Oregon has an enormous social conscience. But only as long as someone else has to pay for it. Unfortunately, there is not really a free lunch here. We will all soon pay a high price for our collective hypocrisy. The phrase “Throw the baby out with the bath water” comes to mind, as we try to solve our revenue problem by chasing the money away. We’ll soon have no leverage with the folks in Vancouver on the bridge issue. It will be much more important to us to cross the river than for those to the north, as we daily follow the jobs as they migrate to survive. There is already a steady trend of businesses and money relocating out of Oregon, and that will only become a stampede in the days ahead.
Will we just keep lowering the threshold of wealth to add to the roster of those we can gouge next to bail out our leaders as they continue to shepherd through frill after frill while threatening to cut any and all vital services? Will seventy thousand dollars soon sound rich once they have reclaimed our kicker and removed any limits to the spending of our government to be fulfilled on the backs of it’s citizens? Can good times ever claw their way back into our depressive political climate? Will fifty thousand become a target as the tax coffers shrink and our needy become needier?
With the recent Supreme Court decision allowing corporations the same unlimited access and influence wielded by the huge public service unions and special interest groups it would seem that the will of the people has been further marginalized. Any outcry is shouted down as racist, anti gay, anti women, or faith-based and thus, they would have you believe, irrelevant. I see more racism and hatred over gay and women’s issues by those in power than I ever see generated on the streets. I see more division and strife among our leaders than at any other level of society. Isn’t one of the most important qualities of a leader that of reconciliation and unification of purpose? Most alarming of all, I see more immoral behavior: lying, cheating, bribery, colusion, theft, etc., among those in power than at any level outside of our prison populations, and even in prison they have at least a twisted sense of honor. I am seeing none in most of our leaders on either side of the aisle, twisted or not. We are being led to no longer care about our country, only our little piece of it.