Letter: Root problem is TABOR
While I’m in complete agreement with the desire to increase teacher pay, using bonds is not the way to do it. Bonds exist to pay for structures that will be used for many years without having to pay for it all up front. (Think of it as a mortgage).
Using bonds to pay for salaries today simply kicks the can down the road. Another bond for next year for salaries, and then the year after that with increasing interest costs each year? Not sustainable.
Instead, the root of the problem is TABOR, which restricts how much the overall state budget can grow to inflation plus population growth. It’s a zero sum game. Increase expenditures for education, you have to reduce something else in the budget, thus the “gutting” of the budget that Rep. Rankin refers to.
While restricting budget increases to inflation plus population growth and requiring votes for any tax increases sounds good in theory, it has resulted in a hamstrung state budget with no ability to adequately fund bridges, roads and education.
Colorado lags far behind other states in revenues as a percent of total state personal income. And who has the time to review all the ramifications of spending proposals and new taxes. That’s what we have elected officials for. (Yes I know they can be self-serving, but how is that different from PAC spending fortunes on elections to influence the electorate?).
It’s time to put elected officials back in charge of the job we elected them for, representing us, by repealing TABOR. And if you don’t like the job they are doing, elect someone else.