October 20, 2010

Statism on the March in Colorado

JK recently wondered aloud why the job creation success in Texas doesn't constitute "Game, Set, Match for pro-growth policies" over the tax and spend statism models of Michigan, New York and California. The answer, of course, is that leftists don't want growth.

Today a radio ad tipped me to the existence of a website that explains the historical accomplishments of a Liberal Cabal in Colorado and warned of what they have in mind for the future. Not only do they oppose the tax limiting Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101, they plan to hike future taxes by $1.5 to over $5 billion in our state... anually. They call their three models, "Go Medium, Go Long, or Go California."

The impetus for the Colorado Reform Roundtable’s formation is the state’s mounting structural spending shortfall: in round numbers, Colorado government has about $1 billion more in permanent programs than it does in permanent revenues.

[Keep in mind that this is a recent phenomenon. See the graphs here, particularly state debt since 2000.]

From this sending off point, many of the left-leaning organizations that make up the Colorado Reform Roundtable contend that there is no way to balance the budget without significant tax increases. While many argue that the state should reduce spending to align its budgets, liberal advocacy groups scoff at the notion that spending cuts are the answer.

The fundamental belief that state government is starved forms the foundation for the formal tax hike plan that will likely emerge from the Colorado Reform Roundtable sometime in the months after the November 2010 election.

Now where have we heard this before?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:44 PM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2010

Armageddon?

That's what the Denver Post predicts if Colorado's Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 are approved by voters. [On November 2nd. That's a Tuesday. Polls open at 7 am and remain open until 7 pm. If you need a ride, CALL ME.] The Post concludes:

The economy already has reduced the size of government, and more cuts are coming.

State and local governments have not run up trillion-dollar deficits, and shouldn't be punished for what Congress and two presidents have wrought.

No. This is not true. Thanks to the $787 BILLION Federal "Stimulus" spending bill, state spending did not go down, though the rate of growth slowed a bit.


[From the link in paragraph 14 here.]

And more cuts will come only if voters tie government's hands, or at least their thumbs, with these three ballot measures.

It is true that Colorado's state and local governments haven't run up trillion-dollar deficits, but if you count state and local indebtedness as the de-facto deficit that it is then they have run up billion-dollar deficits.

Not done yet. There's also the local debt burden by Colorado's cities, towns, and counties.

Too bad the Post doesn't have access to this data. They might see things differently. But based upon what I see here we may well have armageddon if the measures don't pass.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:58 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Yup, less government == the end of the world.

Seen any polling? I have not seen a single positive message (outside of ThreeSources) on these and the whole phalanx of teachers and firefighters are arrayed in opposition. I can't believe this is going anywhere.

Posted by: jk at October 1, 2010 11:11 AM
But johngalt thinks:

That's what I thought. Then I read some comments at the bottom of the Post story linked at the top. (Try to find the "show oldest comments first" button, since the later ones devolved into long-winded debates about abortion or some such.) The grassroots seem to innately understand that when politicians and the press say it's bad == it's good.

Posted by: johngalt at October 1, 2010 1:47 PM

September 28, 2010

Hickenlooper: Tancredo a "lifetime politician" for agreeing with me

That's essentially what Denver Mayor and Democrat candidate for governor John Hickenloopersaid of the minor party spoiler candidate, Tom Tancredo recently.

Asked whether it looked to him like American Constitution Party candidate Tancredo was trying to move toward the middle now that he seems to be running ahead of Republican nominee Dan Maes, he noted that Tancredo has indeed changed his tune on the three tax-cutting measures on the ballot.

“He was in favor of all three, but now he seems to be rethinking that, which reveals him as a lifetime politician. I’ve been in business most of my life and I’ve been opposed to all three of those from the beginning,” he said.

Logic: exit stage left.

Hickenlooper continued his circular logic with this:

In the long-term, he said the answer to transportation funding is the same as the answer to all other state funding — creating a stronger business environment in Colorado. “We need to have a more pro-business attitude all across the state,” he said.

Proving that this is mere feel-good campaign rhetoric, since the Colorado Union of Taxpayer's open letter regarding those three tax-cutting measures Hickenlooper opposed "from the beginning" says that this is exactly what they aim to do.

- By reducing the rate of growth of tax rates, we will create conditions for economic expansion in Colorado.

(...)

- Expanding the economy will create more jobs

(...)

- Charter schools will also benefit from expanding Colorado’s economy.

(...)

- Expanding Colorado’s economy will also benefit fire protection districts and law enforcement agencies.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:11 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"...By reducing the rate of growth of tax rates..."

Not to put too fine a point on it, that's not reducing taxes, just increasing taxes more slowly. Good thing votes still know how to diagram sentences, or they might miss this promise to continue increasing taxes.

What????

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 28, 2010 6:30 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's also a good thing VOTERS know how to type.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 28, 2010 6:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

That line might refer to something else but the tax rate is actually scheduled to decrease under one of these measures. 0.1 percent per year for 10 years. The horror!

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2010 3:25 PM

Thumbs up for Colorado's "Ugly Three"

That's the way I'm definitely leaning on Referendum 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 (the latter first mentioned at 3srcs here.) They've been slammed and slimed with voluminous advertising as "extreme" and as promoting "anarchy." They've been denounced by newspapers, state and local governments, and most politicians from both major parties for threatening to "bankrupt" Colorado and touch off a "voter approved recession." But jeez, they seem so tame when you look into the actual provisions.

» There is no “$1 billion reduction in state revenue.” The one-percentage-point reduction in the state income tax rate takes 10 years or more, is never more than 0.1 percent yearly, and occurs only in those years when income tax revenue grows more than 6 percent. If income tax revenue doesn't grow more than 6 percent, taxpayers won't get that 0.1 percent rate reduction. Reduction in state vehicle sales taxes is phased in gradually over four years. It totals well under 1 percent of total yearly state spending, now $19.6 billion.

And it goes on from there.

Now, in this "TEA Party election year" we should be able to count on Republicans to support limited government, right? Wrong. Colorado Union of Taxpayers:

“Many Coloradans are frustrated with the economy and the fee and tax increases by Governor Ritter and Legislators,” the letter said. “They are also suffering the consequences of earlier tax increases by Governor Owens’ administration. We share this frustration because we understand that in order to roll back and limit the scope of government in Colorado, we can count on neither Republicans nor Democrats.”

As I mentioned in a comment earlier today, if we can't get a Republican elected as governor then perhaps passage of these measures is even more vital. Like the man said, we must tie their hands or they will keep stealing.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:41 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2010

End State Borrowing?

This may be the first mention of Colorado's three restraint-of-government ballot initiatives - Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101. Opponents (governments and pro-government groups) have dubbed them "the ugly three."

Is there enough anti-government spending sentiment in the current climate to pass any of these three tough measures? Do any other states have similar limits? Let the discourse begin.

Here's a pro-61 web ad:

There are some well written comments here.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:52 PM | Comments (0)