Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TABOR; A Formula for decline?

The exact same arguments made in this obviously left leaning Blog, are the reasons TABOR is a good thing for Colorado. This sentence says it all, “TABOR pits state programs and services against each other for survival each year and virtually rules out any new initiatives to address unmet or emerging needs.”

The idea that the state has to decide on the priorities for tax payer funds, and God forbid reduce other programs in this process, is exactly what business and the private sector has to deal with every day. And the idea that the state can’t get the funding for “unmet” needs is a lie. All TABOR does is force politicians to ask the tax payer for the funding. It only takes away the blank check that government has become so used to in their daily operations.

Can you imagine how difficult TABOR must be for those politicians that believe in expanding the role of government? It must be so hard! I know it poses a dilemma for the political class that believes it is entitled to your money; having to ask the people that pay the bills to be part of the process. The nerve of the tax payer.

TABOR has not impeded economic growth in the state; it has only impeded government growth. The numbers tell the story. Since 1992 when TABOR was adopted the government coffers have grown, and grown, and grown. People have flocked to this state to escape the high taxes of California and other east coast cities because TABOR puts a check on government growth. To suggest that this formula is impeding any economic activity is to not understand economic activity. Every dollar taken from the private sector and given to the government impedes economic activity. It is simply a transfer of tax payer money from the tax payer that produces it to a handpicked member of a political faction. How is that increasing economic growth?

There are problems as suggested in this piece with the funding of K-12 education and Medicaid but the problems are again tied to government. Medicaid is being pushed down through the federal government, and K-12 inefficiency is a product of government controlling the education system. Both are broken and must be reformed.

The education “problems” are all tied to the funding. So we are 48th in ranking regarding pupil funding, average funding dropped by $600 relative to the national average, and teacher salaries have not kept pace with the nation. I have news for everyone that believes money is the problem; it isn’t. It is the fact we expect a political bureaucracy to efficiently educate our kids. If you believe this you are never going to vote for me. And I will not waste my time explaining why education, the most important gift we give to our kids, should be a personal family responsibility and state assistance should be tied to the family to choose their education. More flexible education programs should be embraced and encouraged so parents have more choice and teachers have more freedom to teach without the heavy hand of political correctness looking over their shoulder. To give up our kid’s success to bureaucrats is our first mistake. My kids are in the Colorado public system but with two motivated and educated parents helping guide the way.

“The failure to regain services and the quality of life during the suspension reflects the difficulty of generating enough annual revenue to improve services in the aftermath of so many years of revenue starvation. There would have to be very robust and sustained revenue growth to allow the state to go beyond maintaining its current, low level of services and begin to recoup lost ground.”

In the end TABOR is about values. Do we value our individual founding principles or do we value giving up those values to government bureaucrats. I will keep my freedom and personal accountability for the success of my family thank you. As we are seeing on the federal level, government greed can never be satisfied. Not only are they ruining the lives of our children in the inner cities by shackling them to government education and programs, they continue to perpetuate the myth that government is compassionate. Government programs if measured honestly are criminal. Look at the generational dependence and poverty tied to the people utilizing government programs.

Government has simple functions that should be adhered to like maintaining roads and infrastructure, security through police and fire services, support for truly needy members of our community, not those that have been convinced to count on these programs, and a sound legal system. Government is a framework to encourage and support people in the quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Government can’t give happiness to some by taking away from others. That is what TABOR stops these government advocates from doing. If government bureaucrats want something they must ask. Simple. And if funding is reduced due to the formula, make the necessary adjustments to programs or make the case for the value of supporting these programs with additional funding by asking the tax payer to increase the revenue. It’s really simple for those of us that aren’t addicted to government for our livelihood.

We don’t make our living taking other people’s money under the guise of government. TABOR gives us a fighting chance for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s that simple.

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