Friday, October 20, 2006

Saxton's Appearance at Linfield

Ron Saxton made an unimpressive appearance at Linfield College last night. His entire speech seemed to come down to one central idea, that there is such a thing as a free lunch. Saxton criticized Governor Kulongoski on law enforcement for having "made cuts and cuts," yet he rejects all discussion of raising any taxes. He talked about getting a crime lab and increasing the number of police, yet he also says he's going to cut taxes. This vague discussion of "government waste" is outrageous. You cannot increase services while cutting revenue.

On education Saxton talked about poor student performance and said "its not about more and more money." Its not Ron? That's funny because I believe Oregon ranks 40th in K-12 education funding and 46th in higher education funding both on a per pupil basis. Should it really be that surprising that Oregon schools perform at the level at which they are funded? When you rank near the bottom in funding it shouldn't shock anyone that you rank near the bottom in performance. Yet in the world according to Ron Saxton there is a free lunch and "its not about more and more money."

He made the claim that tax increases are unneccessary because currently "the State is taxing you and not providing services for it." Give me a break Ron, is that why Oregon has vitually no corporate income tax? The Oregonian noted on April 16th that the vast bulk of Oregon taxes are payed by individuals with almost no contribution coming from corporations.
When Oregonians file their state income tax returns Monday, they will be on track to pay $10.6 billion over two years --nearly 90 percent of the tab for state government --while corporations that do business in Oregon will pay $705 million.

But no, there's no one we can tax according to Ron Saxton, everybody is already overtaxed.

Saxton was also shielded from criticism by the College Republicans, probably anticipating hostile questions. They reformulated questions to suit their desires and skipped other questions entirely. Instead of allowing questions from the floor they had questions placed in a box which they then screened and asked him. I know for a fact that there were Saxtonville questions in that box because I asked him a couple. Yet after being screened by the College Republicans they came out as the following "what do you think about illegal immigration?" Please, that's nothing approaching the questions that were actually in the box. His response there was amusing however, and brings up a good point about Saxtonville. He talked about drivers licenses again and said "we need to have rules that we need to follow." Do businesses not need to follow the rules Ron, if you're that concerned about immigration laws being followed shouldn't you have taken more personal action to ensure that it didn't happen at your farm? Because illegal immigrants are so much more enticed by the possibility of getting a drivers license than gaining employment. Message to the College Republicans: If you don't want your candidate to have to answer questions then don't allow questions, don't pretend to have him take questions when in fact your screening out everything that might make him look bad. I noticed they were sure to ask the question that began with "when you are governor..." Yes, pretend to take questions but don't actually allow anyone to ask something you don't like.

One more thing came out in the speech. Saxton's opposition to the minimum wage. He tried to dance arround this, but his position came out quite clear when he said the following: "I don't think we aught to have automatic adjustment." He opposes keeping the minimum wage in step with inflation, meaning that he supports allowing it to slip as prices go up, to the point where it represents nearly nothing.

Ron Saxton, breaking the laws of economics, getting by with a little help from his friends, and sticking it to workers.


Sponge said...

Criticise the man's position on the issues, but don't sink to hurling unsupported charges at him. This "Saxtonville" bit has been way over-played. No migrant laborers have been housed on the farm for over 17 years, and there is not one shred of evidence that it ever employed illegal workers.

Your arguments are much stronger when you focus on Saxton's failure to explain how he plans to accomplish what he says he wants to do as governor, rather than aim some speculative charge at him that goes nowhere.

I recommend you follow the same advice with Donna Nelson next week. Her early campaign literature waxes eloquent on all the things she is going to do for the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, the veterans, the seniors and the disabled; all while she works to cut taxes. Ask her how she plans to do all that at the same time. (Her stock answer is that the state is owed billions of dollars it simply is not collecting. All we have to do is go get that money.)

It's good to see young people so attuned to politics. Just try to stay focused on the actual issues rather than the personalities.

Greg said...

Donna Nelson (and hell, the rest of the OR republican party) has been selling the same "more services, lower taxes" load of BS for years. A choice line from the News-Register's 2002 endoresement (when she ran against my old driver's ed teacher, Tim Duerfeldt):

"Her exuberance can overpower her recognition of the dichotomy between decreasing taxes and increasing services."