Sep 152009
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

Colorado took big hits Tuesday with Gov. Bill Ritter’s announcement of $258 million in cuts, clipping hundreds of jobs, funding for disabled people and forcing the early release of about 6,400 inmates — a bleak reminder of what’s at stake as the economy continues to stumble.

Ritter called the cuts “surgical.” To be sure, soon we all just might feel a little pinch. But at what point do we do stop treating the symptoms, covering bullet holes with bandages, and start considering the proverbial transplant?

It’s time Colorado lawmakers push for a constitutional re-write.

With cancerous ill-advised legislation, baked in myopic ignorance — yes, we’re talking about the Tax Payer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) to name just one — Colorado lawmakers have undercut every pledge to improve services even in good times, let alone the worst dive since the Great Depression.

The higher education death stroke is looming. We’re letting convicted felons, some of them violent, go free. We’re ditching the mentally disabled, those without health insurance and those who need assistance most.

What Ritter in his campaign coined the “Colorado Promise,” of no fault of his own, is now a laughable echo of a pipe dream.

No degree of optimism can navigate the dead-end winding maze that is our constitutionally prohibitive fiscal policy. For decades the delusion that anti-tax voters could have their cake and eat it too has squandered the future’s dough.

Oh yeah, Colorado balances its budget — by screwing over the future middle class.

Colorado’s bleeding from the jugular, it’s limbs are torn, it’s flat lining. And our lawmakers are toiling through budget lines with red pen, “spreading the pain.”

Write Ritter and your state legislators. It’s time to resuscitate the Colorado promise.

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