Once spending limits are gone, Californiacation can begin. Having already raised property taxes -- with the help of friendly courts -- Colorado's patrons will have extra billions at their disposal. And now that the Democratic-controlled Legislature has unleashed its collective imagination and started referring to taxes as "fees," billions more will head to Denver.
Gov. Ritter has said that he would like to revisit the Taxpayer Bill of Rights question in 2011 -- bravely, a year after he runs for a second term.
What could be done with TABOR? Well, it could be eliminated. And when Morse and Ritter -- and other demagogues of doom -- push Colorado toward an Age of Enlightenment, they won't tell citizens this: Colorado governments spent almost $26 billion for the 4.3 million living in the state in 2000. And in 2008, they spent nearly $42 billion for 4.7 million people. Imagine what might have occurred without TABOR. Or just imagine California today.
In truth, TABOR forces elected officials to justify every penny they spend and constrains them to rational growth. In many ways, it cleans up government by stripping bureaucrats of power -- and nothing, I assume, is more bothersome to them.
More immediately, TABOR has helped insulate the average Colorado taxpayer from the disasters of overspending and mitigate a recessionary economy.
Other states serious about protecting taxpayers should take notice.
While they still can.
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