Month: June 2009

The Power of Choice in Virtual Charter Schools

Christina MartinCascade Commentary

Click here to read the full report in PDF format

David struggled in public school. His individual learning needs were not being met. Teachers were even concerned that he would “not ever be able to pass state test[s]” because of his learning disabilities, explains his mother, Naomi Handsaker. Yet, after “one year with ORCA [a virtual charter school] he has gone from that to passing all of his state test[s] and maintaining honor roll all year long!” Like Naomi, many families are raving about virtual schools. Yet, some powerful special interest groups would like to close these innovative schools. (more…)

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What’s in a Name Change?

Jonathan Calenzani


[audio:QuickPoint – 6-24-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio Quick Point.

What costs $150,000 of taxpayer money, is opposed by 90% of the people affected and could cost small businesses thousands? Renaming 39th Avenue Cesar Chavez Boulevard.

For the last three years the Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard Committee has been trying to rename a street in Portland after Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez. Running into community opposition on three previous streets, the Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard Committee now has petitioned the City of Portland to rename 39th Avenue Cesar Chavez Boulevard. (more…)

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New Report Documents Massive Cost of Proposed High-Speed Rail Program

For Release June 24, 2009

For more information, contact:
Randal O’Toole, 541-595-1460 or
John Charles, 503-242-0900

The Cascade Policy Institute released a report today documenting that President Obama’s proposed high-speed rail program will cost $1,000 for every federal income taxpayer, yet the average American will ride high-speed trains less than 60 miles a year. The report estimates that the average Oregonian will take a round trip on high-speed trains only once every 10 years. (more…)

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Two Job-Killer bills threaten to destroy ten to twenty times more jobsthan Oregon’s so-called “stimulus package” has created

Steve Buckstein
For immediate release
Contact Steve Buckstein
(503) 242-0900

The state recently announced that its $175 million “stimulus package” has created or saved 3,236 jobs.1,2

What the state hasn’t yet told citizens is that Oregon risks losing ten to twenty times or more as many jobs if two “anti-stimulus” tax bills take effect. (more…)

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Raising Oregon’s Corporate Income Tax RateWill Cost 43,000 Oregon Jobs

Randall PozdenaCascade Commentary

Raising tax rates of any kind risks impairing the private sector’s motivation to invest in activities that support job and income growth. However, the taxation of corporate income is particularly injurious to growth. (more…)

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Digging Holes in Oregon: The Governor’s Plan to Save the Unemployed Will Deepen the Pit

Cascade CommentaryChristina Martin

Governor Kulongoski has a plan to save Oregon’s sorry economy: raid the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund of a total of $90 million. Forty million dollars would further extend unemployment benefits “for 11,000 unemployed Oregonians who face the loss of benefits in that time period, provided no additional benefits are made available by the federal government.”[i] He would use the other $50 million to pay thousands of Oregonians to work at unknown community projects or to go into training programs. His plan (House Bill 3500) aims to create 7,100 jobs for individuals who are receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, paying between $8.40 and $10 per hour (which is more than average benefits) and providing transportation and childcare for up to 2,500 low-income individuals in the program. Each participant in the job creation program could get an additional $2 per hour placed into an Individual Education Account if participants jump through a few hoops. (more…)

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Global Warming? No! It Is Now Called Climate Change

QuickPoint!Todd Wynn

[audio:QuickPoint 6-17-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Global warming used to be the defining term to represent the increase in the average temperature of the earth during the past 100 years. Recently, the more politically popular term, climate change, has replaced global warming. Why? One main reason is because the earth is currently cooling.

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Oregon’s Little Carbon FootprintBy Todd Wynn

QuickPoint!Todd Wynn

[audio:QuickPoint 6-10-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

The threat of human-induced climate change is driving public policy towards attempting to reduce human emissions in the state. It is important to put Oregon’s “carbon footprint” into perspective in order to understand that state emission reduction policies make no economic or environmental sense. (more…)

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Taxing the “Wealthy” More Will Cost 36,000 Oregon JobsBy Bill Conerly

QuickPoint!Bill Conerly
I estimate that raising the maximum tax rates on personal income, including capital gains, to eleven percent will cost the Oregon economy 36,000 jobs by 2015. The job losses will continue to accumulate beyond that year. This analysis does not incorporate job losses due to higher corporate income taxes.

The estimate is based on a model of state employment growth that incorporates data for all 50 states for 26 years. It exploits tremendous variation in tax practices from one state to another, and within individual states across time. The model was developed for my 2005 analysis of Oregon’s capital gains tax. (See “Generating Jobs and Income Through a Capital Gains Tax Reduction,” Appendix 1, Equation 3, available at (more…)

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An Economist’s Perspective on HB 3405 and HB 2649By Randall J. Pozdena, PhDPresident, QuantEcon Inc.June 9, 2009

Randall PozdenaThe opinions expressed herein are those of the author and
should not be attributed to any other individual or to any other organization
with which the author is affiliated.

The State of Oregon faces State budget deficits due to the sharp decline in employment and economic activity in the state. In an attempt to fend off this fiscal problem, the Oregon House just passed, and the Oregon Senate will decide shortly, on two major tax measures:

HB 3405 would increase tax rates on corporate profits, from 6.6 to 7.9 percent for two years, dropping to 7.6 percent thereafter.
HB 2649 would increase, for three years, personal income and capital gains tax rates from the current 9 percent to 10.8 percent and 11 percent for those earning more than $125,000 and $250,000, respectively. A 9.9 percent rate would be imposed thereafter. (more…)

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Update on the status of SB80The Oregon version of a cap-and-trade program

Senate bill 80 has been referred to the Ways and Means committee and subsequently assigned to the subcommittee on Natural Resources.

The bill is not defeated but it is a far cry from the original economy-killing bill that was first drafted and it no longer contains any provisions for Oregon implement a cap-and-trade program.


Click the play button to hear Senator Boquist acknowledge Cascade Policy Institute’s Climate Change analyst, Todd Wynn, for his hard work toward defeating this bill.

Todd Wynn

To hear Todd’s original testimony on February 5 before the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources click here and go to 3:21:05-3:23:15 and 3:34:11-3:37:18 on the audio file.

Click here to read Todd’s original testimony.

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Why taxing the rich may backfire

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 6-3-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Oregon state legislators are busy working to pass bills that they hope will generate $800 million income tax dollars from wealthy individuals and corporations.

The personal income tax bill would impose higher tax rates on households with taxable income above $250,000 along with single filers whose income tops $125,000. Supporters think they can raise about $500 million over two years, but that’s only if economic realities don’t get in the way. (more…)

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Todd Wynn Testimony for House Joint Resolution 48, Committee on RevenueMay 28, 2009

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Listen to Todd’s testimony on this audio file
at 1:30:01-1:33:34 and response from Representative Bailey at 1:35:38-1:38:48.

HJR 48 would propose an amendment to the Oregon Constitution allowing the Legislative Assembly to impose taxes on carbon emissions for the purpose of funding reductions in carbon emissions and carbon fuel use. HJR 48 would refer the proposed amendment to the people for their approval or rejection at the next regular general election.

This bill is entirely unnecessary and could impose significant costs on Oregonians while providing no environmental benefit. (more…)

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