The Independence Institute (where I work) published a study this week titled “State Budget Scrutiny Reveals Ref C Shuffle,” detailing how the promises made in Colorado’s 2005 tax increase campaign have gone unmet. Lawmakers have increased spending far more in budget areas not connected with the promises of the Referendum C campaign than in the key areas used to sell the tax increase to Colorado voters (i.e., public schools, state universities, and health care). The report is well documented with actual data.
Yesterday, the tax increase apologists at the Bell Policy Center issued a quick response that did not dispute the substance of the findings but asserts that the Institute report uses a “simplistic analysis” and criticizes it for “offering no meaningful solutions.”
Readers can decide for themselves how “simplistic” the analysis is. They can also look elsewhere to find that the Institute has offered solutions before. Bell just chooses to ignore them, because the solutions don’t include increasing the tax burden and the size of government. But for now, it looks like Bell has conceded the point that they and their friends hoodwinked voters into supporting Referendum C with misleading explanations of how the additional revenue would be used. Why should we trust you again?
Lesson learned: When the big government crowd comes knocking on your door saying the state needs another tax increase, see yourself what they did with the last hit on your wallet. And run away! “Fool me twice, shame on me.”