TABOR - you know it, the tax payer's bill of rights. Every time someone tries to eliminate it, modify it, or even question it, our local politicos stand shoulder to shoulder and proclaim it to be good.
They claim it keeps government small and it keeps big government from growing even bigger since it limits the income available to spend. What do those same politicians do every time TABOR's provisions kick in and they may need to return some of their filthy lucre to the taxpayers? Simple, they ask that they not be required to do so. TABOR it seems is great policy until it works as it was intended.
Now they have met and rolled out all the great projects that could be funded with these extra dollars if only they could keep the money. I wonder if they have considered using a single one of those dollars to retire their $3 million dollar pledge for the Avalon? Have they thought that a few dollars could be set aside to pay for their CMU promises? Absolutely not, let those dollars come from other sources, these TABOR dollars could not possibly be used in that manner. No, they rolled out their wonderful list of great projects that could use these funds and would probably be doomed without them.
On the topic of higher taxation, rest assured letting our local political leaders keep those bucks would not result in a tax increase. No, no, no, you would simply pay more than you were required. Pay more than required under this wonderful TABOR program they profess to love. They say they are going to give the surrendered revenue to businesses which will probably send it out of town. Maybe they could find a way to let the local individual taxpayers have it, but, no, that would rob them of their argument favoring retention of the money.
The other night while waiting for my evening meal at KFC I had the opportunity to have a chat with a couple of painters. They were working over at the new Caprock Academy building. They were from Lakewood. Silly me, I would have thought we could find some local painters. Guess local powers that be do not want to ship TABOR dollars out of town but sending any other dollar is just fine.
'TAKERS' VS 'MAKERS'
Weeks after the election we continue to hear that the "takers" voted for President Obama to continue their subservience and dependence on big government. There are only two classes of people in our evolving political climate; the others are "makers."
I guess an oil company that receives tax breaks and incentives is not a taker. I guess that a local bus service that relies on grants and subsidies is not a taker. I guess that a city or county who aggressively pursues federal grants is not a taker. I guess that a local school district that receives a federal grant to combat truancy is not a taker. I guess a police department which receives federal grants from Homeland Security funds is not a taker.
Folks, those takers we hear so much about are not the huddled masses yearning to be fed and housed. Those "takers" by any definition would include virtually any governmental unit; and their misdirection of popular attention toward the huddled masses is merely a ruse to mask their own dependence on federal funds.
For those locally who champion smaller government, lower taxes and reduced budgets I challenge you to convince city and county government to cease applying for federal grants in furtherance of that aim.
"When one door closes another opens."
This is great news for all those 11,000 bankers, tellers and such getting the ax over at CitiGroup. With just a little retraining and outplacement assistance they could become baristas at all the new Starbucks stores soon to be opened. Certainly those 3,000 new Starbucks locations could absorb the 11,000. At least they will be "makers" brewing up really expensive coffee creations. The relentless march toward a service economy continues.
Self-proclaimed ranter Jim Hoffman is a local real estate broker and investor.