Citizen Telegram Letters to the Editor: Denomy the best, what the GOP should do, taxes are squeezing hard, AA out of line
We have known Mary Ellen Denomy both professionally and personally for more than 10 years. She is professional, intelligent, thorough and loyal. She has the best interests of the community at heart and we highly recommend her for a position on the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees.
Paul and Pam Lauman
A Republican platform
Bob, the “liberal” member of “The Five,” on Fox News at 3 p.m., has claimed a great victory for the president and fellow liberals after the resumption of business as usual in Washington. There were no winners. Our nation was the loser.
At no time was there a serious discussion of lowering the national debt. Our political leaders are still focused on spending and adding to the $17 trillion national debt we are passing on to our grandchildren, their children and their children, etc., for time eternal. Republican leaders need to offer realistic solutions instead of expending energy trying to change laws guarded by the power of the veto. We need to get rid of the man wielding that power, President Obama.
The Republican party should offer a platform mainly consisting of two goals, reducing the size and cost of the federal government and promoting growth. Every federal agency should be scrutinized to judge its necessity in the overall operation of the federal government. Operations best left to state authority should be eliminated. This would include the Departments of Energy and Education, possibly others, and the reduction in the authority of agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration, which has out lived its usefulness.
Growth can be encouraged by freeing energy resources from restrictive governmental regulations. We could be exporting many tons of our greatest energy resource, coal, instead of trying to kill the industry. The [tar sands oil] pipeline from Canada should be approved. Growth results in more income to run essential governmental functions without raising taxes. Reducing red-tape assists growth.
Republicans have a difficult task ahead. To accomplish the agenda outlined above, it will be necessary to win a majority in Congress and the presidency in 2016.
Squeezing harder will last longer
A great man once said “a luxury, once experienced, becomes a necessity.” This same man would probably say today that a mill levy or tax increase, once experienced, will become a permanent need.
You can bet that similar reasoning with the same potential detrimental impact justifying today’s increases will be presented in the future as the justification to keep that increase.
Problem: The golden goose is getting weaker and not giving as much. Solution: Squeeze the goose harder.
Hang on to your hat, the road is going to get a little rougher.
Proposition AA out of line
This election, Colorado voters will consider Proposition AA, a 15 percent sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales. Colorado has never taxed a particular industry or product at such a high rate. These taxes would be in addition to the federal, state and local taxes already in place. Federal taxes on marijuana businesses and consumers are already higher than any other industry.
Proposition AA would be the highest tax increase in Colorado history, a reckless experiment that would create a dysfunctional market for marijuana, undermining the goal of Amendment 64. As a framer and supporter of Amendment 64, the purpose of the measure was to bring marijuana out of prohibition and regulate it like alcohol. Colorado’s alcohol industry pays less than 1 percent in state excise taxes. Prohibition does not work. Excessive taxes are another form of prohibition.
The pro-tax campaign is supported by what Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine has accurately labeled “The Marijuana Cartel,” i.e., large dispensaries and drug dealers that use burdensome and expensive government regulation and taxation to suppress fair competition from smaller businesses.
I recently asked the U.S. Attorney for Colorado, John Walsh, whether he supported Proposition AA and he said the U.S. Department of Justice did not endorse Proposition AA. An Aug. 29 memo from the Justice Department, providing official guidance regarding marijuana, does not mention local or state taxes on marijuana, but does mention an enforcement system that is “effective in practice.” Excessive taxes create a dysfunctional system that is “ineffective in practice” and creates a marijuana market ripe for takeover by the unregulated, untaxed, underground market.
Proposition AA would re-establish prohibition and drive marijuana back underground, to the detriment of all Coloradans. Please vote “no.”
Robert J. Corry, Jr.
Treasurer and attorney, “No on Proposition AA” campaign
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