Archive for the 'Government Largess' Category

Not raising the debt limit = balancing the budget

Posted by on Oct 16 2013 | congress, Constitutional Law, debt, federal shutdown, Government Largess, Government Largess, Growth of Government, Spending Clause

Not raising the debt limit is simply running a balanced budget.

Yes, that’s right: The President and Congress may have to balance the federal budget in the next few days! Horrors!

Let’s get some clarity here. When the federal government hits the debt limit it does NOT mean that it can’t borrow or that it can’t pay existing debts. It just means it cannot continue to run a deficit. Spending becomes limited by revenue, and existing debt may be replaced by new debt. The government just can’t add MORE debt.

That means the government has to prioritize. The obvious priorities are:

* First, pay principal and interest on existing debts to avoid default. (There is plenty of tax revenue for this.)

* Pay the military and spend what is necessary for defense. (There is plenty of tax revenue for this, also.)

* Pay for other programs authorized by the Constitution. (Ditto)

* If money is left over, pay debts previously incurred for programs not authorized by the Constitution. (There will not be enough for this, so they will have to be closed down and paid off over time.)

This is the basic situation that Washington, D.C., its hangers-on, and the mainstream media think is so terrible.

Granted, suddenly balancing the budget may not be pretty. The states will have to take up some of the services the feds have been running on borrowed money. But they can do it better and more efficiently, anyway. (Colorado already is responding by keeping Rocky Mountain National Park open during the partial federal shutdown.)

Even if it’s not pretty, the history of other indebted nations during the last few decades—including our neighbor Canada—shows that shock treatment may be the best way for a country to get its fiscal health in order.

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Those budget ‘cuts’ are actually spending increases

Posted by on Apr 15 2013 | debt, Government Largess, PPC

At’s new Page Two, Independence Institute senior fellow Barry Fagin warns against getting faked out by the Orwellian language trickery being used in the ongoing budget debate in Washington, DC:

We’ve all heard the typical media spin on the budget negotiations. The Democrats are proposing a “balanced” plan of spending cuts and tax increases, while the Republicans are being dogmatic and unreasonable. After all, who can argue with balance? It makes it seem like the alternative is falling over.
Let me state this as clearly as I can: A “spending cut” is when you spend less money than you did before. It’s not that hard to understand. Think about it: If your family has to cut spending, are you going to spend more, or less? It just couldn’t be any simpler.
Unless you’re in Washington. There, cutting spending means spending less than you were hoping to. That’s a very different thing. Think about it this way. If you get a 3 percent raise when you were expecting 5 percent, was that a pay cut? If your taxes go up 5 percent when you thought they would go up 10 percent, were your taxes cut? According to Democratic Party Newspeak, the answer is yes.

Enjoy the whole thing here.

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Collective Bargaining For Firefighters And Taxi Cab Cartels On Devil’s Advocate Tonight

Posted by on Feb 22 2013 | Government Largess, Idiot Box (TV Show), Media, PPC, Proposed Legislation

Go ahead and give the role playing websites a rest tonight and instead enjoy public affairs tv with the Independence Institute on Colorado Public Television 12.  First at 8:00 catch research director David Kopel on the roundtable show Colorado Inside Out. Then at 8:30 on Devil’s Advocate, host Jon Caldara is first joined by Kevin Bommer from the Colorado Municipal League to discuss the league’s issues with a proposed state law forcing collective bargaining rights for firefighters on local taxpayers. Then Uber Denver general manager Will McCollum sits down to describe the Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) efforts to protect the Denver taxi cab cartel from competition. That’s all tonight starting at 8:00, and rebroadcast Monday at 12:30 PM.

You can find your local CPT12 channel by zip code here.

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Defend Colorado from Obama Care!

Posted by on Mar 22 2010 | Capitol Crazies, Economics, Government Largess, Government Largess, Health Care, PPC, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized

Statement by Independence Institute President Jon Caldara
March 21, 2010

On Sunday night the US House of Representatives passed what we call “Obama-care.” This is one of the darkest moments in American history. The federal government has taken a large step towards control of our healthcare, and with it control of our very bodies. The federal government is taking away our decisions over health insurance and, unprecedented in history, forcing citizens to purchase private products, ultimately under penalty of incarceration.

We at the Independence Institute refuse to watch this atrocity corrode the quality of healthcare in Colorado. For months we have been at work bringing forward an amendment to the Colorado Constitution to preserve as a basic human right our “Right to Health Care Choice.” It is my goal to make Colorado a sanctuary state for quality healthcare.

This citizens’ initiative is very close to the petition stage. Soon we will need as many volunteer petition gatherers as possible. We will also need funding to wage this battle. I ask you, right now, to donate to our fight. I desperately need your talents, your time, and your resources to protect Colorado from this affront coming from DC. We can stop Washington.

Read the amendment here.

Give us your contact info to help gather signatures.

And please donate to this fight here. And please don’t wait.

* Become an Defend Colorado fan on Facebook
* Support our education efforts by making a tax deductable donation to the Independence Institute

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How Many More Prison Beds Can We Afford?

Posted by on Oct 05 2009 | Events, Government Largess

Prison spending in our state has tripled over the last 20 years.  Unless Colorado has suddenly become a vacation destination for the common criminal, something has gone awry on the sentencing law front.  Thus, we have the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) to address sentencing reform, and possible solutions to our criminalization, probation, and recidivism problems. Commission member and Colorado State Public Defender Doug Wilson joined Justice Policy Center director Mike Krause on for an overview of what the CCJJ plans to do, how things are going, and what he hopes will result from the meetings. In addition, Mike has planned an event out on the western slope that features quite the distinguished panel: State Senator Morgan Carroll; Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey, Chairman of the 9th JD Community Corrections Board Steve Reynolds, Colorado Department of Public Safety Director Pete Weir, and Colorado Department of Corrections Director Ari Zavaras. They will be discussing the impact of sentencing on Colorado’s prison population and on the Colorado budget, and the ongoing work of the CCJJ to address sentencing reform in Colorado.

Event info:
Thursday, October 22, 2009
4:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Two Rivers Convention Center – 159 Main Street, Grand Junction, Colorado 81501

Admission Free

Refreshments served

RSVP to Angeline Roles at (970) 242-3246 or
by October 19, 2009

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It’s Pretty TABORish

Posted by on Oct 01 2009 | Government Largess, PPC

Washington state is mulling over whether they’d like to adopt a TABOR-like amendment for themselves.  Resident economist and senior fellow Barry Poulson thinks they ought to.  After all, it has been TABOR that has helped us evade situations like California’s current bankrupt fate.  Like clockwork, Washington residents are already hearing the same scare stories we all did (and still do) about how TABOR starves the state’s budget, makes children cry, and kicks cute puppies.  Fortunately for the state of Washington, the Bellingham Herald published Barry’s new piece on exactly why Washington should consider adopting a TABOR-esque measure.  Plus, Barry went on air on Washington’s David Boze’s radio show to discuss the issue and reply to some of the scare stories.

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Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by on Sep 30 2009 | Government Largess, Health Care, PPC

    ***Feels great to be back in the States! Our Canadian Health Care Fact Finding Trip was a resounding success. We were able to get coverage on the Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier and a whole slew of local Fox affiliates (including our Fox 31), in addition to being published in The Washington Times, L.A. Times, and The Wall Street Journal. John Fund, who joined us for our Canadian adventure, wrote the latest piece printed just today in the Journal, Escape to Montana. Gateway Pundit also did a fantastic job live blogging the event for us. Check his coverage here for analysis and videos.
    ***Wait, so why were we in Canada getting a closer look at their “public option?” Check out this earlier post I wrote outlining our mission.
    ***Obama’s “stimulus” package has brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to Colorado in order to create jobs. (as if government can create a job without destroying private sector jobs). Our Colorado Spending Transparency (COST) director Amy Oliver uncovered just how costly it is to “create” jobs with tax dollars. After reading it, you’ll likely ask yourself, “am I in the wrong business?”
    ***Washington state is in the middle of debating whether to bring a TABOR like amendment to their neck of the woods. Economist and senior fellow Barry Poulson could not be more clear: do it!

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Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by on Sep 23 2009 | Government Largess, Health Care, PPC

    ***The center-right is justly opposing Obama Care; the tremendously successful tea party movement is evidence of this, as they have been overwhelmingly anti-government takeover of health care. However, I suspect that there is a percentage of protesters and opposition who would be less fervently against Obama Care if it weren’t Obama and the Democrats pushing it. What if, instead, Obama was merely pushing old Republican ideas? Ari Armstrong’s new op-ed in the Colorado Springs Gazette points this fact out. Much of the planks that make up Obama Care are equally backed by prominent Republicans. Granted, there are many elected Republicans who have given great free market solutions to our health care problems, we have to admit that Obama and the Democrats are not alone in their quest to crush what little freedom is left in medicine.
    ***Yet another hat tip to the profound Ari Armstrong: Obama has stated that forcing everyone to have health insurance (like Massachusetts currently does – with disastrous consequences) is just like forcing all drivers to carry car insurance. Sounds plausible right? Wrong. Ari points out why via Brian Schwartz at Patient Power.
    ***The late, great Milton Friedman proposed that we cease all medical licensing. This was a pretty extreme statement back then, just as it is today. However, extreme does not mean without merit.
    ***Justice Policy Initiative director Mike Krause has the gall to write about how the drug war is a massive failure. Thankfully, we taxpayers funding this massive disaster have a logical and coherent voice on our behalf. Thanks Mike.

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Denver Post finally admits I was right! (okay not the Post, but some guy who reads the Post)

Posted by on Sep 18 2009 | Economics, Government Largess, Media

Let’s see, the Denver Post endorsed Amendment 23, which I campaigned against.  It busted the state budget.  The Post endorsed and worked double time for the RTD Fastracks 67% tax increase, which I campaigned against.  Fastracks is so over-budget RTD needs to double the tax just to get close to what they promised.  The Post endorsed and worked triple-sooper-dooper time to pass Referendum C (including a front-page editorial), which I campaigned against.  My prediction that its cost would double came true within two years.

I’ve been waiting for the Post to admit they were wrong on any of these crushing failures of big government growth they advocated.  I finally got it today!  Well not from the Post but from a Post letter writer, but I’ll take what little I can get:

Turns out Jon Caldara was right about light rail

by on September 17, 2009

Re: “RTD to rework forecast of costs,” Sept. 13 news story.

Credit where credit is due. I believe Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute was correct in asserting that FasTracks was a huge tax hike, and that it would not be built for the amount on the ballot. While light rail is a viable option in a perfect world, what a waste of time and resources — all that money spent by the bonding companies, law firms and construction companies to convince voters to build it. Now we have no money to build what the voters approved, and fighting between the various jurisdictions. Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose.

Dave Sprecace, Denver

Dave Sprecace, I have no idea who you are but thanks!  Could you maybe talk to the Pest editorial board and ask them to just listen to me for ten minutes before blindly follow the Denver Chamber of Commerce and carry the water for the next tax increase.

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Colorado’s Long Term Fiscal Stability

Posted by on Sep 04 2009 | Economics, Government Largess, Idiot Box (TV Show)

What is the outlook for the Colorado state budget? What are the proper functions of state government? The Independence Institute’s Amy Oliver-Cooke and Renny Fagan of the Colorado Nonprofit Association join me on Independent Thinking for an update on the ongoing work of Colorado’s Long Term Fiscal Stability Commission. Tune in this Friday night at 8:30 pm to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Monday afternoon at 1:30pm.

***(NOTE: Our repeat viewing time has been changed from Tuesdays to Mondays at 1:30pm)***

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