This week my car is turning over 200,000 miles. Why do I drive a 1992 Toyota with a cracked windshield that can go 0-to-60 in under 15 minutes? Yes, because hot chicks dig it. But there is a little more. I can afford it. The registration fees are low. Earlier in the legislative session Governor Ritter pushed a $100 hike in car registration fees. He pulled it once the masses started carrying pitchforks to his mansion. But now in classic Hokey-Pokey style – he put the $100 fee in, he pulled the $100 fee out, he put a $25 fee in and he shakes it all about. You see, under our state constitution, government must go to the voters to ask for a tax increase but not a fee increase, making fee increases the coward’s way of raising taxes. So, from the same folks who brought you a property tax increase without a public vote comes a car tax increase – just in time for $3.50 a gallon gas prices. Thanks Governor Ritter!
Archive for April, 2008
You’d think the feminist mantra of “I am woman, hear me roar” would be indicative of an eagerness to roar in the face of opposition. However, as Amy Oliver points out in our latest ivoices.org podcast, the feminists of Colorado College chose to whine instead.
Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, discusses the Colorado College incident involving a “coalition of some dudes,” the offended feminists, and the school’s administration. According to Adam, college campuses are not the stronghold of debate and open dialogue that we might all think. It is becoming more evident that communal “good” trumps individual rights when a particular group can claim offense and win over the administration. Unfortunately, the Colorado College incident is becoming the rule and not the exception. Adam Kissel and the FIRE however, are doing their best to change that.
If the Colorado College story piques your interest, check out this press release from the FIRE.
One of my favorite newspapers the Pueblo Chieftain backs our ethical standards for public payroll ballot initiative. Check out the paper’s house editorial.
Accordin to the Chieftain: “Jon Caldera, president of Independence, says the organization doesn’t believe governments should be collectors and distributors of dues for unions that turn around and spend that money to lobby the same governments. Independence believes that taxpayers should not be subsidizing unions that often work counter to the taxpayers’ general interest. We agree.”
Aside from misspelling my last name, the editorial is dead on. Ben DeGrow noted that the Chieftain endorsement is our third major newspaper endorsement. I expect more endorsements because this issue is simply about ethical payroll standards. That’s something on which most of us agree.
Let me start by quoting Linda Gorman, “If Families USA were a newspaper, it would be a supermarket tabloid carrying articles about alien abductions.” Families USA is at it again, doing its best to convince Colorado voters and legislators that a single payer health care system is the way to go. As you might remember, Linda Gorman and Ari Armstrong have written about Families USA’s deceptions in the past.
Fortunately, there are some rational voices out there challenging the intellectual dishonesty. Michael Tanner of the CATO Institute wrote a Rocky Mountain News SPEAKOUT piece dismantling Families USA’s fraudulent study that claims 360 Coloradans die each year because they are uninsured. Ari continues what Michael Tanner started; and Linda takes on Families USA’s claim that, “Colorado Will Lose 3,500 Jobs, $381 Million in Business Activity Due to Bush Administration’s Medicaid Cuts. At the very least, I have to admire the group’s tenacity.
Question: How do you pitch something to taxpayers that you know will not pass on its own merits?
Answer: Lowball the estimates and a massive, taxpayer-funded PR campaign.
Finally, the press is outing FasTracks as a high cost, inefficient waste of money. Perhaps we should call it Denver’s “Big Dig,” referring, of course, to Boston’s public works boondoggle that “has hit the pocketbook of almost every taxpayer in America.” The Denver Post reports, “A review of FasTracks finances by the Denver Regional Council of Governments warns that the cost of the transit expansion is likely to escalate, and it urges RTD to use more cautious financial forecasting in the future.” The Post goes on, “Overall, the capital construction estimate of $6.1 billion is probably at the optimistic,” or low side, DRCOG said, adding that “upward cost adjustments are likely” and “future increases to the cost of the FasTracks system should not be surprising.” So they started the campaign glass half full, and they continue their charade while donning this pair of rose colored glasses they borrowed from Sir Elton:
Can you hear that? That whooping and hollering is the sound of big government types rejoicing after HB1278 was killed. Despite the bill’s strict training regiment and preparedness, HB1278 was not even given a fighting chance!
As proponent Steve Fesch notes, “…None of us even got a chance to speak today. Many months of hard work and NEITHER the house or the senate even had to vote for or against property rights. Amazing. Get ready folks. RTDevelopment has a green light now with HB1354 waiting for Ritters signature and HB1278 out of the way…”
That’s right. Developers are licking their chops as you read this. It may just be a pipe dream at this point to hope that HB1354 will not go through. Keep your fingers crossed. And if you own property, cross them harder.
The Colorado Civil Rights Initiative, also known as Amendment 46, is a ballot initiative that reads, “The state shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any group or individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public contracting, or public education.” By all reasonable accounts, this language is your basic equality under the law type language. Sadly there are groups vehemently opposed to the initiative because they make a great living promoting preferences, not equality. They have found that the best way to disrupt measures like the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative from ever reaching the ballot is to raise questions about the signature gathering process. Both Jessica Corry and Face the State have pieces about the controversy and the media’s coverage of it. Jessica also sat down with me to discuss the initiative, who’s against it, and why they are trying to stop it before it reaches a vote.
© 2008, Benjamin Hummel. To see more cartoons like this go to www.politixcartoons.com.
Perhaps inspired by my incredible success with blogging (yes, my head is really that big), there are two new blogs I’d like to introduce you to: senior fellow Mike Krause’s Regime Watch, which as the title indicates, reports on Beijing’s world-wide thuggery, and Brian Schwartz’s Patient Power, which explores free market solutions to our current health care woes. Both authors have extensive knowledge in their respective fields, so unlike what you see here, their posts actually might make some sense.
Is “chainsaw etiquette” more violent or threatening than male castration? The administration at Colorado College seem to think so. For a discussion on the selective restriction of free speech and political satire on Colorado’s institutions of higher education, tune in to Independent Thinking tonight at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12. Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Jessica Corry Director of the Independence Institute’s Campus Accountability Project join me to expose how free expression on some Colorado campuses is encouraged and protected based on race and gender. For a repeat performance, tune in the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.