My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Romanoff's Budget Proposal

The Rocky tells the tale today.

Democrats will introduce a bill in the Colorado House this week to solve the state's long-term budget problems, even as they negotiate with Gov. Bill Owens and leading Republicans in hopes of gaining bipartisan blessing. . .

It would balance the budget by asking voters to let state legislators keep hundreds of millions of dollars in the near future that they otherwise would have refunded to taxpayers, because of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

It would earmark that extra revenue for spending on health care, education and transportation - programs that score highly with likely voters in statewide polls.

In exchange for keeping TABOR refunds, the state would cut personal income taxes from 4.63 percent to 4.5 percent. The governor's staff estimates that will save taxpayers $42 each on average. . .

Romanoff's plan would re-start refunds once government spending reaches the level it hit in 2000, before Colorado's recession, which he calculates at roughly 6 percent of residents' personal incomes.

In theory, and based largely on the explanation we in the RMA got from the Governor a couple weeks ago, I have no objection to returning government to the state it was in prior to the recession. It seems reasonable to put the government--which, in Colorado, is actually quite efficient--back in full working condition (which, I guess, requires an acceptance that CO gov in 2000 was fully working. . . that's for another day) when external influences are amenable to it.

My concerns are twofold: one, what is in this plan that would limit the growth of government once it is put back to 2000 levels; and two, with Amendment 23 on the books, why would some of this extra money have to be dedicated to education spending?

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