(Centennial Fellow) Four years ago, Colorado voters decided to trust Democrats with complete control of state government - the governor's mansion and large majorities in the legislature.
As voters consider their choices for 2010, they might be surprised by how little governing Democrats have trusted voters in those four years.
Since 2007, Gov. Bill Ritter and the Democrat legislature have increased property taxes by more than $160 million a year, raised vehicle license "fees" by $250 million, instituted new hospital patient "fees" that will cost $600 million, and imposed some $180 million in new sales and use taxes.
All told, Ritter and the legislature have managed to increase the cost of taxes and fees by $1.19 billion and, miraculously, not once triggered Colorado's constitutional requirement that taxes can be raised only by a vote of the people.
In 2007, Democrats changed the school finance act to force most school districts to collect more property tax revenues, thereby reducing what the state spends on K-12 education. Previously, even many Democrats acknowledged that such a change must be presented to the voters.
This time, however, Democrats commandeered the political will to pass such a law and constructed a legal argument which, although rejected by a lower court, ultimately prevailed in the Colorado Supreme Court. As a result, Coloradans will pay an extra $160 million for property taxes this year alone - and more than $1 billion over six years.
Thus emboldened, the 2009 legislature smashed another of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights' (TABOR) prohibitions by eliminating the general fund spending limit without a public vote. Although Colorado Revised Statutes specifically referred to this provision as a "limitation" on the general fund, Democrats and their attorneys argued that it was instead an "allocation strategy" and, therefore, not subject to TABOR's prohibition against weakening spending limits without a public vote.
In its ruling on the 2007 property tax hike, the supreme court also signaled lawmakers that other taxes could be raised, under the guise of eliminating tax exemptions, so long as they didn't exceed TABOR revenue limit.To Democrats, suddenly everything that wasn't already taxed was merely "exempted" and a target to be taxed. So in the middle of a recession, they raised taxes on Colorado families and businesses by $180 million over two years.
However, the greatest deception is the onslaught of taxes masquerading as fees. Generally, taxes - which, according to the constitution, can't be raised without voter approval - are collected broadly and can be spent for any purpose. Fees, however, were generally understood to cover the cost of a regulatory function or of administration (e.g., licensing or registration) for which the fee is assessed.
Democrats made no pretense that the largest of their fee increases merely cover administrative expenses. Ritter suggested that the primary criterion necessary for a tax to be considered a fee is a "direct relationship" between the payer of the fee and a government activity funded by the fee.
Under this construction, it seems obvious that a new "fee" on gasoline could be imposed without a public vote so long as revenues are dedicated exclusively to highway construction or repair.
The most egregious fee - a $600 million tax on hospital services - is assessed on "outpatient and inpatient services" and ultimately paid by patients or their insurers, who receive no direct benefit in return. Ironically, Democrats dubbed this legislation, the "Health Care Affordability Act."
Together these two fees when fully implemented are projected to raise a combined $850 million a year. With fees of this magnitude, voters may never again be asked to approve a genuine tax.
Democrat candidate for governor John Hickenlooper recently said, "I think if you put issues before the public, they'll decide if it's a worthwhile investment."
That's not the way Democrats have governed for the past four years. So why should Colorado voters trust Democrats when Democrats clearly don't trust voters?
(Denver Post, May 2) “Son, you have become a man. Mom and I are so proud of your maturity. In turning 21 today and taking a bride tomorrow, you reach the age of emancipation. This is literally your time of being set free, entering upon self-determined adulthood. What a milestone.
“Because we care for you and your wife and children, we’ll stay involved as parents in a few small ways. We will provide a house for you, and cars as needed. We will supply you energy for all those. Of course we’ll always cover the medical bills for you and the kids. Costs of school and college will be on us as well. Plus an income floor. Pay a share of these things if you can, but don’t strain yourself. It’s our tribute to your independence.”
Independence, Dad? Who are you kidding? That’s a gilded cage. Any mother and father who coddled their grown children this way (some do, of course, to their sorrow) would be committing parental malpractice. Any son or daughter thus “cared for” should feel insulted, indentured, and infantilized.
But consider: The dependence we find so repugnant if indulged within the family is all around us politically, under paternalistic big government. Housing, heating, healing, food, fuel, lighting, leisure, teaching, transportation, and pocket money are ALL now provided, subsidized, or facilitated for many of us by the omnipotent State. And the trend line keeps rising, no matter which party is charge. We’re hooked.
To feed our habit, Americans will pay more in taxes this year than everything we spend for food, clothing, and shelter. And to meet the remaining cost of paternalism, we’ll borrow yet more from our grandkids. This year’s actual Tax Freedom Day, deficit included, isn’t until May 17. Obama’s spending orgy in 2009 and 2010 has pushed it later than at any time since World War II. Then we were fighting for survival. Now we’re just gorging for appetite.
Don’t worry, though. Those health care heroes, the Democrats, have the cure for our fiscal obesity: more calories. In honor of April 15, state Sen. Chris Romer warned that Colorado can’t hope to have a thriving economy “until we learn to raise our taxes.” That same week, US Sen. Michael Bennet claimed the Tea Party movement is “trafficking in a kind of nihilistic vision that says we don't have a responsibility to the next generation.” So now dependency is a duty?
Most Coloradans, whether their party is R or D or Tea, would snort in disgust if you gave them a Declaration of Dependence to sign. Statehood was only granted us, after all, on condition of upholding the Declaration of Independence. We pay it lipservice, picturing ourselves as “a free people” who honorably direct their own “lives and fortunes,” and resist despotism “with manly firmness.” Yet sadly, we’re more like a fatty seeing muscle in the mirror. The firm self-reliance of our forefathers has gone to flab.
The collectivist freebies we all depend on are scarcely imagined in the Colorado Constitution – and unauthorized in the United States Constitution. Immense unfunded liabilities for entitlements and pensions, state and federal alike, loom like Katrina headed for landfall. Yet the political establishment shrugs off the impending emergency. Democrats and Republicans, courts and media, labor and business have combined to weaken this state’s best protection, TABOR.
Citizens unwilling to declare their dependence have put on the ballot a TABOR rescue package. Amendment 60 restores our vote on property taxes. Amendment 61 restores our vote on debt. Proposition 101 cuts the tax on cars, phones, and income. Womb-to-tomb paternalism will suffocate our liberty and prosperity if we don’t bestir ourselves. Passing those three measures would be a start.
(Centennial Fellow) After imposing more than $1 billion a year in tax and fee increases - without once seeking voter approval - liberal Democrats in the Colorado legislature now want voters to permit them to raise taxes without limitation and without ever asking voters again.
Can you say, "Oblivious to irony"?
Colorado's constitutional stipulates that taxes cannot be increased without asking the voters. But voters have an annoying habit of saying "no" to big-spending politicians who think their priorities are more important than those of the voters, so in just the past four years Democrats have:
· Increased vehicle licensing taxes by $40-$50 per vehicle per year, plus substantial penalties, and called them "fees" just so they didn't need to ask for voters' permission.
· Increased assorted taxes on Colorado families and businesses by $50 million last year and another $130 million this year, again without ever seeking voters' permission.
· Increased your property taxes by some $150 million this year alone, again without voter approval, calling that scheme the "Colorado Children's Amendment."
Apparently, liberals are betting that voters have a very short memory because, as you may recall, the 2007 Children's Amendment was touted as a "commitment to pre-school programs, full-day kindergarten and local school districts" and as a plan to prevent the State Education Fund from becoming insolvent, according to a press release from Gov. Bill Ritter.
Now, we're told, schools are on the brink of financial catastrophe and, oh by the way, the State Education Fund is broke anyway.
House Concurrent Resolution 1002 asks voters to exempt K-12 education and higher education - which account for 60 percent of state general fund spending - from all constitutional spending limits and from the requirement that tax increases must be approved by the voters.
Because money is fungible, it would eviscerate the last meaningful taxpayer protection in the state constitution.
To be sure, local school districts have had a couple tough budget years. But so has the State of Colorado and so have taxpaying families and businesses.
Despite numerous attempts to shield education from economic reality, the legislature's bag of tricks finally ran out this year along with taxpayers' money. Since voters adopted Amendment 23 ten years ago, in yet another plan to give schools all the money they need, schools have been exempted from the cuts that confronted the rest of the state budget.
Ten years ago, the state spent an average of $5,168 per pupil. In the recently-approved 2010-11 budget, the average is $7,279 - a cumulative increase of 40 percent.
Last year, even after the legislature rescinded $148 per student, schools still received an average increase of more than $200 per student over the previous year.
Despite two recessions in the last decade, per pupil spending has increased each and every year. That doesn't mean that schools haven't experienced increasing costs for health care, for energy and for funding retirement pensions or that the legislature hasn't cut back in other areas. However, these are conditions that businesses and families must manage as well - and they must do so without the power to tax.
Because it seeks to amend the state constitution, HCR 1002 needs a two-thirds majority in both the Colorado House and Senate. It will almost certainly fall short of that goal. However, proponents could put their proposal on the ballot via petition.
Selling it to voters will be an uphill climb, as proponents of Amendment 59 learned in 2008. That proposal, which sought to repeal parts of TABOR and Amendment 23, was far more even-handed, backed by more than $2 million and opposed by less than $50,000. Nonetheless, voters rejected it 54 to 45 percent.
The prospect that voters, whose trust of government is near an alltime low, would reward the tax hikers with even more power to tax is a longshot.
That liberal Democrats are so tone deaf that they are forging ahead anyway demonstrates their abject isolation from the financial hardships facing ordinary Coloradans.
On Sunday, 219 of our supposed Congressional "representatives" approved Obamacare. This so-called health-reform bill, costing nearly a trillion dollars, commits us to a yet more devastating deficit.Cobbled together with undisclosed, unintegrated special-interest deals, the only people whose wishes it does not address are thetax-payers. You and I just get to pay.Worse, America lost. This administration flouts the precious principle of representative government, fundamental to our republic. Monstrous deficits undermine our economy, inflating costs and decreasing jobs. No longer a beacon of freedom, our government becomes just another corrupt, deal-ridden, coercive mire."Leaders" ought to serve as both public servants and exemplars. That outrageous shenanigans and skullduggery were deployed to compel Obamacare votes is wrong for America.But the November election is less than eight months away. Now we know precisely who puts party politics and petty deals ahead of our interest. Now we can issue 219 pink slips.
('76 Editor) Two important articles published recently, along with a classic from the early Reagan years, remind us how deep and grave are the pathologies threatening American self-government -- and map out the fundamental change of thinking we must achieve as conservatives if our country is not to go the way of Rome or Britain. Contemporary writers Jeff Bergner and Matthew Spalding in recent weeks have echoed the insights of Stan Evans, Bill Buckley's compatriot in the 1980s, warning that the fateful options we face are to understand the soul of America either as unlimited government seeking a coercive utopia (the liberal or progressive vision), or as limited government wherein freely choosing individuals can order their own lives (the Founders' vision). It goes so much deeper than just arguing over who's up and who's down in the polls, how to keep entitlements and the deficit in hand, and whether Democrats or Republicans should win the next election. Underlying those superficial matters is the question of what self-government really means -- and whether Americans are still capable of it.
If you love our country and want to be part of saving and renewing it, I urge you to study these three profound diagnoses:
Can Republicans Govern? Not Unless They Change 'The Narrative'By Jeff Bergner, The Weekly Standard, Feb. 8, 2010
A Republic, If You Want It: The Left's Overreach Invites the Founders' ReturnBy Matthew Spalding, National Review, Feb. 8, 2010
Unlearning the Liberal History LessonBy M. Stanton Evans, Imprimis (Hillsdale College), March 1980
(CCU Faculty) The other day, Vincent Carroll of the Denver Post took Congressman Jared Polis to task for his hypocrisy regarding free speech. Polis has strongly criticized the recent Supreme Court decision rolling back restrictions on corporate speech accusing the latter of using their resources to “confuse and trick people.” Carroll pointed out that Polis is fine with using his considerable private wealth to, I assume, “confuse and trick people” since that’s what money is for.
Carroll points out the buckets of money Polis has poured out to buy allies and elections—especially his own. Par for the course—lots of politicians buy their way into office. But today Polis rebutted Carroll’s accusation.
I guess it was a rebuttal, if by rebuttal we mean using hypocrisy to defend hypocrisy.
Polis’ defense was this: corporations aren’t “human beings.” They aren’t “alive.” That’s it. As a result they don’t have the same free speech rights as plutocrats like Polis. He can spend his money any way he wants because he is a live human being.
Is it lost on Polis that labor unions aren’t “human beings?” What about 527s? What about political parties? What about newspapers? They are afforded exceptions to campaign laws but last time I looked the New York Times was not a human being—just a propaganda arm for the left wing elite.
If Polis is so worried about the role of money in politics he could have started with the last presidential election. His candidate outspent his opponent by 300 million dollars after pledging to only feed at the public trough. Or he could have gone after trial lawyers who do more than anyone else to “confuse and trick people.”
Jared Polis is proof-in-person of one iron law I have observed over the past thirty years. I have never met a single Leftist who believed in unrestricted political speech. Like Jared Polis they all have one standard—free speech for me and not for thee. Polis’ problem with corporations is not that they are not human beings but they might spend their money to support causes he opposes. And that’s the rub. It’s always the rub. The Leftist vision cannot be implemented if people are allowed to freely choose from equally represented alternatives. Because the Left will be rejected every time just as their vision of healthcare and economics is being rejected by the American people at this very moment.
Tricking and confusing people is what the Jared Polises of the world are all about. And they don’t want anyone else to have the opportunity to do it.
Of all the fairy tales that liberal politicians seem to believe — such as man-made global warming or that more government health care spending will reduce the deficit — there one fable they seem unable to comprehend: "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg."
Most will recall the story of the couple blessed by a goose that each day produced one golden egg and made them rich. Not content with their good fortune, the couple decided to cut the goose open and collect the bevy of golden eggs inside.
Instead, they found that, like other geese, their goose produced just one egg a day, and so by killing her, they failed to realize a bonanza of golden eggs and, or course, killed their goose.
In Colorado, we see the same short-sighted thinking, demonstrated by a legislature and governor who, in order to balance government's budget, chose to impose $130 million in higher taxes on the very businesses whose success is vital to a strong economy.
When minority Republicans argued that raising taxes on business during a recession is counterproductive, they were assailed by Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll, a Denver Democrat, who unfurled this blazing display of pious myopia:
"We're asking big business to pay their fair share so that we don't have to keep balancing the budget on the backs of teachers, police officers and firefighters, senior citizens and the neediest who depend on our safety net."
Speaker Carroll wasn't finished: "It's only the GOP and their special-interest cronies who have been complaining because we're rolling back corporate welfare and special interest tax loopholes."
If sanctimony and economic illiteracy were currency, the Speaker could buy his favorite professional sports franchise.
Where, pray tell, does he think the $7.5 billion in the state's general fund comes from? Overwhelmingly, it comes from businesses that make a profit, pay taxes and employ workers (who also pay taxes) only if they can produce something that consumers will buy. Contrast that with government, which produces nothing that people willingly purchase. That's why government must raise money through taxes and fees.
The state has less money to spend because business receipts are down. When business is booming, businesses pay more in taxes — happily — because sales volume and profits increase. When receipts are down, business not only pays less in taxes, but it spends less on payroll and production.
When government raises taxes during a recession, businesses have no choice but to cut costs further by reducing payroll and other investments that would have generated tax revenue. It's a vicious cycle, and short-sighted tax hikes inevitably backfire on legislators who view protecting government as their first priority.Speaker Carroll and so many of his colleagues seem to believe that Colorado is a government that supports an economy, rather than an economy that supports a government.
Perhaps if the Speaker had ever met a payroll, he would understand why these policies — and his rhetoric — are disastrous.
That's a problem — dearth of business experience — that increasingly afflicts the Democrat caucuses at the State Capitol, hence their view of business as just another "special interest." Democrat legislators' work experience comes predominately from government or non-profit fields that don't rely on their ability to efficiently produce goods or services but on the tax dollars or generosity of those who must.
In the House, 70 percent of Democrats come from government or non-profit fields; in the Senate, it's 57 percent. Among Republicans, only 26 percent of representatives and 28 percent of senators come from a government or non-profit background. (Incidentally, that's counting all attorneys in both parties as private-sector producers.)
Democrat legislators and Gov. Ritter landed in this predicament because they worship at the altar of government. That's why they can't resist spending every dollar they take in during good times, rather than setting some aside for hard times.
That's why, for the past two years, they've ignored pleas to budget cautiously and have made promises to schools and to seniors that they cannot keep. That's why they are willing to see just how much abuse the golden goose can take.
Centennial Fellow Mark Hillman was previously senate majority leader and state treasurer. To read more or comment, go to www.MarkHillman.com.
When praising his own “accomplishments” Barack Obama has an unusual fondness for the word “unprecedented” though invariably his assertions lack any historical validity. In contrast the voters of Massachusetts can now claim an accomplishment that entirely justifies the use of that word. To find an event in American history reasonably comparable in character and impact to the Massachusetts Earthquake we must go all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt’s 1937 attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court. That is the last-perhaps the only- time in our history that a President commanding huge congressional majorities sought with breathtaking arrogance to redesign the constitutional, social and economic foundations of the country and was stunningly defeated by the very people who long had been his party’s staunchest supporters. With a righteousness and sense of invincibility engendered by three consecutive triumphal election cycles that had given him and his party an extraordinary dominance Roosevelt sought to demonize the “nine old men” of the Supreme Court who had the temerity to strike down key elements of the New Deal as unconstitutional. With little consultation outside his inner circle and apparent indifference to how such a radical move would be received in the country Roosevelt advanced sweeping legislation that would increase the membership of the Supreme Court from nine to fifteen and replace lifetime appointment with mandatory retirement ages, moves which would enable him to swiftly “pack” the Court with hand-picked minions. It was at this point that ordinary Americans and several key Democratic leaders like Montana’s Senator Burton K. Wheeler decided that Roosevelt’s radical power grab was going too far and actively threatened the nation’s hallowed Constitutional traditions. The Court “packing” scheme was decisively defeated in the Congress and the final political result was the Democratic Party losing seven Senate and 80 House seats in the 1938 mid-term elections. That was America’s last peacetime election before World War II restored the country’s economy, ended the Great Depression, and redeemed the political fortunes and historical reputation of Franklin Roosevelt. Nonetheless 1937 remains a decisive turning point in American history when the overarching ambition of a well-intended but tone deaf President were dramatically rebuffed by a most unlikely combination of opponents who read the national mood far better than he. The week that saw the unbelievably improbable election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts also witnessed the startling collapse of the recently “inevitable” Obamacare legislation, and the absolute implosion of the Democratic Party in a tawdry spectacle of shock, fear, anger, finger-pointing, pseudo-contrition, confusion, chaos, and general cluelessness. Not in living memory has a dominant political party been so devastated, so quickly by a single wildly unpredictable event. It is easier to search the past for perspective on this American melodrama, than to divine its future conclusion. Much will turn on the choices made by the Democratic Party. Will there be a Clintonesque dash to the center, (“the end of big government and welfare as we know it”) by a President in hot pursuit of re-election?
Or, will the Party in certain knowledge that it will never again enjoy such Congressional dominance heed the frenzied howls of its far left and “double-down” on the strategies of bigger government, redistributionist legislation, and intolerable taxation that have so alienated the public? Rational calculation would seem to demand the former direction, but in critical degree today’s Democratic Party is far more radical than the Party that was dethroned in 1994. The dominant Furies that energize and fund the Democrats are of an ideologically obsessed mindset unlike anything that ever before captured control of a major American political party. President Obama’s utterances since the upheaval are suggestive of self-pity and delusion. Excusing his inattentiveness because he was “so busy getting stuff done” and then claiming that both he and Scott Brown were elected by the same anger at George Bush bespeaks a man quite out of touch with reality. His lame attempt at populism-Let’s punish those greedy bankers- is nothing but the class warfare and general assault on capitalism that has been the thinly disguised agenda of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Axis from the beginning. What’s new is that now the American people know it and are determined with their votes to decisively defeat it.Centennial Fellow William Moloney was Colorado Education Commissioner, 1997-2007. His columns have appeared in the Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, and Rocky Mountain News.
Bismarck, Prussia's Iron Chancellor, once said, “Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made.” In the case of the current government, bound and determined to take over our health care system regardless of public opposition, never have so many Americans been privy to the making of sausage—and it hasn’t been pretty. One must wonder if this much bribery and corruption are in plain view, what must be going on behind the scenes?
It seems that Liberal Democrats have a very limited number of tools in their toolbox. Their tool of choice always seems to be the one of bribery. Seek out the greatest weaknesses and deepest self-interests of your opposition, offer it to them and they'll sell out anyone or anything. Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson and the SEIU are but the most blatant examples.
Isn’t this what Democrats have done with large swaths of voters? They give out crumbs in order to chip away at self-sufficiency, and recipients vote their greatest weaknesses and their deepest self-interests even if government dependency is not in their best interest. This is all wrapped in the most amazing paradox of all; the bludgeoning banner of “compassion” so as to claim moral superiority.
That’s quite a feat for an ideology with so few tools in its toolbox.
What’s the solution? Make self-sufficiency popular again, as a function of self-esteem and happiness. Do that, and the Democrat machine is disabled with no tools to restart its engine.
After all the Hickenhoopla dies down, Colorado voters may experience a sick feeling of déjà vu as the Denver mayor and Democrat candidate for governor claims that he's "business friendly."
We've been down this campaign trail before, just four years ago, when nice guy Bill Ritter bent over backward to ingratiate himself to every gulliblebusiness organization in the state. Only the most ardent Republicans refused to fall for the fallacy of a business-friendly Democrat, and business leaders and editorial boards across the state have been (deservedly) kicking themselves ever since.
So, here we go again.
Like Ritter, Denver mayor John Hickenlooper comes across as likable. His knack for self-deprecating humor is particularly endearing.
Like Ritter, Hickenlooper seems like the kind of guy whom you would welcome as your next-door neighbor. Neighborliness might indicate he has the skills to shovel snow off your sidewalk -- as Hickenscooper has already demonstrated -- but doesn't equate to "this guy will make a great governor."
Like Ritter, Hickenlooper aims to avoid any serious challenge from within his own party, and that doesn't happen unless labor union bosses are convinced they have a candidate who will do their bidding.
The Denver Post reported that one of Hickenlooper's early testing-the-waters phone calls was to Wally Stealey, retired lobbyist and labor union stalwart, who complained that "labor had been terribly abused by Ritter."
This is the same Ritter whom The Post -- which in 2006 lauded him as "the best choice for Colorado" -- labeled "a toady to labor bosses" and "a bagman for unions and special interests" just one year later.
While Hickenlabor strives mightily to assure union bosses that he will be even better for them (which means worse for Colorado's economy) than was Ritter, will so-called "business leaders" again be duped?
Will they dismiss the costly lessons learned during the past three years?
Will they believe that a candidate who can enthrall hard-core union leaders and hard-left environmentalists will, once elected, throw them under the bus to please the business community?
When Hickenlooper ran for mayor, he ran in a nonpartisan election decided by personal popularity and he benefited from being "anybody but Don Mares." But as Ritter has learned, when Democrats control the legislature, a Democrat governor who vetoes Democrat legislation -- particularly legislation backed by organized labor -- evokes the ire of his party's liberal base.
Remember that four years ago, The Denver Post reported that candidate Bill Ritter "indicated he would be at least as business friendly as Republican Gov. Bill Owens." To prove this, Ritter reviewed the 47 bills that Owens had vetoed in 2005 when sent to him by a decidedly business-hostile Democrat legislature. Ritter claimed that he would have vetoed 38 of those bills.
Despite that tough talk, Gov. Ritter has vetoed eight, seven and four bills, respectively, in his first three years. Out of more than 1,400 billspassed, that's a rubber-stamp rate of 98.7%. And still Big Labor feels "abused."
Did the Democrat-controlled legislature suddenly turn over a business-friendly leaf and cease to do the bidding of labor unions, trial lawyers and anti-capitalists? Hardly.
Quick-witted Republican state chairman Dick Wadhams dubbed the new Democrat governor-in-waiting "Hickenritter" and argued, "There is not a dime's worth of difference between (Ritter and Hickenlooper)."
Colorado voters deserve, Wadhams says, to know which Ritter policies Hickenlooper will overturn:
* Ritter's property tax increase?* Ritter's vehicle fee increase?* Ritter's early release of violent criminals?* Ritter's executive order to unionize state workers?* Ritter's repeal of state spending limits?* Ritter's job killing energy policy?
Hopefully, Colorado voters will insist on firm answers to these tough questions after enduring three -- going on four -- years of a Democrat monopoly at the State Capitol.
After all, voters bought the myth of a business-friendly Democrat and it's cost more than $1 billion higher taxes and fees ‹ all without a public vote.
The old adage says, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
Colorado can't afford to be fooled twice.
Centennial Fellow Mark Hillman served as state treasurer and senate majority leader. To readmore or comment, go to www.MarkHillman.com .