(’76 Contributor) The elections have been over for over a month now. It’s time to take a look at the choices we made, so that we can understand and take full responsibility for them. Amid a heated and very closely monitored senatorial race, fellow Coloradoans made their voices heard and elected former appointed Sen. Michael Bennet to represent us at the United States Senate. This was done, despite many obvious concerns over the candidate’s ability to truly and effectively speak on our behalf. So now that we know who our representative will be, let us take a look at three important issues that will impact every Coloradoan: the Bush tax cuts, the death tax, and the economy.
Despite the fact that he spent his first year blaming his trillion–dollar budget deficit on the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, President Obama finally sang another tune a few days ago. After a series of bargains and compromises, President Obama claimed to have extended the Bush tax cuts because he was no longer “here to play games with the American people or the health of our economy” and that “it would be a grave injustice to let taxes increase for these Americans right now [because] it would deal a serious blow to our economic recovery.” So what took him and Senator Bennet so long to come to this conclusion? Although this may be considered as a short–term victory—since it ensures that our economy doesn’t go back into a recession—on the long–term it may not be enough because individuals, families, and business need a better idea of what to expect in 5 to 10 years down the road.
Another important issue that will affect many will be the death tax. The death tax expires this month and will come back in full force on January 1, 2011. The 2001 tax relief lowered the rate of the death tax from 55 percent in 2000 to 45 percent in 2009, and raised the amount of an estate exempt from taxation over the same period from $1 million to $3.5 million, before eliminating the tax completely in 2010. According to research provided by the Heritage Foundation, “The death tax is a drag on America’s family–owned businesses, destroys jobs, and lowers the wages of workers while raising little revenue”. The conclusion and recommendations made by the Heritage Foundation’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies encourage Congress to repeal the estate tax once and for all to remove this unnecessary burden from the weakened economy because “doing so would help create jobs for 1.5 million Americans currently out of work”. At this time and moment all indications point to the fact that President Obama and his Senator Bennet want the death tax to resume at its previous high rate of 55 percent.
This brings us to the last topic that affects every Coloradoan—energy and job creation. Colorado is in a unique position to be an energy leader that in turn will create jobs and help prosper the state; this can only be done if people like Senator Bennet and the EPA stop vilifying the natural gas and energy industry. If our desire is to see new ideas brought to the energy table, we need to take heart, listen, and give the industry a chance to prosper before stunting it’s growth from the word go. Senator Michael Bennet strongly believes in Cap and trade that doesn’t bode well for our state.
To conclude here are a few very important questions to ask ourselves. Did we make the right choice in electing Michael Bennet? Is he going to be in Washington, D.C. playing political games again or would he be there to truly look out for Colorado’s best interest? Although many might have an idea how things are going to look, only time will tell and confirm our suspicions.