Conservative News & Commentary

May 20, 2015 — by: G.W. Washington
Categories: Government

Voting-boothOn Tuesday, May 19th, Klamath County voters defeated ballot measure 18-100 (Klamath Jail Levy) and approved 18-101 (OSU Extension Center Levy). The Klamath Jail Levy (also known as the Public Safety Levy) asked tax payers to trust County Commissioners with a potential $1.14/$1,000 addition to their property taxes. Proponents claimed this would ensure secure jail funding for the next 5 years. Opponents claimed that the County had other ways of funding the jail without further burdening tax payers — and that is exactly what the county had been doing for the past four years. Opponents won this battle 59% to 41%.

Levy 18-10 (aka OSU Extension Center Levy or KBREC) was a different story with claims that farmers would go out of business and 4-H would cease to exist if the levy was not passed. Opponents claimed that if farmers needed such services they could pay for them without tax payer subsidies and that 4-H would be better off without government involvement. Voters approved the levy by a closer vote of 53% to 46%.

But while some celebrate the defeat of the Jail levy, the fact that our taxes now increase another $0.15/$1,000 on top of the increases of over $1.00/$1,000 for either county or city school building projects is, in the end, a loss. Klamath County moved more towards socialism, just on a slower path than some would like, but certainly in that direction. The KBREC levy offers the same set of services that were available before, but now at an increased cost to all. What's worse is that only a small subset of the community benefit from KBREC which is paid for by all. That's great if you are the few on the receiving end, not so great if you are stuck with the bill.

However, what the newspaper and the television reports will fail to mention (or certainly de-emphasize) was the lack of voter turn out. Does it seem right that out of roughly 32,000 eligible voters that only 7,000 decided we should pay more taxes? That’s 25% telling 100% what to do. Does that sound like democracy, or even a representative republic to you? No, that is more like an oligarchy or a socialist state where the minority tells the majority what their tax bill should be and then slant services to benefit the minority.

Socialism thrives on lack of participation. Socialism is always in the minority and if socialists can discourage the majority from showing up, then they can set the agenda to transform America into some great utopia of their liking.

The Solution

We need to stop the minority from ruling over all. No board of directors — from the smallest non-profit to the largest fortune 500 company — operates this way. Matter of fact no legislative body operates this way. Even our county commissioners and city councils do not operate this way. If any of these organizations do not have a 50.1% of their membership show up to vote, then any voting that takes place is null and void. Why? It is called a Quorum. It means that in order for any vote to be valid, over 50% of the voting membership must vote.

This is a great concept, and it is exactly why it is used in every board room and every congress across the country. A quorum requirement ensures that the majority of members speak in order to make something valid. In both ballots yesterday, only 25% of the voters spoke. For whatever reason 75% did not return a ballot. If a quorum of voters had been in place both levies would have been defeated because the 50.1% minimum of voters was not fulfilled. This eliminates the minority from ruling. It brings the march of socialism by tax increase to a crawl. In order for a new tax to pass it means people really have to care about it, care about it enough to return a ballot. Is that not what we want? Real voter participation, instead of 25% deciding what is best?

If board rooms requires a quorum of board members, and legislatures require a quorum of legislatures, then why should we not require a quorum of voters in order to pass additional taxes that effect all? The answer is we should.


  1. Paul Clark ~ May. 20, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

    Levy 18-101 was misrepresented by the group against it, and the taxpayers saw right through it. Everyone in Klamath County uses the services of the extension office at one time or another. Whenever you find a bug or fungus you can't identify, where do you go? If you are planting a lawn and want to know what soil additives are needed for your particular soil, where do you go? The extension center has a map of every lot in Klamath County and the type of soil. I know for a fact that my neighbors soil is different than mine because of the studies done by them. They also help feed many people in Klamath County, and the money spent for the extension service is used directly for the community garden; not through the pockets of the skimmers before it reaches the people. I personally can't believe anyone would vote against it, but as Bart Simpson once said, "You can't fix stupid!" #
  2. Conservative Sam ~ May. 20, 2015 @ 5:01 pm

    Paul, my friend, I think you assume too much. I have lived in Klamath for over 10 years now, and not once have I used the Extension Office. So your belief that “everyone in Klamath County uses the services” is not accurate. In addition for the bug/fungus problem I would never think of calling a government bureaucracy but a business that specializes in bug or fungus removal. For plant and soil advice, I'd go to my local nursery. The private sector has all of these things covered and yet I will pay more next year in taxes for services I never will use and that we have already seen, the private sector provides. If you want to use the Extension Center, fantastic. But you pay for it, and all the others who want to use it. But for those of us who don't, we should not be forced to pay for a service that does nothing to benefit our lives. The path we are on leads to socialism and the decline of our great nation -- forcing the majority to pay for what the minority wants through coercion of government. #
  3. Liberty Larry ~ May. 20, 2015 @ 5:58 pm

    Oops, Paul, you'll have to come up with better examples than those. Conservative Sam hit that softball out of the park. The worst part is that we are growing government not the private sector. Then, the Commissioners, like Bellet and Minty-Morris invest our property tax revenue into some version of a "Shark Tank" or "Blue Zone" in attempts to grow private businesses in Klamath County. Hmmm..., Let's see cut off my arm to try to get another one sown on that works as well as the original. I say, "Let industry survive by allowing the risk-takers to keep their rewards because taxing them to keep bureaucrats and their retirement accounts fully funded doesn't create the economic flourishing which the proponents tout." In fact, there might not be anything available for corporate skimmers but that is only because the government takers are so efficient that there aren't even scraps left at the table. #
  4. Fred Starkey ~ May. 22, 2015 @ 1:47 pm

    I think all of you should read "The Law" by F.Bastiat. You will better understand your opposition. You did a good job defeating the property tax issue. Now it's time to reduce taxes, no just stop them for rising. I have 3 ways we can do this. 1.Equal opportunity, 2. PERS employment Bonds, and 3: 21st century education through the internet. The curriculum for elementary school is available for free through Ron Paul School. All books can be downloaded for the cost of paper and ink. That will save $10,000 + per student per year. I will expand on this in another article. Reducing taxes will spur growth and increase employment. Cheers,Fred Starkey #
  5. Carol Warren ~ May. 28, 2015 @ 1:33 pm

    We won the big issue, lost the small one, I can live with that. "Next Time" looms in front of us, it always does. The way to win is get more people educated in the issues & to vote! Ths is a problem, whether it's local or national elections. We must figure out how to get people interested/involved so they will vote. This is imperative for next year's Presidential elections. A big part of the blame goes to Priests & Pastors, all across the Country. GOD gave us this Freedom, and HE expects us to maintain it. He will allow us to lose our Liberty. These people say "GOD is in control, just leave it to Him." This is true - except in our elections. GOD gave us the Freedom to choose! Too many people don't even know the difference between Democrat & Republican, liberal & conservative. So sad #

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