Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thank TABOR!

Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) has been much maligned, mainly by government officials and employees, for restricting their ability to raise revenues and mandating cuts in economically challenging times. However, when you compare the situation in Colorado to other states, our fiscal position is much stronger due to these restraints.

New York State is currently running a deficit between 5 and 6 billion dollars. The legislature has thus far agreed to cuts that amount to about $427 million. Hardly a solution. California's situation is far worse. Their deficit is at about $15 billion and there currently is no plan to fix it. Colorado's budget is in balance. While many people are unhappy about the cuts necessary to keep it that way, if our government had been spending like drunken sailors over the past 17 years, a balanced budget would be a fairy tale right about now, as it is on both coasts.

TABOR forces government to set priorities and make difficult decisions on an annual basis. They cannot promise the world and leave it to future generations to work out how to pay for it all. The welfare of a constituency is not directly proportional to its governments ability to raise and spend revenue. Find another way to get votes.

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