QuickPoints!

America’s 2015 Tax Bill? It’s 31% of the Work Year

Tax Freedom Day arrives this year on April 24, six days later than it was two years ago. Tax Freedom Day is a calendar-based measure of Americans’ cumulative tax bill. It is calculated as the day on which Americans have worked long enough to pay all their taxes. Americans will have worked 114 days to […]

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Portland Set to Approve Public Shaming of Building Owners

For members of the Portland City Council, the end always justifies the means. Their current obsession is energy use in commercial buildings. On April 15 the Council likely will approve a regulation to require the owners of such buildings to: (1) monitor energy consumption; (2) calculate an “energy use intensity” score; and (3) file annual […]

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Oregon Children Deserve the Right to Try

Oregon hopefully will join twelve states that have enacted Right to Try legislation, allowing terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs not yet approved by the FDA. In several states, the face of Right to Try efforts was a child. Fourteen-year-old Diego Morris was honorary chairman of the Arizona campaign that saw 78 percent of voters […]

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Human Achievement Hour 2015

This Saturday you’ll have the opportunity to vote with your light switches. Either turn your lights off from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time to “show your commitment to climate change action now” or turn your lights on to celebrate “human progress and our advancements in various fields of industry, including technology, medical, energy, […]

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TriMet’s Great Disappearing Act

During the 2003 session of the Oregon State Legislature, TriMet sought an increase in the regional payroll tax rate. In public testimony, TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen said, “TriMet’s proposed payroll tax increase will be used exclusively to provide new or enhanced transit service.” The legislature approved TriMet’s request, and the payroll tax rate went […]

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Is Your Five-Year-Old Ready for Full-Day Kindergarten?

The Oregon State Senate is considering a bill that would lower Oregon’s compulsory, full-time school age from seven to five. Senate Bill 321 was heard in the Education Committee on March 5. Most children start at least a half-day Kindergarten as five-year-olds, but not every five-year-old is ready for full-time school. According to a recent […]

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Are ObamaCare’s Insurance Subsidies Legal?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case challenging the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Plaintiffs in King v. Burwell claim the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not have the authority to circumvent the actual text of the ACA. According to the law, federal insurance premium subsidies can be allotted only […]

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Proposed Tobacco Tax Increase Will Simply Encourage More Smuggling

State legislatures across the country have piled on the tobacco taxes over the past decade. Not surprisingly, this has created a growing problem of tobacco smuggling. As the tax rate rises, it encourages people to buy products from low-tax states and sell them illegally in high-tax states. New York is the most obvious example of […]

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The Man Who Could Bring Down ObamaCare

Would you like to meet the man the media says could bring down ObamaCare? You’ll have that opportunity on Thursday evening, February 26, when Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute speaks in Portland. Cannon is an architect of the legal strategy that could force the Obama Administration to follow the letter of its own Affordable […]

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When Is a Tax Not a Tax?

Governor Kitzhaber wants you to drive less, and he knows that the best way to discourage driving is to make it more expensive. The simplest way to do this would be to raise the state gas tax, which is currently 30 cents per gallon. However, this would require approval by three-fifths of the state legislative […]

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