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Donald E. L. Johnson

They're spending big bucks to take your bucks. No on C and D.

economics

How s it stretching it a bit to call it a tax increase? If it's not an increase in taxes, where's the new money coming from?

It's not an increase in tax rates. But the money didn't magically appear - the government is incraesing taxes.

Hugo O'conor

I have yet to meet an average person (i.e. not a poster here) who supports C&D. I have not met the "Republican couple" who want their taxes raised.
Seriously, if they are that interested in paying more they can always send in personal contributions and pre-payments.
Does TABOR need some work? certainly. Are C&D the correct answer? Absolutely not.

marshall

They need the extra bucks to oppose the tax frauds from the Independence Institute. Isn't it ironic that a tax exempt organization which is funded by Washington insiders like Grover Norquist is complaining about taxes? Can't we nail the Independence Institute for this? They have the same tax status as habitat for humanity. This just seems wrong.

pacified

Newsflash: you have to pay for gov't. Get over it. And get over yourselves. Or you can have college tuitions go up 18% per year for the next 5 years--w/o a single peep of complaint from any of you.

Gov't isn't free, people. And that small amount of money is better used to HELP Colorado meet it's obligations to it's citizens.

You are all selfish and greedy, caring more about partisanship then helping the eldery and young in this state. You GOoPs know that if C & D pass, Romanoff is going to wax the floor w/ your party in the ’06 session, and you can say good-bye to the governor’s mansion. You people could learn a lot from Romanoff on what it means to actually want to govern well, and listen to people from across the aisle.

Oh, and the "Vote No, it's your dough group" raised $2,500. Pitiful.

Please be an adult, and realize that services cost money. If you don't grow up, go home and don't vote. Your parents paid taxes to make state schools good for you, as did their parents before them. It’s called being a good citizen.

I'd rather have all income taxes go up then pay stupid fees to register my car, get a license, and having to stand in line 4 hours at the DMV because of those glorious "tax cuts" make the state fire employees.

But, hey, the GOP haven’t met a regressive tax they didn’t love.

economics

"But, hey, the GOP haven’t met a regressive tax they didn’t love."

Except, of course, for the social security tax. Right?

pacified

Reagan raised the Social Security tax in the 1980s, making it even more regressive tax, What’s even is the SS tax is only applied to income made from actual work. The uber-wealthy don't even pay it, because they don't make money from actual work. They make money from their inherited dividends and capital gains, which are conveniently taxed at only 10%, compared to the 28% my working-ass has to pay.

But why reward work when you can reward wealth? That’s the new American way.

So, yup, the SS tax is a regressive tax the GOP loves.

unnamed

People don't want to pay taxes. Yet they themselves want the system to work for them, but don't care when it doesn't work for other people. It's easy for them to say that things are fine the way they are as long as they are not paying through the nose for college tuition or to get health care. Hope you people like potholes in your roads because if things go your way, you will have plenty of them.

Mark

There's hasn't been a State budget surplus for four years. Consequently, no one has gotten a TABOR rebate for four years. If C&D pass, no one will get a TABOR rebate for a few more years. How is this a tax increase? You might call it an extension of the status quo, but it's hardly an increase. But forget the semantics of what is and isn't an increase. The real questions is this: What happens if C&D pass vs. what happens if they don't?


The reality is that if C&D don't pass, college tuition will rise by double digits year after year, public roads and bridges will crumble, and preventative care for the poor and elderly will cease as state funds dry up due to TABOR. There's NO MONEY to pay for these things under TABOR. If you like toll roads, don't have college-bound kids, and don't have to pay astronomical health insurance premiums to cover the uninsured, this might sound peachy, but I think most people will wonder why they didn't give up their estimated $60 annual TABOR rebate over the next few years to pay for these investments.


Folks, Colorado is currently 48th in per capita higher education state funding. Over the past five years, Colorado experienced the largest cuts in higher education spending of any state in the union except South Carolina. Under TABOR, the state's funding for higher education will completely disappear . CU and CSU may as well become private institutions for the rich.


People who go to college become productive members of society. People who have access to preventative care don't wait until a problem gets out of hand to get help, which reduces total health care costs. How much more time time are you willing to spend in your car on overcrowded highways, just so you can get that $60 TABOR rebate? Referenda C&D represent a critical investment in our States education, healthcare, and transportation infrastructures. If we take our $60 and run, we let the state fall into decay, and no high-tech employer in their right mind would move here. That's what is at stake.

art

Mark,
Well said! You took a complicated issue and explained it in a manner that is direct and to the point. Referenda C&D CAN make a difference, and we have the opportunity to do it. 48th is depressing!

Donald E. L. Johnson

Hey, C&D guys, you're late to the party. We've already defeated C&D in previous threads.

C&D are a tax increase. Clearly. Higher spending doesn't produce better education, period. Our roads are fine compared with other states, period. TABOR allows spending to grow with real growth and no more. Great.

People who are advocating C&D want to personally benefit from the work of productive members of society by increasing workers' taxes. That's unfair, selfish and unethical.

If you want lower tuition, cut programs and costs at the colleges and universities, where there is more fat than you'll ever find at the UN, Pentagon, Medicare or Medicaid, to mention a few bloated programs.

learnedhand

"C&D are a tax increase. Clearly."

The first thing I learned in law school is to be extremely suspect of anyone who uses the word "clearly" in an argument, because what follows is generally not so clear.

"Higher spending doesn't produce better education, period."

we are talking about ensuring access to higher education for all citizens of Colorado. The collapse of public higher ed would decimate Colorado's economy. Mark did a great job with this point previously.

"People who are advocating C&D want to personally benefit from the work of productive members of society by increasing workers' taxes. That's unfair, selfish and unethical."

You keep trying to make the point that the proponents of C&D are all somehow going to personally gain financially from the passage of the two referendums but I do not know one single person to whom this applies. Do you personally know anyone like this?

As for selfish, I'd argue that you and the no on c&d are the ones who are selfish. The YesOnC&D people that I know are all genuinely concerned for the future of this great state. The NoOnC&D people are only concerned about maintaining a phantom refund. So who exactly is being selfish here?

Once again Donald your posts on C&D are full of the same hollow talking points and empty rhetoric.

average jane

"TABOR allows spending to grow with real growth and no more."

TABOR does not allow spending to grow with real growth. That's the problem. Period.

Even if we assume that the CPI represents the inflation facing our budget (which it blatantly doesn't), the ratchet effect makes any recession permanent.

As Mark said, our per capita funding of higher ed is 48th in the country. Since 2001, our funding to higher ed institutions - per resident student - has been cut over 34% (41% if you account for inflation). You can spew rhetoric about cutting fat, but slashing programs makes no difference if the state provides no higher ed funding whatsoever. I do not want to live in the only state in America that has no community colleges or in-state tuition, and that is the reality we are facing in the next five years.

I am a worker, and I want my taxes to benefit me and my state. My support of Referendum C is neither selfish nor unethical.

Mark

I appreciate the kind words! Like many here, I care about this state and this country, and I plan to fight for it.


Donald, declaring something to be factual without offering an ounce of evidence is hardly a debate. Likewise, saying "Period" over and over again isn't going to make this debate go away.


Donald said: "C&D are a tax increase."

Let's see, tax rates will not rise under C&D. In fact they will fall in future years. It's true that no one will get their $60 TABOR rebate if C&D pass, but they haven't gotten a TABOR rebate for four years, so that's really no change at all.


Donald said: "Higher spending doesn't produce better education, period."

As learnedhand pointed out, public funding of higher education isn't about improving the quality of education. Rather, it's about making higher education more accessible to Colorado's citizens.

Right now, out-of-state tuition is over $20k a year, while in-state tuition is less than $5k a year. How does the State justify this disparity? Because the State helps fund higher education funding through its citizens' taxes. What do you think would happen if the state stopped funding higher education, and privatized the university system? Would CU continue to give Colorado citizens a break if they got no funding from the state? There's a reason we're starting to see double-digit increases in in-state tuition. It goes hand in hand with the higher-ed cuts our university system has already endured under TABOR.


Donald said: "People who are advocating C&D want to personally benefit from the work of productive members of society by increasing workers' taxes. That's unfair, selfish and unethical."

I think people who take so much from society and give nothing back are the most selfish people on earth. I'm talking about employers who cut health insurance for their employees. I'm talking about employers who use illegal labor to lower wages for everyone. I'm talking about employers who move facilities to communist countries so that they can avoid child labor, worker safety, and environmental laws.

The wealthy get so much from their workers. Why don't they have a corresponding responsibility to ensure their workers have access to the roads that take them to work every morning, educational opportunities, pre-natal care, and other basic needs? Do you realize that Colorado ranks 50th in childhood immunization? Please explain to us how this is a cost-effective public health policy! TABOR lets the wealthy shirk their responsibility to give back to the community some of what it takes. Working Coloradoans don't want a hand out. We work our asses off to make other people rich, and just want opportunities to improve our own lot in life. TABOR is taking that away from us.


Donald said: "If you want lower tuition, cut programs and costs at the colleges and universities, where there is more fat than you'll ever find at the UN, Pentagon, Medicare or Medicaid, to mention a few bloated programs."

Frankly I've seen just as much bloat at the large corporations I've worked for as in the state and federal agencies I've worked for. Private bureaucracy is no better than public bureaucracy. But the whole bloat issue is a red herring, so let's get back to the real debate: How do you keep Colorado universities affordable for Coloradoans without higher ed funding from the state? How do you maintain roads without money? Would you like to see I-25 turned into a toll road to pay for maintenance? How do you control health insurance premium increases when more and more people end up in the emergency room because they didn't get their childhood immunizations?

learnedhand

Mark - if you're not already working for the Yes On C&D team they should hire you first thing tuesday. well said, I can only hope that the official statements from the campaign are as direct and clear as yours have been today.

Marshall

Mark - Very well said!

In a previous thread where I was going at it with Donald I got him to admit that he got some of his education from one of those evil "public" higher education institutions.

Now you know what is selfish Donald. Trying to take away from others the very benefits that helped make you successful. That is the definition of selfish.

It seems Republicans like Donald enjoy consuming all those evil government services when they are benefiting them but then they want to turn around and rob the next generation from also enjoying those same benefits. Selfish Indeed.

Darrin coe

folks have any of you been to the town hall meetings?

Representatives have been traveling all over the state to answer questions and present C and D.

If you don't see how it's NOT a tax increase then you don't understand TABOR or it's many intricacies.

read the amendment then read the referendums and stop listening to the hype and silliness. Think it through.

besides Referendum C and D are well within the legal limits prescribed by TABOR.

Darrin F. Coe, MA
Chair House District 60 Rep. Central Committee.

Mark

I couldn't agree more Darrin. I've gone to a few of these meetings, and spoken with Romanov, Morgan Carroll, and Suzanne Williams about C&D. C&D will be funded by temporarily eliminating the $60 average TABOR rebate that Coloradoans are estimated to receive over the next few years. But these "rebates" only exists because of TABOR's crazy rules. Colorado's legislature cut critical services to balance the budget during the recession, and TABOR doesn't allow government services to be restored now that the recession is over. The $60 rebate comes from money that would otherwise be used to reopen DMV offices, restore higher-ed funding, etc, after a recession.


What government services were cut to balance Colorado's budget during the recession? The answer is: anything that didn't have a funding mandate. Amendment 23 guaranteed K-12 funding, so that was off the table along with unfunded Federal mandates. What was left for budget cuts? Higher education funding, state sponsored and funded healthcare initiatives, DMV offices, roads, and anything else that makes up the discretionary part of the budget.


So what about this phantom tax increase we keep hearing about? Well, it's not a tax increase at all. It's an elimination of a rebate that no one has gotten for four years anyway because of the recession. C&D will not raise income tax rates, property tax rates, or any other tax rates. C&D will not raise user fees. Coloradoans will still get an income tax refund if they overpay, just as they always have. Revenue is raised by eliminating the $60 average TABOR rebate. In return, the government will restore services like cheaper college tuition for Colorado residents, pre-natal care, etc.

Not Mark

Mark,
The formula is simple. The state government wants to grow at the maximum rate it can get away with. In 1992, he Taxpayer Bill of Rights told the government it must not exceed inflation plus population increase. When there is a surplus collected (as in the mid to late 90's) there is a refund, when the growth is limited by economic change, there is no refund.

The state should be happy to have the temporary use of our funds until the end of the fiscal cycle (they don't pay interest).

You need to get a job, or take a math class. Ref. C is a tax increase, and a way to grow the government.
If you think the government spends your money so well, send more in. They will keep it, and buy more benches and things so the homeless and elderly will be able to sit more often.

Oh, I work for the State government thanks for the 2.8% pay raise that I didn't ask for. Please send more as soon as you have a chance.

yellowdogdem

Mark said: " Ref. C is a tax increase"


There's a great saying, you can have your own opinions but you can't have your own facts.

The fact of the matter is Ref C is not a tax increase in any way, shape, or form. You can try to spin it any way you want but it is not a tax increase.

You may be opposed to allowing government to grow and you are entitled
to that opinion but to keep arguing that C is somehow a tax increase is incredibly disingenous.

It would be helpful if the No on C folks could find a way to articuloate their arguments without lying.

Phoenix Rising

NM, the formula *is* quite simple, but is not as you state.

TABOR limits government spending to population growth plus consumer inflation. There are three flaws with this:
1. The government's budget isn't based on consumer inflation; its main purchases are not in food, clothing, and material goods - items that keep inflation low. The state purchases health care; how much more are you paying for that each year? It pays for prisons; how many more people are we incarcerating every year?
2. An increasing portion of the budget pie is outside of the Legislature's control, but still within TABOR's regulation. For example, college tuitions - ever rising - are counted as State money under TABOR, but are already designated for the colleges. And even within the General Fund that the Legislature controls, much of the money is tied up in necessary expenses such as prisons.
3. The much-publicized "ratchet effect" forces the State to act as a Bust economy, rather than a stable economy or even the Boom & Bust economy that is this state's reality. We have no rainy-day fund, so we cannot even out our expenses between profitable years and poor ones. Nor can we keep up with the demands of a Boom economy like the 1990s.

TABOR provides one solution for all problems: the Referendum and Initiative process. For school districts that want out of TABOR: de-Bruce by Referendum. For State tax increases: Referendum. And for recovering from recession and keeping our State fiscally responsible: Vote Yes on C&D.

Phoenix Rising

Oh, Not Mark: Was that 2.8% pay increase by any chance so you could just keep up with inflation? It's called a Cost Of Living Adjustment. Maybe you don't want to make as much money this year as you did last year, but most State employees will disagree with your principled stand.

Mark

Hehe. I guess I hit a nerve with you didn't I "Not Mark"...


Not Mark said: "The formula is simple"

Yes, it is simple. One wonders why you haven't learned it by now.

During a recession, when revenues dry up, TABOR requires that the budget be reduced accordingly -- hence the higher-ed, health care, and highway funding cuts over the past few years.

Does TABOR allow these services to be restored when a recession ends and revenues return to normal? No. It's just that simple. Why is it so difficult for you to understand this?


Not Mark said: "You need to get a job"

I have a job. My job is to keep idiots like you safe from people like OBL. Sometimes I wonder why I bother. By the way, you're free to give your 2.8% increase to your favorite charity if you like. Other State employees, who you don't speak for, may want to send their kids to college or pay their health insurance premiums with their increase. 2.8% isn't much -- the middle class is falling further and further behind -- but it's better than nothing...

Not Mark

Yellowdog - If I pay my kids an allowence and then get a house I can't afford although I have a budget that clearly indicates how much I can spend for everything, would they consider it a cut in their allowence if I stop paying it in order to afford the house? Tax cut or reimbursement cut, either way it is an accounting change that is within the same budget constraints.

Phoenix - Government grows at the rate which it can confiscate funds from taxpayers, often more, but seldom less. The infliction of Referendum 23 did take some of the legislative controls away, fix 23's arbitraty 1% over inflation and many pet projects can be fully funded. Rachet effects are felt by all, if it were any part of the C & D it might make sense, the establishment of a new baseline does not a rachet repair. Finally, COLA, give me a break, no REAL job pays a COLA just for being alive. Liberal people are so fond of saying the rich don't need a tax cut and didn't ask for one, well I was simply returning the favor.

Mark - Reducing the spending is how everyone but the government handles a temporary reduction in income, or they borrow based on their ability to pay the money back. Also, I spent 6 years defending your right to keep idiots like you safe too. That was when OBL's daddy was building his fortune because there was so much government money that we sent it to him. Then I helped develop nice technologies that would let idiots send bad information to the rest of the world. I see you found it.
GET A REAL JOB - I'll get one after undermining the bureaucracy at this one.

Let the free market have a chance.

Mark

Afraid to use his real name said: [Some gibberish about allowances, government confiscating money, and "Reducing the spending" without talking about what should happen when a recession ends. Also claimed to invent the internet -- may have delusion of being Al Gore]

You failed to answer the point, so I'll say it again and again until you get it:

During a recession, when revenues dry up, TABOR requires that the budget be reduced accordingly -- hence the higher-ed, health care, and highway funding cuts over the past few years. So far so good. I think you get this point.

Does TABOR allow these services to be restored when a recession ends and revenues return to normal? No. It's just that simple. The key part here is "recession ends and revenues return to normal." This is the part you clearly don't get, and probably never will. Why is it so difficult for you to understand this?

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