I am glad that Measure 66, the initiative to raise the top rate for individuals making over $125,000 and families making over $250,000, and Measure 67, the initiative to increase the minimum corporate tax from $10 to $150, appears to have passed. At least, when I went to bed last night, the local newspaper, The Oregonian, was predicting they would both pass.
Which has to gall the editors at the Oregonian, considering the apparent lies they were telling in regards to the ballot measures in the last few weeks.
Be that as it may, I am hopeful that the measures passed due to some good ol’ fashioned populism. In my view, the rich have been getting theirs for quite some time, and meanwhile our basic, shared, infrastructure has been falling apart. Gee, cutting taxes doesn’t create jobs and help everyone out; who knew? Our streets are broken, our schools aren’t teaching, our sick aren’t getting healthy.
Passing these two ballot measures will help fill the giant budget gap that has been the result of the conservative movements anti-tax experiment. Conservative darling Grover Norquist’s desire to “drown government in the bathtub” is repudiated. Or so I hope.
Someone has to make the argument that government, as an institution, can make our lives better, not worse. Someone has to say, repeatedly and forcefully and sincerely, that government is the only institution we have that can face down amoral corporatism and redress the balance of power.
Of course, government that isn’t made up of the efforts of citizens is nothing more than another wing of corporate power. Which is pretty much what we have right now on a Federal level.
But the progressive movement is growing and that includes more involvement in government by regular folks.
Score one for us progressives today with the passage of Measure 66 & 67.