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All We Want for Christmas is PERS Reform!
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Press Release

All We Want for Christmas is PERS Reform!

The best Christmas present all Oregonians could receive is a long-term solution to the PERS crisis that continues to threaten the health and future of our state. While politicians in Salem continue to debate how best to address the latest biennium fiscal crisis, they ignore the most pressing fiscal problem facing the state, namely, the exploding unfunded costs of the state’s Public Employees Retirements System (PERS). Originally designed as a “competitive” pension system to allow state and local government to attract and retain talented people, PERS quickly morphed into a taxpayer-financed orgy for public employees with total unfunded liability currently estimated to range between $11.5 and $15.7 billion. If the legislature does not take immediate steps to rectify the problem, funding for schools, fire and police departments, and basic government services will be in jeopardy.

12/18/2002
Let the Confirmation Process Begin
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Press Release

Let the Confirmation Process Begin

When Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist lamented on the pace of judicial confirmations during the 107th Congress, you knew that something was wrong with the process in the Senate. Rehnquist solemnly wrote in his yearly review of the judiciary: in “times such as these, the role of the courts becomes even more important in order to enforce the rule of law. To continue functioning effectively and efficiently, however, the courts must be appropriately staffed. This means that…judicial vacancies must be timely filled with well-qualified candidates.” Moreover, when the editors at Washington Post bemoaned the dawdling rate at which President Bush’s judicial nominees were voted on -- let alone scheduled for a hearing in the Judiciary Committee – it’s a good indicator that someone or party stonewalled and hijacked the confirmation process.

12/18/2002
Alternative Minimum Monster
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Press Release

Alternative Minimum Monster

Taxes targeting the rich eventually end up hitting the average guy. For example. when the modern federal income tax became law in 1913, Congress intended to only tap the wealthiest Americans. Rates ranged from 1 percent to 7 percent, and well over 90 percent of the population was exempt from filing. Of course, today, income tax rates range from 10 percent to nearly 40 percent, and the income tax takes from all but the poorest workers.

12/18/2002
Rubinomics Revisited
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Press Release

Rubinomics Revisited

Speculation that the new Republican Congress may propose a sizeable tax cut as its first order of business in the New Year has lead many to question whether our nation can “afford” to reduce tax rates. A steady drumbeat of opposition has manifested itself in the pages of left-of-center publications and on Wall Street, where bankers fear increased deficits will reduce the price of their agglomeration of Treasury notes and depress corporate borrowing and the underwriting fees associated with it.

12/18/2002
Taxes, Spending, and Deficits
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Press Release

Taxes, Spending, and Deficits

Fiscal policy is making a comeback in Washington. President Bush underscored this point with a recent economic policy shake-up that included replacing the Treasury Secretary and the White House economic adviser. With a sluggish economy and the return of deficit spending, Republican Washington realizes that remaining in power will require an agenda broader than war in Iraq. Democrats, on the other hand, accuse the president of irresponsible tax cuts and a weak domestic policy agenda.

12/18/2002
The Lieberman Factor
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Press Release

The Lieberman Factor

Al Gore read the handwriting on the wall and decided he was not up to a rematch with President Bush. So, he’s gone. We wish him well …. The most obvious immediate beneficiary of the Gore drop out is his former running mate, Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Ct). Now released from a pledge not to run in the primaries against Gore, Lieberman has given every indication that he plans to jump on “the awesome opportunity” he now has to run for President.

12/18/2002
Kenn S. George Joins CSE Board of Directors
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Press Release

Kenn S. George Joins CSE Board of Directors

Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) is proud to announce that Texas businessman and political leader Kenn S. George is joining CSE’s national Board of Directors. Rep. George is a retiring Republican State Representative twice elected to the Texas State House. Representing Dallas (District 108), Rep. George helped lead the conservative agenda in Austin to improve health care for senior citizens, lower taxes, provide local control of education, and promote a stronger business climate.

12/18/2002
Conservative and Free Market Groups Call FTC Do-Not-Call Registry Bad Economic Policy;
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Conservative and Free Market Groups Call FTC Do-Not-Call Registry Bad Economic Policy;

In anticipation of the expected announcement today by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of its proposal to create and monitor a nation wide "do not call" (DNC) list many national conservative and free market organizations have issued their protest, again, to the unprecedented steps of the federal agency. "Today's move by the FTC to go ahead with a national do-not-call list is just bad economic policy. Many businesses, particularly small businesses, and their employees are going to be negatively affected by this move. Congress and the Bush Administration should put a halt to this ill-advised policy," stated Darrell McKigney, President of the Small Business Survival Committee (SBSC). Many experts on state rights, privacy advocates, and heads of free market and conservative organizations have concerns about adding new regulations on the teleservices industry that will have a far reaching impact on small businesses, non profit organizations, and the general public. Seventeen groups signed on to a petition letter to President Bush in June of 2002 adamantly opposing the FTC's proposed DNC list. "While the 'do not call' proposal has become a topic of debate here in Washington, it is not evident that action by the Federal Trade Commission is necessary," stated Paul Beckner, president of Citizens for a Sound Economy. "The FTC's actions raise important questions about free speech and may harm consumers more than they would help them. "As numerous studies have demonstrated, direct business communication to consumers increases awareness of product alternatives, intensifies competition, and lowers prices. Furthermore, many private sector alternatives have developed to address concerns about unsolicited phone calls, including 'hassle-free' credit cards and caller id and call block features from telephone companies. New FTC regulations on commercial speech would not only harm the solicitors, but foreclose the market for private sector alternatives through the creation of a vast database that would compromise consumer privacy in the process." Duane Parde, executive director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, said, "There is absolutely no need for the federal government to enforce such frivolous regulations on to Americans when states are already implementing do-not-call lists, and the free market is providing solutions to block unwanted calls to consumers. The federal government is most assuredly not needed here." ALEC, CSE, and SBSC, represent three of the groups out of 17 that oppose this FTC ruling and signed on to a petition letter to President Bush in June, 2002, urging the President to withdrawal this FTC initiative immediately. Copies of the petition letter available upon request. CONTACT: Stella Harrison, +1-202-431-6461, or stella@stellarstrategies.net, for the Small Business Survival Committee. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X26314665 SOURCE Small Business Survival Committee

12/18/2002
Reforming the Federal Tax Policy Process
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Press Release

Reforming the Federal Tax Policy Process

Cato Institute SummaryWhen government considers raising or cutting taxes, official scorekeepers estimate changes to federal revenues and the distribution of the tax burden. Those estimates are very important in policy discussions regarding the desirability of proposed tax changes. Therefore, it is crucial that policymakers receive the most accurate and complete assessment of the likely effects of tax proposals.

12/17/2002
Healthy Forest Initiative
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Press Release

Healthy Forest Initiative

Submitted via e-mail to: Healthy Forests Initiative, USDA FS Content Analysis Team P.O. Box 221150 Salt Lake City, Utah 84116 Comments on: National Environmental Policy Act Documentation Needed for Fire Management Activities; Categorical Exclusions Notice of Proposed National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures December 16, 2002, (67 FR 77038) Submitted by: Wayne T. Brough, Ph.D. On behalf of:

12/16/2002

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