Talk about bad timing. Not 24 hours after the lawyer for the Colorado Democratic Party and Marc Grueskin associate Martha Tierney pitched the idea of a $25 billion tax increase that would exist outside the confines of TABOR, liberal Governor John Hickenlooper took his case to the people that Colorado should allow him to override TABOR in order to fund education and transportation. Apparently, the Denver Post was sympathetic as its editorial team was pretending to be Hick’s comms shop:
“The plan may well be a “Hail Mary,” as Sen. Pat Steadman, a fellow Denver Democrat, dismissively described it this week. And it may be subject to challenge regarding whether it should should [sic] have to go to state voters (although we think the governor is right that it does not). But it’s a serious proposal and one that will go a long way toward loosening the budgetary straitjacket the state finds itself in without raising taxes or disrupting TABOR itself.”
We, too, are sympathetic to our fair governor. Who wants to fund super boring transportation when there are far sexier things to fund, like Hollywood blockbuster movies? Surely movie studios deserve a tax break for filming in Colorado? The challenge is that Democrats have a spending problem and the party uses government funds to “buy” voters’ loyalty. In fact, just a few weeks ago, Senate President Bill Cadman excoriated Democrats for complaining about the budget when it was their flawed policies that screwed up the budget to begin with. TABOR is about the only firewall that’s prevented Colorado from becoming California.
We recognize that the budget is screwed up. Hick’s idea was lauded as creative. It might be. But, the problem is that Democrats have lost the “social license to operate” in regards to the budget because they try year after year after year to chip away at TABOR, again, the only thing preventing them from taking all of Coloradans’ hard-earned money. Hick’s unfortunate timing here is bad, but Democrats’ horrific record on greedy tax schemes is really why people can’t take Hick’s proposed solution seriously.