Printed letters, December 30, 2012

When the TABOR override measure to provide funds to pay off the Riverside Parkway was voted on, it was presented as a temporary increase. We were led to believe that the tax increase would end when the parkway was paid off.

Now the city wants us to vote for a new TABOR override and, at the same time, to suggest how this increase in taxes might be spent.

How about letting this tax increase expire as we were told it would? Taxpayers would not be getting a refund and the city would not be “forced to give back the money.” It is not the city’s money to give back. It is the taxpayers’ money.

If the City Council decides to schedule a vote to approve another TABOR override, it should at least be honest with the voters and admit that this was a temporary measure that is on schedule to accomplish its objective and the city has no right to this money in perpetuity.

No dollars will be “freed up” with the approval of a new ballot question. A new tax will be created, and the City Council doesn’t even know what it wants to do with this money it doesn’t have.

I urge the city to be more honest with taxpayers, and I urge taxpayers to vote “No” on this underhanded attempt to make a temporary tax increase permanent.


Grand Junction

Ethics Watch election plan 
will only benefit Democrats

Let’s clear this up. Colorado Ethics Watch, which has ignored the improprieties of the Democrats while damaging and tying up Republican candidates, is in favor of a nonpartisan commission to replace the secretary of state to judge elections.

Would this be like the nonpartisan member of the Re-apportionment Committee in 2011, who sided with the Democrats and essentially handed the Colorado House back to the Democrats by gerrymandering the districts to give the Democrats a majority?

There is no such thing as a nonpartisan. If we were to go to an appointed commission, its members would only be beholden to the people who appointed them. At least under the current system, the people have a say every four years. They would not under the Ethics Watch plan.

Ethics Watch has spent the last six years destroying Republican politicians. Any plan that it would propose would benefit the Democrats. This would hardly be nonpartisan.




Top 2 percent must give 
the middle class a break

I was greatly heartened, earlier this month, by Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Mike Johanns of Nebraska, who both stated a willingness to increase tax rates on the top 2 percent.

Previously a small-business owner for 20 years, I have personal experience with financial straits most of our lawmakers apparently can’t imagine. Families across the country face a similar situation every month, having to choose between buying food and getting to the dentist regularly or buying new tires so the car is safe to drive.

If I had an “extra” $2,000 per year, I would spread it out among the local businesses and professionals with whom I do business. If someone in the top 2 percent had it, what would he or she do? Place it in his or her portfolio? Buy a Jag? What benefits the 98 percent the most?

Let’s face it. The middle class is squeezed to a grease spot already. If the top 2 percent of earners pay a bit more, it will maintain the system on which they grew and flourished.

Like it or not, we are all in this together. Living in community means being part of a security net when things get rough, as well as being supported by that net when it’s needed. Or, at the very least and most cynical, enlightened self-interest?

I salute Sens. Corker and Johanns for moving beyond partisan scorekeeping, and I call on Rep. Scott Tipton to do the same as he returns to Washington after the Christmas break. For 98 percent of us, this is not a Monopoly game.

Are we a nation, or aren’t we? If we are, we’d better start acting like it.




‘Fiscal cliff’ just a return 
to tax rates of Clinton era

Does anyone remember the balanced budgets in the latter years of the Clinton administration? Whether we credit President Bill Clinton or the Republican Congress that took him kicking and screaming to fiscal responsibility, we remember it fondly.

Now we are faced with a “fiscal cliff.” What is the cliff? It is merely a return to the tax rates of those salad days of the Clinton administration. What could be wrong with that?

Spending would also be trimmed, although not back to Clinton-era levels, but headed in the right direction.

Short of the administration and Congress acting like grown-ups and passing something like Simpson-Bowles, maybe going over the cliff will be the best thing that could happen.


Grand Junction


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Come on Kevin, ethics watch committees destroying Republican politicians?  Really?  The ethics committee has had nothing to do with the fall of McGinnis, Bradford, the arrogance of Meis, and even the ignorance of voters electing the likes of Jared Wright!

Maybe just maybe a committee can at least encourage politicians to walk the line of integrity if they have any!

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