Fatal Conceit

Dennis Linthicum

Fatal Conceit


  Oregonians are keenly aware that there has been trouble brewing in Salem’s marbled halls. Metro-centric Democrats have achieved super-majority standing in both Legislative Chambers. While in the minority, Republicans, like myself, have sound fiscal and legitimate policy perspectives, and like all minorities, we deserve to be heard. But that has not been the case this legislative session when my colleagues and I have been run over and bullied time and time again! Our ideas are ignored, and our voices remain muted.

    The game has been rigged, especially for important bills like HB 2020, the carbon tax bill. The Democrats claim this is an emergency, and everyone needs to pitch their money into the pot. Yet, the committee hearings were slanted towards the proponent’s perspective. “Invited testimony only”–sessions were scheduled and packed with “expert panels” whose goals were to enlighten the masses and give credence to only one-side of the discussion.

    Even the typical “public-hearing” got the squeeze and this happens across all committees. For example, during testimony for a bill dealing with water rights (SB 977-1), farmers and ranchers, some of whom traveled 5 hours to testify, were given 60 seconds to explain their position. The pretense is that the only solution that can save us, our resources and our planet is the government’s solution. Of course, this necessarily means giving the government control over us, our resources and our planet.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The time to guard against corruption and tyranny, is before they shall have gotten hold of us.” Therefore, the perfect response, is to deny the Democrat super-majority a quorum for advancing their one-sided efforts. As the Republican Whip for the minority party, I think denying quorum is an effective tactic and a perfectly appropriate decision for Republicans.

    Our action has elicited claims that, “Republicans aren’t doing their jobs and should return to work.” Think about it, would the presence of a couple of Republican “NO” votes make HB2020 less onerous or costly? Would those Republican “NO” votes cause the well-connected cronies to lose their exemptions or their windfall profits?

    No, the game has been rigged and the turmoil and angst that the Democrats are displaying is due to Republican Senators successfully derailing their runaway government-growth train. Continued support for ramming HB 2020 down the line comes from those scurrying for the largess they’ve been promised. After all, $550 million during the first year can buy a freight load of support, flattery and sycophancy.

    On a more fundamental note, what makes any person believe that the law would become more legitimate if an extra 11 Senators were forced to sit in the Chamber wearing their prison garb?

    The Democrat super-majority is advocating for the round-up and capture of elected representatives by the Oregon State Police. Additionally, they are proposing to fine each of us $500 per day. Then, to drive the knife deeper into the wound, the Senate President scheduled floor sessions for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which allowed the super-majority to levy an extra three days of fines. The sheer level of avarice is stupefying.

Oregon 11


To illustrate, let’s roll through the new taxes, fees and burdens placed on businesses and people. The Democrat super-majority initiated state-wide rent control, which dampens the supply of affordable housing and chases away real estate investors. This is quite ironic because their goal is to increase affordable housing within Oregon.

    Then, they banned plastic straws, followed by a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags like those used at the grocery store. Remember, there was a time when paper bags were outlawed. Back then, the chant was, “Save the Planet, ban paper bags.” Today, we hear the same chant, “Save the Planet, ban plastic bags.” Which will it be, paper or plastic? Why is it so distasteful, to the super-majority, to allow the consumer to choose?

    Additionally, the progressives passed a gigantic tax and spend initiative, which instituted a Gross Sales Tax without a single Republican vote. House Bill 3427 was disguised as an education funding bill, but without a constitutional amendment, the funds can be spent anywhere. Officially called a Corporate Activities Tax, the effect of this Gross Sales gimmick will be felt across all business and trickle down to the paying customer.

    Not content with just tearing up real estate opportunities and “funding” education, the progressive Democrats pretend they can curb rising health care costs by raising $380 million in taxes from hospitals and health insurers. The idea that inflicting $380 million in additional taxes will lower the cost of healthcare is patently absurd.

    The cache of taxes raised by the Democrat super-majority in this legislative session will extract $750 per man, woman and child, or $3000 for a family of four, per year.

    When will it end? Now!


    First, it is time the Democrat super-majority returned freedom back to the people of Oregon. Second, the authoritarians ought to take a page from the Original Star Wars trilogy and realize that the more they tighten their grip, the more people will slip through their fingers.

    As F. A. Hayek argued, socialism has always failed due to internal errors in its assessment of factual evidence, logical assumptions and historical understanding. We have observed its gross failures many times during this past century. These failures have occurred across many nations, cultures and ethnicities and all point to the errors in the starting assumptions. Hayek notes this is the “fatal conceit” of the political class – the idea that rule-makers are able to shape the world around themselves, according to their legislative wishes and desires.

    The legislative mandates inside of HB 2020, the gas and emissions tax, are nothing but a blunt force, trauma inducing tool to force tax-payers into compliance while extracting their hard-won earnings into the pockets of the well-connected. This legislation is not about “climate change.” It is about money. Oregon has one of the lowest carbon emissions rates in America. This is just another way to grab billions of dollars out of the pockets of Oregonians.

   At America’s founding, John Dickinson writes about Spain, where money, for a single emergency, was needed. “The request was violently opposed by the best and wisest men in the assembly.” But they caved and, “this single concession was a PRECEDENT for other concessions of the like kind… until the people ceased to be free.” (emphasis in the original)

    Unlike those in Dickinson’s account, I will never cave.

    Thank you, for supporting the “Oregon 11,” as we stand for Liberty, freedom, sound policy, and fiscal responsibility!

Remember, if we don't stand for rural-Oregon values and common sense - No one will!

Rally at the Capital - Thursday, June 27, 2019

Senator Dennis Linthicum signature

Dennis Linthicum
Oregon State Senate 28

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1728
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-305, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: sen.DennisLinthicum@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/linthicum