The Dirty Dozen: 12 Reasons to defeat "C" and "D"
by Douglas Bruce, August 10, 2005 (posted)
This essay is also available as a pdf file.
1. "C" is the largest tax increase in state history. Official estimates are $3.741 BILLION, and growing. There is no limit on the state's lust for your tax refunds; they want it all.
2. In just the first five years, the cost is $3,480 for an average family of four. Proof: Divide $3.741 BILLION by 4.3 million full-time legal residents. Since babies don't get refunds, multiply the result by four. What could your family do with $3,480?
3. "D" costs ANOTHER $3,000 for an average family of four. It adds $3.225 BILLION in debt to the current billions in state debt. "D" is the state's second largest tax increase (after "C"). $1.153+ BILLION is for interest, building nothing. There is no date by which the debt in "D" must end -- not even 100 years! Also, there is no maximum interest rate or total interest cost. The total average family-of-four cost for "C" plus "D" is now $6,480. The total statewide cost of both is nearly SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS. Wow!
4. The promised programs are VAGUE. "Health care?" For whom? Where? What treatments at what cost? "Education?" At what schools? Spent how? More pay hikes for CU administrators and Ward Churchills? More booze and hookers? "Transportation?" What priorities? What completion deadlines? No one knows. "C" and "D" are reckless multi-billion dollar blank checks. Do you feel like gambling?
5. The roads in "D" duplicate projects promised in the 1999 TRANS debt. Six years ago, the state used a long list of roads as "bait" to get a statewide voter majority. Many roads were not fixed. Now many of the same projects are used as bait again! And when future tax refunds end, the state must cut other programs in order to repay this huge debt!
6. Promised spending priorities can change AFTER the election. "C" and "D" are ordinary laws, which politicians can repeal any time (and still keep your money!) That money can then be diverted to prisons, pet projects, pork, and pay raises. You and your children would have to live forever with the burden of this deception. Don't buy it!
7. "C" and "D" don't promise ADDED spending on those programs. The "new" money in the front door frees up current spending to leave by the back door, and go... where? Sneaky, hunh? Remember, politicians will say anything to get your cash.
8. "C" is a statute illegally trying to amend the constitution. TABOR's spending formula is in the constitution so politicians can't change it without a voter-approved constitutional amendment. Those saying "C" does not rewrite TABOR are "fibbing." "C" is a permanent tax increase illegally "ratcheting up" the base level of spending to high levels the state may never exceed again, making the "spending limit" meaningless. With unlimited spending, there will also be no limit on fee, fine, and license increases.
9. Politicians say there is NO WASTE in state government! Gov. Owens signed a $14.6 BILLION budget this year but did not veto one dollar! The $161 million "computer error," a $200 million "recalculation" of education spending, $200 million squandered on a welfare handouts computer that doesn't work, a $497 million "counting error" in July -- you could laugh if they weren't using your money! (P.S. Leftist Professor Ward Churchill thanks you for his "merit" pay raise this July. Guess how he is voting on "C" and "D.")
10. Politicians claim the state has "CUT" spending! Nice try. Total state spending has risen every year since TABOR passed in 1992. This year's budget greatly boosted higher education spending. State employees got pay raises 30 times Colorado's official inflation rate (0.1%). If politicians boost favorite programs by double digit rates and give lower increases to others, that's their choice! Their idea of a "cut" is a slower rate of increase! When they want to raise spending 7%, but only raise it 4%, they call that a 3% "cut."
11. "C" and "D" reach a new low in "FUZZY MATH." The state says it "cut" over $1 billion in recent years. Even if it were true (which it isn't), how does that justify a $3.741 BILLION tax increase in "C" plus a $3.225 BILLION tax increase in "D"? To offset every dollar of their alleged "cuts" (i.e. slower rates of growth), they want seven dollars in tax increases! When state politicians discovered a $480 million spending mistake in 2001, they offset it by taking away, in future tax refunds, five times as much as that mistake, and didn't even ask you! The same with the $100 million per year in tobacco lawsuit money, which they list "off the books," not as TABOR revenue. In the one year of a noticeable revenue dip in one part of the budget, they "diverted" $440 million from trust funds to splurge on their pet projects. Even if "C" and "D" pass, this stolen money will never be returned. They're raising fees instead. Isn't that shameful?
12. "C" and "D" hit a new low in DECEPTION. Politicians call "C" and "D" a "compromise." They get 100% of your refunds, and you get zero -- some compromise! They call this $7 BILLION tax increase "The Economic Recovery Act," the same title as President Reagan's 1981 tax cut measure. Has any economy ever prospered from higher taxes? No. In 2004, Gov. Owens said keeping people's tax refunds is a tax increase; now he says it isn't. In 2004, he said the state's budget was not in a crisis; now he says it is. In other states, he falsely bragged that he helped "frame" TABOR; here, he wants to end TABOR tax refunds, possibly forever! And he's their "best" spokesman!
Still confused about which side is right? 1) How old were you when you learned people would lie to get your money? 2) Ask yourself which side in this election wants your money. 3) When in doubt, vote "NO." Those rules work well here; please vote "NO" on "C" and "D." Remember, TABOR is the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights for good reason.
Douglas Bruce is an El Paso County Commissioner and the proud author of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) Amendment passed by Colorado voters in 1992.