Shoots from the Grassroot Institute – Feb. 16, 2004-The Answer is No

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”’Grassroot Commentary: The following article clearly illustrates why we should work to institute initiative and referendum rights in the state of Hawaii. ”’

What part of “No” do Oregon politicians not understand?


In a February 3rd referendum on an $800 million tax increase, Oregon voters weren’t shy in saying, “No thanks,” by a whopping margin of 59 to 41 percent. The politicians hadn’t bothered to ask voters for their opinion, of course, they had just hiked the tax.
But through the state’s initiative and referendum process citizens collected thousands of signatures to place the tax on the ballot and decide for themselves.

Even with the defeat of their $800 million tax increase, and the fearmongering over $545 million in planned budget cuts, the fact is Oregon state government will still spend $1.6 billion more this year than last. Only in government does spending go up when we’re told it is being cut.

But voters are getting wise to it. A year ago, legislators themselves put a tax increase on the ballot. Voters said unequivocally, “No.” So, legislators ignored the voters and passed an even bigger increase. Such a power play might work in a state where voters have no initiative rights, but Oregon has initiative as well as referendum, and voters know how to use it.

Not surprisingly, Gov. Ted Kulongoski blames Republicans, who have controlled the legislature for ten years. “They have had opportunity after opportunity to reduce the size of government,” he says, “and they refused.”

Republicans blame 20 years of Democratic governors, who could have vetoed their profligate spending.

Thank goodness Oregon voters have the final word.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

”’U.S. Term Limits Daily Radio Commentary #1041”’

”’Paul Jacob is Senior Fellow of U.S. Term Limits, a national grassroots organization committed to restoring citizen control of government by limiting the terms of politicians at the local, state and national level. See: ”’

Today’s Quote:
The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward. – John Maynard Keynes

”’This editorial is intended to provoke thought, discussion and an examination of issues. It does not reflect official policy of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. See the GRIH Web site at:”’

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