Voting YES on Measures 66 and 67 will allow tax increases voted by the legislature to go into effect. These tax increases would prevent deeper cuts in education, health and human services and public safety than those already made to address a projected $4 billion shortfall in General Fund revenues. As an educator in higher education, I believe those tax increases are necessary and so a YES vote on Measures 66 and 67 is critical.
Every child in Oregon deserves a chance to get a world-class education from the day they're born until the day they graduate from college. This should be considered a human right, rather than a privilege. Quality education provides a secure foundation for the creation of jobs, reduces the crime rate, promotes health, and makes for more civic participation in society. An educated population helps support the United States as a world leader in creativity, entrepreneurship, and competitiveness.
Yet funding for education and other vital services has continually eroded for the last two decades, threatening not only the quality of life in Oregon but also our economic security and the future of generations of Oregonians. Oregon is one of the few states where corporations give so little back in taxes to enhance the security and well being of the communities they depend upon. In every state where even slightly higher corporate taxes have been proposed, some corporations have threatened to flee the state, or have used the media to peddle the fear of economic ruin. Yet these scenarios do not come to pass because of modest increases in corporate and business taxes. They come to pass when businesses and corporations can no longer depend on hiring a well-educated workforce, or when a state's increasingly fragile social and physical infrastructure makes a move out of state inevitable.
In terms of education, Oregon and the United States have reached a turning point in history -- we as a society need to decide if we are willing to invest in the future of our children.
Businesses and corporations benefit from a well-educated Oregon population, yet too many are unwilling to make the modest investment measures 66 and 67 would require.
China, India, Japan and South Korea all are nations that have decided to invest in their children to prepare them well for future participation in the global economy. Oregonians should not settle for a state where a large portion of the population does not have the chance for a comparable education. Such an education is a treasure that we can give to future generations of Oregonians, so that they - and their families and communities -- may prosper and thrive in the global economy. This is just one reason why Oregonians need to send a strong message to future investors by voting YES on Measures 66 and 67.
Oregon State University Chapter
American Association of University Professors