Archive for January, 2010

Let’s Talk About Hickenlooper

Posted by on Jan 29 2010 | Idiot Box (TV Show)

Mayor John Hickenlooper is extremely popular in Denver. But will Hick be able to work his magic outside the metro area in the governor’s race? On this week’s Independent Thinking, reporter Lynn Bartels and columnist Susan Greene from the Denver Post join me to talk about Mayor Hickenlooper and his chances at going all the way to the governor’s mansion. Tune in tonight at 8:30 PM on KBDI Channel 12, re-broadcast the following Monday at 1:30 PM.

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Imagine Writing THAT Check

Posted by on Jan 27 2010 | Government Largess, Transparency

I was looking at the Examiner’s list of new bills introduced on the first day of this year’s legislative session, and a couple of them are goofy, some are not so great, and some are good ideas. One of the good ones in my humble opinion is House Bill 1087 which would eliminate the mandatory withholding of state income taxes. Strangely enough, our Transparency Czarina Amy Oliver discussed this very bill with Mike Krause on

Aside from the obvious arguments relating to every working citizen in Colorado giving an interest free loan to the government, whether they like it or not, due to mandatory withholding, there is another argument to be made about leaving withholding up to the employee: IMAGINE WRITING THAT CHECK! I wonder how much outrage and hostility your average voter would have if they had to write a check to the government each year. Would that sort of income tax transparency be enough to cause an overall shift in demand for lower taxes and less spending?

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Econ Nerds Rejoice

Posted by on Jan 27 2010 | Economics

Man I wish I would have come up with this YouTube video. It’s gotten over 200,000 views in just a few days. If you’re into economics or you enjoy historically accurate rap (or both), you’ll definitely enjoy this very clever music video:

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9News Interviewed Me

Posted by on Jan 25 2010 | Health Care, Media

Adam Schrager from 9News sat down with me the other day to discuss our initiative to opt Colorado out of Obama Care. In addition to answering his questions, I also had the opportunity to answer questions from viewers. Watch the video, courtesy of Channel 9 here.

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Land of the mostly free?

Posted by on Jan 24 2010 | Economics, Uncategorized

The Index of Economic Freedom, 2010 edition, is now available.  The U.S. ranks 8th in the world, but has slipped into the “mostly free” from the “free” category.  As usual, Hong Kong and Singapore lead the pack.  Also in front of the U.S. are Switzerland and four other “Anglosphere” countries — Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Canada.  Please note that the Index measures economic and not political or social freedom.  While in general, the three tend to go together, there are significant exceptions:  Singapore, for example, as a great deal of economic freedom but much less political freedom.

Some people ask how “socialist” Canada can be more economically free than the U.S.  The answer is that although the Canadian public sector is still probably larger than ours (mostly because of their health care behemoth), Canada does better on other measures:

“Canada performs particularly well in business freedom, financial freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption. Straightforward regulations facilitate entrepreneurial activity. Overall, regulation is thorough but essentially transparent. A strong rule of law ensures property rights and equitable application of the commercial code.”

Like the U.S., Britain slipped badly.  Among the countries with significantly improved scores were Switzerland, South Korea, and Qatar.

The Index is a joint venture of the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation.

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Randal on Light Rail, Stosselized!

Posted by on Jan 22 2010 | Government Largess, Transportation

Senior fellow at Independence and the Cato Institute, Randal O’Toole, hit the big time the other day when he found his way onto the new John Stossel show on Fox Business Channel. He did a great job summarizing some major points against building infrastructure for rail, rather than more efficient and less costly means of transportation like buses. If you happen to be a “read” rather than “watch” kinda guy, then take a gander at Randal’s arsenal against light-rail here.

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Will the “HickenRitter” Strategy Work?

Posted by on Jan 22 2010 | Idiot Box (TV Show)

Can Colorado Republicans stick Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper with the political baggage Bill Ritter has collected as Governor?   Or is Hick too much his own man for that strategy to work  On this week’s Independent Thinking, Colorado Republican Chairman Dick Wadhams and Denver Post writer Chuck Plunkett join me to talk about the merits of the Republican’s “Hickenritter” strategy.  That’s tonight at 8:30 PM on KBDI Channel 12, re-broadcast on Monday at 1:30 PM.

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On the new free speech case . . .

Posted by on Jan 21 2010 | Uncategorized

Here are some quick comments on the Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United v. FEC:

* The Court voided a federal law insofar as the law banned independent election expenses by corporations and labor unions on behalf of a candidate. Direct corporate or union contributions to a candidate’s campaign were not at issue. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion. Continue Reading »

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The Best Scam Since Bernie Madoff

Posted by on Jan 20 2010 | Government Largess

If only the Beatles were around to add a couple more lines to the song “Taxman” to describe this situation. One of the unfortunate byproducts of TABOR is the increased use of “fees” by government. One of these new taxes fees is the tire disposal fee of $1.50 on each old tire Colorado consumers want to dispose of (usually charged to consumers buying new tires). Now here’s the genius: the fee is assessed BEFORE the subtotal making it subject to sales tax! What better way to raise some extra money than to tax a tax?!

Our investigative reporter Todd Shepherd uncovered this incredible scam with his new report, “Government doesn’t just levy fees, it taxes them too.” The story is already making the rounds as evidenced by this National Review Online coverage here. Like I told Todd, $300K might not be a scandal to some people, but if we don’t stop this from happening now, it won’t be long before we start paying taxes on all our newly minted fees.

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Join Us Today: Defend Colorado From Obama Care!

Posted by on Jan 19 2010 | Events, Health Care

Come join me on the west steps of the Capitol at noon. Show your support for our great state, and say NO! to federal mandates!

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