Monday, November 07, 2005
Drowning in the BathTub with Norquist
TABOR is "the taxpayers bill of rights.' Among other things it says that a state CAN NOT spend more in the current year than they did last year. The problem is say a the state is in a recession and they cut spending to get through it. Let's say next year they are ok again and they bring in more money [even wth the SAME level of taxation]. TABOR says that they MUST give that money back to the taxpayers in a rebate check.
The State can not spend any more one year than the last [adjusted for inflation] on roads, schools, healthcare, or anything else. What has basically happened is ever since they passed TABOR, Colorado schools [especially their university system] have become some of the worse in the nation [behind even Mississippi I believe]. Not to mention health care and transportation infrastructure.
Well, now that citizens in Colorado have experienced the painful reality of the anti-tax republican nightmare they have voted to suspend TABOR.
On Nov. 1, Colorado voters spoke: No more TABOR.
Coloradans passed Referendum C, suspending TABOR (Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights). TABOR is a hodgepodge of “anti-tax” initiatives that have impaired Colorado’s ability to set priorities and respond to crises. Since TABOR’s passage in 1992, Colorado’s public services have severely suffered. A sampling:
The percentage of Coloradoans with no health insurance rose from 12.7 percent in 1992 to 15.6 percent in 2001.
K-12 education spending per student fell by more than $300 compared to the national average from 1992 to 2000.
In-state tuition at colleges and universities increased 21 percent over the last four years.
The progressive victory in Colorado unhinged its right-wing opponents. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax reform, attacked Referendum C supporter Gov. Bill Owens (R):
Young Republican children years from now will be scared in campground campfires by stories about Bill Owens - the tax-cutting Republican who magically turned into a tax-increase bad guy…and they will not be able to sleep all night.
Douglas Bruce, the author of the 1992 TABOR amendment, also responded maturely:
[Colorado voters] have to accept the consequences of voting themselves back into slavery.
Clearly, the right isn’t used to losing. But they had better get used to it.