Without the tax surcharge, schools will be diminished, vulnerable will sufferThe ballot in your hands is about the fate of Oregonians who are the most vulnerable - young people, the disabled and the elderly. The responsible vote on Measure 30 is "yes." Those who urge you to vote "no" are comfortable with our state becoming an Appalachia of the West, with poor schools, few social services and a crumbling infrastructure.

The process of diminishing our schools and communities began more than 10 years ago, with Measure 5. After more than a decade of this, the public schools, the law enforcement sector, higher education and human welfare are significantly diminished. Oregon school children today do not have the opportunities their parents and grandparents enjoyed.

That is the blueprint for a society and a culture in decline. Those who urge you to vote "no" on Measure 30 want to continue the process of penalizing Oregon and Oregonians.

The price of Measure 30 is small. The average tax surcharge is $85 per year for a household.

The income tax surcharge became the strategy of the 2003 Oregon Legislature. Republicans and Democrats agreed on this package.

Former Republican Gov. Vic Atiyeh urged the legislature to enact a tax surcharge, as a replica of what he asked for in 1970, during a deep recession. Republican state Chairman Kevin Mannix also urged his Republican colleagues to enact a surcharge. Now Mannix leads the opposition to the tax surcharge. Mannix' drive is supplemented by a national campaign, directed from Washington, D.C.

It is hard to argue with fiction, and that is what Mannix is peddling.

Mannix wrote in Sunday's edition of The Oregonian that "We can defeat this tax and still fund our kids' education, protect our seniors and help our most vulnerable citizens." That is fiction, and Mannix knows it. There is no secret stash of money, and government services have already been severely trimmed.

A majority of those who served in the 2003 Oregon Legislature, the longest in history, know that Kevin Mannix is lying. They struggled with the fiscal and budgetary challenge for eight months, and the income tax surcharge was their solution, having found nowhere else to cut.

Mannix' big lie suits his political needs. His is one of the most irresponsible public acts of the last five decades.

Voting "no" on Measure 30 will consign the school children of Clatsop County to more cuts in school days and teaching staff. Anyone who tells you the school districts are top heavy with administrators hasn't been paying attention to the cuts of the past 12 years. Or they are lying.

We urge a "yes" vote on Measure 30.

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