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Monthly Archives: February 2007

Lane County Income Tax – More Oregon Budget Insanity

Oregon continues to lead the nation in fiscal irresponsibility. Lane County decided they want more money, and just months after voters voted down an income tax Lane County decides to impose it anyway — reaching into the wallets of citizens after those citizens told the council a loud “NO” in the recent election. Why bother voting? Citizens are just serfs serving the needs of royal leaders.
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The Doomed Budget Process

Robert Samuelson wrote explaining why the budget process is doomed to failure, no matter which party controls the process. The Left and the Right both have their pet ideas to solve the looming fiscal crisis, but neither side has viable solutions as everyone ignores the real budgetary issue.
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Smithsonian Filming Rights Sold to Viacom

When a documentary group seeks to film at the Smithsonian for inclusion in their project, they’re denied because the exclusive rights have been sold to Viacom (Showtime).
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A Voice of Reason

We had an article all written about “Air Pelosi” (the Speaker’s attempt to get the military to give her a personal 757), but noticed two things. First, CBS News, Fox News, Washington Times, and ABC News have all covered the story (finally); it should be obvious to any reasonable person requesting a personal 757 is absurd when the Air Force has smaller and less expensive planes to use.

But second, the Air Pelosi scandal again demonstrates the nasty and partisan tone in Washington, where every story blows up into an all-out partisan war (As usual, both sides in the Air Pelosi dispute are wrong. The speaker should simply take the transportation provided by the Air Force without grumbling, and if she did, the use for political purposes by the Republicans would be eliminated).

Instead, let’s consider a voice from the past:

It’s okay to be a skeptic, but don’t be a cynic. It’s okay to raise good questions, but don’t assume the worst. It’s okay to report difficulties, but it’s equally good to report victories.

Yes, we have problems and of course it’s going to be difficult to pass these things, but why should we be afraid of them? That is freedom.

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Medicare Budget Cuts and Orwellian Doublethink

One political slight-of-hand you’ll see frequently is the myth of “budget cuts”. When a politician (or commonly the media) speaks of a “budget cut”, that’s not really what it means. Consider the article Bush Budget Plan Targets Medicare, Medicaid for Cuts. Naturally, you’d think that means the budget will be smaller than last year — and you would be wrong. Both Medicare and Medicaid have increases (about 5%) from the previous year, as you can see from the submitted budget. What’s going on here?
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