Tap brakes on legislative agenda

History has taught that one party rule rarely works out well for the governed. Books are filled with stories about societies that have suffered under rule by one party or ideology.

However, that flies in the face of the adage, “To the victor go the spoils.” The Democrats control Oregon’s governorship and they have supermajorities in both houses of the legislature. Elections have consequences for someone. You certainly can’t satisfy all the people.

The current state legislature is taking on some big issues that will end up costing lots of Oregonians lots of money, including businesses of every size.

On the so-called Cap and Trade bill, cooler heads prevailed and a listening tour was undertaken throughout the state. The traveling legislators got an earful, which made some of them pause. They heard, especially from farmers, how the legislation would drive up fuel costs. The bill’s intent is good, we can’t let more time go by without talking about clean energy and cleaning our environment. Yet, some of the proposed solutions will harm the economic life of many businesses. 

Doing nothing is not an option in the 21st century, a solution must be found that is not so anti-business.

A gross receipts tax is raising its head again in 2019. Anytime the word ‘tax’ is used, everyone gets up in arms, as if the sky was falling

A gross receipts tax is now being touted as one form of funding for Gov. Kate Brown’s additional $2 billion investment in education. Who is going to say no to additional money for our children’s schooling? Not many, but a lot want to do it without taxing Oregon business even more.

The spoils may go to the victors but what goes around comes around. The Democrats could find themselves in a legislative superminority sometime in the future. When one party overreaches to attain its goals, it leaves a sour taste for the opposition, an opposition that waits for the opportunity to turn the tables.

Politics is the art of the possible but it is primarly the art of compromise. Just because your party can pass any legislation it wants, it doesn’t mean it should. Regardless from what county a legislator is elected, Representatives and Senators should do what is fair and right for Oregonians.

What incredible powers of leadership and vision would it take for those in the majority to look at ways to reduce some items in the state budget to pay for the things that most citizens want: a fully funded education system from top to bottom. Is there any will to take a scalpel to billions of dollars in the current budget?

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. Propose a state budget that funds what’s most important to the people without raising taxes and you will win every time.        —LAZ