Letters to the editor for January 7, 2013

By Observer Upload January 08, 2013 07:44 am


Tax dollar giveaway

To the Editor:

My name is Mike Morehead and I taught school in La Grande from 1973 to 2003. 

My wife, Sandra, and I raised four children on my teacher’s salary, while she stayed at home to be with the children. 

With 16 years of teaching under my belt, if it was not for my summer job with Boise Cascade, my children would have qualified for free lunches. 

After retiring in the spring of 2003, I went to work for Boise Cascade, full time in the woods. I now have my own business and do contract work for Boise Cascade, full time in the woods. I do contract work in the woods for Hancock Timber Management, who purchased Boise’s timberlands, later owned by Forest Capital Partners. 

When I finish with this letter, I will write you a check for $8,033.13, which will be approximately 20 percent of my business income this year.

I used to be proud to say that I lived in the state of Oregon. That is no longer true. I tolerate it because all of my family lives here. We have lived and worked here for just under 100 years. 

My grandfather, Bruce Morehead, came here in the late teens and worked his lifetime in the timber industry. My dad, Paul Morehead, worked in the industry and the harvest on federal ground is but a small fraction of what it was in the past. 

It seems that we would rather watch our federal forests die and fall down, or burn to the ground, than to responsibly harvest them, producing more jobs and a sizable income for our schools and counties, not to mention healthier forests. 

Now we use tax dollars to subsidize counties for the lack of logging on federal forests. And now with the huge amount of tax dollars we give away freely to those who choose to make welfare a “way of life,” instead of a “hand up,” is it any wonder why we are in the state of affairs we are in? 

That goes triple for our federal government and their inability to control spending. We are now doing exactly the same thing to a huge number of our own people that the government did to the Indians some time ago; and that is taking away all incentive to work.

Several years ago, I changed from being a Democrat to a Republican. One of the many reasons I chose to do so, was something that was written in their platform long ago, and I roughly quote, “Never build yourself up by tearing another man down.” 

The state of Oregon, John Kitzhaber, the PERS Overpayment Recovery Team, and a judge are doing exactly that.

I hope this solves your problems but sadly, I feel you will have your hands in my pockets again.

Mike Morehead

La Grande