It was too early for drinking games when the new legislative session was gaveled to order this morning under the Capitol dome in Denver.
And yet the General Assembly remains under Democrat control, so it was bottoms up for us as we held onto our wallet with all our might.
As it turned out, the perfect drinking game to House Minority Leader Hugh McKean’s speech was to chug when every sentence ended appropriately with the phrase, “under Democrat rule.”
Long story short, we got very drunk.
Here is where we picked up on the game during the Republican leader’s speech:
For many families across the state, inflation and the rapid increase in the cost of living have been extremely difficult (under Democrat rule). The goods that once were affordable and fit within families’ budgets are no longer and with changing school schedules and a lack of child care, many families are having to do with less in a world where everything costs more (under Democrat rule).
Across the board, inflation is costing the average American family hundreds more dollars a month, consumer prices have increased 6.5 percent and producer prices by over 8 percent (under Democrat rule). This can be especially difficult in rural communities where families have further to drive and less access to goods and services (under Democrat rule).
Just this year, housing prices have increased 20 percent, a record high, and are expected to continue rising (under Democrat rule). The cost to fill up your car, up 7 percent, to heat your home up 112 percent and the price of coal up 35 percent (under Democrat rule).
Another essential for Colorado families, food, has increased in price at a faster rate this past year than it did during the last decade, nearly an additional $200 a month for the average family (under Democrat rule).
Goods across the country have increased in price at the fastest rate in over 30 years, creating real hardship for people everywhere (under Democrat rule). It costs them significantly more to feed their family every day, to drive to and from work, and to heat their homes. But, we have failed to truly make it better (under Democrat rule).
Instead, most of the last legislative session was spent passing bills that increased taxes and fees and made life more expensive for the very people we are trying to help (under Democrat rule). Families have long memories of hard times, most of our parents remember the toughness of the Depression, many of us remember the inflation of the 1970’s and the race between the money and the bills, never knowing which would run out first (under Democrat rule).
But good times often make us forget and we have had a few years of a good economy and opportunities with jobs and housing. What we will not forget is the legislation that was passed just last year that went around the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by swapping the word “tax” for “fee” (under Democrat rule).
We all know it is a gas tax, the Governor said so more than once this week. But now, ahead of the election, he has decided to delay the very fees that he told us were critical to pass, saying that delay is saving people money even though the fee is just another tax (under Democrat rule).
So instead of playing tricksy with words, let’s actually make things more affordable here in Colorado by eliminating excessive taxes and fees (under Democrat rule).
If families are not sitting around the table worrying about how to make ends meet, they are worried about the safety of their community and their children (under Democrat rule).
Today, communities like mine face organized car theft rings, early morning raids robbing families on their way to get to work. This is not some fantasy, the monthly crime rate in Colorado is up 15 percent (under Democrat rule).
Today we find ourselves in a position of weakness. Laws passed in the last few years have put our way of life at risk. The policies have hit urban neighborhoods especially hard and have forced families to choose between living where they want or moving to where they feel safe (under Democrat rule).
That’s not fair.
Hearing the staggering statistics of crime in our state over the last year should not come as a surprise. In fact, Republicans in this very chamber fought for hours on end in committee rooms here in this building against the legislation that helped create the problems we see today (under Democrat rule).
As a result, Coloradans have had to deal with a 6.5 percent increase in violent crimes, the highest levels in 25 years. That included a substantial increase in homicides and aggravated assaults (under Democrat rule).
Additionally, we lead the country in the rate of auto theft. Over the last ten years Colorado’s rate has increased by 135 percent while the national rate was only 3 percent, and we have seen the largest increase in property crimes of any state (under Democrat rule).
This needs to stop (under Democrat rule).
That’s about where we passed out for a long winter’s nap.
The Democrats also made speeches, which went like this: “Ditto!”
Admitting that under their rule, the state of things in Colorado have become rather stagnant, Democrats unveiled their new motto, “Moving Colorado Forward.”
Democrats pledged to act more like Republicans and save people money, which they will do in Democrat fashion by spending $40 billion with a B on this year’s budget with your tax dollars.
Meanwhile, House and Senate Republicans introduced their Commitment to Colorado package of 44 bills, linked on this page where voters can track the status of each piece of legislation.
Republicans will push for legislation to exempt sales tax on prepared and fresh food, tax breaks for rent, tax exemptions for seniors and veterans, and a host of other tax reforms and measures that just make sense.
It will be interesting to see what actually gets passed this year, under Democrat rule.
May it be our last.