College tuition increases for this academic year were small by recent standards. But students and families are nonetheless paying significantly more on average because federal financial aid, including grants and tax credits, failed to keep pace.
– The Oregonian, October 22, 2013
Lane Solutions Responds and Your Comments
There’s an “Iron Rule of Economics” that you probably know but that politicians either don’t know or don’t care about (after all, it’s not their money they’re spending), Here it is: subsidize the cost of anything and demand for it and the price of it will go up. Every time – just like water running downhill and government sticking both hands in your pocket.
Here’s a simple example. A cheeseburger at McDonald’s costs $1.00. If someone stood outside every McDonald’s holding a sign saying “I’ll give you $.50 if you buy a cheeseburger” what would happen?
The line of cheeseburger buyers would lengthen and McDonald’s would raise the price to $1.30.
Each year the Feds pour $30 Billion and 16 tax breaks into helping parents pay tuition. And sure enough – tuition goes up. So do binge drinking and drug use on campus, partially caused by kids lining up for four plus years of financial aid and fun.
What goes down? Not adult illiteracy. And certainly not tuition.
Here’s another iron rule: When politicians create a program that doesn’t work they don’t cancel it. Heck no – they double down. So their answer to rising tuition is always more subsidies, which cause tuition to rise, which calls for more subsidies…
As the hard work of rezoning land in Malheur County to industrial use continues, another, perhaps larger, challenge looms on the horizon. City and county officials are going to have to figure out a way to get sewer, water, electricity and roads out to these properties to serve potentially large-scale industrial developments.
In a visit to the Argus Observer editorial board last week, state Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ore., suggested that preliminary estimates for the cost of these infrastructure improvements in Malheur County are in the neighborhood of $50 million.
The big question in the coming months and years will be how to — and who should — pay that tab.
– The Ontario Argus Observer
– October 20, 2013
Lane Solutions Responds & your comments
We’re not taking sides on who should pay for Malheur County’s infrastructure improvements.
Our beef is with the Observer’s use of the word “investment.” We believe “investment” implies some sort of ownership and reasonable expectation of a return of more money than you invested. And we think there’s a big difference between “investing” and “spending,” which implies giving up money for any other reason.
Calling what we all know is spending “investing” makes the act of relinquishing money to the government sound palatable. This is a pet tactic of liberal (darn – we did it again. But you know we meant “Progressive”) politicians who tell us they’re confiscating our money to “invest” in children, education and so on. Ever hear them say they want to “invest” in a new jet fighter? We didn’t think so.
So let’s call government outlays of our money what they are – “spending.” As for investing, if you want to do that we suggest that you send your money to our son in law the stock broker. He’ll do what you want with it, send it back to you if you tell him to, and won’t send you to jail if you don’t send him more next year.
I’m High, I’m Hungry and I Want a Grande Caramel Macchiato
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) reports that Oregon is one of only three states that allow medical marijuana card holders who get food stamps to deduct the cost of their “Mary Jane” equipment from their income taxes.
Fire up your bong, inhale some good Colombian weed and their reasoning will be crystal clear.
You see, using marijuana increases the appetite. So you need more food. Allowing tax deductions for drug equipment lowers your taxable income, which makes you eligible for the extra food stamps you need because you smoked the pot. Got it?
But what about that Grande Caramel Macchiato you’re craving to wash down the grub you bought with your Oregon Trail Card? Not a problem – just whip out your Trail Card at Starbucks.
Now you’re feeling great, your tummy’s full and you’re ready for the next hit.
Is this a great state or what?
Salem – …The carefully balanced, bipartisan package, which Gov. John Kitzhaber and key lawmakers have been working on since late last year, centers on curbing public employee pension costs and some targeted tax increases. Also included in the deal to garner more Republican support are a tax cut for certain businesses…
The Register Guard, October 3, 2013
Lane Solutions Responds and Leave Your Comments
Gosh, Don’t You Wish You Were as Smart as These Guys?
“Targeted tax increases” and cuts for “certain businesses.” Sounds good – Tax hikes for schools and cuts to help some businesses.
But who‘s doing the “targeting” and which are the “certain” businesses?
This is where government always runs into trouble. Because when it comes to picking winners and losers it does a very bad job.
“Targeting” is what got us Solyndra, Brightsource and Geothermal – who went belly up with more than $2.2 Billion of your tax dollars. These and other greenies burn through upwards of $5 Billion in “targeted” subsidies yearly. And that’s not counting 600,000 birds chopped up annually in windmills.
What do we get for these diced birds and billions of bucks? Excluding hydropower, less than 1/10 of our energy.
Why “targeting” fails:
- No group of people (even wizard politicians) can direct the economy, which is a result of billions of individual decisions each day.
- It usually rewards friends or punishes enemies;
- Politicians target with your money. So what if they lose it?
As for “certain businesses”: This usually means “In my district,” “Gave me money,” or our favorite – “My brother in law.”
So – Don’t worry if you’re not smart enough to target other people’s money or figure who should pay what taxes. Neither are they!
Oregon helps lead the way on raising minimum
California’s recent decision to rocket its minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour in 2016 makes Oregon’s scheduled 15-cent increase in 2014 look microscopic by comparison…
Since indexing took effect in 2004, the hourly minimum has steadily climbed by $2.05.
The scheduled 15-cent increase will add about $300 to a full-time worker’s compensation…
The raises that these lowest-paid workers receive result in increased consumer demand. Fast-food businesses that complain about minimum wage increases often fail to mention that their own businesses are among those that reap the greatest benefits.
In Oregon, minimum wage increases have been a welcome boost for the state’s economy…
The Register Guard, September 23, 2013
Gosh, These Guys Are Really Smart!
Did you know that here in Eugene we have geniuses who know exactly what people should be paid and what employers should do with their money?
Thinking that paying workers more money results in more money injected into the economy rests on the premise that this money came out of nowhere and that if it hadn’t been plucked out of thin air by employers it wouldn’t have existed.
No – that money is taken from the pockets of owners or shareholders and given to employees.
What do these RG economic giants think would have been done with the money had employers kept it? Burned it?
Anyone with an ounce of economic smarts knows that the money might have been spent on opening a new restaurant (and hiring more people). Or on a new grill (and hiring cooks to grill more burgers). Maybe it would have gone to hiring another reporter.
Here’s the real killer – and it’s at the core of Liberalism (Sorry. We meant “Progressivism”). The editors think they’re so smart that they can decide for everyone the most efficient allocation of financial resources.
Note to RG: Thinking that experts can plan and direct the economy is the mentality that brought Eastern Europe and Cuba to economic ruin.
This week we award what’s really a “Golden Lamb” Award – Because the money you earned and your “Public Servants” in Salem wasted wasn’t that much. If it weren’t your money it’d be worth a laugh.
In case you were about to shed a tear for the Beaver State’s cheese industry, don’t bother, because the Oregon Cheese Guild has scored a cool $50,000 to produce videos featuring cheese farmers, cheese experts and cheese history. We hope they’re not too “cheesy” (sorry).
Remember that old ad “Is your dog getting enough cheese?” Maybe they could blow some more bucks by running their video on pay TV’s The Dog Channel!
Washington Candidate Wants $15/Hr. Minimum Wage
Those in Oregon who are tired of hearing about how much better Washington’s business climate is have reason to watch the November election results in Seattle.
Several of the candidates are at least talking about the possibility of raising the minimum wage in the city, even though Washington already has the highest rate in the nation. And at least one City Council candidate — Socialist Kshama Sawant, who finished second in the May primary to qualify for the November ballot — is campaigning hard for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
– The Oregonian Editorial Board, August 25, 2013
Lane Solutions Responds
We say “Go for it! Why not $30/hr? Do we hear $40?”
We applaud our neighbors to the north’s attaempt to give Oregon a more competitive business environment! And if you’re joining us, keep it a secret that labor is, like anything else anyone buys, a commodity subject to a basic economic principle: lower the price – demand increases. Raise it – demand goes down.
Keep it between us that when the minimum wage goes up a McDonalds that could only afford the cheapest, least experienced labor (teenagers) can now afford to fire them and hire experienced workers.
If you keep these secrets, our buddies up north will keep their big, dark secret about why they really like minimum wage hikes. No, it’s not love of the “Little Guy.” It’s because a lot of union wage contracts are hitched to minimum wages. Raise them and union workers get automatic salary bumps.
Here’s what Socialist Sawant will never, ever tell you: When Washington, D.C. passed a minimum wage law in 1938, hotels immediately fired dozens of (probably black) maids and other low skilled laborers.
Now that we think about the consequences for the real “Little Guys,” your humble editors will be governed by their better angels, face north and scream “Stop! Do you really know what you’re doing?”
SALEM, Ore. — Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed a bill he hopes will curb the state’s prison population. Kitzhaber signed the measure during a ceremony in his office Thursday, flanked by district attorneys and sheriffs. Among other things, the measure reduces sentences for certain drug and property crimes and driving with a suspended license. It’s projected to keep the prison population flat for about five years. Kitzhaber sought to limit prison growth for a decade, but he made concessions to win support from the law-enforcement community.- Associated Press
Lane Solutions Responds…
Congrats to Guv Kitzhaber for finding the golden key to cutting costs. Want to save money on prisons? Presto – Cut the punishment for crimes. Maybe we can save money on the Oregon Highway Patrol by raising the speed limit to 95 MPH. Save hospital costs by treating all strokes and heart attacks as outpatient cases?
Here’s what we won’t do to save money on prisons: Ask why, of the 14 states with populations of 2 to 5 million, 10 spend less per inmate than Oregon and 9 of those are right-to-work states. 3 of the 4 that spend more are, like Oregon, forced-union states.
Nor will we ask why Oregon entry level correctional officials pocket 24% more annual take home pay than nearby states’ officials.
Heaven forbid that we ask why, in the Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office study of Oregon and 11 surrounding states, Oregon was the only state in the sample which paid the entire employee contributions to the retirement plan and health insurance premiums.
We conclude that it’s just easier to turn criminals loose on Oregonians than rein in unions.
SALEM — In a last-minute flurry of money bills, Oregon lawmakers approved more than $1 billion for construction projects, salary increases and university tuition reductions Monday before shutting down the 2013 Legislature.
Legislation approved on the final day included money for — among dozens of other projects — a new or refurbished Multnomah County Courthouse, sidewalks in east Portland, a convention center hotel in Portland, a ton of construction on college campuses and even a raise for the governor.
Henry Esteve, The Oregonian
Lane Solutions Responds:
Now Hyatt Corp., owner of 492 luxury hotels, spas and resorts from Scottsdale to Dubai to Honolulu and back can breathe easy – because the ever generous Oregon Legislature has agreed to toss them $10 million to help build hotel #493 (and a Grand Hyatt at that!) at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
Tina Kotek, House Speaker and Patron Saint of Largesse, assures us that this $10 million, as well as the rest of her $1 billion of giveaways means “(There) are going to be immediate jobs around the state.”
OK, now we get it: If Tina hadn’t tossed this cool billion after Hyatt, etc. it would have just been buried in some rich guys’ back yards. Right? None of it would have been invested in starting or expanding businesses and creating jobs. Not one cent.
Here Ms. Kotek reveals the basic belief of a statist: That the government is a more efficient allocator of resources than are private citizens and markets. Hey, it’s the thinking that turned Cuba, Venezuela, Romania, etc. into economic powerhouses! Can it do the same for Oregon?
Tell us what you think in the Comment Box below
Lane Solutions proudly presents this issue’s Golden Fleece Award with a Silver Star (awarded to any government department that blows $10 Million or more of your money to (big drum roll, please) the OREGON EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT!
These are the 1400 public servants who doled out $1.5 Billion in unemployment checks last year (again – your money).
Investigations revealed that this gang had wasted about $30 Million on computer software that (surprise, surprise) doesn’t work! Oh, well, it was just $30 Million. And it wasn’t even their money. Sort of makes you wonder about the $1.5 Billion, doesn’t it?