We discussed some of the ins and outs of the Referenda C&D debate on Saturday, and some of you who oppose the measure took issue with our analysis that calling it a "tax increase" was inaccurate. We said on Saturday that calling C&D a tax increase is a good political move, but that doesn't make it truthful. On Sunday, The Denver Post took a look at that very question:
There was an interesting exchange a couple of weeks ago between Gov. Bill Owens and former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey over what constitutes a tax increase. Armey...argued that it's a tax increase if the government spends more taxpayer money than it did before.
"Anytime myself and my neighbors have less money, and the government has more money, it's a tax increase," Armey said.
Does that mean, Owens asked, that annual increases in the federal budget are tax increases? Yes, said Armey: "Whatever level of spending ... eventually the taxpayers are going to pay for that."
And you never voted for a budget increase? Owens asked, several times. Nary a one, Armey insisted.
"As one of 435 congressmen, you have that ability," Owens said, "but as a governor, I've got to actually make sure that we have a budget in the state of Colorado, and that is a distinction between us."
This brings up a point we made on Saturday. If opponents of C&D get to call it a "tax increase" on the idea that eventually higher taxes might be paid, then why can't supporters of the measure call it a "tax break" because fixing the budget now will save more money in the long run? The answer: neither makes any real sense outside of making a semantic argument.
Take a look at what else The Post had to say for more explanation...
The Des Moines Register reports on Congressman Tom Tancredo's foray into Iowa as he moves forward in his Presidential bid. Tancredo isn't toning down his immigration message, which he delivered to the Christian Coalition in Iowa (hat tip to Coyote Gulch for the link).
Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo said in Iowa this week that he will run for president in 2008 if no top-tier Republicans pick up his call for stricter immigration law enforcement.
Tancredo, a congressman from suburban Denver, is calling for border control by the U.S. military. He also supports sending all undocumented immigrants back to their homelands, a measure intended to reserve jobs for those in the country legally.
Tancredo definitely doesn't seem interested in acting like an actual candidate for President, and he's said before that he doesn't think he could really be the Republican nominee. But if he expects to influence the debate on immigration among Presidential candidates, his ultra-hard-line, 'kick 'em all out,' stance might not be the way to do it. You may agree with Tancredo that the U.S. should remove all illegal immigrants, but as a policy it is so completely impractical that it's not even worth discussing. But even Tancredo's attempts at actual legislation are too impractical to consider:
The Rocky Mountain News has an editorial out today that criticizes The Independence Institute for the way in which it is going about trying to defeat Referendum C&D.
Yes, there is waste in state government. And yes, the Independence Institute's "Piglet Report" identifies several examples. But as an argument against two ballot measures that would increase state revenues, the report is almost laughable. And yet this is what the report purports to be.
Independence Institute officials were not entirely happy with the document, either, since they ended up pulling it from their Web site. And no wonder: Anyone reduced to citing the expenditures of $10,400 on a "Big Blue Bear film" and a few thousand dollars on fireworks at a state university as arguments against Referendums C and D is flirting with foolishness.
We couldn't find anything for another edition of "At Least They're Not Your Legislators," so we bring you this story from The Associated Press. At least they're not your sheep.
First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported.
In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said. Those who jumped later were saved as the pile got higher and the fall more cushioned, Aksam reported.
"There's nothing we can do. They're all wasted," Nevzat Bayhan, a member of one of 26 families whose sheep were grazing together in the herd, was quoted as saying by Aksam.