READ THE BOLD PRINT: Hickenlooper, Democrat Budget A Spending Orgy

State Senator Pat Steadman and the organization he ghosts writes forThe Denver Post Editorial Page…have been doing their coordinated best to create the impression that Republicans are being stubborn for not backing Governor Hickenlooper’s budget.

The Denver Post editorial page called GOP opposition to the Democrats budget “sour grapes” over guns. Not quite. The Democratic budget is just the latest illustration of Democrats overreaching on guns, the death penalty, drivers licenses for the next Mohammad Atta, destroying the oil and gas industry, unionizing firefighters, etc., etc., etc. 

Steadman, the former school funding lobbyist, knows this. He is a budget conman, knowing just enough about the budget apparently to speak with forked tongue. Because as with all that is John Hickenlooper in 2013, this budget is a retreat from the moderation that was the Hick “schtick” in the last two years.

Check out this year’s budget:

· Total State Spending…UP from $18 billion in 2011 to $20.7 billion this year and rising to $21.9 billion next year. Students of the budget process will remember that for the first time — maybe ever — House Republicans actually reduced the budget in 2011-2012. Hey Curtis Hubbard, plagiarize that! This budget has nothing in common with that budget.

· Government healthcare and related spending as part of the Health Care Policy and Finance Department…UP 12%. Yo Steadman, please explain to us how that is responsible.

· Education spending… UP by 12.2%.

· Human Services…UP 12% 

· All other agencies…UP 8.4%

· Total added full time government employees…UP 1,383

· 2% pay increase for state employees and a 1.5% government bonus pool for bureaucrats. Real responsible Hick – real responsible.

What’s in the Hickenlooper budget is bad…almost as bad as what is not in the Democrat Governor’s budget.

· Hickenlooper’s budget includes no reform of PERA

· Hickenlooper’s budget includes no reform of Medicaid.

· Hickenlooper’s waste plagued Governor’s Energy Office gets to carry on business as usual.

One last reason Hickenlooper’s budget is irresponsible and impossible for anyone with fiscal sense not to oppose…not satisfied with a $1 billion increase with the money he has already got, Hickenlooper and the Democrats are itching for the chance to go ask voters for a $1 billion income tax increase in a few months. 

Part of the Republican argument against the Hick-Johnston tax hike can will be just how irresponsible this budget is. Can’t you just hear it on the campaign trail this fall: They just got a billion dollar budget increase this year. Why do they need a billion more? 

That is this year’s budget. It has nothing in common with what Republicans were able to win when they controlled the House in the budgets in 2011 and 2012.

From The Durango Herald in 2011:

Repeal in 2011 of the tax on farm and ranch supplies, such as pesticides and fertilizer. It’s worth an estimated $4.6 million. 

Repeal in 2012 of a tax on downloaded software. Estimates on the price tag vary from a high of $24 million a year to about a third of that.

A reversal of an earlier plan to balance the budget with $8.8 million from the account filled by medical marijuana fees.

The resumption of payments to businesses that collect sales taxes. Before the recession, the state let businesses keep 3.3 percent of the sales taxes they collected. Tuesday’s deal lets them keep 2.2 percent. The change is worth $40 million a year.

Eli Stokols reported yesterday that some Republicans are considering caving on the budget. We are sure Hick is twisting arms. There is nothing he would like more than to find a few Republicans to hide behind for a budget that is straight out of the Harry Reid playbook. We don’t think Republicans will cave. The fine print… and the bold print … shows another Democratic over-reach. This isn’t sour grapes. This is one rotten budget.

 
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