« Why Have a Constitution if You're Not Going to Follow It? | Main | Tax Reform Panel's Report: "Some Hits, Many Misses" »

Understanding the Language of Big Government and their Leftist Friends

For more than a decade, Colorado's Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) has been the landmark method by which fiscal conservatives hoped to control the growth of government. Consequently, the advocates of ever bigger government are giddy that Colorado voters decided on November 1 to suspend for five-years the portion of TABOR that requires that surplus revenues be returned to taxpayers. Rather, state government will be able to spend about $3.7 billion over the next five years instead of refunding it to taxpayers.

According to the two authors of a Cato Institute study on Colorado's TABOR, the legislation "mandates that state revenue can grow no faster than population, plus inflation, and requires immediate refunds of surplus revenues to taxpayers."

The editorial desks of the Virginian Pilot and the Cleveland Plain Dealer were clearly overjoyed. Margaret Edds, editorial writer at the Virginia Pilot titled her column today, "Kicking out government by gimmick in Colorado," and wrote, "government-by-formula makes as much sense as driving down a crowded freeway on autopilot." On Friday, the Plain Dealer editorialized that Colorado's voters escaped "from an irresponsible financial straitjacket known as TABOR . . . (and) should resonate in Ohio and other states considering similar measures."

Thankfully, John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union, which has supported TABOR efforts for some 15 years, said in a press release, "In the months, years, and decades ahead, we will not be deterred from giving taxpayers a greater voice over how much government they can afford."

UPDATE 11/8/05. Critics of Colorado's TABOR may be conducting 'self-immolation,' however, says Friday's Rocky Mountain News. Responding to one particular critic, who claimed that TABOR was "as good as dead," the paper outlined a number of reasons why TABOR still lives. For example, its caps on spending are still in place, and taxpayers must still vote on any tax increase.