I happen to catch Bob Tiernan on the radio today while driving across town. He touched on the extravagant, gold-plated state healthcare benefits that the public employees unions are spending millions to defend. He opined that if State of Oregon workers would agree to accept benefits on the level of State of Washington employees, we'd see hundreds of millions of dollars in savings in the state's budget. All good thoughtful points. Couldn't agree more.
But then the conversation turned to a specific example of how M66/67 would impact small employers and their businesses. Apparently a small town doctor had called into the program yesterday, talking about how he has been forced to shut down his clinic because skyrocketing expenses had made it unprofitable.
The clinic grossed about $1M in revenue. After all the expenses are paid for (payroll, malpractice insur, taxes, ect) the doc took home about $1,700 for the entire year... no hidden perks, nada. He was subsidizing the practice out of his own pocket. Not only is he forced to close his doors, but he gets to pay retroactive taxes on the gross receipts. Enough to vote no on this point alone, right?
While in this instance, shuttering the doctor's practice was not directly caused by M66,67, the example is indicative of the challenges small businesses across the state are going through. Simply put, a small business owner can show millions in revenue and be flat-out broke. This fact, in and of itself, is reason enough to vote down the measures.
But this still doesn't capture broader, more harmful impact that a change in business behavior has on a community. Individuals, subcontractors and small companies depend on medium and large company spending as their lifeblood.
What's the evidence? You know the stats all too well: 1-in-5 can't find full-time work... 650,000 Oregonians on food stamps... and the list goes on. Behind those stats are small business folks who USED do work for larger businesses; who USED to pay their mortgages; who USED to be able to afford health insurance, who USED to contribute to the food banks instead of depending on them, who USED to employ other Oregonians.
posted 3 years, 4 months ago
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