Jim Hoffman

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November 20, 2012
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HOFFMAN: Coloradans have spoken. They want their legalized pot

Well the election has come and gone and we are confronted by choices.

On the state level we have Gov. Hickenlooper, who is in disagreement with the voters on Amendment 64, negotiating with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as to how the federal government will react to the regulation of marijuana. Talk about a conflict!

The governor is being assisted in his discussions by the State Attorney General John Suthers, who believes the new state law is "bad public policy." These talks are being held in secret so that Hickenlooper and Suthers, I suspect, need not reveal they are working to subvert the will of the people.

The federal government, on the other hand, seems to think states know best how to manage pretty much anything, but thinks we don't know beans about pot. There has been an ongoing problem with politicians who accept the voter's choices when being elected by them, but work to undo the desires of the same voters when they have passed a referendum with which the pols do not agree.

I feel we need a referendum which would outlaw the use of any public time or resources in any effort to reverse the result of a popularly enacted matter. It has never made sense that we would allow our tax dollars and the offices and staffs of our "elected representatives" to be used to argue against us. So, there you go, for folks who initiate these things, there is your next thing to initiate.

TIME FOR CONCILIATION IN CONGRESS

Our local election proved you can get elected if you are a Republican (even if the Republicans do not support you). Case in point - Jared Wright who garnered more than 50% of the vote even after his early mentors abandoned him. Case in point - when the vote count in a contested election is not significantly different than an uncontested race.

While, at the national level, Republicans are busily trying to rebrand themselves before the next election; locally, the brand is solid. No need to soften our stance on immigration, other social issues or economic matters. Here in Mesa County we will toe the 40-year-old party line.

One choice many may unfortunately select is to continue a cult of personality in which President Obama is characterized as some demon who shall oversee the collapse of our nation. These folks need to look inward to determine upon whom that eventuality could rest. Those who sow the seeds of division and hysteria should certainly have much credit for the resultant crop. Others may choose to follow a more harmonious path. It is true there remain some areas of disagreement, but the immediate need to move our economy forward should outweigh ideology.

On the subject of the supposedly temporary Bush-era tax cuts, we have one group that seems to insist that all remain intact. We have a president who vows to veto any plan that extends those cuts to anyone earning in excess of $250,000 per year. This is roadblock number one. One problem the Republican "no new tax" group may have is the growing support of CEOs of major corporations for a tax increase and specifically one on themselves.

On the subject of sequestration we have huge automatic spending cuts that all agree will return our nation to recession. We have a group wanting to reduce spending in social programs but increase defense spending. Another wishes to reduce defense spending (or at least not increase it $2 trillion dollars) and maintain the social "safety net." Some wish to extend additional tax cuts at a cost of some $5 trillion; others do not. The process will certainly not be easy. My guess is they will not agree on anything and simply say: "We did not mean it," and delay those automatic cuts to some future date.

In other words, do what they do best, which is absolutely nothing except accept their pay and perks for not transacting the business of America. This Congress has been less than effective for the last 22 months we should not expect anything different in the final two months of its existence.

Jim Hoffman is a local real estate broker and investor who is trying to move from semi-retired to retired. He needs to retire to devote more time to unpaid interests such as skiing, camping and fishing.


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The Post Independent Updated Nov 20, 2012 02:44PM Published Nov 20, 2012 02:44PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.