A probable breakthrough in “mastering the obvious” about how America’s wealthy keeps winning while millions and millions of average Americans keep falling farther behind…
From: Oregon Center for Public Policy lays it out about the rich getting richer and the rest of us….not so much…
By Daniel Hauser and Juan Carlos Ordóñez
Already suffering from the ills brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Oregon residents could soon be hit with teacher layoffs, diminished resources to fight wildfires, and fewer resources to protect foster children and vulnerable seniors. There is a serious risk of these and other harms coming to pass, as the state grapples with deep revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus economic crisis. In the blink of an eye, $1.9 billion vanished from the state budget (the Oregon General Fund). Even bigger revenue shortfalls are projected for the next two budget periods.
Oregon’s troubles are far from unique; every state faces a similar challenge. Congress has the power to prevent fiscal crises from erupting all across the nation, but so far, the Senate appears content to sit idle and watch the disaster unfold.
If Congress leaves states to fend for themselves, it’s imperative to minimize the damage to Oregonians. Protecting essential services, especially those that support the most vulnerable, is the right thing to do. It is also the right strategy for stabilizing the state economy. One of the lessons of the Great Recession is that state spending cuts prolong an economic downturn.
Instead of balancing the budget by cutting services all Oregonians depend on, lawmakers should cut spending on the rich and corporations. At a time of extreme income inequality, the state is subsidizing the rich and corporations through the tax code. The money flows through the many tax credits, deductions, and subtractions that corporate lobbyists get paid to procure. The official name for these subsidies is “tax expenditures,” reflecting that they are a form of spending that takes place through the tax code.
Here’s more from the Oregon Center for Public Policy. Click here.