OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 :::

Behind the TABOR Vote

From the Tax Policy Blog comes this item on Colorado's TABOR "problem":

The result in Referendum C is a good example of how scare tactics can obscure the ability of the public to make sound fiscal decisions. TABOR opponents blamed it for reducing state funding for roads, health care, higher education, and the like. But in doing so, they ignored the true culprit: Amendment 23, which requires Colorado to increase education funding every year regardless of tax revenue growth. In fact, all of Colorado's alleged fiscal ills emerged after the voters approved Amendment 23 in 2000.

Amendment 23 -- not TABOR -- is the true fiscal villain in Colorado. TABOR certainly does reduce the size of the fiscal pie as Colorado grows out of recession (the so-called "ratchet effect"), but Amendment 23 demands that education get a bigger and bigger slice, no matter how big the pie is. In fact, K-12 education consumed 40.7 percent of Colorado's general fund revenues in 1996, but it will consume 43.3 percent in 2006. This effect is particularly acute during a time of recession, when tax revenues fall, as they did in Colorado a few years ago.

Amendment 23 remains on the books and unaffected by Tuesday's vote. That educationuction spending will continue to climb, consuming more and more of the "give-back" voters approved. The problems the state faces with Medicaid, transportation, etc. will not go away. They may even get worse.

I spoke with a friend of mine in Denver today, and she said she voted for Ref. C. because the "big business types," local chambers of commerce, even the local Archbishop called for its approval.

Render unto Ceasar...until it hurts.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 11/02/2005 0 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

"Don't pretend that you know me...cause I don't even know myself" -- The Who

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