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Op Ed: Reaganism Redux Repeats Errors
By Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News.com
Early shot of Ronald Reagan
(EUGENE, Ore.) - Opponents of fully-informed courageous action by our Oregon Legislature make the ultimate error in their ready reference to “Reaganism redux”, since those very potent economic-shaping actions affecting every aspect of life and American business are now known to reflect the early and continuing effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Many studying Reaganism in recent years have found actions of this past president particularly peculiar; he first denied then defied specific facts that were provable, easily verified points. These were ”defended as to death!”-- by this tragic national figure.
Reagan’s repeated passionate references remind those relating to current policy discussion on some of these same issues in Oregon right now, prior to the January 26 vote-date for Measures 66 & 67.
Indeed, the same passionate intensity, and the same determination to decide on grounds already defined in their OWN terms, characterize the constant, convoluted and bitterly complaining tone of each and every tv-spot (and sentence, paragraph and graphic!) so broadly now displayed across the whole State at revealing high cost.
What’s covered in these convoluted tv-ads, skillfully produced as “rapid small conversations” fired so fast and furiously? Tax-rates, job generation, impacts on business - by use of distorted, sometimes perverted, statements and ostensible “facts”.
But nowhere, no time, “no how!” any word or figure or number on what the Legislature must, for sure and certain, DO NOW -- if their careful, nationally praised, ethical and comprehensive courageous effort is denied. Most Oregonians know common sense when they find it, however rarely it may appear!
Oregon law demands a BALANCED budget. THAT must be achieved - either this way, or by still further depressing, damaging - perhaps irremediable - funding slashes, hurting mostly education, surely our State future, and those trapped by economic accident.
These are passionately negative political ads clearly aimed at destroying any possibilities of inevitable tax costs now demanded in this state., so proven by tone, inclusions and exclusions, color and continuity and, of course, conclusions. Even rational, reasonable - and very small ! - rise of any kind in any tax is seen as bringing on complete disaster even to corporations with continuing gains in profits clearly on the public record.
The immediate affects are touted as “permanent” while the measures themselves are clearly temporary, with “adjustment as needed” clearly intended and so stated in the record of Legislative discussion and debate. Similar small change is now sought - obviously desperately NOW - demanded after SEVENTY YEARS of laissez-faire! - in that revolting, insulting (to other tax-payers!) “$10 mimimum” tax measure.
More than two-thirds of Oregon-incorporated entrepreneurial enterprises take care to clarify their every operation by the definitions given so blithely in forty-eight “tax-breaks” -- FORTY of them set up since 1980.
ANY “tax break” is simply an excuse NOT to pay as the law originally provided, after due study and full information acted upon by the Legislature. ALL such benefits are granted by definition obtained by special influence/exerted by lobbyists whose role is now well-recognized as welcome dispensers of “corporate campaign tax contributions” - sometimes facetiously termed “bag-men” by those not directly benefiting. (You can check validity and reality of all that by query to any reliable, responsible reporter who has ever covered any session of any legislature since the ‘70s.)
But “nowhere, no-how” does one ever hear or see a single word signaling the inevitable action demanded in the Legislature if these rational, reasonable reforming small rises are so overwhelmed and denied by obviously now-desperate means.
Those huge dollar-costs surely then are necessarily seen as proving up the same Reagan-like rationale, once stated as “Kill it off before it moves to those voters!”, in Reagan-like reaction to one set of California reforms. SO -- come vote-day -- keep closely in mind what you have just learned about Reaganism redux as NOW being applied right here in Oregon, by some of the same cabal continuing their now-incompatible laissez-faire denial of 21st Century realities, in a state suffering the first symptoms of “Californication”.
For further info re that latter, look for upcoming Op-Eds considering in detail the decidedly potent points all leading to passage and immediate application of the tax-rise plans proposed in Measures 66 &67. In short: Vote with your mind and protect your own personal and family interests clearly at stake. Every business should bear a fair share of costs. Taxes provide the State with what’s demanded to surround entrepreneurial effort with what it must have to succeed. When some defy, deny, and try to defeat that fair share principle, we should recognize “Reagen redux”.
At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bangor, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering the upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.
Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed. degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education, where he served as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for ten years.
He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 560 written since then.