Letters to the Editor

Open letter to Colorado’s Congressional delegation: More taxes to balance budget is a real cop-out

Fellow Lawmakers,

Congress is facing a decision that will affect all Coloradans, indeed, all Americans, for possibly decades to come. The issue is a simple one — how to raise the federal debt ceiling without simultaneously fueling more unsustainable, unfunded growth in government.

Back in May, President Obama insisted on a “clean debt ceiling bill,” one that did not include spending cuts. Republicans in Congress insist there must be some credible attack on excessive spending, which must include entitlement reform. Now Obama is insisting that tax increases must be part of any bipartisan deal.

We believe the call for more taxes to balance the budget is a cop-out: The federal government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and the American people understand that.

We believe the top priority — what Americans of all political persuasions want to see – is for Congress to end its addiction to deficit spending by adopting of significant cuts in the 2012 budget and substantial reductions in the out-year budgets as well. Congress must do that in a way that spurs economic growth instead of suffocating it — and that means not raising taxes.

We share the public’s view that the upcoming vote on raising the debt ceiling is the best chance Congress will have to adopt meaningful spending reductions. It would be the height of folly to continue the business-as-usual practice of raising the debt ceiling without simultaneously addressing deficit spending.

Whatever “deal” needs to be struck in this matter, there is one principle that must be honored in that deal: Congress must not raise taxes in the middle of the worst recession in more than 50 years. The last thing Coloradans need is a tax increase.

In Colorado we balance the budget each year because the state constitution requires it. We do not finance annual expenditures — or “public investments” — by borrowing against our children’s future. It is likely that Congress needs a similar constitutional mandate.

We are at a historic crossroads. Either Congress will face its addiction to deficit spending and reverse course, or it will continue on the irresponsible path of dumping insurmountable debt on our children and grandchildren. Continuing on that path is unacceptable to the people of Colorado.

We therefore urge you to vote for a spending reduction plan that is bold and honest, which is free of accounting gimmicks, and which does not raise taxes.

Sincerely,
Mike Kopp, R-SD 22
Senate Minority Leader

Bill Cadman, R-SD 10
Assistant Minority Leader

Mark Scheffel, R-SD 4
Senate Republican Caucus Chair

Scott Renfroe, SD 13
Senate Minority Whip

Greg Brophy, SD 1

Kevin Grantham, SD 2

Ted Harvey, SD 30

Kent Lambert, SD 9

Kevin Lundberg, SD 15

Shawn Mitchell, SD 23

Keith King, SD 12

Steve King, SD 7

Ellen Roberts, SD 6

Nancy Spence, SD 27

Jean White, SD 8