January 13th, 2015
Colorado’s economy has shown remarkable resiliency in the wake of the Great Recession.
Unemployment has steadily fallen from a high of 9.6% in 2010 to an estimated 4.1% in November 2014.
Income indicators roared past pre-recession levels and now both wages and salary and per capita income are significantly higher.
In the past five years, taxes and fees paid by Coloradans to their state government have grown by 43% from $8.5 billion to an estimated $12.3 billion in the current year.
And next year, state revenue could surpass the state’s spending limit for the first time in 15 years, triggering a modest rebate to taxpayers of $116 million or 0.4% of next year’s state budget.
But those in the Government Always Needs More Money Choir just can’t stand this prosperity. They are howling that that this modest refund – and perhaps future refunds, if the economy continues to grow – are somehow strangling our state government. [Read more →]
Tags: Capitol Review
July 16th, 2014
Fortune cookies and Mark Udall have more in common than Colorado’s Democrat U.S. Senator might like to admit.
You probably know the juvenile prank of reading the message inside a fortune cookie – like “Now is the time to try something new” – and then adding “. . . in bed” to give it an off-color twist.
Sadly, Udall’s campaign rhetoric is strikingly similar.
The 64-year-old Udall hasn’t had a for-profit job in more than 30 years. But he’s made a political career by telling ordinary Americans that he and his Washington cronies know better than the rest of us about everything from educating our children to the type of vehicle we drive.
Ironically, he says in his campaign commercials that “each of us has the freedom to make our own choices, to live life on our own terms. That you have the right to be an individual.”
If Udall were honest, he would have added “. . . about sex” after each of those clauses because he doesn’t seem to appreciate freedom elsewhere. [Read more →]
July 7th, 2014
Liberty is something you would expect liberals to understand. Instead, the liberal view of liberty is backward, confusing rights with entitlements.
Rights and freedom should be synonymous. Authentic rights can be enjoyed without someone else’s permission and without imposing a burden on someone else’s liberty – including their liberty to use the fruits of their labors however they please.
Liberals also believe that they enjoy the sole prerogative to define which freedoms are truly important – primarily those related to sex and drugs. Other freedoms, they say, are not so important – e.g., the right to self-defense, freedom of religion, the right to own and enjoy your property, freedom of association, educational choice, or freedom to support the candidate or cause of your choice. [Read more →]
June 16th, 2014
It’s been said there are two political parties – The Evil Party and The Stupid Party. Take a few minutes to read the following, and then decide which label fits.
Four years ago, a group backed by Democrat billionaires Tim Gill and Pat Stryker spent $500,000 to help a virtually-unknown candidate, Dan Maes, rise from obscurity to win the Republican primary for governor.
Maes narrowly upset former Congressman Scott McInnis, 50.7% to 49.3%.
So why did Democrats – even very wealthy ones with money to burn – spend a half-million dollars to influence the Republican primary? Obviously, because they thought Maes would be easier for the Democrat candidate to beat.
They were right. [Read more →]
March 4th, 2014
March 4th, 2014
What sets Americans apart from people in so many other countries is that we actually like working. No, every job isn’t fun, but Americans understand the dignity that comes with work. We achieve a sense of self-reliance by producing something worthwhile, creatively using our unique talents, and providing security and opportunity for ourselves and our families.
When the Congressional Budget Office reported that ObamaCare would push 2.3 million people out of the workforce, all but the most blindly partisan understood this to be bad news.
The ObamaCare spin machine then proceeded to tell us that bad news is good news, up is down, and less is more.
“Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance,” lectured Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat leader in Congress.
Well, Ms. Pelosi, why stop at health insurance? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people didn’t have to work in order to eat, own a home, or drive a car? Then we could all just go fishing.
Except that somebody has to pay for all of this.
Under ObamaCare that “somebody” is increasingly young people. Already burdened by the costs of college loans, home mortgages and car payments, young people now see their health insurance premiums increasing (often by 60 to 250 percent) and their out-of-pocket costs soaring, too. [Read more →]
October 8th, 2013
Nobody likes the unknown, so it’s easy to understand why Americans are growing increasingly wary as the implementation of ObamaCare or, as it is formally known, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, draws near.
Although the law passed in 2010, many of the key components take affect within the next 15 months:
• Health insurance exchanges open on Oct. 1 and are supposed to help people compare competing plans and discover whether they qualify for a taxpayer-funded subsidy.
• Beginning in 2014, all Americans are required to be covered by health insurance which is approved by the federal government. (Many popular high deductible plans, which are less expensive, are not government-approved.) Those who choose not to be covered will be required to pay a tax penalty to the IRS. That penalty begins at $95 but grows to $695 or 2.5% of your income by 2016.
• Businesses with more than 50 fulltime employees are mandated to provide health insurance coverage to all employees who work 30 hours a week or more. The law says that mandate begins in 2014, but President Obama issued an executive order stating that his administration would not enforce that provision until 2015.
Still, the public grows skeptical. A USA Today/Gallup poll found that Americans disapprove of the health care law 53%-42%, with 41% describing themselves as “strongly opposed.” Another poll found that 77% want the individual mandate delayed or repealed, including 49% who want the mandate killed outright. [Read more →]
Tags: Blog · Capitol Review
September 29th, 2013
Whether by design or coincidence, rural residents can expect to take it in the pocketbook as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”) takes effect over the next 15 months.
Insurance exchanges, for those wanting to buy insurance, open on October 1 of this year. In 2014, everyone is required to buy “qualified” insurance coverage or pay a penalty to the IRS.
However, the new law’s impact on for people in rural areas isn’t the same as for those in urban areas.
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, rural residents are more likely to purchase their own coverage through the individual market or to be covered by employers with less than 50 employees.
Individuals under 35 are now experiencing premium increases of 40% and higher. Others are finding that insurance plans they’ve used for years are being discontinued because politicians and bureaucrats have deemed them inadequate.
Rural residents are also more likely to be covered by PPO plans because HMOs are seldom offered in rural areas. Under ObamaCare’s health insurance tax (or “HIT” tax), PPOs pay double the tax charged to HMOs and self-funded plans aren’t taxed at all. [Read more →]
September 12th, 2013
After the stunning recall of two Democrat state senators who led the legislature’s lurch to the loony left, maybe there’s still hope for freedom in Colorado after all – but only if more Coloradans become fierce defenders of their freedoms.
The ouster of Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) was remarkable on many fronts. Never before has a sitting Colorado legislator been recalled. Even more impressive were overwhelming odds that recall proponents faced.
With very little outside help and ample skepticism from observers, two motivated groups of local citizens – Basic Freedom Defense Fund in Colorado Springs and Pueblo Freedom and Rights – worked their tails off on a shoestring budget to collect enough signatures to force two incumbents to justify why they should remain in office.
Those citizens later received substantial support from gun rights groups and others but were outspent 7-to-1 by backers of Morse and Giron. The incumbents’ machine unleashed a torrent of frivolous lawsuits to try to derail the election and raked in more than $3 million, including a personal check of $350,000 from gun-grabbing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Dethroning the senate president is satisfying mostly due to Morse’s unbounded arrogance, but the Pueblo result was refreshing because it re-affirms that Democrats in some locales still value core freedoms – unlike the Denver-Boulder variety who so often behave as if the only freedoms worth fighting for involve sex and drugs. [Read more →]
Tags: Blog · Capitol Review
June 6th, 2013
John Hickenlooper had a chance to bring a breath of fresh air to the governor’s office.
Imminently likable and with a charmed political career, he could have been the rare maverick moderate Democrat – strong enough and bold enough to be a governor for all Colorado. He could have been the adult in the room when liberal legislators ran amok on the lunatic fringe.
For two years, he largely fit the bill. With a Republican majority in the state House offset by Democrats controlling the Senate, playing the centrist required little effort.
This year, however, he has been all too reminiscent of his feckless predecessor, signing virtually any bill on the wacky wish list of the loony Left. [Read more →]