No Sales Tax, please!
While most workers in the state would prefer a government job (wages 40% higher – benefits 70% higher) there is no money to pay for it. Indeed, the growth of public employments in Oregon has far surpassed the taxpayer’s ability to pay. Some say we need a sales tax. Of course, almost all the proponents of this idea are public employees (or want to be) because instituting a sales tax would require thousands of new public employees to administer. No kind of tax nets a smaller percentage after expenses, a sales tax being by far the most expensive to collect and administer. It would also require private employers to hire more people just to fill out the odious and endless paperwork, an unproductive use of labor that simply adds to their payrolls for nothing in return. A sales tax will never fly in Oregon anyway so we should just make the cuts in public employees without further ado. We have no choice – the state constitution demands a balanced budget.
Here are a couple of things we could cut immediately. We could eliminate all school administrators and no one would notice – ask any teacher. Do you know what school administrators do? Well, you’re hardly alone – no one else does either. Ending the failed war on drugs could cut the number of prison guards by half. Prisons eat up 85% of the public safety budget, leaving only 15% for police expense and court costs. We spend more on prisons than on higher education! The vast majority of convicts are a danger only to themselves. I would set these free. Better to keep them paying rather than spending taxes.
Will the democrat or republican candidate for governor even consider making these necessary cuts? Not on their political life they won’t.