relief under Measure 5 has gone to businesses. Giving tax breaks to the wealthy was promoted under the theory that a substantial part of the savings would be invested, creating jobs and trickle-down benefits for the working class. The new Oregon figures dramatically give the lie to the Reaganomics "supply side" theory which has led Oregon's working class to support tax cuts for the rich. Trickle-down tax cuts have turned out to be "voodoo economics" just as George HW Bush warned in 1980.