Bachmann's TABOR: The God That Fails
Today is a bad day for Michele Bachmann.
She’s been pimping this Minnesota Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights amendment thing for years now. “We need a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) here in Minnesota! My surveys show Minnesotans support TABOR! If we pass TABOR it’ll improve Minnesota’s economy! We need TABOR to restrain spending so Minnesota won’t go broke! We must pass TABOR as by referendum as a state constitutional amendment! TABOR is cool! Love the undoubted benefits and justice of mighty TABOR! TABOR is good and wise! Fall down, voters, and worship mighty TABOR! TABOR is already the law in Colorado, and just look how well Colorado is—uh-oh…No! No, don’t look at Colorado, no, don’t look at Colorado, look away, uh, look over here, I’m making bunny shadows on the wall--”
Yes, that’s right. Colorado voters just voted to stop TABOR. Cause Colorado’s had TABOR since 1992, and now Colorado’s broke.
Here’s what’s supposed to happen when you pass a TABOR amendment, according to “no new taxes” conservatives like Bachmann: we’re supposed to be able to keep more of our own income, so we’ll be able spend more of own money (instead of sending it off to the government), and that will create prosperity, and prevent a recession, and we’ll all be prosperous and happy and get to buy new stuff and go on family vacations and come back all sun-tanned and hold hands and dance a happy circle dance singing “La-la-la,” and there will be magic elves and leprechauns granting wishes and giving out balloons and lollipops and pots of gold for everyone, oh boy!
Well, here’s what actually happens. Your state goes broke, idiot. Oh, your state can make it for a while, if you’ve got Clinton in the White House paying down the national debt and there’s national economic prosperity and growth of global economic markets. Competent economic stewardship in the White House will carry you along for a while. But if you’ve got Bush in the White House and moribund national economic growth and truly staggering deficit spending and debt and alienation of global markets—well, your TABOR plan, supposed to increase prosperity, is gonna kill your state like an economic cancer and eventually lead it into bankruptcy.
You don’t believe me? Okay then, ask Republican Governor of Colorado Bill Owens, who started out as TABOR’s staunchest backer, backed it for years, and then did a complete about-face this year and helped to write the referendum to suspend mighty TABOR. Because the state’s higher education, health care and transportation are already on the critical list, and the formerly pro-TABOR Governor says Colorado simply won’t make it through the next year without suspending the mighty TABOR.
Oh and by the way--in addition to having to suspend the mighty TABOR, Colorado also has to borrow billions just to make it through next year.
This is kind of “prosperity” that conservatives can produce, if you only let them. And the only people who will miss TABOR are the lobbyists who embrace economic conservatism as a kind of religious faith—pro-TABOR groups with catchy names like “Vote No, It’s Your Dough” and “TABOR Good, Taxes BAD” and “We Have Nothing But Contempt For Your Economic IQ, Voter, So We Expect That You Will Continue To Support TABOR Despite The Disastrous Results.”
“Well, cutting taxes worked for Reagan,” you mumble, weakly. No, it didn’t, you moron. Reagan cut the taxes of the richest Americans, but he also deficit spent like hell. Reagan deficit spent as no liberal ever had since the days of FDR and LBJ. Awe-inspiring American debt, authorized by the “conservative” Ronald Reagan—a liberal policy to stimulate the economy. The problem is, deficit spending is a tax—it’s public money that we have to pay back. So in reality Reagan never lowered your taxes at all, dummy, unless you’re a multi-millionaire. Reagan increased your tax burden--the amount of money you owe the government--when he stimulated the economy with liberal deficit spending.
Amazing. Keynes has been dead for decades, and he’s still kicking conservative asses, every day.
And Bachmann blows it again, folks, and in public, too. No more talk about the mighty TABOR, not for a loooong time—because she got caught pimping for the Taxpayers’ League lobby, caught pimping TABOR, caught pimping what is surely a proven economic cancer.