Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The reason Bill Owens opposes Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101

From Sunday’s Denver Post:

I am a strong fiscal conservative and proved it during the eight years I served as the 40th governor of Colorado. I cut more taxes and vetoed more bills and more spending than did any of my predecessors, while signing 30 permanent tax cuts totaling more than $6 billion to date.

And — as a fiscal conservative — I oppose Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101.

On the surface, some of the claims by proponents of Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 might sound appealing. But there's an old saying: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Nothing describes these three measures better.

These proposals arise from a belief that government taxes and spends too much, a belief I happen to share. But there is a difference between demanding greater fiscal responsibility from our elected officials and literally setting back our state's progress by decades.

I have some experience with cutting government. Between 2001 and 2003, state general-fund revenues declined 16 percent, forcing me to cut almost $1 billion in state spending. I know that there is a vast difference between fiscal conservatism and fiscal recklessness.

By taking a hatchet to state revenues, these ballot measures would cause an incredible 92 percent of the state's general fund to be used for one purpose: to backfill K-12 education funding. Only 8 percent of the general fund would remain for higher education, health care, prisons, agriculture and public safety — the most basic state services.   More -

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