Around Colorado: 1/29/09

Tax Hike Measure Coming

Ben DeGrow points to Rossputin’s post predicting:

There’s a reason that the first thing Ritter is proposing to do is cut education and prison funding, and “temporarily” suspend the homestead exemption which lowers property tax for many senior citizens, and it’s the oldest liberal trick in the book: He’s setting the stage for a tax increase proposal “for the children” and with the specter of violent felons roaming the streets unless we go along.

So now the Denver Post editorializes about Ritter’s $823 million “budget cuts” — most of which is a reduction of the increase — which the Post believes will be offset by $2.9 billion in federal “free” money.

But that’s not nearly enough tax spending for the Post: “The state’s tangle of revenue restraints and spending requirements must be unraveled so state legislators can do the jobs they were elected to do and the state’s budget can be constructed in a rational way.”

In other words, TABOR must be gutted so taxes can be increased, because when you spend your own money, that’s irrational, and only politicians can spend your money in a “rational way.”

Remove the Devil Horse

Rachel Hultin wants to remove the blue Devil Horse from Denver International Airport. Her Facebook page announces the Heinous Blue Mustang Haiku Challenge.

I say take it down, melt it down, sell it for scrap, or sell it to some dumb sucker who thinks that ugliness makes art hip.

Tax-Funded Employee Unions

Peter Blake discusses a proposal to override local union rules for government employees, making unionization more widespread. I think the people paying those salaries should be able to decide the terms of the employment contract.

Climate Change Coordinator

Vincent Carroll notes that the “$80,000 salary for the governor’s new ‘climate change coordinator’… will not be paid with tax dollars. Three private foundations will pick up the tab.” But using private money to advocate political force is not a lot better than forcibly seizing money to advocate political force. The obvious difference is that the former is properly protected speech.

Food Safety

The Rocky Mountain News editorializes, “The Food and Drug Administration said this week that a Georgia peanut plant knowingly shipped peanut butter that had tested positive for salmonella 12 times in the past two years.” Of course the left will take this as a sign that the FDA should control industry more closely. However, in this case the FDA is part of the problem. When the government tells companies they can avoid liability by following certain rules, those rules are sure to be abused. Look, if you knowingly sell poisoned food (and I haven’t verified the FDAs claims), then that’s a criminal action, and it should be subject to criminal prosecution as well as civil lawsuits.

Coffman Calls for Alternative Stimulus

Congressman Mike Coffman writes, “Congress is right to take action to stimulate the economy, but the American people deserve better than a pork-laden spending frenzy with very little money going to the people who need it most.” Yea, Republicans are going to make their comeback by me-tooing the Democrats. Congress should not try to “stimulate” the economy by spending more of other people’s money, but rather by removing the political controls that have led to recession and hampered economic growth.

But Coffman does provide a useful service in detailing some of the spending:

Based on a Congressional Budget Office analysis, just $26 billion (7 percent) will be spent in the current fiscal year, and less than half — 38 percent — will be spent in the first two years. Even assuming such fiscal measures could be effective, the vast majority of funds in this bill would be spent too late to stimulate the economy anyway.

Democratic leadership promised large amounts for improving roads and bridges, but only $44 billion (about 5 percent) is for transportation infrastructure. Of that, only $30 billion is for highways. There are tens of billions spent mainly to protect or create government jobs. In addition, the National Endowment for the Arts will get $50 million, Americorps $200 million, Amtrak $800 million, grass replacement on the National Mall $200 million, repairs at the Smithsonian $150 million, NASA climate change research $400 million, and ACORN $10 million.

Rural Medicine

Mark Deutchman worries that there aren’t enough rural doctors, and indeed “demographers and health care policy researchers acknowledge a serious national shortage of physicians everywhere in the country.” Deutchman sees this as a problem for politicians to solve. But maybe the problem is that politicians have created paperwork nightmares through government-driven over-insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare, while subjecting doctors to the arbitrary whims of bureaucrats.

One thought on “Around Colorado: 1/29/09”

  1. So a few green groups with deep pockets directly pay to have their lobbyist no longer be a lobbyist by title but “climate change coordinator” and get direct access to the governor not in the form of a lobbyist but as an “ad visor”? Is this not worse than the crap Cheney and Bush pulled with some energy companies?

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