This week our State Treasurer, Tobias Read, issued a press release bragging that investors around the country “stood in line” to loan Oregon $100 million so that Governor Kate Brown could buy part of the Elliott State Forest, which we already own.
According to Treasurer Read, “There was three times more demand than supply” of the bonds, which will be repaid to investors over 20 years at an interest rate of 3.83 percent.
While this may have been a great day for investors, Oregon taxpayers have no reason to celebrate. They will be paying roughly $200 million in debt service on the loan, while getting little in return.
The Elliott is an 82,500-acre forest in Coos and Douglas Counties. It is an asset of the Common School Fund, which means it must be managed for the Continue reading
Here’s a question for you: Why is housing so expensive in Oregon?
Government at all levels has attempted to address the issue of housing affordability for years with tax credits, occasional expansion of the urban growth boundary, multimillion dollar bond measures, and now statewide rent control in Oregon. But rather than making life easier for Americans, state and local policies play major roles in the affordability crisis.
Economist Dr. Randall Pozdena recently authored a report published by Cascade Policy Institute that analyzes the decline of housing affordability, with a Continue reading
America absolutely needs outside expert review of climate claims used to oppose fossil fuels
Should the United States conduct a full, independent, expert scientific investigation into models and studies that say we face serious risks of manmade climate change and extreme weather disasters?
As incredible as it may seem, US government climate science has never been subjected to any such examination. Instead, it has been Continue reading
Artis Breau is 84 years old, is the widow of a vet, and is about to be thrown out into the street. Her crime? Leading a Bible study.
Her husband served in the Merchant Marine and then in World War II as a member of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He also served in the Air Force in the Korean War. Artis herself served in the Pentagon during the Korean conflict as a civilian in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army. Continue reading
Fake news is bad, but no news is even worse. Across the world, across the country, across the state, and across our communities, we are witnessing an obliteration of local news media. In Oregon, local newspapers are struggling and shuttering while TV and radio outlets focus more and more on national news fed by wire services.
Research soon to be published by the Journal of Financial Economics finds that when a local newspaper closes, local government wages and employment increase, municipal borrowing costs go up, as do county deficits. The authors argue local newspapers hold their governments accountable. When a community loses a paper, it loses some of that accountability. Continue reading
Derrell Bradford has spent his adult life passionately advocating for education reform through parental choice. Derrell grew up in southwest Baltimore and received a scholarship to a private high school. Better than anyone, he knows the power of choice to unleash a child’s potential.
“A scholarship is not a five-year plan or a power point…,” Derrell explained recently. “It’s a ticket to the future, granted today, for a child trying to shape his or her own destiny in the here and now….”
Choices in education are widespread in America, unless you are poor. Affluent families can move to different neighborhoods, send their children to private Continue reading
They want to upend and transform America, but demand No Debate on underlying “science”
Democrats, climate campaigners and renewable energy interests are in full outrage mode over news that President Trump intends to launch a Presidential Committee on Climate Science. He should do it now.
The PCCS would, at long last, review and question the “dangerous manmade climate change” reports by federal agencies and investigations funded by them. The committee would be led by Dr. Will Happer, a highly respected scientist and well known skeptic – not of climate change, but of manmade climate chaos. He would be joined by other prominent experts – of whom there are many – who share his doubts. Continue reading
Oregon’s most pressing environmental crisis isn’t in forests or renewable energy. Our human habitats have been endangered by our restrictive so-called “smart growth” policies. Even when we talk about allowing growth, policymakers tend to favor light rail over people’s real needs. Senate Bill 10, which would require cities like Portland to allow development of 75 housing units per acre in public transit corridors, misses the mark in two key areas.
First, the bill’s attempt to legislate the location of new development won’t improve transit ridership. Despite billions in new light rail lines and mixed-use developments, TriMet’s ridership has been declining since 2012.
In the name of saving us from imagined disasters, three real disasters are about to unfold that will have long term consequences for communities from tiny Corbett to the entire state of Oregon. To no surprise, the disasters will result from the incompetence and greed of those elites who determine our future. The panic over climate change is one driving force, but complete ignorance of science and engineering also plays a large role. And of course, the officials who are leading us over a cliff do not want to listen to any who would provide them wise council.
Even or perhaps especially The Oregonian refuses to listen. Never mind that there is a whole science of ‘Acceptable Risk,’ the people who run our society are either too stupid or too corrupt (or both) to consider the facts. Continue reading
Education Savings Accounts deposit a percentage of the funds that the state would otherwise spend to educate a student in a public school into accounts associated with the student’s family. The family may use the funds to spend on private school tuition or other educational expenses. Funds remaining in the account after expenses may be “rolled over” for use in subsequent years.
Empirical research on private school choice finds evidence that private school choice delivers benefits to participating students—particularly educational attainment. Continue reading