We just received an interesting email regarding some upcoming legislation. In a way, this letter is a response: Some of what has been said in emails, on TV, etc., is misleading. However, more importantly than misdirected information, the consequences of passing measures 66 and 67 are seriously harmful.
66/67 are touted by the media as critical, but their biases are misleading. "Without the increase in tax-payer revenue critical programs will fail." "This is a no-brainer!" they exclaim. But I fear that wrong information from friends and acquaintances can be even more dangerous. Information passed along, no matter how well intentioned, from friends and acquaintances can be more dangerous than the media white-wash--especially when it is false. In truth, no one can predict all the consequences, direct and indirect, these measures will have. So, I would encourage you to study it out for yourselves and look to our founders...wise men who knew human nature. People who were inspired to construct Laws which would protect people from themselves and from mob rule.
They say, "It will only tax the rich!" or "corporations only pay $10".
Think: Eugene is losing businesses far too frequently (Hynix, Sony...) Why do you suppose these companies leave? When did we become a mob? When did it become ok for the mob to gang up on someone based on their industry, fortune, or hard work?
Suppose I own 10 horses and have 5 neighbors who have only a few horses between themselves. If they got together and unanimously decided to "vote" away my horses to themselves because I was "rich" in horses, would that make it right? Just because they had the majority? On a larger scale, that is essentially what we are prescribing with these measures. Charity isn't forced. When we cause the government to do that which we could not do on an individual level, that is called plunder: Legal Plunder!
Would any of us have the right to go to our "rich" neighbors and demand a percentage % of their income? No. Would any of us have the nerve to go to the doors of our "rich" neighbors and demand from them a % of the income FACE-TO-FACE? If we don't have that right as individuals, how can the government (whose power comes from we the people) do such things? We as individuals obviously can't give the government a right we don't have ourselves.
There is a member of the church I attend who is a business owner employing 51 people. He has personally told me that this legislation would be devastating to his business. He has colleagues, other business owners who have told him the same thing. Do you really believe it is a matter of 10 dollars? We are not dealing with a big bad business man (who by the way, provides a way for 51 people to support themselves and their families). We are dealing with real people. He isn't a crook. He has worked hard for many years. FRIENDS, Don't be fooled! This business pays more in taxes than we can even dream about just to keep his business going. All legitimate businesses do. Do you really want him to shut down? Do you want more than 51 people to lose their jobs? Big business provides the potential for everyone's standard of living to be high.
Seriously! Any tax imposed on corporations, businesses, or the "rich" are passed on to us, the middle class. Are we really going to be duped into believing these increases won't be born by ourselves? There will always be some that can avoid taxes--this won't change. But that isn't the status quo. If you really want to help, another way would be to go write a personal check to the City of Eugene or the State of Oregon.
As for the schools revenue, People who oppose these measures are not opponents of the Kids! (For pete's sake!) But lets think about it.
Proponents of the measures say, "8 days are cut out of the school year". Opponents say, "So what?" Is that really catastrophic? What will our children really miss in that amount of time that couldn't be recuperated exponentially at home in 1/2 the time? Where did the founding fathers get a lot of their education? At home. Home schooling 8 days out of the year is a viable and very enjoyable option. Classroom size is 1-10 (depending on family size), hot lunch is served without hair-nets, and you don't even have to sit in those little desks -- there's nothing like studying on the couch. Who said our children can only get their secular education at Shasta, Meadowview, or Willamette High School?
Supporters of these measures include the teachers unions. We should know that the money from these taxes is hardly guaranteed to go to classrooms. We should know that throwing more money has never, and will never solve the problem of spending more than we have. Did you know that in California, the teachers unions spent hundreds of thousands of tax-payers dollars (not just the "rich" taxes, but also the poor and middle class) on support for opposition of Proposition 8? Did you know that teachers union dues go to many other causes that many of us don't morally or ethically agree with? Did you know my cousin, who is a teacher, asked that her due money not be used for opposition to prop 8, and she was told that she has no say in how they were spent? Sure, "that's life," but why take even more from productive, hardworking business owners and dump it in the money pit of special interests?
The schools, the city, the county, the state, and the federal gov't are spending more than they have...When this is the practice, NO AMOUNT OF TAXATION Can fill the void.
A more moral approach would be to have all the parents pile into a mini-van (on a monday when school wasn't cancelled of course) and hit all our "rich" neighbors and demand more from them. Why stop at just a "few" dollars, when we could hit them up for 1/2 their income. They're rich, they can afford it!
LAST POINT: Did you know that you are not allowed to file your taxes until after the vote has been decided? The reason is that they will take more taxes from your paycheck if the measure passes they will take more than you would originally be responsible. Or at least they will have that option. Now, our Constitution concisely states that laws should not be applied after the fact (ex post facto). Our incomes for the past year would be re-subject to the taxation guantlet after the fact. 2009 is over.
It would be naive of us to think that only businesses and "rich" would be affected by these measures. Businesses pass on their "overhead" to the consumer or they leave town. local citizens lose their jobs and they lose out in the market opportunities competition that company offered. Big AND small companies are subsidized by the middle class. Prices rise. Any tax on the "rich" is an indirect tax on the middle class.
Taxation isn't the answer. That's just looking for a way to get others to pay for our wants. LEGAL PLUNDER. Rally the majority (mob), put it on the ballots, and STEAL from our neighbors to secure our little piece of the plunder pie.
Join my wife and I: support responsible families, communities, schools and businesses. Support our kids and our future. VOTE NO NO NO on 66/67!!!
Luke and Meghann Gambee