Freedom Updates: January 31, 2004
All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.
The Growth of State Government
"Here's what I mean: when TABOR passed in 1992, state government spending represented 5.91 percent of the state economy; by 2000, state spending fell to 5.29 percent; by 2002, state spending dipped to 4.45 percent. (In two years of those years under TABOR, the size of state government increased slightly even by this measure.)
"In actual dollars, spending increased from $5.39 billion in 1993-94 to $8.87 billion in 2000-01, then dipped to $8.08 billion in 2002.
"Compared to the state's economy, government spending fell by 12 percent in those first eight years but fell by an additional 16 percent in the next two -- abruptly compressing reductions which would have been implemented gradually over more than a decade into just two years of very difficult budget choices...
"To my notion, it's not only rational but desirable for the economy to outpace government growth. After all, the economy's growth is based upon the production of goods and services and the willingness and ability of citizens to purchase those goods and services. By contrast, government's growth isn't based upon a willing transaction but upon a coercive tax system. We may 'willingly' pay taxes, but we would most certainly willingly pay less if not for the legal consequences."
Hillman's devotion to relatively limited government is laudable. However, an even better idea would be to set a cap in absolute dollars the state can spend. Currently, TABOR allows state spending to increase with inflation and population growth. But advocates of the free market must resist all attempts to water down the provisions of TABOR.
Of course, politicians and the media lambasted the result.
Here on the home front, Burts Automotive and Home Depot maintained policies that initially were suspected of prohibiting legal concealed carriers from carrying a means of self-defense into their facilities. However, after gun owners inquired about the stores' policies, both businesses affirmed those with legal permits would not be banned from exercising their right of self-defense within those establishments.
Conservation of Socialism
The group also wants to "pass FasTracks," the multi-billion dollar socialist transportation program likely to face a popular vote this fall. It seems the main goal of the group is to promote socialism, not a healthy environment.
Death to Cooking-Oil Smuggler
How dare he help feed people! Yang Giaqung. His story should become as well-known as that of the young man who faced down the tank. A U.S. President with half an ounce of courage would offer to bring the man over to the U.S. and offer him full citizenship.
A January 28 story in Colorado Daily reports, "Following the early January announcement by Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Linda Salas that the county will recommend the purchase of an election system from Hart InterCivic to be used for the 2004 election, the rest of the month has seen a virtual tennis match of claims about that voting system's security. Some members of the Boulder non-profit group Citizens for Verifiable Voting (CVV) wonder if the county has done many man/woman-hours worth of research on voting systems without fully addressing security issues regarding the Hart system."