Douglas Bruce’s Response to Mike Foote’s Editorial

douglas bruceThe Colorado TABOR Foundation received the following response from Douglas Bruce regarding Mike Foote’s editorial:
In the Camera, a local politician calls the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) “A 24-year-old constitutional amendment championed by a discredited anti-government crusader and convicted tax evader…” My 2005 “offense” was giving my entire county commissioner salary to charity. I was denied time to get an attorney, a local jury trial, the right to subpoena witnesses, and many other “rights” we thought we had. The IRS audited me and said the tax deduction was lawful and I was innocent, but their testimony was not allowed. The state case awaits a federal court hearing.
Mike Foote uses that frame-up to urge you to vote away your right to vote on taxes–a
classic personal attack. Now you know why the case was filed.
TABOR cuts nothing–never has, never will. TABOR applies only to 60% of state revenue. The spending growth limit applies only to excess revenue above an automatic growth rate that provides the state hundreds of millions in new revenue yearly. We can let the state keep all revenue, as in the pot tax refund vote last November.

Total state spending costs about $27 billion yearly. That equal over $20,000 per average family of four. His “arbitrary equation” is inflation plus state population, to maintain the same purchasing value for government on a per person basis. Revenue has more than doubled since TABOR. It includes illegal taxes Mr. Foote’s colleagues imposed without voter approval on candy, soda pop, napkins, car tabs, etc. It includes permanent extension of the “temporary” five-year waiver in 2005, called Referendum C, which alone costs us a billion dollars in tax relief yearly. It’s never enough.
Now Mr. Foote wants to exclude an “obscure fee” from TABOR. His obscure fee is zooming in cost and will collect $750 million this year. From whom? From sick people who see it added to their hospital bills. Wonder no more why health care costs skyrocket. It is government meddling in areas like this “illness tax.”
What Mr. Foote calls an “investment” is money taken by force. You never get it back, much less any interest on it. It goes to those whom politicians consider more deserving of your money. What he calls a “cut” is simply a lower rate of increase. What would YOU have to “cut” if your income rose $900 million this year? (Nothing.)
Mr. Foote wails that the state will refund an average of $30 per man, woman, and child this year, and have “only” $27,000,000,000 left over to spend. He calls that imbalance heartless
because he wants refunds to be zero!
Remember the prophets of doom in 1992? They said Colorado would collapse if we had the right to vote on taxes. Now they are fighting to keep the excess revenue above the automatic growth provided by our improved economy, one of the best in the nation. The word “hypocrite” comes to mind.
Mr. Foote wants to change the TABOR limit (again) without voter approval, after saying “it can be changed only by a majority vote of the people.”
TABOR passed by 812,308 votes–53.7%, not 52%, Mr. Foote. It is part of the constitution you swore a public oath to uphold. Why display Foote-in-mouth disease? Why not keep your oath?
(Mr. Foote got 583 words. This is 515 words. In view of his personal attack, please treat me fairly.)
Douglas Bruce

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