During the debate on Federal tax reform, we were told by many sources that Federal tax reform would only benefit large corporations. We were told that Oregonians would pay more in Federal taxes. We were told that Federal tax reform would be used to punish Oregon and other “Blue States” who voted strongly against President Trump and the Republican Party in the 2016 elections. This was all we were told.
Oregon’s Legislative Revenue Office, a non-partisan agency of Oregon’s state government, has studied the recently enacted Federal tax reform. They report the following: Federal tax reform will save Oregonians an average of $1.48 billion in federal taxes and $29 million in state taxes annually. 70% of Oregon tax filers will pay less in federal taxes, 20% will see no change, and 10% will pay more in Federal taxes. The average annual federal tax savings for Oregon tax filers will be $840. Non-professional small business owners who “work” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, a group long-ignored by federal tax policy, will stand to gain the most. The pundits did not tell us this part of the story.
It is clear that many of those who told Oregonians what Federal tax reform would do, either lacked knowledge about what they were talking about or were not telling the truth. The citizens of a democracy are dependent upon accurate information from “reliable” news sources and “knowledgeable experts” to know the truth about what is occurring in society. Citizens need confidence in the reliability of these sources. Sources that do not tell the whole truth lose credibility in the eyes of the citizenry. Citizens will question their news reporting and accuracy, even when it is factual. It is very disappointing to see so many career politicians speak inaccurately about Federal tax reform. Politicians, are you aiming to score political points rather that accurately putting forth legitimate arguments? Are you thinking more about the next election and your status rather than advocating for your constituents?
America was founded in a dispute over taxes. The issue of appropriate taxation will never go away. We will always struggle to determine who will pay taxes, and how much these taxes should be. Let us examine the tax questions in the truly American way, with vigor, with passion, with openness, and most importantly, with honesty.
We need competent leaders who are public SERVANTS who have their constituents’ interests at heart, not men and women who crave not to be leaders, but to be famous. If our current leaders cannot or will not truly represent us, then we need new, genuine leaders to be our advocates.