Letters to the Editor: Sept. 29, 2023

Tap into tourism

I read with interest your editorial from Sept. 22 regarding the latest state revenue forecast and the possibility it could be “too much of a good thing.”

As long as income exceeds demands, you avoid fiscal problems. But it got me thinking about our sources of state revenue.

Oregon is a beautiful state with multiple attractions for visitors and residents alike. We who live here feel fortunate, and our visitors not only enjoy the many sites and treasures of Oregon, but with a few exceptions, we taxpayers give them a tax-free buying experience.

Frankly, I doubt many of our tourists make the decision to visit Oregon based on our sales tax policies. The figures are hard to know exactly, but it’s fair to estimate more than $13 billion is spent here each year by out-of-state visitors.

These purchases do not have sales tax added. That seems to be a huge missed opportunity.

As a result, Oregon residents and businesses subsidize our visitors — and cross-border shoppers — by paying each year some of the highest state income taxes in the country.

While we have high state income tax rates, our needs are also great, with many gaps in critical resources for health care, housing, infrastructure and education. Our state falls short in its investment in these areas, in comparison to most of the country.

Why can’t our leaders in Salem develop a system to capture sales tax revenue from our out-of-state tourists and cross-border shoppers?

There would be no change for residents. It would help fill these and other tax revenue gaps, improving the quality of life for all of us.

I think an extra billion dollars or so from these visitor purchases would go a long way to help all of us who are lucky enough to call Oregon our home.

Phil Forve



Dedicated to teaching

The “Easy Street” letter of Sept. 15, in which the writer maintains teachers have it easy, begs for a response:

I taught in elementary schools for 22 years before retiring in 1994.

I can tell you I worked plenty hard. I put in many hours beyond what was required, for planning and evaluating as well as teaching.

That was more than 25 years ago. Today’s teachers work even harder.

Not only do they have to keep up with new curriculum, they also have more challenges with students who have lost ground educationally because of COVID or a rugged pre-school start. In addition, there are more students with social and emotional problems than before.

Teachers have completed four, five or more years of college, earning at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree. And they generally make less than others with a bachelor’s or master’s.

The letter writer claims teachers get a “three-month summer vacation.” This year, school was out for teachers on June 21 and resumed for them on Aug. 22.

The long weekends the kids get find their teachers in workshops or conferences. Those are not vacation days for them.

There are no paid vacations. Teachers only get paid for the days they work

Be thankful there are people — like my daughter, a teacher in the McMinnville School District for 37 years — who skillfully work hard to teach our children and grandchildren. It’s not easy, but they continue to be dedicated to the task.

Margaret Shields



Back to paper

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “We need to look at ALL of the voting machines. Every secretary of state needs to ... make sure that they are not being hacked.”

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff: “... our voting machines are too vulnerable.”

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: “Our … voting systems are susceptible to tampering.”

U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton: “In 2018, electronic voting machines in Georgia and Texas deleted votes for certain candidates or switched votes from one candidate to another.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden: “The biggest seller of voting machines is doing something that violates Cyber Security 101. Remote access software would make a machine like that a magnet for fraudsters and hackers.”

There are many, many, more Democrats who have said the same in the past 10 years or so. Then, magically, from 2020 on, every election was declared “safe and secure.”

Just watch. Democrats are going to start warning that the 2024 elections are susceptible to interference.

Let’s go back to in-person voting at local precincts.

Tod Butterfield




I'm glad Mr. Butterfield brought up voting and fraud. I'm not sure about you, but when I read Trumps complaints, they went something like this.You can't trust machines, because they can be hacked.You can't trust mail in voting, because you are not sure who really filled them out.You can't trust people counting votes, because they can be dishonest.In reality what Donald Trump in essence was saying is "you can never trust a vote, so why not have an authoritarian leader instead?"


Trump is the only President to tell people they should vote twice btw..There isn't a lot of voter fraud in the United States or even facts that offer the reality of it. Even more disturbing is many voting violations appear at hands of people that didn't know they couldn't vote, or was told they could by government themselves.After Trumps win in 2016 he assigned a special commission, they found little. They did make some recommendations though.


It's worthy to vote that in 2019 and 2020, there were many voter security bills offered, many passed the house, but the GOP controlled Senate failed to bring them to the floor.

After the 2020 Election, Donald Trump sought out independent researchers to find fraud, they found very little.Mark Twain once said " I had a lot of problems in my day, most of which never existed".

You literally had over 60 lawsuits from those in and around Trump with literally nothing.If we went to paper, you would only be subjecting yourself to the obvious, "Those counting must be dishonest". Abraham Lincoln is well known for being a President, but he was a great lawyer, contract lawyer to be exact.

He had this saying "I can call a tail a leg, but just because I call it that, doesn't make it so". Below is the Heritage Foundation Database on voter Fraud. Conservative Heritage Foundation...

Don't be fooled thinking it will solve answers to with cognitive distorted thoughts in which nothing can satisfy.



Sorry this is so long.

One argument I often hear, I even heard during a RE-Waken Event in Salem. Oregon used to vote "Conservative" before mail in voting.

This, like a lot of misinformation, gaslighting and propaganda is misleading. Here is why. In the 90's the "great" movement north from California brought more liberals to Oregon and Washington. Seattle and Portland mostly. Their argument simply doesn't account for it. Similarly, the younger generation is more progressive, also more liberal. That's nothing new in our history. Most Amendments of our constitution were "progressive" during their time for example. Recently there is a movement to raise the voting age to 25 or so. It's not because their ideas are popular, just the opposite.

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