Dennis Richardson Thinks We're Stupid
Did you get Spam King Richardson’s latest email? (Considering that he has at least half a million email addresses, there’s a good chance you did.)
If you thought Richardson’s spam emails were offensive and intellectually dishonest before, wait till you get a look at his latest one:
Richardson wrote 1000+ words in support of Kevin Mannix’ so-called “Death Tax Repeal”—a proposed initiative for the November ballot—and yet had the gall to claim that he’s taking no position. How does that work? Richardson suggests that he’s giving a run-down of both sides of the arguments and encourages “you to decide” what you think is right.
In support of the repeal, Richardson wrote unsubstantiated claims, including “the tax may be driving existing businesses out of Oregon” (italics mine), and copied-and-pasted text from a report published by Eric Fruits and Randall Pozdena, two economists whose work is repeatedly and consistently denounced by their field as “not reflecting the professional standards of academic scholarship.” (Pozdena was one of the guys who claimed that Measures 66 &67 would cost Oregon 70,000 jobs, when in reality we gained 24,000 private sector jobs. So he was off by only, oh, 134%.)
In opposition to the repeal, Richardson provides nothing. “I was unable to discover any professional analysis of why Oregon should retain its death tax laws,” he wrote.
(Leave aside for now that there are news articles every single day detailing how desperately our state needs more dollars for schools, police, and other community needs – instead of more tax breaks for the wealthy.) Here are just a few of the reports in opposition to this bad policy that a simple Google search revealed:
- A report from Oregon Center for Public Policy, which shows that very few Oregonians are subject to estate taxes.
- A report from the think tank that shows some of the harmful effects the economy would suffer if an estate tax were to be repealed or nearly-repealed.
- A Basic Fact Sheet on the Oregon Estate Tax and “6 Good Reasons why the Estate Tax is Good for Oregonians” from an Oregon nonprofit organization.
So: Richardson used his newsletter to publish one-sided reports in favor of the repeal and was “unable to discover” any reports in support. Yes, this sounds as though he really wants you to decide based on facts.
The timing is also… curious. It looked to me exactly like he’s running an ad for the measure, just before the signature qualification deadline occurs on July 6.
But, no, protests Richardson. “Although I am not giving my opinion on the proposed Initiative (Death Tax Phase-Out Act), I am hoping to get yours. I am taking this subject up at this time because of the letter from former Governor Atiyeh. If you have not read his letter, it is worth your time to do so. (To see Gov. Atiyeh’s letter, Click Here.)”
Ohhhh, I see. It makes so much sense now: the Representative is not running an advertisement for the repeal of the Estate tax at all. He’s simply directing you to look at the ad that someone else ran.