Tell lawmakers: Cut tax breaks for the rich to balance the budget

Oregonians could soon endure rounds of teacher layoffs, diminished resources to fight wildfires, and fewer resources to protect foster children and vulnerable seniors. There is a serious risk of these and other harms coming to pass, as the state grapples with deep revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus economic crisis.

While Congress has the power to prevent fiscal crises from erupting in Oregon and every other state, it has failed to act thus far. It is looking increasingly likely that the Oregon legislature will need to take difficult steps to balance the state budget. If so, the legislature must minimize the damage to Oregonians.

Instead of balancing the budget by cutting services all Oregonians depend on, lawmakers should cut spending on the rich and corporations. At a time of extreme income inequality, the state is subsidizing the rich and corporations through the tax code. The money flows through the many tax credits, deductions, and subtractions that corporate lobbyists get paid to procure.

Some of these tax breaks are brand new. Congress used the pandemic as an excuse to create a batch of new tax breaks that benefit rich business owners. One of these is a tax break that delivers 82 percent of the benefits to millionaires!

We’re living in a time of extreme economic hardship for many of our fellow Oregonians, who depend on public services to survive. It’s also a time of vast income inequality and of vast racial inequality. The only morally and economically right way to balance the budget in these circumstances is to cut the spending flowing to the rich and corporations.

Tell the Oregon lawmakers: Cut tax breaks for the rich and corporations instead of services for all Oregonians.

To learn more, please read this commentary.