Oregonian editorial board: 2013 agenda
12:00
The Oregonian: 
Welcome to our live chat. Mark and Eric will join us in a minute. Keep in mind that there will be a short delay between the submission of your question or comment and its appearance in the chat.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:00 The Oregonian
12:03
Erik Lukens: 
Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us. We've written editorials on three agenda items so far - PERS, tax reform and business climate - and have three to go - education, the CCR and personal freedom. What do you think of the things we've chosen, and what should we have chosen that we left out?
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:03 Erik Lukens
12:03
[Comment From Benjamin BarberBenjamin Barber: ] 
Does the oregonian employ an econometrician, or use one when formulating its agenda?
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:03 Benjamin Barber
12:03
Erik Lukens: 
Uh, oh. what is an econometrician? You've exceeded the depth of my vocabulary.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:03 Erik Lukens
12:04
[Comment From Benjamin BarberBenjamin Barber: ] 
As an editorial board, what sort of peer reviewed research goes into your agenda?
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:04 Benjamin Barber
12:04
Erik Lukens: 
We don't do peer review research. We're a group of five relatively well-informed writers with the capacity to do some good reporting.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:04 Erik Lukens
12:05
[Comment From BailieBailie: ] 
Firstly, thank you for pressing these issues in a timely manner. It is felt by many that Gov. Kitzhaber is making show of good faith to be in front of the PERS problem. Will the real push be to raise property taxes in some way
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:05 Bailie
12:05
Erik Lukens: 
Bailie: In a word, yes. There will be a serious push this session ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:05 Erik Lukens
12:05
[Comment From GaryGary: ] 
What is going on with PERS
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:05 Gary
12:06
Erik Lukens: 
to address property taxes in ways that increase equity and - incidentally - either raise lots of money directly ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:06 Erik Lukens
12:06
Erik Lukens: 
or allow taxpayers to do it themselves. We support some of what's on the table, but not all of it.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:06 Erik Lukens
12:06
[Comment From BailieBailie: ] 
I do not expect any reforms of PERS that will significantly place a dent in the PERS problem. What is "Plan B"?
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:06 Bailie
12:06
Erik Lukens: 
Bailie: What is PERS plan B? We talked this morning to representatives of ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:06 Erik Lukens
12:07
Erik Lukens: 
AFSCME, who have about 25,000 members in the state, mostly at local and county governments. ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:07 Erik Lukens
12:07
[Comment From Benjamin BarberBenjamin Barber: ] 
an econometrician is a combination of an economist and a mathematician, which is qualified to analyze correlations in economic activity.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:07 Benjamin Barber
12:07
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
How about the political divide of metro oregon vs rural oregon and how the decisions in urban oregon effect rural oregon?
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:07 Guest
12:07
Erik Lukens: 
Plan A for them (and maybe Plan B for some lawmakers?) is to do nothing that cuts benefits, but, rather, stretch out the amortization period of the unfunded liability to 30 years. In other words ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:07 Erik Lukens
12:07
Erik Lukens: 
kick the can down the road.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:07 Erik Lukens
12:08
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Can you just explain who an editorial board works? How does it differ from journalism? How are you separate from the newsroom? And do you just write down your opinions or do you research a given topic and then form an opinion?
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:08 Guest
12:09
Erik Lukens: 
Guest; How an editorial board works. Big topic. Its members include me, Mark Hester, Len Reed, Susan Nielsen, David Sarasohn and, in an oversight capacity, publisher Chris Anderson ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:09 Erik Lukens
12:09
Erik Lukens: 
We meet daily and decide what we're going to write about, usually on a rolling weekly schedule, and ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:09 Erik Lukens
12:09
[Comment From BailieBailie: ] 
"Plan B" is anything that will put into the public sector that will replace the drain from PERS over the next decade.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:09 Bailie
12:09
Mark Hester: 
Guest: There's only so much you can do to bridge he urban-rural divide, but Gov. Kitzhaber is at least trying with efforts such as his public lands task force.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:09 Mark Hester
12:10
[Comment From JCJC: ] 
What are the dynamics of the post-secondary education turf wars? What are your predictions?
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:10 JC
12:10
Erik Lukens: 
set about reporting and writing. Our team, which is separate from the news team headed by Peter Bhatia, includes some very experienced reporters and former news-side editors.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:10 Erik Lukens
12:10
[Comment From Benjamin BarberBenjamin Barber: ] 
in regards to peer reviewed research: meaning if your going to state that something is good or bad for the economy, do you base those assumptions on rhetoric or on a scientific empirical basis
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:10 Benjamin Barber
12:11
Mark Hester: 
JJC: By turf wars, I assume you're talking about the debate over local boards. PSU and UO want them; OSU and the small colleges don't.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:11 Mark Hester
12:11
Erik Lukens: 
Ben Barber re. peer review. Well, we don't have our own economic supercomputer or anything, but we do our own reporting, and the person who writes most of our economic editorials, Mark Hester, is a former Oregonian business editor and has an MBA. I'd say he's pretty well qualified.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:11 Erik Lukens
12:11
Mark Hester: 
JC: I'm not big into predictions, but Sen. Peter Courtney, who's skeptical of local boards, told us he thinks it'll happen in some form.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:11 Mark Hester
12:11
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Why not talk about it? May urban voters may not realize the impact their vote has on rural oregonians
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:11 Guest
12:12
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Why are Oregonians so opposed to the sales tax? The current Oregon tax system penalizes savers, with high income tax and no sales tax.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:12 Guest
12:13
Mark Hester: 
Guest: Not sure what you mean "why not talk"? I commended the governor for trying to get people to talk. I'm just skeptical on how much progress can be made. The two groups of voters see the world very differently.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:13 Mark Hester
12:13
Erik Lukens: 
Guest re. sales tax. There are two reasons, I think, that Oregonians oppose a sales tax. One is that they don't trust government not to raise ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:13 Erik Lukens
12:13
Erik Lukens: 
a new tax like a sales tax once it's established. The other ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:13 Erik Lukens
12:13
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
There are big interstate bridges all over the country. It’s not like it’s never been done before. So why has the CRC planning been such a disaster?
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:13 Guest
12:13
[Comment From Floyd SmithFloyd Smith: ] 
Why was replacing the over 100-year-old swingspan on the BNSF rail bridge with a modern lift span not considered before endorsing the flawed CRC? A lift span on the BNSF bridge would have eliminated most of the lifts on the existing Interstate vehicle bridges.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:13 Floyd Smith
12:13
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
It seems to me the urban rural divide is- The rural right, blocks taxes, which limits social programs that the urban left wants. Taxes get blocked because the state is essentially poor by west coast standards and that is in part because the urban left blocks economic development with environmental laws, landuse laws, nimbyism, etc. No one wants to compromise, things are just in a deadlock. Washington state does not seem to be this way so much.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:13 Guest
12:14
Erik Lukens: 
is that a sales tax is regressive. A lot of people don't like the idea of charging someone who makes $45,000 per year the same tax for a widget than guy who makes $500,000 per year.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:14 Erik Lukens
12:14
[Comment From Jody WiserJody Wiser: ] 
Today’s paper gave great news on the jobs and wages, and on the fact that start-ups are staying in Oregon when bought up by bigger companies. I don’t understand why your editorials are focusing so on the Oregon business climate as though it is a big issue that the legislature must address. Where we are failing is in class size, school year length, and school success.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:14 Jody Wiser
12:15
Erik Lukens: 
Jody Wiser: Business climate is important because businesses - which create jobs, which create tax revenue - care about it. And without tax revenue etc., you can't do much to reduce class size etc. Pretty straightforward, I think.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:15 Erik Lukens
12:15
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Any chance Kitz and Co. will recommend a sales tax and voters will actually pass it?
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:15 Guest
12:16
Mark Hester: 
Guest: There's not a simple answer, but here are a few factors. Oregon is REALLY into process, which provides more opportunity for squabbles over details. Two states are involved, which isn't unique, but in this case the two primary communities (Portland and Vancouver) have some significant political differences. And there's a stronger architectural lobby here than in many places, which led to a LOT of debate over how the bridge would look.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:16 Mark Hester
12:16
Erik Lukens: 
Guest re. sales tax: Though we'd like to see a sales tax, as would the governor and lots of other people, ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:16 Erik Lukens
12:16
Erik Lukens: 
I wouldn't put any money on it passing, at least now. ...
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:16 Erik Lukens
12:16
Erik Lukens: 
We talked this morning with Ken Allen from AFSCME, who's been meeting with business folks and the governor's staff ..
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:16 Erik Lukens
12:16
[Comment From LeoLeo: ] 
Sales tax regression can be addressed through exemptions. And the argument about not trusting the Legislature doesn't square with actual practice. The Legislature doesn't have the political will to raise taxes without referring it to the people.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:16 Leo
12:17
[Comment From GaryGary: ] 
I think public employees have earned their retirement and should be paid it
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:17 Gary
12:17
Erik Lukens: 
to discuss tax reform, and he said focus group input makes a sales tax look highly unlikely. But it's still worth trying, I think. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:17 Erik Lukens
12:17
[Comment From Benjamin BarberBenjamin Barber: ] 
An MBA is qualified to manage small business and not an economy, if the purpose of paper is to serve the public good, doesn't it behoove the paper to at least public scientifically accurate statements about the economy? Many of the articles that are written, use faulty assumptions some contrary to fact Ex: lower income taxes, sales taxes, nike single sales factor, business climate, CRC
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:17 Benjamin Barber
12:17
Mark Hester: 
Floyd: In the early stages, many options were considered, probably including something similar to what you propose. Not sure the specific reasons that was rejected.
Wednesday January 9, 2013 12:17 Mark Hester
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