Pro Life • Pro 2nd Amendment • Pro Free Markets • Pro Agriculture • Your LIBERTY First
It has been nine weeks since Governor Brown declared a statewide emergency, issuing executive orders that pushed our state into economic chaos. Draconian edicts have limited our individual freedom, as well as shut down thousands of small businesses, while forcing hundreds of thousands of Oregonians out of work, with unemployment soaring to record levels.
The Governor’s original explanation for this unprecedented economic shutdown was based on expert advice that heavily relied on modeling — modeling that has been now seen as over predicting the virus' full impact. At the time the governor declared she had no other choice but to take extreme measures to slow the spread, so that she could prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed.
That was then. This is now.
President Trump is following the principles set by our founders, allowing federalism to work. Reopening the country is up to each state — not a national one-size fits all approach. Each state has been largely in control of which policies they pursued during this pandemic. The Trump administration issued guidelines, not mandates, for reopening our economy. I give President Trump high marks. A lesser President could have taken advantage of the crisis to make nationwide mandates instead of leaving powers to individual states. With a country as diverse and complex as ours, nationwide mandates would have been unworkable and ineffective.
Some governors are leading their states based on facts — how much hospital capacity exists, infection rates and hot zones, how many people have died, families suffering from lost jobs, and so on. Other governors, sadly seem to be leading their states based on fear — lives must be saved at all costs; any rise in positive testing means longer times under Shelter in Place and Executive Orders.
An easy axiom to remember is this — life is inherently full of risks. While our goal should be to minimize risks, we must remember we can’t eliminate them (otherwise from birth to old age we would never leave our homes). How do you think Governor Brown is leading Oregon? Is she leading by facts or by fear?
I believe the Governor knew back in April that this virus’ threat to Oregonians was waning when she gave away all 140 of Oregon’s ventilators to New York — ventilators she complained about not having to the Trump administration just four days earlier. If her goal of saving lives were true, and Oregon was not passed the threat from COVID-19, then there is no way any reasonable person would’ve given away those life saving ventilators — all of them.
OREGON REPUBLICAN CO-CAMPAIGN CHAIRS
For Immediate Release, April 4th, 2020
La Grande, ORE. – Today, the Oregon Republican Co-Campaign Chair for President Donald Trump re-election campaign, Repre- sentative Greg Barreto praised the President for the Paycheck Pro- tection program.
“As a manufacturer, small business owner and an employer of many people in Northeast Oregon, these swift actions by Presi- dent Trump is a lifeline for many companies across Oregon.” Said Representative Greg Barreto, owner of Barreto Manufacturing.
The Paycheck Protection Program is now up and running, offering nearly $350 billion in forgivable loans to keep companies opera- tional and their workers employed. If eligible businesses and or- ganizations retain their full staff and payroll – and use their loan proceeds on payroll and other eligible expenses – their loan will be 100% forgiven.
Co-Chair Rep. E. Werner Reschke of Klamath Falls, echoed the remarks, “Small business is the backbone of Klamath Falls and all of Oregon’s economy. The President has put them front and cen- ter with this response effort and I could not be pleased more.”
The administration believes that if you are a small business, you are a critical part of the economic fabric of this country and the state of Oregon. The Co-Chairs only wish the Governor of Oregon held the same belief.
“Governor Brown has done nothing for small business, except shut them down. We have been asking for a pause in the corporate activities tax (CAT) at least through the 2nd quarter. We are try- ing to fight to keep our small businesses open and the only one helping Oregonians today is President Trump ” said Rep. Vikki Breese Iverson, Prineville.
There is a fierce battle of ideas and political willpower being waged at Oregon’s Capitol. On one side are the Democrats, who claim they have a mandate to implement Cap & Trade in order to meet CO2 emission goals set by the 2007 legislature. By meeting these goals, Democrats maintain Oregon will be doing its part in the battle against climate change. Democrats profess that any higher emission levels are an unacceptable failure.
On the other side are Republicans, who in both House and Senate chambers have left the state, to stop the Cap & Trade bills from moving forward. Republicans believe Cap & Trade will devastate the local economies in the districts they represent — districts that mostly rely on the natural resources economy. It is a classic case of the immovable rock versus the irresistible force, or to use a team sports analogy, the best offense verses the best defense.
All would seem hopeless, if that were the complete truth. As Paul Harvey was famous for saying, “And now the rest of the story.” First, we must go back to the CO2 emissions mandates set back in 2007. The first milestone set by the legislature was that by 2020 Oregon must reduce its green house gasses by 20% of 1990 levels. Did you know no government agency was measuring green house gasses in 1990? This is a critical fact. Therefore the 1990 levels are determined by estimates and assumptions to best-guess the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Even if we were to assume those 1990 best guesses are close to correct, another, and more important, assumption is in play — that this measurement is to be conducted in absolute terms. Since 1990, Oregon’s population has increased about 35%. If we look at CO2 emissions on a per person basis, instead of an absolute one, then Oregon is already exceeding its 2007 mandates, having reduced green house gasses over 22% from 1990 levels — 2% ahead of schedule, without Cap & Trade. Moreover, Oregon ranks third in the nation for the lowest CO2 emissions, when measured on a per person basis. One serious flaw with the 2007 legislature’s mandate is simply this: It doesn’t say how to measure emissions: on an absolute basis or per Oregonian.
Happy New Year!
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things."
—President Ronald Reagan
Klamath Falls, OR — State Representative E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls), filed for re-election on October 17th to the Oregon House of Representatives, District 56, serving southern Klamath and Lake counties.
“I pledged to restore constitutional principles and rural community values to the way our government does business in Salem. I’m proud to say I have worked hard to live up to that pledge. It’s been an honor to serve the people of southern Klamath and Lake counties. I look forward to once again having the opportunity to represent the people in this district,” said Rep. Reschke.
In announcing his re-election plans, Rep. Reschke highlighted his Legislative accomplishments, including: $40 million for Oregon Tech’s renovation of Cornett Hall, $7.8 million for KCC Career/Technical Center, Rural Tax Credit for Sky Lakes Medical Center employees, Small high school funding for Klamath County School District, High speed Internet expansion to Merrill & Malin, and Military Spouse employment access.
As a legislative member of the House Interim Committee on Revenue, I heard firsthand the most recent report of glowing economic news from Oregon's state economists. Consumer spending, roughly two-thirds of the economy, remains strong, job prospects are still good and overall wages continue to climb. Because Oregon’s economy closely follows the U.S. economy, we can be thankful to Republicans at the federal level for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed at the end of 2017. While it is debatable whether the Tax Cut and Jobs Act created a one-time bump in the economy or not, what is certain is that consumer confidence and employment numbers, especially for minorities, are very good.
One of the results from this great economy is a boom in to state tax revenue — once again at record levels. An outcome from this surge in state revenue is that the kicker (a constitutionally mandated rebate to Oregon taxpayers) will be the third largest highest in state history.
Oregon's 2019 Legislative Session took a full 160 days, nearly six months, to complete its business. This was the first time since 2011 that the legislature took this long. Constitutionally the only duty of each legislature is to produce a balanced budget. That said, the legislature does far more than produce a balanced budget when it assembles — policy is a major part of its business, and 2019 was no exception.
2019 was an unusual session in that the Democrats held super majority status in both the state's House of Representatives and Senate. A super majority is noteworthy because while it only requires a simple majority threshold to pass new, or modify current policy, creating or raising taxes requires a 3/5th’s minimum vote. Moreover, with the re-election of Kate Brown as Governor, Democrats controlled the entire legislative process from creating policy to how to pay for new policy.
On the 243rd anniversary of brave men signing a document declaring 13 State’s independence from the British Empire, we, as Americans, celebrate our freedom. However, what is seldom talked about is freedom from what and freedom to do what. Unfortunately, today’s society has substituted the idea of autonomy for freedom — that freedom means we are “free to do whatever we want.” But it is a mistake to understand freedom this way, for autonomy leads to chaos, and chaos to anarchy, and anarchy to tyranny.
Real freedom, the freedom of the founders, is not autonomy, but has a sovereign and has boundaries. As mentioned above the founder’s idea of freedom had two parts: freedom from and freedom to. Freedom from is fairly obvious. The Founder’s freedom was freedom from the tyrannical style of government being dictated by King George of England. We have all heard “no taxation without representation”. Founder’s freedom makes this claim a baseline — that we consent to be governed under a new set of principles, where each citizen has adequate representation in government’s decisions. If we disapprove of that governance, then we have the right to replace those representing us. Freedom from tyranny by consenting to be governed in a particular way, with the ability to correct course upon our disapproval.