The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, May 27, 2015, Page 2, Image 2

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
Robert B.
American Voices
Letters to the Editor…
The Nugget welcomes contributions from its readers, which must include the writer’s name, address and phone
number. Letters to the Editor is an open forum for the community and contains unsolicited opinions not neces-
sarily shared by the Editor. The Nugget reserves the right to edit, omit, respond or ask for a response to letters
submitted to the Editor. Letters should be no longer than 300 words. Unpublished items are not acknowledged or
returned. The deadline for all letters is noon Monday.
To the Editor:
I would like to post a message regarding
the ongoing discussion about the proposed
paved trail from Sisters to Black Butte Ranch.
I live in the rural Deschutes County area;
for me to ride my electric scooter in Sisters
or any city is a real treat. I have ridden my
scooter several times in the past on paved
trails at other locations.
I am a disabled veteran; I’m always look-
ing forward to an opportunity that would allow
me some freedom to ride on paved trails as
well as city streets.
Not saying I would ride on that particular
trail, but makes me wonder how many per-
sons that live with disabilities in those areas
that would certainly love to ride their scooter,
wheel chair or tricycle between Sisters and
Black Butte [Ranch] on a paved trail! However,
it would be a fun and interesting jaunt —
just need to be sure to charge the batteries
before. It’s generally good for about 18 miles.
It’s my understanding that the funds are
available and the Forest Service has granted
easement, so what’s the big fuss. Get ’er done!
Tom and Lorraine Barrier
To the Editor:
Residents in the Sisters community are
generally concerned that carbon emissions
from the burning of fossil fuels is leading to
global warming. However, we need to be more
than concerned.
Take a look at one gallon of gasoline,
weighing 6.25 pounds and containing 84
percent pure carbon. As that gasoline burns,
each carbon atom combines with two oxygen
atoms, now creating 19.25 pounds of carbon
dioxide, still from the same gallon of gasoline.
An average automobile traveling 12,000 miles
each year, averaging 25.5 miles per gallon,
produces 4.5 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Various publications list the ability of a tree
to absorb carbon dioxide at between 15 to 50
pounds per year. That is such a small amount.
See letteRS on page 23
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Can it be that America’s
small businesses are finally
waking up to the fact that
they’re being victimized by
big businesses?
For years, small-business
groups such as the National
Federation of Indepen-
dent Businesses have lined
up behind big-businesses
They’ve contributed to
the same Republican can-
didates and committees
favored by big business. And
they’ve eagerly connected
the Republican Party in
Washington to its local busi-
ness base. Retailers, build-
ing contractors, franchisees,
wholesalers and restaurant
owners are the bedrock of
local Republican politics.
But now small businesses
are breaking ranks. They’re
telling congressional Repub-
licans not to make the deal
at the very top of big busi-
nesses’ wish list: a cut in
corporate tax rates.
“Given the option, this or
nothing, nothing is better for
our members,” Liam Dono-
van, the director of legisla-
tive and political affairs at
Associated Builders and
Contractors, told Bloomberg
Small businesses won’t
benefit from such a tax deal
because most are “S” cor-
porations and partnerships,
known as “pass-throughs”
since business income flows
through to them and appears
on their owners’ individual
tax returns. So a corporate
tax cut without a corre-
sponding cut in individual
tax rates would put small
businesses at a competitive
The fight is significant,
and not just because it rep-
resents a split in Republican
business ranks. It marks a
new willingness by small
businesses to fight against
growing competitive pres-
sures from big corporations.
Big corporations have
expanded their intellec-
tual property, merged with
or acquired other compa-
nies in the same industry,
and gained control over
networks and platforms
that have become industry
They’ve deployed fleets
of lawyers to litigate against
potential rivals that chal-
lenge their dominance, many
of them small businesses.
And they’ve been using
their growing economic
power to get legislative
deals making them even
more dominant, such as the
corporate tax cut they’re
now seeking.
All this has squeezed
small businesses — under-
mining their sales and prof-
its, eroding market shares
and making it harder for
them to enter new markets.
Contrary to the conven-
tional view of an American
economy bubbling with
innovative small compa-
nies, the rate at which new
businesses have formed has
slowed dramatically.
Contributing to the drop
was the deregulation of
finance — which turned
the biggest Wall Street
banks into powerhouses
that swamped financial
markets previously served
by regional and community
Many small businesses
can’t get the financing they
once got from state and local
bankers. Over the past two
decades, loans to small busi-
nesses have dropped from
about half to less than 30
percent of total bank loans.
Meanwhile, small busi-
nesses are feeling the same
financial pinch the rest of
us endure from big corpora-
tions whose growing market
power is letting them jack up
prices for everything from
pharmaceuticals to Internet
So the willingness of
small-business groups to
take on big business on its
top legislative priority could
mark the start of a political
If small businesses were
willing to ally themselves
with consumer, labor and
community groups, they
could press for stronger anti-
trust enforcement against
giant corporations, as well as
for breaking up Wall Street’s
biggest banks and strength-
ening community banks.
Such an alliance might
even become a power-
ful voice for campaign-
finance reform, containing
the political clout of giant
Even if the political
realignment doesn’t happen
soon, small businesses will
eventually wake up — and
could play a central role.
© 2015 By Robert Reich
Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and
are not necessarily shared by the Editor or The Nugget Newspaper.