Archive for January, 2009

Property Rights, 2009

Posted by on Jan 30 2009 | Idiot Box (TV Show), Property Rights

Property rights in Colorado are under attack.  In 2008, the Colorado Supreme Court gave it’s blessing for municipalities to take private property simply because the property is pretty.  RTD continues to condemn private property for private development all in the name of FasTracks.  Will the 2009 Colorado General Assembly come to rescue of property owners?  To discuss those issues and more, State Representative Cory Gardner and Property Rights Project Director Jessica Corry of the Independence Institute join me on Independent Thinking.  Tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.

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With All Due Respect Mr. President, Barry Poulson Does Not Agree

Posted by on Jan 29 2009 | Government Largess, PPC

The Cato Institute took exception to President Obama when he said,

There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jump start the economy.

So they took out a full page ad in the New York Times showcasing the amount of support the “other side” enjoys… from a host of well-respected economists, Nobel laureates, and our very own Barry Poulson.  See for yourself.  Barry’s name in all its glory, sits proudly in the upper left.

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Extortion, Bribery Still Legal in Colorado! YES!

Posted by on Jan 29 2009 | Amendment 49, Capitol Crazies, Labor, PPC, Transparency

In case you don’t recall last fall’s ballot ransom, allow me to refresh.  Unions extorted $3 million cash from businesses in exchange for them pulling  four business-destroying initiatives from the ballot.  I was offered $800,000 of that $3 million to pull my Amendment 49, which apparently unions didn’t like.  And what a “principled” idiot I was not to take it (please note current recession and the failure of Amendment 49 anyway).

The always stylish State Rep. Amy Stephens, who like most people think ballots shouldn’t be up for sale, proposed House Bill 1069 which, and get this, only makes removing a ballot initiative for cash a misdemeanor offense.  After all, if she pulled one of her own bills for payment or traded votes, she’d go to prison.  I came down to testify for this common-sense bill and to tell my story, but unfortunately the other side brought the well-known lawyer for the unions and the Colorado Democratic elite.  The message was received; Democrats on the State Affairs Committee killed the bill (kudos however to Rep. Beth McCann for bucking her party and voting ‘yes’).

Let me lay this out.  This isn’t bad news for me.  Now the the legislature has made it clear that we can place dangerous initiatives on the ballot and blackmail well-heeled interest groups to pay us to pull them.  I just found a new profit center!  And I am NOT stupid enough to be “principled” again.  Lawmakers can’t make money from yanking their bills, but we can!  Recession, reschmession.

Get the whole lowdown by listening to Amy Stephens on my radio show explain the whole ugly thing.

Press coverage:

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Transparency for School Districts

Posted by on Jan 23 2009 | education, Idiot Box (TV Show)

Crowded classrooms. Longer walks to school. Dirtier school buildings. All because school districts need more money.  Or do they? Some in Colorado are suggesting that before school districts ask for any more money, they should be more transparent with their revenues and expenditures.  Show taxpayers how their tax dollars are being spent.  To discuss spending transparency in Colorado school districts and pending legislation, citizen activist Natalie Menten and Independence Institute policy analyst Ben DeGrow join me on Independent Thinking. Tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; and repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.

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Show Your Solidarity Against Keynes!

Posted by on Jan 22 2009 | Economics, PPC

John Maynard Keynes may be dead, but his loony ideas sure aren’t.  Richard Nixon once said, “we’re all Keynesians now.”  Unfortunately, that sentiment still looms large over Washington lawmakers as they continue to work out the details on a massive government “stimulus.”  In other words, a gigantic economic fallacy writ large.  One that will undoubtably make the country poorer.  Makes me wonder why word of Keynesianism’s defeat never reached the beltway.  Well, here is my attempt to send that message down there.  Americans for Prosperity created an online petition called No Stimulus! whereby they will attempt to send the message that moving around, printing, borrowing, and outright stealing money does not “stimulate” the economy. In fact, allow me to quote the petition directly:

“Congress should not enact an expensive spending bill under the pretense of stimulus or recovery. We cannot spend our way to prosperity, and such an expansion of the federal government will put a crushing burden on taxpayers in the long-term.”

Join me in signing this worthy petition.  Otherwise I’m going to go down to Washington myself and treat each legislator like I’m Bill Lumbergh and they are Peter. “Yeeaaahhhh, did you get the memo?”

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Free People, Free Markets: RSVP Now!

Posted by on Jan 21 2009 | Economics, Events, PPC

Fiscal Policy Center Director and seasoned professor Penn Pfiffner has been bugging me to remind folks about his class Free People, Free Markets: the Foundations of Liberty. I’m finally finished with that crucial game of spider solitaire, so here goes.  This Saturday kicks off the first of five sessions for the class, so time is quickly running out for all you who want to attend but haven’t RSVP’d yet.  RSVP now! Or if web based RSVPing is too new school, give us a ring at 303.279.6536 and do it the old fashioned way.  Anyhow, the class is fantastic.  I learned more in one session with Penn than I did in all my days attending remedial classes (shop was a guaranteed B+ by the way; my pencil holders kicked major ass).  Plus, I wouldn’t have forced my entire staff to take the class in full if it weren’t the bees-knees.  They came away more more secure in their beliefs and chock full of new knowledge on economics, history, and philosophy.  Take the course people, it just might change your life.

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Get Smart: Health Care 101

Posted by on Jan 21 2009 | Health Care,, PPC

In addition to the great work that Linda Gorman does on health care policy, we’ve got another fantastic policy analyst in Brian Schwartz. Brian posts daily on our health care blog Patient Power and his articles can be found frequently in the Rocky, Daily Camera, and other major newspapers.  So I was thinking the other day that it was about time we get Brian on wax so to speak about the current state of health care policy in Colorado.  He agreed, so I set him up with my underpaid and overworked minion Justin Longo to do a podcast.  In this podcast, Brian and Justin go into some common misconceptions about health care, some policies that hinder the market for health care, and finally some policy prescriptions that would help free up the over-regulated system.  I’ve also collected some of Brian’s finer works as an overview of his take on health care policy.

Operation get smart about health care, GO:

  • Health Care is Not a Right
  • The U.S. Already Has Socialized Medicine
  • Liberty is Best Prescription for Health Care
  • Unions v. Your Health, Wealth, and Job Mobility
  • No Compassion in Forced Giving
  • Polis Implies He’d Represent the Worst in Us
  • “Universal” Health Care Kills
  • Compulsory Insurance is Collective Punishment
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    Belt Squeezing? Perhaps. Armageddon? Nope.

    Posted by on Jan 20 2009 | Government Largess,, PPC

    An actual budget cut or a scaling back on a scheduled budget increase?  That was really the heart of what I wanted to get out of our Fiscal Policy Center Director Penn Pfiffner during our latest podcast. My initial thoughts about the supposed $600 million budget “cuts” were pretty much validated.  Not to spoil Penn’s thunder or anything but if you don’t have the 8 minutes to listen to our conversation, here is the bottom line: the general assembly is not actually cutting $600 million plus from the budget, they really are only cutting $234 million…. which amounts to around 3.1% of the entire budget.  Armageddon?  Nope.  But honestly, what would you do without us?  Heeding the threats from the media, you may have been out buying rations for the coming apocalypse.

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    “The Count” Reads KidsCount! Report, Shakes Head in Disgust

    Posted by on Jan 16 2009 | Health Care, PPC

    There’s an old adage that I tend to follow, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” A slight twist on that one I also use often is, “if it sounds like BS, it probably is.” Nothing could fit that second insight better than when I came across this,

    between 2000 and 2006, the number of children living in poverty in Colorado increased by 73 percent – the highest increase by far of any state in the nation.

    73%! Are you kidding me? Well fortunately, KidsCount in Colorado! were. Phew. That highly unlikely statement was made in this 2008 report. Health Care Policy Center director Linda Gorman felt the statement was at the least, fishy, and at most dishonest. With some digging, she uncovered the truth behind that misleading 73% statement and published an Issue Paper titled, KidsCount! Report Showcases Misleading Child Poverty Numbers.

    Head over to to check out Linda’s podcast with policy analyst Ben Degrow where they discuss the way in which the numbers were tortured to confess things they should not have, and some of the rationale behind touting such misleading statistics.

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    Bonus Funny!

    Posted by on Jan 16 2009 | Friday's Funny

    © 2008, Benjamin Hummel. To see more cartoons like this go to

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