Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lies in the Wall Street Journal

"What was really protected was the $83,402 a year average in pay and benefits to Oregon state workers, 30% higher than what private workers receive."

The above quote from the WSJ article is a Lie.

Oregon's state and local government workers had average earnings much closer to those of private-sector workers (about $41,300 and $40,600, respectively). Read the truth here.

Next time your house catches on fire, give me call and I'll see if I can help...Oh wait that is what we collectively pay for. Socialism rears its ugly head. Next time some one breaks into your house, give me a call...Oh wait that's what the police are for. Next time your kid needs an education... you get the idea. You should know that Oregon's two largest private sector employers, Intel (computer hardware) and Fred Meyer (grocer and dry goods) respect and need a well educated workforce. They did not join Phil Knight (Nike makes no products in Oregon) and Tim Boyle (Columbia Sportswear makes no products in Oregon) in fighting this bill.

The article also fails to mention the fact that Oregon has no sales tax, and limited property tax assessments to 3% a year (here).

Let's say that Nike and Columbia Sportswear were paying the $10 (ha, ha) alternative minimum tax, set in 1931. Raising the rate from $10 to $150 isn't going to break these corporations, no matter the squealing from Tim Boyle, Phil Knight, and their media lackeys at the Oregonian.

Analysis of the latest data showed that 63 percent of all corporations operating in the state paid only $10 in income tax. The 5,156 profitable corporations comprised about one-quarter of all the corporations that paid the $10 minimum. 136 corporations paid 52 percent of all Oregon corporate income taxes in 2006. “If I were the CEO of one of those 136 corporations carrying half the load, I’d want to know which large, profitable corporations are getting away with paying just $10" (OCPP policy analyst Michael Leachman).

One indication of the magnitude of the loophole and overseas tax haven problems comes from the Multistate Tax Commission, which estimated that corporate tax avoidance schemes cost Oregon roughly $80 million in revenue a year (2001 data).

Full disclosure: I worked at Portland State University for ten years, and am now self employed, spouse is a special education teacher in Portland Public Schools. Previously, we were both small business owners, Printing Press and Massage Therapy respectively. We own house and rental in Oregon and timber property Washington. We both graduated from Public Universities. If we got anywhere near the "average" in the WSJ article, we would already be retired.

Photo credit: The Oregonian

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