Answer to deficit is to cut state spending
Legislators spend every penny they can get in good times, then whine about the inevitable deficits in bad times. When they face a budget gap, their only solution is to increase taxes instead of reducing spending.
Proponents of measures 66 and 67 speak nonsense when they say the only option if the measures fail is to cut education. Cuts in any particular program are not automatic or mandatory and there are several responsible alternatives on the table that cut this increase in spending without touching essential services. There are plenty of cuts to be made and even considerable choice in how they are made.
Do not fall for these scare tactics and demand accountability from our legislators in how they spend our money.
League supports measures 66 and 67
The League of Women Voters of Ashland supports the passage of the tax fairness measures 66 and 67. The League believes that the tax measures are fair and necessary to balance the budget and provide essential services. The League of Women Voters only takes a position on an issue after extensive investigation and study.
Our position in favor of the passage of measures 66 and 67 is based on The League of Women Voters' Fiscal Policy, which supports fair taxation that provides sufficient funding for essential services to Oregon's citizens especially the most vulnerable among us. The recession has caused revenues to decrease primarily due to increased unemployment and demand for public services to increase. The defeat of these measures would reduce the general fund for 2009-11 by more than 5 percent. Because more than 90 percent of our general fund revenue pays for education, health care and public safety, monies for these vital services will be reduced when the need is even greater.
The League of Women Voters of Ashland urges you to speak to your family, friends and neighbors and urge them to vote "yes" for both measures 66 and 67 on the Jan. 26 ballot. Your ballot can be dropped off at the Ashland library in the official ballot box.
President, LWV of Ashland
Reform spending to correct tax system
There are those who would pass measures 66 and 67 and then try to reform our tax code. If we pass a permanent tax increases that soak the rich and the unprofitable, there will be no leverage to change the tax system — until the rich, the ambitious and the broke start leaving the state, and we are advertising for businesses and workers, like California.
Our Legislature passed increases in spending on families and children because it was a recession and now they want us to pay for the money they have already allocated. We should not put our children, old and sick indigents at the mercy of a majority of legislators and voters. We need to put such matters 100 percent in the hands of people who care, by funding them through charity and commerce, like we do other important things that we need to live. Government is for those things that must be funded by force: necessary evil, like courts, police, prisons, roads, sewers, water systems. People will freely pay for good things, even for other people, if the government is not doing them. Look at the Gospel Rescue Mission: They would never be able to pass a levy, but they keep expanding, good times and bad.
If we reform our state spending to that which can only be funded by force, it will be easy to fix our tax system. Live free, and prosper.
Education will suffer without more taxes
Long before 2000, when my son started kindergarten, public schools in Oregon have been seeking stable funding. Measures 66 and 67 are not the first legislative proposals for funding schools to be challenged by anti-tax activists.
Last year the Legislature cut educational spending by more than $1 billion. Locally, we cut programs, laid off teachers and increased class sizes. To prevent another billion dollars in educational cuts, the Oregon Legislature worked very hard to find funding sources that would not add additional burden to Oregon families.
The gaps in funding education in Oregon keep getting bigger. Oregon keeps dropping in student success. Vote "yes" to show that we consider educational funding a priority. If measures 66 and 67 are defeated on Jan. 26, we must prepare ourselves for another round of staff cuts, more teacher layoffs and even bigger classes. There is no backup plan.
Who decided not to open the ballot box?
Well, I'm just wondering why the ballot box by the library was closed the evening I went to submit my ballot. It was all taped shut with a notice that it'd be open on such and such a distant date. Whose harebrained idea was that? I'd already had my ballot a few days by then, too. So, I put nearly a half-dollar stamp on my ballot and mailed it, to be sure my vote counted! I think the ballot box should be open the very day after the ballots are mailed, so people can submit their vote as soon as they like, and not have to hold onto their ballot until it gets cocoa rings on it or it accidentally gets tossed in with the recycle. There should be no obstacle to voting.
Letters to the Editor
Answer to deficit is to cut state spending