I’m closing out this terrible year of 2020 with a couple of unrelated observations. Hopefully we can at least have a conversation about these things. They’re important.
Merriam-Webster defines “tyranny” as: “oppressive power, especially oppressive power exerted by government”. [Emphasis mine]
The second definition of tyranny is “a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler”. While our state government in Colorado does not have absolute power vested in a single person (though it’s close, with Governor Polis ruling by executive order and making up the rules as he goes), our state is governed by a single political party – the Democrats.
Due to demographic changes, the progressive infrastructure I’ve described elsewhere and other factors, the Democrats have succeeded in flipping Colorado to blue, and we get bluer every two years. After the 2020 election fiasco, the Democrats increased their death grip on Colorado’s government at all levels, cementing a 41-24 majority in the state House and a comfortable 20-15 majority in the state Senate. The Governor is a Democrat, and every single justice on the state Supreme Court has been appointed by a Democratic governor. The Democrats control all the statewide offices of Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General and four of seven U.S Representative seats. After Cory Gardner (who served us well) lost his re-election, the Democrats now control both U.S. Senate seats as well. They flipped the University of Colorado Board of Regents which will now be Democrat-controlled for the first time in 41 years.
The only bright spot was that they didn’t flip Douglas County blue, though it wasn’t through a lack of effort, with Emerge Colorado running some formidable candidates, one of whom almost won her race.
While numerically Republicans may control more counties, the Democrats are fully in control of most of the big, populous counties where most of Colorado’s population lives, meaning they have near total control of state and local governments.
While the voters placed some limits on government via the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) in 1992 and more recently with the passage of Proposition 116 lowering the income tax rate and Proposition 117 requiring statewide voter approval of new state enterprises, these guardrails are not nearly enough.
The ultimate guardrail, of course, is the United States Constitution, which every elected official pledges a sacred oath to uphold. Most, however, can’t seem to wait to violate that oath which they do routinely, and it is members of both parties who are guilty of this.
Every session, the General Assembly passes laws that are in clear contravention of the Constitution. Of course, they say that the proposed law does not violate the Constitution, but in a world where words mean things, they clearly are lying. The best example of this is the Red Flag bill passed in 2019.
This means that the Constitution isn’t the safeguard we all thought and hoped it was. No, the best safeguard is to not elect the little tyrants in the first place.
Buckle up, Colorado. If the 3-day special session recently concluded is any indication, this next legislative session (postponed until February thanks to COVID), will be a disaster for constitutional government, the rule of law, businesses and other struggling individuals. Look for more mandates, regulations, rules and power grabs. Thanks to TABOR they can’t raise taxes, but don’t think they won’t try other means of getting at your money and your property. If they can’t take it directly, you can bet they will make it harder to acquire.
Individuals and businesses are fleeing the state Colorado Democrats seem to want to emulate: California. It’s only a matter of time before our state becomes an economic wasteland as well.
I’m sorry to say this, but if you voted Democrat, you are getting the government you deserve. Unfortunately, the rest of us have to suffer too. (Or move, which more and more people are doing.)
The United States Congress recently passed a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill. Note that this bill wouldn’t be necessary if the government hadn’t shut down the economy in the first place, but leave that aside for now.
This bill includes direct checks to some people (income under $75,000 single, $150,000 married) of $600 or $2,000, depending on how President Trump’s last minute demands play out. Also leaving aside the question of whether or not this is a proper function of government, the other question is: how is the federal government going to pay for this?
Just to be clear: the federal government creates no wealth. It is individual, productive people who create wealth. The government takes this wealth (through force) to fund its programs. The government has only two ways to raise money: via taxation, mentioned above, or by borrowing.
This most recent $900,000,000,000 (almost a trillion) handout (which includes a lot of wasteful spending unrelated to COVID) is only going to add to the government’s current deficit, which ultimately goes to increase the national debt. As of this writing, the national debt is $27,526,157,000,000 (it literally grows by the second). That is more than the value of the entire U.S. economy in 2019, which was about $21,400,000,000,000. On a very simple level, this means that the United States government owes more than the value of the entire economy, which it does NOT own, and cannot possibly liquidate to repay these debts. This, in turn, means that the government will ultimately have to raise taxes, devalue the currency or divest assets in order to raise the cash to pay the interest on the debt, and ultimately the debt itself.
This means, finally, that the country is heading toward sovereign default – or “bankruptcy”. People may think that “this could never happen to the United States”, but let’s be very clear: The U.S. is not exempt from the laws of economics and human nature. If not checked, this problem will grow until it becomes untenable. As an older person I may not live to see it. But young people and those with children and grandchildren should be very concerned.
As much as I would like to blame the Democrats for this problem, it truly is a product of bi-partisan failure. The failure lies in understanding the proper role of government and of viewing the government as the means of solving every human problem imaginable.
We don’t have a revenue problem in the United States, we have a spending problem, and it grows exponentially worse every year.
Thankfully Colorado and most states required balanced budgets. The federal government should too.
It’s time to recognize the looming fiscal disaster is real and is more of a true threat to our way of life than anything else. It’s time to elect representatives who will ratchet down the spending, trim the fat, and return our governments at every level to their proper scope, function and size.
Our future depends on it.