Monday, April 02, 2007

Dancing to the groove of their One Trick Pony

When I was blogging from Dorchester, I took the time to stop at the Republican Party of Oregon booth and sign up for a copy of their newsletter called Capitol Watch. CP is written by GOP Communications Director Shawn Cleave (to whom I owe an apology both for misspelling his name during my Dorchester blogging AND for having to scan this newsletter instead of post the PDF--as I can't get PDFs uploaded to Blogger).

I don't recall how often these newsletters are sent out--but this one is particularly chock full of juicy GOP anti tax rhetoric, the true one trick pony of the Oregon GOP.

The tax gripe is nailed together with the frame: Remember, the State of Oregon has 20% more revenue to pay for programs this session. It also describes the taxes as being pushed by the "liberal left". Cuz being "left" just isn't quite good enough rhetoric to light a fire under the true believers?

After more than a decade of irresponsible budget management and cuts in the legislature by Republicans (both at the state AND federal level), its time for the adults to step back in and fix their mess.

The GOP has been consistently generous with tax loopholes and breaks for their campaign sponsors. Note this Oregon Poliblog entry by Betsy Hammond:

Altogether, Oregon grants more in tax breaks than it collects in taxes. For every $1 it could collect if there were no tax breaks, Oregon collects 44 cents to pay for public services and gives tax deductions and credits worth 56 cents.

Most of tax breaks come from following federal tax code, including granting deductions on home mortgage interest and allowing employees to get health benefits tax-free. But there are special Oregon touches, too -- including the $400,000 in tax credits issued to grass seed farmers who find ways around open burning of their fields.

Betsy's source for these tidbits of information come from both the House Revenue Committee hearings and statistics from the Oregon Department of Revenue.

And while the Republicans were busy futzing around with ways to please their donor base, budgets were slashed for schools, roads, emergency services and other government services.

So dance GOP One Trick! It won't make you any better at managing the budget or governance. But you sure look purty to the faithful.