Steven Hofman: TABOR works for taxpayers
Brodie Farquhar’s June 11 letter, “TABOR only works for conservative ideologues,” tries to have it both ways.
In criticizing the column by Jennifer Schubert-Aiken and Amy Oliver Cooke, he writes “TABOR only works for conservative ideologues who want to shrink government until it can be drowned in the bathtub.” At the same time, he rightly points out that “TABOR requires an affirmative vote of the people to raise taxes or increase public debt above and beyond what’s automatically called for in responding to population growth or inflation.”
Which is it Mr. Farquhar? If TABOR allows government to automatically grow in line with population growth or inflation, how is that drowning government in the bathtub? Of course, that is not the case. In fact, as revealed in much of Mr. Farquhar other assertions, he has two basic problems with TABOR.
His first problem with TABOR is that it restrains politicians from growing the size of government beyond per capita population growth and inflation. It doesn’t prevent government from increasing spending. It just puts a cap on that spending relative to population growth and inflation — unless approved by voters.
The second problem is that he can’t stand the thought of voters actually having a direct role in approving how their money gets spent by their government. He wraps up this point of view in language about how voters are too busy to be informed and thus automatically vote “no” because of their ignorance.
In short, when Mr. Farquhar says “The money is there, but TABOR makes it needlessly difficult to put that money to work for ‘We the People’,” he reveals his true agenda.
Of course, the money is there. Coloradans work long and hard to earn it. But Mr. Farquhar sees that money as the government’s money. It should be there for the taking. And things are not right for him when it is not.
TABOR, which was put in place by Colorado voters, stands as a clear and comprehensive assertion that when government wants more money from taxpayers it has to ask for it and cannot just demand it.
When Mr. Farquhar makes reference to the founding fathers and “We the People,” he ignores the founders’ words. As written in The Declaration of Independence: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”
The founders didn’t think we the people were too busy to provide our consent. TABOR asks no more of us today.
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