Vote no on Proposition 103

I'm a no-vote on Prop 103, and so should you be. The ballot issue raising Colorado's income tax rate and sales tax rate for the next five years (ostensibly to fund education, but with no guarantee of doing so), is but the latest effort by the spending lobby to avoid hard choices about reining in the growth of government and disciplining the education "blob" toward greater productivity from its already-lavish resources. Barry Poulson and Penn Pfiffner lay out the economic and fiscal case against Prop 103 very ably at the Independence Institute website,

The Too Taxing for Colorado folks and former state Rep. Victor Mitchell add their facts and logic at these sites.

To see what the other side is saying, look here

Finally, painting with a very broad brush and not looking at the specific alleged case for 103 as a school-supporting measure, I had this exchange with the ever-liberal Susan Barnes-Gelt on Colorado Public Televsion last month, part of our regular "Head On" debate feature.

Susan: DU’s Center for Colorado’s Economic Future predicts that structural flaws in the state government combined with two recessions, mean the long-term fiscal stability of state government’s at stake. I know you think government ought to drown in a bathtub – but a bi-partisan group of leaders disagree.

John: Governments at every level are in danger of drowning themselves in debt. Colorado is no exception, and just like the federal government in Washington, our state has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Raising taxes right now would hurt job creation and postpone needed reforms. Vote no on Proposition 103!

Susan: We’re drowning alright – in our own excesses – waging two wars while we cut taxes, failing to keep up with China in infrastructure and educational investments, coddling Wall Street while we ignore Main Street. The deficit is mounting – leadership, vision, courage and vision.

John: As a free and open society with Judeo-Christian roots, I like our chances against communistic China, decadent Europe, or barbaric Islam. But we do have a responsibility deficit, and the result could be fiscal collapse. Feeding the beast with more taxes is not the answer. Vote no on 103!