Let’s start with a small thought experiment. Assume that you are a long-serving company CEO. You have been running the company well enough that it makes a profit-nothing outstanding-and you have been reporting good results to the board and to shareholders.
However, you now come to the board and say, “The economy has really gotten bad. Our revenues are way down, and I have a problem. During the past years I have never maintained our fleet of trucks. We always had enough money that I could just buy new trucks instead of maintaining the old ones. But new trucks are too expensive and now I need lots of money to fix up all the trucks that are getting old and need to be repaired.”
I think the first question you would be asked is something along the lines of this, “What do you mean you never maintained the trucks? What kind of idiot only buys new trucks and never maintains the old ones? How much of the capital of our company have you wasted?” This would inevitably proceed to questions about prudence, planning, common sense and ends with a statement along the lines of “You’re Fired!”
It would be impossible to think that someone running a company would ignore the common sense of preserving capital investments by maintaining them to ensure long service and appropriate returns. Then why do we repeatedly have to endure similar idiocy from the political class?
You can tell it’s a recession when the politicians begin loud complaints about the lack of money to maintain the roads and bridges. Just four short years ago, our political class came hat-in-hand whining about how TABOR was going to kill the state and that they needed to keep billions of dollars of tax money for schools and roads and bridges.
This $3.7 billion (which has become $5 billion or $6 billion or more) was a “needed investment” in transportation, education, and health care. Every special interest with its hand out for a government check supported the measure and so did a majority of the voters of Colorado.
This has provided more than $1 billion a year in extra spending – above what was originally budgeted. So what has been our experience with the investments our Legislature has made? We now have the Governor and Democrats proposing increased “fees” for every single vehicle in order to repair Colorado’s “crumbling roads and bridges”. Yes we now need to go F.A.S.T.E.R.
Of course, this tax increase has to be structured as a fee increase. The people of Colorado weren’t so crazy as to give up their right to approve any new taxes when they signed over billions in Referendum C. Our gutless politicians wouldn’t want to do something so rash as to present this to the people of Colorado and have them vote on it, although their website (www.coloradofaster.com) explains that is has “broad community support”.
You will just pay a “bridge safety fee” and a “road safety fee” every year. Forever. To be increased at the whim of your imperial Legislature. They wanted to have the “fee” indexed to inflation, but the Senate nixed that automated increase-for now. Although the Senate has stripped out indexing to inflation and basing the tax on miles driven, we never know what will finally end up on the Governor’s desk should this thing pass the House.
So we have already given the politicians billions, and its not enough. If they cannot be trusted to use the money they already have, why should they be trusted with more? Today promises are the same as we have always heard. We know that the spenders will be crying for more whether they get the money or not.
And we should all vote “You’re Fired” to anyone who supports the latest iteration in the rip-off of the taxpayers.