Predictions for the coming year: 
more on tax hikes, gun control

With the passing of another year, we will endure the parade of “Top Stories of the Previous Year,” often with American Bandstand-like countdowns from 10 to 1. Some stories have a good beat but are, unfortunately, difficult to dance to.

So, to break that trend, like a broadsheet Amazing Kreskin, I shall endeavor to predict some of the news stories of 2013.

The new, Democrat-controlled state Legislature will introduce a series of gun-control measures as soon as lawmakers can lope into the building protected by Colorado State Patrol officers. Most of the measures will be created by individuals who don’t know a firing pin from a flugelhorn, but they will nevertheless intone gravely on the necessity for their new legislation, ignoring evidence there is little relationship between the number of guns in society and violent crime, except perhaps an inverse one.

I further predict that — and this is quite hazy — a gun-control legislator may actually consume an NRA patch on the Capitol steps.

On a related topic, since many of the people advocating these measures take their cue from California, where items are banned based on whether or not they seem “scary,” an initial list of “assault weapons” may include such publications as Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom,” Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom.”

Staring deep into the tea leaves, it seems very likely Colorado voters will face another ballot measure seeking to increase taxes for education. In this context, education means a union-driven Colossus for which. if efficiency were measured in the same way we do for automobiles, its use of money would be in gallons per mile rather than miles per gallon.

There is already talk that the Legislature may retool Colorado’s school finance apparatus and then ask voters to approve a tax increase of upwards of $1 billion to fund the proposal. It’s rumored that Boulder Sen. Rollie Heath may lead the charge. Heath, the Alf Landon of education-lobby-driven tax proposals, promises to bring the same connection to non-metro voters he has shown in the past.

Meanwhile, the I Ching sticks predict that the state will continue to struggle with determining the legal limits of marijuana a person can have in one’s system and still operate an automobile, boat or crop duster.

The governor has not had much luck getting a few token law-enforcement-supporting legislators on any of the panels he’s created.

I might suggest a formula involving a three-prong test that puts a limit on the amount of marijuana, alcohol and reality television that individual can consume in one day.

Too much “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” and beer means no magic brownies for the rest of the afternoon.

Seriously, it seems that a simple test to determine whether or not marijuana is present in one’s system, combined with a series of observations and on-scene physical testing, would probably yield enough data to convince police officers, judges and juries whether a person is safe to drive. All are likely to be seeing a lot more drivers whose ability to operate a vehicle is questionable, thanks to Colorado’s new marijuana amendment.

On our local level, the Magic 8 Ball predicts the city of Grand Junction will ask to be relieved from the trials and tribulations of TABOR once more. Working on the assumption that “No, Never!” actually means maybe, city officials will once again launch another wildly extravagant plan to put into place a series of colossal blunders and mistakes that will destroy citizen’s appetite for all projects, including sensible ones, for the next two years.

After the defeat of these proposals, officials will again spend time on a “listening tour,” by which they will mainly try and find ways to spend money that voters won’t hear about.

In the meantime, at the other end of the street, Mesa County’s revamping of the fairgrounds plan will go from big to behemoth, as every madcap group that ever wanted some kind event center/concert hall/aquarium tries to pile into the project. The goal seems to be to have the country’s first simultaneous calf roping and string quartet performance.

These are only predictions. The future will likely be sillier.

Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, the War on Wrong.


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Calf roping and string quartet performance… that’s creative!

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