As of June, 2012 data (released this morning) Colorado has 86,000 fewer people working and earning a paycheck than four years ago in June, 2008. This is the measure of Obama's economic program.

This is the worst stretch for Colorado working families in decades. Forty-one straight months with unemployment above 7.5%. 336,000 more working-aged Coloradans without paychecks.

Colorado's unemployment rate has been higher than 7.5% in 69 months since Jimmy Carter was inaugurated in January 1976. Forty-one of those months have been since Barack Obama was inaugurated [BLS and LMI data, not seasonally adjusted]. Statistically, Obama owns this – hands down. But he shares the prize with Colorado's Democratic State Legislators.

Jobs just disappeared in this terrible recession. Our state's working-aged population has grown as well. It is this combination that resulted in 336,000 more Coloradans of working age – potential workers without paychecks – than just four years ago [source: calculations from State Demographer and LMI data]. This is a massive number of “discouraged workers.” It is 6.7% of all working-aged Coloradans. Add that to this month's 8.2% unemployment rate, and you have a lot of misery.

Read on for the employment situation where you live and for reasons our state's economy lags.

Let's get local.

Here are the changes in numbers of working Coloradans for our larger counties:

  • Adams | -5,059
  • Arapahoe | -5,030
  • Boulder | -5,684
  • Broomfield | -874
  • Denver | -13,929
  • Douglas | -4,806
  • El Paso | -17,247
  • Jefferson | -13,407
  • Larimer | -614
  • Mesa | -5,253
  • Pueblo | -1,109
  • Teller | -346
  • Weld | 1,964

Here are the changes for the smaller counties (regional totals):

  • Eastern Plains | 12,323
  • Intermountain | -1,457
  • San Luis Valley+ | 374
  • Metro Fringe | -1,499
  • Western Slope | -24,557

Amid the gloom, the only bright spots are Weld County, the Eastern Plains and the counties to the south and southwest of Pueblo. But Weld County, despite employment growth, still faces 9.2% unemployment.

Why are we in this pickle?

1. Baksheesh and Backscratching.

Baksheesh: “lavish remuneration and bribes …in return for little or no services rendered.” That's Obamabucks distribution here in Colorado.

Some of the cashola went to Obama's labor union supporters. Some bought refrigerators, computers and lightbulbs. Since “very few lighting products are made in the U.S.A.,” and ditto for fridges and computers, this is Obama outsourcing. The last American made incandescent bulbs – some styles – disappeared a couple of years ago, and making some fluorescents got outlawed just last Friday. Congress really thinks you create jobs by outlawing manufacturing in the US.

And then there's Obamabucks for bankrupt Abound Solar – and it's connection to a prominent Coloradan who lavishly funds liberal and Democratic causes. They called it stimulus; to others, it's payola.

2. Tax Explosion.

Not content with stupid spending, Colorado's Democrats doubled down with tax hikes. $5.9 Billion in new taxes and so-called fees and fines. With some paying the salaries of major donors to Democratic state legislative campaigns.

As Rep. DelGrosso said, “the Democrat’s continued pursuit of a failed tax-and-spend agenda shows how out of touch Democrats are.” State Republicans' plan is simple: expose and end hidden barriers to job creation and let local governments lower business taxes if that makes sense locally.

Incompetence and graft will not get us out of this mess. And that's what Democrats have offered.

JPMorgan reports a bleak future where “real GDP has been growing at a below-trend pace since early last year. If our forecast is anywhere near correct, that pattern will persist for at least another year, and perhaps even longer.”10 Obama and the Dems offer only “same old, same old.”

Any gambler in Black Hawk would change slot machines. And Colorado voters ought to put new people in charge.