Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oregonian gets it wrong in opposing Corporate Kicker



The Oregonian: Off The Deep End
In their ongoing quest to alienate their remaining readers, the Oregonian Editorial Board is now urging you to let large, out-of-state corporations keep their corporate kicker refunds, rather than putting those funds into K-12 schools.

By doing so, the editorial board is rejecting its own position from just a few months ago. In April, they wrote this about Measure 85:

“[T]his is a step that needs to be taken. Oregon's boom-and-bust tax structure is broken, condemning the state to a destructive cycle of building up programs and institutions in good times, only to tear them down in bad. Repealing the corporate kicker should be part of the solution.”

Now, they apparently think you should reject this historic reform and go back to waiting and hoping for lawmakers do something about the funding crisis in our schools. The editorial writers are not only out of touch with their readers—they’re out of touch with themselves.

Sound Off: Tell the O they got it wrong

Sunday's endorsement reads like it was written directly by someone at the Cascade Policy Institute, the right-wing think tank funded by corporate interests (and so far the only real opposition to Measure 85). It’s another example of how far to the right the Oregonian has jumped under publisher N. Christian Anderson III and Editorial Page Editor Erik Lukens.

By endorsing a no vote on Measure 85*, the Oregonian is holding the future of Oregon children hostage to the ideological agenda of Anderson and Lukens. Rather than reform the kicker, they’d rather we do nothing and continue sending refunds to out-of-state corporations.

This puts the Oregonian outside of every other civically minded group. For more than a decade, there’s been broad agreement—including in the business community—that we need to reform the corporate kicker policy so that we’re protecting Oregon’s priorities, rather than giving it away to large corporations outside the state.

Let’s be clear: Oregon schools have been in a state of ongoing budget cuts for far too long. We have the third largest class sizes in the country and one of the shortest school years. We’ve lost 7,000 teachers and school employees due to budget cuts just since June 2010. (Even the Oregonian, just this week, reported on classroom overcrowding in its news pages.)

And for more than a decade, nothing has happened. Not even a committee vote in the legislature on a kicker reform policy. Our K-12 students are suffering as a result of this inaction, but the Oregonian Editorial Board thinks you should just keep on waiting. Measure 85 puts the decision in your hands, and Voting YES is your way of choosing to make schools a priority.

Give the O a piece of your mind. Go here to write a letter to the editors and tell them that our schools can’t wait for help.

Go here to tell them what you think.

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