Fifteen years ago, when I moved my medical product manufacturing company to Oregon, the California minimum corporate tax was $800. In Oregon it was $10.

I didn't move my company to take advantage of Oregon's comically low minimum corporate tax rate; I doubt any legitimate corporation would. Inversely, I don't think any viable Oregon corporation would relocate because the minimum tax rate has risen from $10 to the only slightly less laughable $150. — Mike Mooney, president, Mooney & Co. Inc.

I am perplexed by Sen. Ron Wyden's position on the "public option."

His Web site states that he's not opposed to a public option — as long as there are competitive private plans available. Well, that is nonsense to me; there will always be private plans available and they will always compete with each other (in meaningless ways). The only way that insurance companies will be truly competitive is if there is at least one major player whose business model isn't built around ripping off the public.

Health cooperatives are a cute idea — but effectively useless without large national scale. Not having a public option would be like taking the U.S. Postal Service away and expecting private parcel carriers' rates to stay flat. I don't see any logical reasoning for Wyden's position on this critical point — other than to kowtow to "big medical."

I urge everyone that wants meaningful health-care reform to contact Sen. Wyden and give support to the "public option" at this critical time and help break the connection between big money and policy. — Brandon Shirley, Medford

Rogue Valley community organizations have worked for years to increase Oregonians' access to quality, affordable health care. Today, we offer our heartfelt thanks for Sen. Alan Bates' commitment and leadership in health-care reform. With last week's successful passage of HB 2009 in the Legislature, Oregon takes a significant step forward to address the enormous problems in our fragmented and dysfunctional health-care system.

Sen. Bates has courageously championed HB 2009 to extend, over the next few years, health care to the 600,000 people in our state who are without health insurance. We are proud of that achievement, and we will continue to stand with him to implement these new reforms for the benefit of all Oregonians. — Bev DeLeonardis, Oregon Action; Nan Trout, Jackson County Democratic Party; June Buck and Barbara Hodgson, OEA and OEA retirees; John Forsyth, M.D.; Laure Collins, SEIU; and Dagoberto Morales, UNETE

"$800 million tax increase needed to make up for revenue shortfalls." What is not said is that there was a proposed alternate that would not require a tax increase.

The Back to Basics Budget Plan (www.leg.state.or.us/senaterepublicans/budget_brief.pdf) was based upon the 2007-'09 budget. Two types of additional funds were included: $941 million in federal stimulus money and $436 million in rainy day funds. It would also use $500 million from the ending balances of agencies that receive "other funds." On June 30, 2009, those accounts are projected to have balances of more than $2.5 billion.

The Back to Basics Budget would increase spending on education and fully fund the new Oregon State Police troopers, phased in during 2007-'09. It also increased spending on human services by more than $500 million to compensate for increased caseloads based on the economic downturn. The current leadership in the house refused to allow it on the floor for a vote.

If we want good jobs, Oregon must become more friendly to business. When asked, I will sign a petition to bring this to a vote in November and I will remember who did and did not vote for these tax increases. — Sharon Keppler, Eagle Point

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