Tuesday, August 01, 2006

TABOR spending trap causing conservatives to sound alarm in other states

Even as the TABOR spending trap is being pushed by conservative ne'er do wells here in my beloved Oregon, Colorado conservatives are warning the good folks of Maine to abandon the idea for their state:

BANGOR - A group of Colorado business leaders this week entered the fray of the simmering debate in Maine over a proposed Taxpayer Bill of Rights, warning their colleagues here of the potentially detrimental effects of the spending limits plan set to go before voters in November.

"TABOR is a proven failure in Colorado. ... We strongly encourage that you do not repeat Colorado's mistake," reads the letter sent to several chambers of commerce and trade organizations in Maine and signed by officials from business organizations including the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association and Denver Downtown Partnership.

Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, also signed the letter. He said the group, called Concerned Colorado Business Leaders, wasn't trying to influence the November vote, but trying to educate their Maine counterparts about the harmful effects of TABOR's spending limits in Colorado.

"We don't have a dog in your fight," Clark said in a telephone interview this week. "We just want to say that while the message might sound sweet at first, the consequences - many of them unintended - are not."

Business leaders from around Colorado have found the TABOR spending trap to be a disaster for that state. That's why they encouraged a successful vote to suspend the spending trap for five years. It was the only way they could bring spending in the state up to levels that would keep the state from swirling the bowl and flushing away.

Interestingly, the chief petitioner of Maine's TABOR spending trap proposal cites Colorado's GOP goobernor Bill Owens as one of TABOR's supporters. Except that Owens worked with anti-TABOR forces to push the vote on suspending the law. While Owens may agree with the principle..he apparently isn't too keen on its devastating results.