Archive for May, 2013

VIDEO: 2 Guys in the News Lately

Posted by on May 31 2013 | Idiot Box (TV Show), Second Amendment, Video

First up, Dave Kopel joins me to talk about the latest with our lawsuit against the new anti-gun bills signed by Hick.

Then Scott Gessler joins me to discuss the silly mail-in ballot law.

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Welcome To Colorado, 26th In State And Local Tax Burden

Posted by on May 22 2013 | Economy, Politics, Taxes

You might think that a self-proclaimed “economic development expert” would have a solid grasp of the levels of taxation in Colorado. You might be wrong.

In a recent Denver Post guest opinion column making a case for a two-tiered state income-tax rate, former state representative and executive director of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade Don Marostica makes the claim that Colorado ranks 45th in combined state and local taxation. Mr. Marostica did not cite any source for this claim. Here is the what he wrote:

For state taxes paid per $1,000 of income, Colorado ranks 48th. When state and local taxes are combined, Colorado is still near the bottom at 45th, below Texas and all our other neighboring states.

But according to the the meticulously sourced and cited 2012 Independence Institute study, “How Colorado’s Tax Burdens Rank Nationally,” Colorado is 26th in the nation for combined state and local tax burdens…hardly “near the bottom” in terms of paying taxes. From the study:

Colorado ranks 26th nationally, compared to all other states for the combined state and local tax burden, on a per capita basis.

You can read the study here.

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54 Colorado Sheriffs file lawsuit against anti-gun bills

Posted by on May 17 2013 | guns, Kopelization, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution

We filed suit against the unconstitutional gun laws today.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

A couple of hours ago the lobby of our Independence Institute building, affectionately known as the Freedom Embassy, was overflowing with microphones, cameras, and news reporters for the announcement that our lawsuit has been filed against the unconstitutional new gun bills. Quite literally, reporters were spilling out of our front door.

Sheriffs, representing the 54 elected sheriffs across Colorado, disabled gun owners, women for concealed carry, and the Colorado Farm Bureau all spoke on why they are plaintiffs in this landmark case.

You can see the press conference in its entirety below. Please take at least a few minutes to witness the passion behind our plaintiffs and listen to their reasons for challenging the State of Colorado. These are the people that make me so very proud to be a Coloradan. They are the spirit of Colorado.

We are honored and humbled to spearhead this effort to overturn these dangerous laws. Here is the full video of the press conference. Here is the official complaint.

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Colorado Kids Win

Posted by on May 14 2013 | education, school choice, Video

For parents who are interested in learning more about K-12 scholarship tax credits in Colorado, the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center has a new resource for you called, Colorado Kids Win. Along with information, outside resources, and videos (see below), you can keep in touch with the Education Center by signing up with their newsletter here.

How K-12 scholarship tax credits work:

How K-12 scholarships give Colorado kids hope:

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RE/MAX Founder, Sheriff Maketa on Devil’s Advocate Tonight

Posted by on May 10 2013 | guns, Idiot Box (TV Show)

Friday night means public affairs tv with the Independence Institute on Colorado Public Television 12. First at 8:00, catch research director Dave Kopel on the roundtable show Colorado Inside Out. Then stick around at 8:30 for Devil’s Advocate. First, RE/MAX co-founder Dave Liniger joins host Jon Caldara to discuss his new book, “My Next Step.” Then El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa sits down to discuss his opposition to Colorado’s new gun-owner control laws. That’s tonight starting at 8:00 on CPT12.

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VIDEO: Turning a Financial Disaster Around, Tribute to Barry Fey

Posted by on May 07 2013 | Idiot Box (TV Show)

If you missed the last episode of my TV show Devils Advocate, here are the videos:

First up, we discuss the true tale of a Rhode Island city that turned its dire financial situation around. How might that story play out at the national level?

Then, with the passing of famed concert promoter Barry Fey just a couple weeks ago, I help commemorate Barry’s memory by re-airing an interview I did with him from last year.

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Transportation One-Two Punch

Posted by on May 06 2013 | Economics, Taxes, Transportation

With all the focus on guns, it’s easy to forget about all the other areas the Colorado legislature effects our daily lives – like transportation. Transportation policy has been one of my pet issues for quite sometime. As you may recall, I used to be chairman of the RTD board (see, I’ve got some street cred).

Some important things to note: First, the big light-rail boondoggle moves forward with the recent opening of RTD’s West line. You may have read that it came under budget, but of course that’s not true. It actually costs more than double what they estimated back in 1997. Not to mention it will service less people than originally proposed, making it the perfect combination of a government program: Over budget with less benefits. You can read more about the boondoggle in this Complete Colorado Page 2 editorial, “Light-rail boondoggle moves money instead of people,” from Brian Schwartz and Randal O’Toole.

Speaking of Brian Schwartz… he’s been on fire in relation to transportation these days. Not only did he help write that fantastic editorial for Complete Colorado, he was also quoted in this morning’s Denver Post. In an article describing how the state can now use road money for virtually anything transit related (totally unconstitutional by the way), Brian is quoted as the lone voice in opposition (go figure).

Keep it up Brian, we – and our cars – need you fighting the good fight.

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