Having a hard time understanding the Republican position on Oregon's economic problems? It's easy once you grasp the basic principles of Republicanomics.
According to Republicanomics, there are two situations in which you absolutely, positively must not raise taxes. Those are (a) when the economy is doing well and (b) when the economy is not doing well. If the economy is doing well, raising taxes will kill the good times. If it's not doing well, raising taxes will make it worse.
Conversely, there are two times when it's absolutely imperative to cut taxes: when the economy is doing well, and when it's not doing well.
Republicanomic principles were on display in Salem last week as Republican lawmakers lit into Democrats' plans to modestly increase personal and business income taxes by creating a new top bracket of 11% on incomes above $125,000.
"This is nothing more than an attempt force small businesses to pay for years of unsustainable spending while mega corporations and public employee unions who fund the Democrat campaign machines are let off the hook," thundered Senator Larry George (R-Sherwood), as reported on the Oregon Catalyst blog.
The Republicans went on to point out that "according to the Small Business Association, small businesses employ more than half of all private sector employees. Small businesses have generated 60 to 80 percent of new jobs annually over the past decade."
In addition to the delicious irony of Republicans attacking those Big Bad Corporations, it's worth noting that what's considered a "small business" by the SBA is not necessarily limited to the mom-and-pop candy store on the corner. For example, under some circumstances a manufacturing business can have up to 1,500 employees and a retail operation can do up to $35.5 million a year in business and still qualify as "small."
Meanwhile, in a news release, Oregon Republican Chairman Bob Tiernan was ripping the Democrats' proposal to increase the state gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees.
"Raising taxes at this time is a job killer," Tiernan warned. "The timing of this tax increase will only deepen the current recession and prolong our recovery. What we really need is for our elected officials to focus on ways to create long-term jobs and grow Oregon's economy instead of proposing hundreds of new tax and fee increases."
Tiernan didn't spell out the Republican plan for creating long-term jobs and grow Oregon's economy, but we suspect - just taking a wild stab here - that it might involve cutting taxes.
Or maybe Oregon Republicans are going to revive last year's brilliant idea of (we swear we are not making this up) raising money by selling Columbia River water to other states.