Do they have to rub it in?

Regular readers of this blog know of my strange fascination with the glossy election porn that shows up in Portlanders' mailboxes just before they vote. Full of cute photos and colorful graphics, these infernal mailers, often paid for with tax dollars, have duped voters into installing many a terrible politician into office and sold many a disastrous ballot measure.

Taxes in particular get rosy treatment in election porn. And Portlanders hardly ever vote no on those. Head tax for the arts, county income tax for "preschool for all" (such a lie that was), local gas tax, property tax increases galore – no problem whatsoever. Soon we'll be voting on yet another county income tax to fund deadbeat tenants' lawyers. And right around the corner is a new taxing district for basic city park maintenance. Meanwhile, the socialists sit around drinking beer and thinking up new taxes (I am not making that up), and the sheep can't get enough of them. Then they wonder why their rents are so high.

You get resigned to the election porn and the taxes after a while. Back when Portland was a nice, clean, safe place to live, it seemed like a fair trade-off. Nowadays you wonder why you're staying here.

Anyway, lo and behold, this month a new type of political porn has hit our mailbox. Now they're selling us on taxes that have already passed and are entering their third year! Here's the latest pitch for the hideous Metro "homeless" tax, which is driving $200 million a year off a cliff:

Those figures at the bottom of the first side are worth further probing. What are "eviction preventions," rent subsidies? And with $300 million to blow, they set up only 1175 shelter beds? 

Even adding up all their rosy numbers, they can only get to about 13,500 goodies. Dividing that into the $300 million, you get around $22,000 a pop over 18 months. And driving around Portland, it's hard to believe that any real progress has been made.

Oh well, the main message is clear: Pay up, all your upper-middle-class folks and higher, if you want to keep living in the Portland area. Either that or get out. And take your dirty, filthy car with you.


  1. It seems especially easy to pass a tax that applies to someone else, someone who “can afford it” (e.g., higher incomes, or capital gains). Worth remembering is that well-off people who still live in Portland have other options.

  2. I live in unincorporated Skamania County, with a Washougal address, and got one of these, addressed to 'resident.' Did they send them out to the entire US population?

  3. Now what is the definition of insanity? Electing the same people and expecting a different result?


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