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Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow SMITH SHOULD GET BEHIND MEASURE 30


Polls have been consistently showing Measure 30, the income tax surcharge, going down to defeat. But the most recent survey showed that the gap is narrowing, with 48 percent opposed to the surcharge and 39 percent in favor.

As more people learn about the reasonable cost — most Oregonians would pay about $36 a year — of the tax versus what impact its failure would have on schools, human services and public safety, the gap is sure to narrow even more.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski has signed on to campaign for the surcharge because he has come to recognize the impact that more cuts will have on services. But because the tax was a bipartisan product, Republicans, too, need to step up and help convince taxpayers of the consequences should the measure fail. And who better to help lead that effort than U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore.

Although Smith's responsibility is representing Oregon in Washington, D.C., he is an Oregonian and commands a great deal of respect among his constituents. Too, as a former state senator and Oregon Senate president — one who helped forge solutions rather than divisions — he is well aware of the state's responsibilities when it comes to funding public services.

No one in Oregon could help tilt Measure 30 toward approval more than Smith could. For the sake of Oregon, he needs to step up on this issue.

Appropriate honor

Time magazine did not select one person as its Person of the Year for 2003, as it did two years ago. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was chosen 2001 Person of the Year. And it did not select three people, as it did last year when it named Coleen Rowley, an FBI agent who criticized the agency, and Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins, who blew the whistle on corruption at corporate giants Enron and WorldCom.

The 2003 Person of the Year are the 1.4 million men and women in the U.S. military. It's interesting that Time did not narrow its selection to the thousands of service men and women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, the two focal points in President Bush's war on terrorists and tyrant dictators.

The honor goes to the entire military, from private to general, from seaman to admiral. Naming all the military is a recognition that our armed service members stand together as one. In the wake of Sept. 11, it's good to know that the men and women in our nation's military are ready to protect and serve our nation wherever needed.

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