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learnedhand

I'll add that I am dissapointed, your repsonse to the cold-hard facts is nothing more than empty rhetoric. Surely you can point to some of the great successes of TABOR? Our economic growth is stagnated.... TABOR is choking the life out of our state.

How has our state benefitted? How have our residents benefitted, refunds? They haven't even recieved a refund in years and there is no guarantee that they ever will.

Colorado has always had a modest tax rate and experienced moderate growth, state spending and taxes were never out of control.

Please, enlighten me as to the benefits that the citizens of the state of Colorado have recieved from TABOR. I was able to outline the damage caused by TABOR with hard numbers, your limp-wristed response was nothing more than empty rhetoric. Put your money where your mouth is Donald, explain to the good people how they have benefitted.

learnedhand

"I do find it very interesting that "learnedhand" the advocate of tax increases could be so far removed from his true namesake."

Blasphemy

Learned Hand was no anti-tax wingnut... I suggest you spend some time studying up on the contributions of this great man.

"While I should be the last to say that the making of a profit was not in itself a pleasure, I hope I should also be one of those to agree that there were other pleasures than making a profit"

marshall

Donald, you and I pretty much on the same page when it comes to illegal immigration but you are just trying to switch the topic. I don't like illegal immigration any more than the next guy but it is going to take more than happy words from Tom Tom to the solve the problem. The funny thing is that it is harder to crack down on illegal immigration when the cops don't have the proper funds to do their job. C and D are the right solution Colorado and you can try to deflect this argument every way from Sunday but it won't change what is happening to our state.

I agree with learnedhand. Where do you live? We can help you pack. I hear Texas doesn't have any income taxes and no illegal immigration problem so I am sure we could find you a nice place down there.

Should I throw a whiniest generation comment in here...nah.

true learnedhand

False learnedhand - I don't think he was a "wingnut," I do think that the use of his moniker for this purpose is out of place. If we would like to talk about other great Americans and their feeling on taxes, I would be happy to oblige. How about Thomas Jefferson (I am betting you have been to your fair share of Jefferson/Jackson dinners, is he a wingnut?)

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical." 1779 - from Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which became a model for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

learnedhand

"Donald, you and I pretty much on the same page when it comes to illegal immigration but you are just trying to switch the topic"

agreed 100%....

brio

Colorado - 42d in the nation per capita spending on higher education, 45th as a share of income. And getting worse by the year. I remember in '92 when the Arkansas jokes with numbers like these came fast and furious (and funny as hell) in SNL's campaign skits. Now its Colorado? The reason most Republican leaders won't speak out against C&D, is because they know the state needs them to pass. Even if they think they go too far, they no passing them is better than being stuck in the same place for the next few years. Bill Owens did not get on board to help him win any future elections.

If Coloradans are given a choice between tax refunds or funding for higher education, effective childhood vaccination programs, etc., most will choose the services. Sadly, I have yet to gain any confidence the pro campaign will get the message across effectively, but there is still time.

Donald E. L. Johnson

Learned,
First, let's get the facts straight. The Colorado recession had nothing to do with TABOR except that the low state spending levels required by TABOR kept taxes relatively low and made it easer for the state's economy to recover.

Colorado's economy suffered multiple blows when the high tech bubble burst, local cable companies and banks were acquired by companies based in other states, Qwest and United Airlines suffered terrible mismanagement and drought trashed tourism. I can also tell you from personal experience that 9/11 had a devastating impact on businesses locally as well as nationally. Note that TABOR did not cause the relatively minor recession.

Thanks to Bush's tax cuts and skillful money market manipulation by the Fed, we suffered only a minor recession. (Tax cuts prevented a big recession, which, by all rights, should have creamed us after the hi tech bubble burst.)

Meanwhile, Colorado was one of only a couple of states that wasn't thrown into deep financial trouble during our relatively mild down turn. Why? Because TABOR had kept naturally spendthrift politicians from both parties out of the cookie jar. TABOR kept politicians and their campaign contributors from expanding state services during the 1990s, which is what happened in other states and got them in trouble during the recession.

So the benefit to Colorado taxpayers was that we did not have to risk major tax increases (other than the disastrous Amendment 23) during the last four years to bail us out of the kind of trouble that caused Californians to recall Gov. Davis. We didn't have our services cut anywhere as much as they have been cut in other states.

The lower our taxes, the more attractive we are to businesses searching for new homes and for places to expand. And because everyone pays taxes here (with few freeloaders), our taxes can remain relatively low. Our relatively low taxes allow us to grow without bribing Toyota or United Airllines to build new offices and plants here.

Our population has continued to grow because Colorado is the place we want to live and retire, not because we over spend on education, health care, roads, tourism industry subsidies nor perks for the CU Athletic Dept.

A final benefit, Learned:

When state legislatures are free to tax and spend, they are ripe targets for lobbyists with big budgets. This means that in Colorado, we're less likely to see legislators bribed with campaign contributions and otherwise. We have one of the more honest governments in the country, and I think TABOR deserves some credit for that.

You may not, and that's ok.

Don


brio

"The lower our taxes, the more attractive we are to businesses" - which is why, when a lot of businessses line up behind a "tax increase," you should meaningfully consider the possibility that it really is needed, just to preserve the infrastructure on which those same businesses depend.

marshall

"Our population has continued to grow because Colorado is the place we want to live and retire, not because we over spend on education, health care, roads, tourism industry subsidies nor perks for the CU Athletic Dept."

Then why do people want to live here Donald? Why do people want to live anywhere? Is it just some magical force. I am curious just how your mind works, why again do people want to live in Colorado?

I personally like those roads, education opportunities, parks, the list could go on...

Donald E. L. Johnson

brio and marshall,

Look at the businesses supporting Taxman Owens' C and D. Almost all stand to win contracts from the state or sell products and services that would be funded by the huge tax increase that would be imposed should they pass. (If money due taxpayers isn't refunded as promised, that money is retained as increased taxes.) So don't be impressed that the contractors want the state to have more money to spend.

My wife and I moved our business and 20 employees to Colorado almost 13 years ago because we love to ski, hike and bike, not because taxes are lower or higher here. Illinois spends a lot more on education, health care, roads and subsidies for its tourism industry and gets a lot less than we do in Colorado. People come to Colorado for the life style, the recreation and the access to the nice things in life that we have here, thanks to mother nature.

So, yes, I guess it's just a "magical force" that draws us here.

Neat, eh?

Donald E. L. Johnson

Correction: We didn't move 20 employees here. We moved 20 jobs. Only one employee came with us.

peterco

No offense, but our TABOR refund has already been spiked by the lobbyists - you aren't going to be getting most of the money anayway, since it is going to special interest tax credits. It is something like half of the projected surplus will go to that.

Mike Coffman, when he was treasurer, wrote about the problems the tax credits will cause. So you are already screwed, Donald. Sorry.

brio

Club 20, Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the state associations of bankers, realters and farmers, the industry association for the tourism industry - they add to up to a pretty broad spectrum of Colorado business. If all of these businesses will make more money from props C& D, then all the more reason to vote for them.

I came here for the same reasons you did Donald, and there probably will always be enough educated, industrious adults moving here to keep the economy going. But like a lot of people already here, I don't want the state to be using migration as an excuse not to make a quality education available to the kids already here - including mine.

question

Brio-

How much did we cut Higher Ed spending in FY 05-06?

How much did we cut road spending this year? K-12? Medicaid? Arts funding?

(a hint for those of you unlike brio and learned hand working in Romanoff's press office- The answer is "We didn't")

The truth is that we grew the state budget by $112 million this year. Brio, how does that 7 percent budget increase over the previous year adjust Colorado in your doomsday national rankings?

To the rest of the readers- When Brio answers "Well, we managed not to cut anything this year, but NEXT YEAR we'll be cutting $230-300m..." Just remember that's what they predicted about the current fiscal year, too, just nine months ago.


Donald E. L. Johnson

brio writes: " If all of these businesses will make more money from props C& D, then all the more reason to vote for them."

How can you approve the taxation of working stiffs to line the pockets of these private businesses? It creates jobs, you say. We have a labor shortage that will worsen as we stop illegal immigration. We don't need a WTA or jobs program, and it isn't fair to you or any other taxpayer to rob the taxpayer to pay the leeches.

Or is it?

Donald E. L. Johnson

I meant WPA, not WTA.

brio

Donald - I'm having to go off memory since the info's at work, but I think per student higher ea state fudning in Colorado has decreased over 20% since 2001. That's huge. Our per student funding is less than half of what it is in most other states.

As for the business issue - one of the regular arguments against any tax increase is that it will hurt business, and therefore people who want jobs from businesses. Its pretty hard to make that argument here, when a broad spectrum of business associations are lining up behind C & D.

As for the increase - yes, the budget has increased each year, but so has the population and the price index. Put in constant per capita dollars, or its meaningless. Not to mention that federal funding to Colorado (e.g., for Medicaid) has fallen dramatically in the same period, so the state has to spend more just to provide the same level of services/benefits/etc.

Donald E. L. Johnson

Some people justify C and D by saying our roads are so bad.

Colorado doesn't show up on the list of the 25 worst tourism traffic jams:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/krwashbureau/20050630/ts_krwashbureau/_bc_roadtrips_wa_1

brio, you keep listing the trade associations that back C and D. Those associations are dominated by the leeches, not by taxpayers. I thought Dems were for the little guy. But I guess not if the big guys back giving the Dems tax revenues that they can use to buy votes.

peterco

DELJ, using that tourism traffic jam list as proof is completely idiotic. When I go to the Sand Dunes NP the place is just packed, you know. However, CO Springs - that sucks.

The Texas Transportation Institute is a better rubric, and Denver's slowdown is ranked 16th. And Colorado Springs is ranked above average as well. CO Springs has tripled in traffic jam time within the last 10 years of their study and has only gotten worse since then.

D.F.W.T.D.

The traffic in Colorado Springs is terrible; this is due largely to the terrible representation that area has had in the house of representatives with Joel Hefley.

You know, the funny thing is, his office in DC is actually next door to Nancy Pelosi's...kind of like his voting record.

Colorado Springs can do a lot better.

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