Across the country, Americans are suffering at the hands of out-of-control state governments and spending.
But guess what? There exists an immunization that helps relieve some of the pain associated with that sort of fiscal calamity.
The remedy already is working wonders in Colorado. So, one might ask, why, rather than exporting the treatment, are local Colorado officials in the process of killing it?
Colorado has enjoyed more than a decade of above-average economic growth. The state, with its low taxes and highly educated work force, is cited regularly as one of the best places to do business and live. Colorado ranks high in income and consumption levels and, not surprisingly, also has managed to avoid some of the recession's brute force.
Colorado's dynamic economy relies on a multitude of factors, but none of those factors happens to be the presence of governors or legislators. Sensible governance is made compulsory by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and other state spending limits, which keep government lean and responsible yet also allow the state the flexibility to ask voters for more funding.
Now, as you can imagine, politicians abhor few things more than engaging in the unpleasant task of justifying their spending to the riffraff. Even more distasteful is dealing with bothersome spending limits that retard elected officials' transcendent power to help you out.
Accordingly, the bellyaching over spending caps in Colorado is ceaseless. Only a shyster politician would argue that allowing a budget to grow 6 percent over the previous year's total (and more, if you count transportation and capital projects) is unfair. Few Colorado families or businesses, I am relatively sure, enjoy that kind of latitude.
Yet this week -- only days after California voters overwhelmingly rejected their state's bid at economic anarchy -- Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter signed legislation to eliminate Colorado's spending limit, which henceforth will be referred to as "Californiacation."
For those Coloradans who still see usefulness in fiscal prudence, John Morse, a Democratic state senator from Colorado Springs, believes in you. "In the late 1400s, very few people believed the Earth was round," he explained. "By the early 1500s, we knew what was going on."
Colorado voters, treated like the dimwitted Middle Age peasantry of the 1400s, need to get their heads on straight and build a bridge to the 16th century. I agree. Morse's fight for unaccountable and disconnected government screams 1500.
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